The Ultimate Dubai Itinerary for First-Time Travellers

6 Jul 2018

Belle Loke

Klook Travel Curator

Travel to Dubai!

What comes to mind when you imagine a Middle-Eastern adventure? Desert, camels and heat waves - these are the common misconceptions in one of the least visited destinations in Asia.

You’ll be surprised that there’s a lot Dubai can offer with its world class entertainment and stunning architectural wonders. For the first-time travelers, here’s an itinerary of what to expect in the city.

Day 1: The Basic Tourist

10:00 AM: Pick up travel essentials!

Whether you’re here for a flight stop-over or an immersive 4D3N adventure, here’s how you can get the most out of your first 24-hours in Dubai!

Upon arrival in the airport, exit to your left and collect your pocket Wi-Fi. You’re going to need it for a series of social media updates for your first-ever Dubai adventure!

Klook Tip: Data doesn’t come cheap in Dubai. Pre-purchase your Wi-Fi Device on Klook for more than 50% discount off the original price!

After collection, you can decide if you want to head to your hotel or next stop via public transport or taxi.

From Airport to Hotel * *Option 1: Taxi / Uber Direction: Turn right and walk further down for Taxi. The meter fare starts from 50 AED. Option 2: Dubai Metro Direction: Go up one level for the metro station. The trains run roughly every 10 minutes from Terminals 1 and 3. Services start 5.50am (5.30am on Thursday), and stop at midnight (1am on Thursday/Friday).

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12:00 PM: Make a Big Splash With Yellow Boats Tour

Dubai is a city of possibilities with its awe-inspiring skyscrapers and man-made wonders! With so many iconic places to go to and so little time, the best way to get around is through a 60 minute yellow boat tour by the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Klook your Yellow Boat ride and head to Dubai Marina to collect the boarding pass.

Klook tip: This is not your regular boat ride. Hop on if you’re up for sightseeing at full speed. Remember to bring a pair of sunglass to enjoy the view without the glare of the sun.

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Each boat can carry up to 14 people, plus a captain who will be assisting the passengers in safety instructions, introduction of Dubai and a mini-photoshoot with Dubai’s iconic buildings in the backdrop. No wonder it’s one of the top activities on Klook and Tripadvisor!

Klook tip: Iconic hotels like the Atlantis Hotel and Burj Al Arab are usually crowded with tourists, but you can capture an unobstructed view on board the yellow boat!

If you have more time to spare in the day, we recommend a full 90 minute tour to fully cover the most dazzling landmarks in Dubai.

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1:00 - 2:30 PM: Afternoon Tea in World’s Only ‘7 Star Hotel’

The sail of the world, Burj Al Arab, stands at 920ft tall and is the world’s third tallest hotel! While we all know that there isn’t a ‘7 star hotel’ in the ranks, it still lives up to its name with impeccable service to match.

Do you know that the hotel once held the Guinness World Records for most expensive cocktail in the world at $7,500? The great news is that you don’t have to spend a bomb to indulge in its luxurious service.

Opt for a delectable 7-course afternoon tea at Sahn Eddar in Burj Al Arab instead to tick off your bucket list. For just 2% of cocktail price, you get 100% the experience. Why not?

Klook tip: Non-alcoholic drinks are free-flowing so you can take your time and enjoy the evening of ultimate luxury.

If you’re traveling with a romantic partner, request for a window seat to enjoy the view with a live music performance.

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2:30PM - 3:30 PM: Stroll Along The Golden Beach

Did we mention that the Burj Al Arab is built on an artificial beach? Just 3 minutes away from the hotel, take a leisurely stroll by the pristine golden beach and soak in the evening weather.

If you’re up for some thrills, a variety of water activities is available at the Jumeirah Beach from swimming to surfing, parasailing, jet skiing, tubing and boat rides.

Klook tip: Level up your instagram game with a location tagged photo of the iconic Burj Al Arab here.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM: Visit the Largest Mall in the World

Home to the world’s largest Mall, a trip to Dubai Mall is a must-go for all first-time travelers! Get your wallets ready and be prepared to splurge on designer brands and luxury goods!

If shopping is not for you, visit the underwater world at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and be amazed by largest collection of tiger sharks in the world!

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5:00 PM - 7:00 PM: Whizz Up To The World’s Tallest Tower

We save the best for the last! The perfect time to visit Burj Khalifa is in the evening when the sun sets across the desert.

Rising above the fog, Burj Khalifa looks like an other-wordly science fiction scene with warm hues of sunset amidst the sea of mist (a natural phenomena in Dubai when humidity meets cooler air around October).

If you’re heading to Dubai during the cooler months (September - January), be prepared for long waiting periods and queues with excited tourists from all over the world. For an ease of mind, pre-purchase your Burj Khalifa Observation Deck tickets on Klook and head straight to ticket collection!

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Klook Tip: Snap the iconic ‘look down the window’ shot at the outdoor area of the observation deck for lesser crowds and greater view.

Aside from the beautiful sunset scene, you will be rewarded with views of the Dubai Fountain show that starts from 6pm - 11pm (every half an hour) every night!

Day 2: The Big Player

11:00 AM - 2:30 PM:

It’s your first time in Dubai, you will want to go all out!

The Big Player knows how to have his or her fair share of fun with shopping and play. Rather than splurging on luxury goods at exorbitant prices, head to the The Outlet Village in the morning for the shopping therapy you need.

What’s more - it’s a 10 minute walking distance from the Dubai Park and Resorts (the biggest theme park in Dubai), so you can have the best of both worlds in a day!

Wave goodbye to an expensive shopping trip in Europe because you can snap up discounts from 30% - 90% on over 1,200 of the world’s premium and top brands in the The Outlet Village!

Klook Tip: 30% - 90% discounts are available all-year round so there is no need to wait for another promotion or sale season. Go big or go home!

3:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Buckle Up For A Theme Park Marathon

With the size of 420 soccer fields in each of the four parks at Dubai Park and Resorts, it is no wonder that Dubai is hailed as the new City of Theme parks!

Even during the hotter months of Dubai, you can cool down in the park with a mix of outdoor and indoor park activities. If you’re a night owl, you can visit in the evening as the park closes as late as 12am!

Opening hours for Dubai Park and Resorts:

  • Motiongate: Sat-Wed 3:00pm-11:00pm / Thu-Frit: 3:00pm-12:00am
  • Bollywood Park: Sat-Wed 3:00pm-11:00pm / Thu-Frit: 3:00pm-12:00am
  • Legoland: Daily 1:00pm-9:00pm
  • Legoland Water Park: Daily 10:00am-6:00pm
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Klook tip: You can skip the hassle of a paper ticket when you scan and enter with Klook mobile app!

DPR is the largest integrated theme park in the region and it takes 7 minute walking time between the different gates. If you are ever lost or in need of directional help, look out for Riverland as it is the gateway to all the parks.

Motiongate: Wonder what’s it like to be a star in a Hollywood blockbuster movie? Experience what it takes to live in the world of movies like The Hunger Games, Ghostbusters, Step Up and more!

Klook tip: Volunteer your friends as tribute in a thrilling roller coaster ride at The Hunger Games!

For kids-friendly ride in Motiongate, head to Dreamworks! It is one of the largest indoor park in Motiongate and can accommodate the size of five A380 airplane.

Upon entering Dreamworks, you’ll be greeted with the hall of Sunset to Sunrise theme - each with a special ride featuring a movie. Dive into the world of imagination and thrills with Kung Fu Panda in the morning to a Madagascar party at night.

Bollywood Park: Can you imagine visiting Europe, USA and India at the same time? Experience time travel with a walk from the French Village to Boardwalk and Bollywood park!

Legoland: Legoland Dubai is in a realm of its own - here you can go on rides, make cars and race them, build houses and even see how Lego is made! Perfect for 2-12 year old children, this park only has a height restriction of 1.2m tall, and the activities are open to all ages!

Klook tip: Get an all-you-can-eat snacks and drinks from the push cart at the entrance to make your children’s day!

Day 3: The Royal

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM Dubai souks

Indulge in the full Middle-Eastern culture experience like a Royal (but without the golden price tag). Start your morning with a visit to the Dubai Spice Souk where you can find a wide range of tea, spices, and perfume.

Known as a beauty elixir used by the royals for many centuries, get the popular Saffron spice (it looks like red strands of hair) when you are in the market!

Klook tip: Saffron costs about 5 direm per gram and varies according to the grade. Test the quality by infusing it in warm water - if the water turns yellow immediately, it’s a grade A!

11:30 AM - 3:00 PM: Answer Your Prayers At Jumeriah Mosque

Visit the Jumeirah Mosque! It’s open to non-muslim visitors - just register for 10 dirham and they will give an Abaya (female costume) and Kendura (male costume) to cover up before entering.

2pm - 2.30pm: The World at The Palm (Of Your Hands)

With the world’s most lofty vision for man-made island, Dubai is one of the city worth an aerial view appreciation! Head to HeliDubai for a once-in-your-lifetime experience.

See iconic landmarks such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, The World and The Palm Jumeirah from a bird’s eye view!

3pm - 8.30pm: The Desert Safari Experience

Remember Sex in the City? What if we told you that you can ride the camels and pretend to be a princess for a day - all for just $70 a day (and that is just part of the entire Desert Safari experience).

Before we dive into the wild desert safari adventure, your adventure begins with dune bashing activity on 4x4 Land Cruiser!

Zip around the dessert with your personal F1 driver with no speed limit!

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While there are around 31 tents or more in the desert, the activity on Klook is the only tent with the highest exclusivity and value of service.

With the intimate setting of a circle around the centre stage and the food area behind the tent, it is not only spacious but a guaranteed front row seat!

Make yourself comfortable with refreshments at the camp (Arabic coffee and dates). You can also loan a traditional costume at the back of the tent for the full Middle-Eastern get-up!

Fill up your hungry bellies with an all-you-can-eat buffet and watch the entertaining Tanoura and belly dancing performance at night!

From evening till night, the full desert safari experience is worth your every penny for just $70.

Day 4: The Time-Saver

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM at Mall of Emirates

Your time left in Dubai is limited and you want to spend it wisely! Head to the Mall of Emirates for bigger family fun that (with less hassle). Since you can enter throughout the day, you can also take a break and shop around the mall while your kids are at play!

For the last minute planners, book your tickets to Ski Dubai inside the Mall and enter directly with Instant Confirmation!

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Ski Dubai is the world’s largest indoor snow park with 3,000 square meters of snow. Explore all the fun options available such as tobogganing, plunging down a twin-track bobsled, or watching the penguin show.

If you’re a beginner at skiing, go for a crash course inside!

Klook Tip: The Polar Pass allows you to go on an unlimited number of rides so you will have plenty to do throughout the day.