Popularly known as the City of Gold, Dubai is a world-class destination loved by people from all over the globe. What attract most people to the city are the architectural marvels that Dubai has produced in the last few decades. At the same time, Dubai has still managed to preserve its culture and heritage, even when the city looks like an ultra-modern metropolis. While you would have to spare a few weeks if you want to see everything that the city has offer, Dubai is also great for short holidays. Here, we present to you a 2-days Dubai itinerary, where you would be able to enjoy some of the best of Dubai in 48 hours.
Begin your short holiday in Dubai with a walk through the heritage neighbourhood of Dubai, the Bastakiya Quarter. Although a portion of the area was destroyed to make place for development, most of it was reclaimed and preserved. The Bastakiya Quarter is the oldest neighbourhood in Dubai and was built by the Persian merchants. Complete with sand-coloured buildings, wind towers and ornate doors, the Bastakiya Quarter gives you a glimpse of the city when it was a modest fishing village. Most of the houses here have been turned into cafes, boutique hotels, art galleries and museums, some of which you can visit for free if you have the time. Going on a guided tour with the SMCCU (Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding) would be a great idea if you want to know about the place in more detail.
Not too far from the Bastakiya Quarter is the Dubai Museum, which would, again, take you back to the yesteryears of the city. While the museum is interesting, the location of the museum is even more so. It is a delight to know that the Dubai Museum is located inside the oldest standing building in the city, the Al Fahidi Fort. Moreover, the exhibits would give you a deep insight into the culture, traditions and heritage of Dubai. Right from the Bedouin-style homes to the attire of the men and women, there are several interesting exhibits to check out here. At the end of the tour, you would also be able to see an audio-visual that captures the journey of Dubai from a fishing village to modern city it is today.
After your visit to the Dubai Museum, head to the Dubai Creek, which has a historical significance, as it is here that the Arabs settled when they moved from the desert to the city. The Dubai Creek divides the city into two: Bur Dubai and Deira. The Bastakiya Quarter and Dubai Museum are in the Bur Dubai area, and you can take an abra ride to reach the Deira side of the city. Apart from being a means of transportation, the abra ride gives you the chance to sit in a traditional abra, which is a boat than can hold 20 people at a time. At the same time, you can check out the view of both Deira and Bur Dubai.
Alighting from the abra, head straight to the Dubai Gold Souk, where you would find more than 300 stores selling gold and precious jewellery. Even if you do not want to buy anything, you would be mesmerized about the sheer volume of the yellow metal around you. Not far away from the Gold Souk is the Perfume Souk, where you can buy everything from the traditional Arabic attars to the modern fragrances. You can also get a customized perfume made at one of the stores. After the perfume souk comes the spice souk, where you can buy different types of spices, herbs, etc. The fragrances here are tantalizing and a haven for food lovers. If you have the time, you must also visit the textile souk in Bur Dubai, before you hop on to the abra. Here, you would get to buy different types of fabrics and readymade clothes as well.
After a quick rest in your hotel, get ready for one of the best things to do in Dubai, i.e. the desert safari. The Dubai desert safari usually begins late in the afternoon, when an SUV picks you up from your hotel. Once you reach the desert outskirts, the adventure begins with a dune bashing session in a 4×4 vehicle. After this, you head to the desert camp, where you would be able to enjoy some more adventurous activities like camel riding, sandboarding and quad biking. As the sun sets in the beautiful desert, get your camera ready to take some mesmerizing pictures. As the evening turns into night, you would be able to enjoy entertaining performances like Tanoura dancing, belly dancing, etc. The desert safari ends with a delicious dinner that includes BBQ, Emirati and international dishes.
Start your second day of your Dubai trip with a visit to Jumeirah Beach. It is one of the most popular beaches in the city, and the best thing is that it offers an amazing view of the Burj Al Arab, the only 7-star hotel in the world. Here, you can lounge on the sand and enjoy the sunny weather of the city, before it becomes too hot. Apart from this, Jumeirah Beach is also known for its water sports, and you can try parasailing, jet skiing, snorkelling, kite surfing, etc. here. The beach also has several cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast while people watching.
Just before the sun on the beach gets too hot to handle, hop into a cab and head to one of the most important buildings in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building not just in Dubai or UAE but in the entire world as well. All of 162 floors, the Burj Khalifa is made of a luxury hotel, numerous fine-dining restaurants, residential complex, shopping mall, corporate offices and even a mosque. The building also has two observation decks, which are open to public on an entrance fee. From the observation deck, you would get to see the entire Dubai in all its glory. The ride on the fastest elevator in the world is also quite thrilling.
On the ground floor of the Burj Khalifa is the large and sprawling Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world. It has more than 1200 stores that sell everything from clothes to electronic goods. However, most people do not visit Dubai for shopping. In fact, it is home to several recreational and entertainment activities. The Dubai Mall has a large indoor aquarium and underwater zoo, where you can meet different species of interesting marine animals. There is also KidZania, a theme park for kids and VR Park Dubai, which is a virtual-augmented reality theme park. Dubai Mall also has a huge food court, where you can enjoy a variety of cuisines, from the popular junk food to authentic Japanese and Chinese cuisines. The place also a multiplex theatre and even an ice rink.
Dubai Fountain Show
Outside the Dubai Mall is a huge manmade lake, the Burj Lake, which showcases the most mesmerizing fountain show every evening. The Dubai Fountain show begins at 6 PM and happens every 30 minutes till 11 PM. During the show, you would see a mesmerizing combination of lights, colours and music coming together. However, the most amazing thing to see here is how the fountain dances to the tunes of the music. You can stand around the fountain and watch the show as many times as you want for free. On the other hand, if you want to enjoy the show more closely, you can go on a boat tour on the Burj Lake. Alternatively, you can also book a table at one of the restaurants or cafes nearby to enjoy the show in leisure.
Conclude you short but exciting Dubai trip with a dhow cruise on the Dubai Marina or the Dubai Creek. While the Dhow Cruise Creek would give you the opportunity to see the historical side of the city, the Dubai Marina is one of the most sophisticated locations in the city. Whichever location you choose, you will be sailing on a traditional dhow-turned restaurant. You would have to book in advance to enjoy this two-hour dinner cruise tour. While the view is one of the best points of the dhow cruise, this is not the only one. The dhow itself is an interesting thing to checkout. It is made of two decks, the upper deck being open-air and the lower one being air-conditioned. During the cruise, you would be treated with a 3-course dinner, complete with delectable Arabic and international cuisines. You would also be able to enjoy a Tanoura dance performance by a professional.
Although two days is too short for a holiday in Dubai, it would surely show you a gist of what the city is all about. Moreover, you would definitely want to revisit Dubai to explore the place more.