Dubai is one of the most glamorous cities in the world. A simple stroll outside shows a world that looks like a runway, with couture clothing and designer accessories abound. Many tourists who visit Dubai make it a point to do some shopping, whether it’s purchasing threads from a fast fashion outlet or buying a handmade adornment for their arm.
In the midst of all this glitz and glam, there remains the traditional clothing of the UAE, which many local people wear to this day. These garments are steeped in history and provide a keen insight into the culture of the region. In this post, we’ll give you an overview of the traditional clothes of the UAE.
Traditional Emirati Clothing for Men
The kandura (also referred to as a thobe) is a long-sleeved, ankle length garment. It resembles a loose-fitting robe or a long shirt. It is most commonly found in white (all the better to fight the sun’s rays!). Furthermore, it also comes in beige, yellow, lavender and blue, particularly in the winter season. Different countries in the Gulf have their own twist on this traditional dress. In the UAE, for example, the kandura has no collar and often has embroidery on the sleeves.
The ghutra is a cloth headdress that Emirati men wear. Traditionally, it served a dual purpose of protecting the desert dwellers from both the sun and the sandstorms. The conventional ghutra for Emirati men is white. However, the current fashions have been influenced by the traditions of neighboring Gulf states as well. Today, you’ll also see Emiratis wearing ghutras in a red and white chequered pattern, inspired by the style in neighboring Saudi Arabia. The ghutra is held in place by the agal, a black cord that wraps around the head.
Traditional Emirati Clothing for Women
The traditional dress of a UAE woman is the abaya. It is important to note that the abaya is not really a dress. Instead it can be more accurately compared to a thin, flowing cloak that covers the body. Underneath, women wear their clothes (and in fact, often choose western-inspired styles, like jeans). That is part of the reason that the abaya is black. It allows the wearer to don brightly colored hues underneath, without revealing their inner garments to the public eye. Traditional abayas are plain black. Many modern styles incorporate embellishments and embroidery on the dark fabric, which adds a contemporary twist to the look.
The Hijab is a veil worn by Muslim women. It usually covers their hair, ears and neck. Hijab is colloquially a catch-all term to describe the various styles of head coverings for Gulf women. Hijab actually refers to a specific form of head wrap. One of the most popular styles of head covering in the UAE is the shayla, which consists of a long, rectangular scarf that crosses over the shoulder.
In the Gulf, a burqua is a type of facemask. This differs from the burqua in other parts of the world, which refers to a head-to-toe covering garment. The mask is designed to cover a part of the woman’s forehead and upper lip, in a manner that resembles a horizontal H shape. At first glance, these burquas look like they are made of metal, but they are in fact made of metallic cloth. Generally, burquas tend to worn by members of the older generation, with it not being as popular a style among the youth of the country.
If you are interested in purchasing any of the above items as a souvenir, we recommend visiting the Textile Souq, where you can find a lot of beautiful designs for great prices. Our Old Dubai Tour tour will give you a guide to this area and teach you the history behind the clothing of these ancient desert dwellers.
What should tourists wear when visiting the UAE?
There tends to be a lot of confusion regarding what is appropriate for tourists to wear when visiting the UAE. In general, there is no need for tourists to cover their hair when visiting the UAE. Despite some sensational news headlines, the dress codes are quite relaxed as well. Authorities only ask people to cover up in cases of highly immodest outfits. You can still wear shorts or a skirt an inch above the knee, or tops that bare your arms. Just try to keep in mind the amount of overall skin you are showing. For example, if you are showing your legs, try to wear a more modest top.
It’s no surprise that Dubai can sometimes be an expensive place to visit, especially because there are so many things to see here. There’s no reason why you should skip seeing places you’ve dreamed of because the cost of admission will take a big bite out of your budget. We’ve hunted down multiple ways to save money visiting some of the top sites so that you can take Dubai to the fullest without busting your budget. We frequently introduce new deals and discounts, so make sure to check this page regularly.
For more information on enjoying Dubai on a limited budget see our post Guide to Dubai on a Budget on how to stretch your money as much as possible!
Below are our combo-tour packages at discounted prices. If you are a private group, please do email us and we will come up with the best possible offers for you.
At Dubai By Foot, we bring over 15 years of tour guiding experience to the table (or shall we say to the walking tours!). We have done our research and our guides are trained as the city’s best ambassadors, historians, art lovers, and story-tellers. Most of all, we love Dubai and we love showing this wonderful city to our guests. Furthermore, our passion for this city is contagious and it will leave you energized.
What to expect while on The Best Dubai Walking Tour?
* When you walk with us you get the real scoop. We share history, stories of the past and present, urban legends and fun facts.
* You see the attractions up-close-and-personal, and really get a feel for the city. We are unique in our style and in the design of our tours. We are also flexible and willing to tailor the walk according to your interests.
* You get to interact with the real people of Dubai. These people make the city what it is – a melting pot of cultures. We encourage you to ask questions and engage with the shopkeepers, vendors, cooks and servers. This will allow you to find out their story and how they fit into this amazing culture of tolerance.
* The devil is in the detail – there are so many small structures, architectural nuances, art installations, design elements, historical significances that only our walking tours can capture. It would be a shame for you to come to Dubai and miss these small wonderful things about our city that might get over-shadowed by the mega-structures surrounding us.
*We are affordable, 100% personalized and the most extensive in our offering of private tours for schools, educational instituters, universities, corporates etc. We can also arrange tours in Spanish, German, Chinese or other languages. In addition to the above we can also design very specific tours, such as architecture, art, food, business opportunities, and so on as per guest requirements.
Come fall in love with Dubai with us!
Want to join us on our signature Old Dubai Tour ? Shoot us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know of your interest. We’ll be happy to schedule any walking tour as per your interests and group requirements.
By choosing a walking tour of Dubai, you can see the details of the city up close. Instead of just viewing the big monuments, you can traverse the heart of the city. Our Dubai walking tour gives you to a chance to really soak up the atmosphere and feel the energy of the local crowds. Whether you’re stopping over for a day, or planning a longer visit, we believe a walking tour is the best way to truly experience the city.
Dubai is famed for the amazing variety of food on offer. Whether you’re munching on falafel from a street vendor or tasting a gold-leaf cupcake from a boutique bakery, it’s pretty easy to gain a few extra pounds while in the city. By choosing a walking tour of Dubai, you’ll have an engaging way to keep your fitness levels up – so you can treat yourself later. We encourage you to wear your fit bits on our tour and track your steps!
Want to indulge while staying active? Our Food Tour of Dubai is a walking tour with plenty of stops to try a variety of different cuisines.
Meet new people
There’s no such thing as assigned seating on a walking tour. Instead, you can easily mingle with anyone else walking with you. This makes it a lot easier to meet new travel companions from different backgrounds. Feel free to strike up a conversation with someone around you – you never know where you might find a new friend.
Take Better Photos
Have you ever experienced the frustration of trying to take a decent photo from a moving vehicle? By choosing a walking tour of Dubai, you can easily adjust your position, lock the focus and watch the light. Plus, you can always request your guide to take a group photo – no need to rely on selfies.
“Our Union stems from our heritage…the Spirit of the Union paired vision with work, hence cultivating success.” – HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Introduction to Dubai History
The most beautiful, picturesque and tourist-worthy sights in Dubai are its historical attractions, many of which are set around the natural seawater inlet, the Dubai Creek. To understand how Dubai has come to be the trade center of the world, a visit to these heritage attractions are an eye-opening and humbling experience. In addition to their setting against sea water their old, preserved architecture, their style and feel all enhance their charm and aura.
Most importantly, the historical stories that situate them help us understand how this nation has emerged. Furthermore, these stories shed light on the landmarks in its development and the perseverance of its people. In this blog, we will read about the main heritage attractions of Dubai, their highlights and their modern day relevance. Of course, the best way to experience these are to actually walk through them with our expert guides during our signature Old Dubai & Souk Walking Tour. The primary heritage attractions in Dubai can be clubbed together based on their location:
Al Fahidi District ♦ Al Souk Al Kabeer (Bur Dubai) ♦ Al-Shindagha Historical District ♦ Historical Souks District ♦ Al-Ahmadiya Historical District ♦ Jumeirah Mosque
Together, these heritage attractions play host to traditional art and architecture in addition to many different museums, forts, traditional markets (souks), traditional boats (abras), traditional Emirati cuisines and loads of cultural references. A look at the history of this desert town makes you admire its modern day developments even more.
The info-graphic below will help you understand the location of most of the heritage attractions with reference to the always mesmerizing Dubai Creek, which offers stunning views of Bur Dubai and Deira (the two Dubai districts the Creek separates).
Bird’s Eye View of the Main Attractions Around the Dubai Creek:
Dubai Heritage Village
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House
Meena Bazaar in Bur Dubai (Old Textile Souk)
Al Fahidi District
Description & Highlights of the Heritage Attractions of Dubai
I. Al Fahidi District
Built in 1859, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood initially was the residential area of wealthy merchants. Till date, their homes are preserved to showcase the traditional Arabic home architecture with their wind-catching Barjeel. Each narrow alley in this unique district features a trip down the historical life that bustled through these characteristic streets. This is a popular stop for tourists owing to its many art cafes, restaurants, boutique hotels, and its very own Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).
The Al Fahidi Neighborhood is a not-to-miss destination of Dubai – this is where the Dubai Museum, the famous Coffee Museum, and the Ruler’s Divan are also located. The Dubai Museum will help you travel back in time with its almost-real-life displays of what Arab life was like in the past from traditional crafts, traditional occupations such as pearl diving, to traditional clothing. In merely 45 minutes to an hour you can walk through the museum comfortably and soak in rich Emirati history.
The Coffee Museum is very popular among tourists as it features the coffee making and drinking traditions of not just the UAE but also from other parts of the world. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee with some dates inside the café and get refreshed and energized for the rest of your day of sightseeing. The Alserkal Cultural Foundation art gallery and café combo is quintessentially set up inside the winding streets of the Al Fahidi District. Furthermore, the food is exquisite, the ambience mesmerizing and the masterful artwork by local Emirati artists and other burgeoning talents from the Arab world make this center and the Make Art Café a perfect stopover destination.
II. Al Souk Al Kabeer (Bur Dubai)
Al Souk Al Kabeer was a community marketplace in Bur Dubai. It consists of the neighboring districts of Meena Bazaar (the old textile souk) and the adjacent Dubai Creek. On sale here are pashminas, carpets, harem pants, embroidered purses and sequined slippers. It also houses the Grand Mosque of Dubai. The Bur Dubai Grand Mosque, originally built in 1850, is the oldest mosque in Dubai. Furthermore,It boasts of Dubai’s tallest minaret at 70 meters height. A minaret is a tower from which the call to prayer is broadcast. The Grand Mosque features a Persian-style architecture of blue mosaic, domes in addition to its sand-colored façade.
The Dubai Creek offers a spectacular waterfront scenery for Dubai with the abras (motorized water taxis), sifting people back and forth between Bur Dubai and Deira, traditional restaurants such as Bayt Al Wakeel, sunset Dhow cruises and much more. It is interesting to note here that Bayt Al Wakeel was the first office building in Dubai. HH Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum led the efforts to dredge the creek to widen and deepen it. This Creek expansion became instrumental in positioning Dubai as a major port city in the Middle East. In addition to the waterfront of the Creek itself, the Dubai Creek Park, and the Dubai Creek The Golf Club offer many more choices of activities and fine dining.
III. Al-Shindagha Historical District
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House was the official residence of the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Saaed (1912-1958). He was the grandfather of the present Ruler H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum . The house is located on the Shindagha end of the Dubai Creek, and is a repository of old photographs, coins, stamps in addition to important documents. Earlier, Sheikh Saeed’s House performed many different roles in addition to being the Ruler’s residence. It was the political seat of the government, official meetings, and a place for important gatherings.
Heritage Village, at the opening of the Creek, is a space for artisans, potters and weavers to display their handicrafts. The old Diving Village is currently being renovated in an ambitious plan to transform the Shindagha Historical District into a cultural epicenter to preserve Dubai’s Heritage.
IV. Historical Souks District
Across the Dubai Creek, on the Deira side, is the famous Spice Souk. The Spice Souk features large open displays of spices, dried fruits, and nuts such as saffron, vanilla, zaatar, and agarwood. You can even smell some refreshing menthol. As you walk past the Spice Souk, within a short distance, you find yourself in the Gold Souk.
Dubai is famous for its Gold Souk. Most visitors come here out of curiosity and eagerness to purchase some very high quality gold jewelry at very fair prices. The styles of jewelry offer a range from Western modern designs to traditional eastern sets. You can find pearls and precious stones here. Furthermore the helpful shopkeepers can help you choose something from their vast choices of ingots to intricate jewelry designs. The elaborate displays of gold are a sight in themselves.
V. Al-Ahmadiya Historical District
Al – Ahmadiya School, housed in the Al-Ahmadiya Historical District, was the oldest school of Dubai, established in 1912, in Deira. In 1994, the Dubai Government restored the school by converting it to a historical museum. The museum sheds lights on the passion and emphasis on the sciences,. Furthermore it gives insights into educational efforts centered around Dubai’s traditional society. Even though resources were scarce, the efforts of traders and philanthropists helped keep up the high standard of education at the school.
VI. Jumeirah Mosque
The Jumeirah Mosque is one of the few mosques in the UAE that is open for public visits. It is the locus for the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding’s “Open Doors – Open Minds” program. In order to help build cross-cultural ties and understanding, the Jumeirah Mosque is open to non-Muslims as well. It is built in the Fatimi style of architecture with its two minarets standing tall and proud. A visit to this landmark mosque is a unique opportunity to learn about Islam, and the Emirati culture. Visits also feature water, dates, Arabic coffee and traditional pastries. Modest attire is recommended out of respect for the local cultural norms.
“To enrich the cultural scene by maintaining a sustainable cultural ecosystem while preserving the Emirati Heritage and nurturing talents to enhance cultural diversity and social cohesion”.
Aligning with this mission, the Heritage attractions of Dubai are all well maintained. These attractions bring their own significance and charm to the modern day developments around them.
Even Meraas, a large development group in Dubai is presently working on a new project called Al Seef. It is located right on the Bur Dubai side of the Dubai Creek where most of the Heritage Attractions are situated. This project aims at transforming the old heart of Dubai to enjoy a new atmosphere of cafes, restaurants and shops. Furthermore the shows, events and cultural activities here attract people from all over to the original historic waterfront. This is where fishermen, pearl-divers, weavers and tradesmen once came together. This respect and pride towards Emirati history and culture makes Dubai an ideal platform for diverse cultural exchange and innovation, both in the Middle East, in the Arab World, and also globally.
In the words of the wise late Sheikh Zayed, “A nation without a past is a nation without a present or a future. Thanks to God, our nation has a flourishing civilization, deep rooted in this land for many centuries. These roots will always flourish and bloom in the glorious present of our nation and in its anticipated future.”
Dubai is a food lover’s paradise. The huge influx of expatriates means that one can find cuisine from every part of the globe here – spicy Indian curries, tender Iranian kebabs, rich Italian pastas and more. In the midst of all this, one might even forget the local delicacies the emirate has to offer. You’ll find plenty of Levantine dishes on offer here, including hummus, a smooth dip made of chickpeas and sesame paste, and shawarma, a sandwich made with meat that has been roasted on a spit. However, the traditional Emirati food is its own unique cuisine that pays tribute to the area’s geography, climate and culture. In this post, we will provide a guide to the country’s traditional food and help you figure out what traditional food to eat when in Dubai.
To experience the variety of cuisine Dubai has to offer, check out one of our food tours!
Introduction to the Traditional Emirati Food
Traditional Emirati meals focused on meat from animals such as camels and goats, or fish caught from the Arabian Sea. Today, you’ll see dishes prepared with chicken as well, but the local populace’s access to chicken only really occurred after the oil boom. Before that, the ancient Emiratis would cook indigenous birds such as Houbara bustards.
The ancestors of the local Dubai community, known as Bedouins, were people who travelled across the desert. Because of this, many of the meals incorporate complex carbohydrates, in order to provide the travellers with energy. Most of the dishes have delicate flavoring of spices like turmeric, saffron, cardamom, cinnamon. These are spices that hail from India, indicating the influence that trade with Indian merchants had on their cuisine.
For a main course, one-pot dishes tended to be the most popular option for those who dwelled in Old Dubai. This is because they reduced the number of dishes to wash (important in a desert climate) and simplified the food’s transportation (useful for people who were often travelling). If you want to eat a traditional, local meal in Dubai, some good menu options to try are:
Harees is one of the most popular Emirati dishes and is frequently served at weddings in addition to religious holidays. It’s preparation involves cooking meat together with wheat in a pot, along with a generous dash of salt. The mixture is cooked until the meat melts into the wheat, and the combination is thickened over coals. The final result is very moreish.
Thereed is a rich and comforting stew, similar to a Moroccan tagine. The stew combines succulent meat with a selection of slow-roasted vegetables – potatoes, tomatoes, marrow and pumpkin. What makes it unique, however, is the addition of the thin Emirati flatbread known as rigag. The bread is generally placed at the bottom of the dish, with the stew layered on top of it. This allows for the flavors of the stew to really sink in.
This is a rice dish made with meat or fish, similar to an Indian biryani. What really sets it apart is the fragrant combination of spices used to flavor it – turmeric, cumin, cardamom and saffron, to name a few. The secret ingredient is the addition of a dried lemon, known as loomy. It provides a brightness and a zest that really makes the dish.
Over the years, the Emiratis have developed a great collection of desserts and sweet. Our favorite traditional Emirati desserts are:
This is probably the most popular traditional Emirati dessert. It consists of small deep-fried dumplings, that are then soaked in a sweet, sticky date syrup known as dibbs. These little things are addictive and an absolute must-try.
This is a dish made from vermicelli noodles and eggs. The mixture is cooked with sugar and spices, to create a salty-sweet dish that brilliantly combines the crunchiness of the noodles with the fluffiness of the eggs. This dish is sometimes had for breakfast as well (at least it has protein!).
Where to go
Of course, we would be remiss in telling you about what traditional food to eat in the UAE with telling you where to go to find traditional food.
Our top picks for restaurants that serve the local food of the UAE are:
This restaurant is named after the seven emirates. Located in the trendy JBR area, it boasts striking décor in a bold Arabian aesthetic – great for any selfies you want to take. It also has a great variety of non-alcoholic drinks – try the date frappé (not exactly traditional, but still delicious)
This restaurant has multiple branches in the UAE. You can find it in Festival City Mall, Town Center Mall and Jumeirah Road. Its extensive reach is a marker of just how good the food is, and furthermore the plethora of Emirati diners behind its doors just highlights it. The décor is meant to mimic the inside of a traditional Emirati house, which provides a great ambiance.
This eatery boasts a prime location in Dubai’s historic Al Fahidi district. When it comes to tradition, it’s hard to get a more authentic ambiance. The restaurant offers a combination of local Emirati fare, pan-Arabian favorites and even a few continental options such as pasta, which makes it a great option for tourists.
This is a budget-friendly option. Try coming here for some luqaimat served with karak (strong tea). You can further more find a selection of Arabic breads, which you can have plain or with fillings like cheese or potato chips. Not the most traditional, but a great way to try some modernized versions of the old favorites.
We hope you find our guide to traditional Emirati food in Dubai helpful. If you want more recommendations on what to eat when in Dubai, leave us a comment and we’ll help you out. Alternatively, why not try one of our food tours to have an experienced guide walk you through the different cuisines of the United Arab Emirates?
Dubai is known as a tourist destination. So, naturally, it is home to variety of hotels to suit every budget. In addition to the beachfront properties with access to sea and shore and the towering skyscrapers located in the heart of the city; budget hotels located in the older parts of the city are also available. Below, we’ve given a quick rundown of some of our favorite hotels in Dubai.
This Dubai hotel is great for people who want to explore the city’s historic districts, while staying in a modern hotel. The rooms here are lovely and spacious and come with complimentary WiFi. However, the hotel’s main advantage lies in its location by the glistening waters of the Dubai Creek and the bustling souqs where you can haggle for gold, textiles, perfumes and spices. The hotel is also relatively close to the airport, making it a popular destination for business travellers as well.
The rooms at CityMax hotel are bright and friendly – a welcoming place to lay your head after a long day exploring the city (not to mention, the rooms are even wheel-chair accessible!). This hotel offers great breakfast, perfect for filling you up before you head out to explore for the day. It’s a short trip from this hotel to Dubai’s popular historical district, where you can see ancient houses, wander around the Dubai Museum and catch a ride on the traditional wooden abra boat.
Our Historical Dubai Tour will guide you throughout this area and provide you with interesting facts about the region’s heritage.
The Marco Polo Deira is located within walking distance to two Dubai metro stations. For travellers looking to save money, we recommend looking for a hotel in Dubai with easy access to public transport – the money you save by avoiding cabs quickly adds up. The Marco Polo Deira takes it a step further by offering a free daily shuttle to one of Dubai’s beautiful beaches. This hotel is also close to the souqs and the Dubai Creek, and it offers free High Speed Internet Access to guests.
Our Historical Dubai Tour will guide you throughout the souks and provide you with interesting facts about the region’s heritage.
This is another hotel located in the historical district, with views of the Dubai Creek and access to the modern and traditional shopping areas of the city. It is only 10 minutes away from Dubai Airport, making it a popular option for business travellers as well and it is just quick walk to Al Rigga metro Station. If you’re looking to while away some time at the hotel, Ibis offers several options, from a fitness center (all the better to burn away the ‘tourist ten’) and a 24 lounge café.
This hotel is a bit pricier than others in Deira – however, you’ll find that thanks to its location, it is cheaper than other 5 star hotels in the city. Therefore, it’s the perfect option for someone looking to experience a luxury stay in a less-expensive location. It’s situated by the Creek’s cornice, providing a beautiful spot for an evening promenade near the city’s cultural locale.
The Oberoi is a beautiful luxury hotel situated in Downtown Dubai. Its prime location in Downtown Dubai allows its guests a gorgeous view of Dubai’s most famous landmark, the Burj Khalifa. The hotel is also conveniently located in near the world-famous Dubai Mall, which offers a variety of dining and entertainment options. Within the hotel, guests can bask in luxury furnishings including hand-woven rugs and specially commissioned artwork.
Shagri-La means paradise and this Dubai hotel is certainly that! It is situated in the bustling Downtown Dubai district, but the hotel itself feels like an oasis of peace. It features a plethora of gourmet dining options, a luxury spa and beautifully appointed rooms.
Dubai is home to some beautiful beaches. If you want to ensure that your stay provides you with access to them, you can’t go wrong with Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, situated by the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. Furthermore, the hotel is located right across the luxury beachfront promenade JBR the Walk, which combines beach views with trendy shopping and dining outlets. It’s great for someone looking to experience both the beach and the city.
This Downtown Dubai hotel has a relaxed vibe, with a temperature controlled outdoor-pool and some of the friendliest staff in the business. It also boasts a great central location in Downtown Dubai. What is more, it’s an easy walk to the metro, allowing guests the freedom to explore beyond the city’s hub.
The Burj Al Arab is one of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai and in the world. It’s one of the most eye-catching buildings on the Dubai skyline, shaped like a sail rising up from the sea. Inside, it’s even more phenomenal, with gorgeous fountains, a rainbow atrium and the finest in furnishings. The hotel is also home to some of the city’s trendiest bars and most exclusive dining experiences. Your stay at the Burj Al Arab would be the epitome of luxury. Expect amenities such as personal butlers, chauffer-driven Rolls-Royce rides and discreet in-suite check-ins. You need not worry about hordes of wandering tourists looking to take photos. Entrance to the Burj Al Arab is by appointment only.
Located in the Dubai Marina, the One & Only is aptly named. You are unlikely to find a hotel like it anywhere in the world. The hotel is reminiscent of an opulent palace, with lush gardens and towering architecture. One of the hotel’s major attractions is the variety of restaurants on offer – mouth-watering Mediterranean, elegant European, exotic Moroccan and fresh seafood grill.
Come with us on a culinary adventure onto the streets of Dubai. Our Dubai Food Tour will guide you through the different cuisines in this region from Falafel to Samosas to Camel Milk Icecream!
This Dubai hotel is a particular favourite for families, thanks to its unlimited access to the Wild Wadi water park. The park ensures fun for the families, but it is hardly the hotel’s only amenity. It boasts a private beach and the option of renting luxury ‘summerhouses’ done in the Arabian Majlis style. The hotel is also only steps away from Souk Madinant Jumeirah. This modern Souk offers a shopping experience which combines the atmosphere of a traditional Arabian souk with the amenities of the modern world (like air-conditioning and luxury brands!).
Raffles Dubai is home to some of the largest rooms and suites in Dubai. It is situated near Wafi Mall, which is known for its Egyptian styling (Raffles itself is shaped like a pyramid). The hotel is a short drive to Downtown Dubai. Furthermore, the slight distance from the hub allows for some lovely views of the Dubai skyline.
This Dubai hotel overlooks the beautiful Dubai Marina, allowing guests to enjoy the glistening waters and the gliding sailboats. Furthermore, the trendy area is home to night lounges, upscale shops and fine dining establishments. What is more, the hotel itself it connected to the lovely Dubai Marina Mall, ensuring that guests always have a place to wander (and shop!)
As you may have guessed from the name, Atlantis the Palm is located on the world famous “Palm Island”. This island is shaped like the fronds of a palm tree. The entire hotel follows an aquatic theme, with a giant aquarium, world-renowned water park, beach club and dolphin cove as just some of the hotel’s attractions. In addition, the hotel is home to over 21 restaurants. We are particularly fond of the seafood offerings, as the hotel’s location off the coastline ensures that the catch is always fresh.
The various attraction within Atlantis are as follows:
Aquaventure Water Park: From water slides to shark safaris aquaventure has it all. It has received the “World Travel Award” and is considered middle east’s leading Water Park.
Dolphin Bay: The Dolphin Bay allows for a fun encounter with Dolphins. You can click photos as well as swim and scuba diving with them.
The Lost Chamber: Enjoy Hourly Myth Tours and Aquatheatre Shows and discover the lost world of Atlantis.
Nasimi Beach: Dine by the Beach or Party at night, Nasimi Beach Restaurant is one of Dubai’s Hottest Clubs. Furthermore, enjoy cuisine ranging from Grilled Sea Food to Lamb Koftas to Fresh Sushi.
Adding to the above Atlantis The Palm has over 21 world renowned restaurants like Kaleidoscope, Saffron, Asia Republic, Bread Street, Plato’s etc. These restaurants offer a wide array of cuisine ranging from Fresh Seafood, to mouth watering pastries and funky cocktails.
Atlantis is located at the tip of the Jumeirah Palm Island. In addition to offering an unparalleled view of the Dubai Coastline it offers a mesmerizing view of the Arabian Ocean. It is one of the top holiday Resorts in the Middle East for adults and children alike.
Whichever hotel you decide to stay in Dubai, you are bound to experience the Arabian hospitality that makes the city such a popular tourist destination. Whether you splurge or save, you’ll never feel more welcomed.
Dubai is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. As a result, many tourists opt for a stopover or a short vacation in Dubai as they travel around the globe. If your visit is only for 2 or 3 days, you may not be sure of what to do during your Dubai trip. Here’s our suggested tour Itinerary for 3 days in Dubai.
Day 1 | 3 Days in Dubai
On Day 1, we recommend taking a Dubai tour. A Dubai City Tour is the best way to get an overview of the different Dubai Attractions. Dubai by Foot offers two Dubai tour packages, depending on how much you’d like to see and how much time you’re willing to spend.
The Dubai Whet-Your-Appetite City Tour takes about 4 hours and covers all the major things to do in Dubai. You start off in the historical district of Al Fahidi, where you’ll learn about the region’s humble beginnings. Then, you’ll have a chance to view the extraordinary Islamic architecture at the Jumeirah Mosque. From there, you experience the energy of everyone’s favorite local hangout spot, Kite Beach and take some photos of the luxurious Burj Al Arab silhouetted against the skyline. You’ll then have the opportunity to see more of Dubai’s innovative architecture at the Palm Island, before finally heading over the world-famous Dubai Mall, for a chance to do some serious shopping and to view the iconic Burj Khalifa.
If that’s not enough for you, why not go for the Dubai I-own-this-town City Tour? It’s actually our post popular option, so you’ll be in good company! In addition to the sites shown in the tour above you’ll also get a chance to see the Old Souks, ride across the creek on a traditional wooden abra & enjoy a lunch of authentic Emirati cuisine. It’s a great way to get the full flavor of the city.
Day 2 | 3 Days in Dubai
The first day of our 3 days in Dubai tour itinerary focused on giving an intense overview of the city’s major attractions. For the second day, we recommend going more specialized. Dubai by Foot has a plethora of walking tours on offer to suit individual interests.
Perhaps you’d be interested in a food tour, chowing your way through the different cuisines of the UAE’s melting pot?
Or maybe your interests are on the artistic side, so you’d prefer to look at the stylish avenues of the city’s varied art districts? In that case, why not try an art tour?
Or maybe you just want someone to guide you through the various shopping districts of the city, from the luxurious shopping centers to the crowded bazaars? Or perhaps you have some other specific interest you want to explore further in Dubai? In that case, contact us for a custom tour and we’ll arrange something to suit your requirements.
Whatever your particular interest, you can spend the morning of your second day in Dubai exploring it with the help of one of our guides. Luckily, our specialty tours generally last 2-4 hours, so they allow plenty of time to try another activity on the evening.
For the evening, we recommend trying a desert safari, a quintessentially Dubai activity. Basically, a desert safari is a trip to the desert that involves sporting activities and cultural events. You can try your hand at sand boarding, Quad Biking and riding a camel. You’ll have the opportunity to go dune bashing and experience an Adrenalin filled ride in the tricky desert Terrain.
After Dune Bashing you will be led to a well-equipped camp to relax. You can dine on the generous buffet and witness a Belly Dancing and Fire Dancing show. Paint your hands in a henna design and even try a complimentary round of shisha (also known as hookah or water pipe).
The desert safari is one of the most memorable experiences you can have within a 3-day visit to Dubai. We highly encourage including it as part of your itinerary.
Day 3 | 3 Days in Dubai
For the third day in your Dubai Holiday, you might be wondering what other things there are to do in the city. We recommend trying out one of the many amusement parks, which are sure to leave you with a grin on your face.
Thanks to the heat, Dubai is known for its many water parks. The two best known ones are Wild Wadi and Aquaventure.
Wild Wadi is located near the famous Burj Al Arab. The entire park is designed around a tale from Arabian folklore involving Juha and the sea-faring Sinbad. You can cruise on a float in an aquatic roller-coaster, try your hand at surfing or experience a dramatic water drop for the ultimate adrenaline rush. Wild Wadi is a great spot for families and solo adventurers alike.
Aquaventure is located on the Palm Islands, near the Atlantis Hotel. It’s definitely a popular spot – in fact, the World Travel Awards named it the Middle East’s Leading Water Park in 2016. You can take a relaxed ‘river ride’ or try one of the adrenaline-inducing water slides. And if that’s all a bit too much, simply sit and relax by the park’s pool. One of the major advantages of going to Aquaventure is its close proximity to the Atlantis hotel. This means that you can combine your visit with a trip to the Lost Chambers Aquarium, which is home to 65,000 varieties of marine life. It’s an educational and interactive way to learn about the many species that call the Arabian Sea home.
If water parks aren’t your scene, Dubai has a variety of amusement parks to suit every interest. In particular, Dubai Parks and Resorts has some great options. It is a multipark consisting of four main attractions: MOTIONGATE Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Waterpark. You have the option of buying a multi-park ticket, or buying a ticket to one of the individual parks. Here’s a quick run-down of the available options:
MOTIONGATE Dubai provides branded attractions with characters from Dreamworks Animation, Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate. You can join the Ghostbusters, play with the Smurfs, kick butt with Kung Fu Panda and soar in the sky with Toothless the dragon. It’s a great option for those who love Hollywood.
If Hollywood is not your scene, try the Bollywood Park. Dubai has a vast population of Indian expatriates and it welcomes huge numbers of Indian tourists every year. The Bollywood Park is a one-of-a-kind experience featuring attractions based on Indian cinema.
And in a city so focused on building, is it any wonder that it’s home to a LEGOLAND Park? This Park has over 40 LEGO-themed rides. Its a hit with kids and adults alike. A ticket to LEGOLAND will also include access to the LEGOLAND Water Park.
There are plenty of things you can do in Dubai, even when on short visit. We hope you find our 3 days in Dubai Tour Itinerary useful and that it gives you an idea of what you can do in the city. With a bit of planning, you can experience the city’s cultural, historical and extravagant sides in only a few days.
If you are looking for custom Dubai Packages, feel free to drop us an email on email@example.com and we will work with you to build a tour schedule just for you.
The best time to visit Dubai is during its cooler months i.e. between November and April. The remaining months mainly restrict outdoor activities. Everything else from shopping to shaded sightseeing is possible even when the mercury levels go over 50°C (122°F). This is largely due to the fact that almost every public place in Dubai is air conditioned from malls, hotels to even bus stations.
The tourist season is at its peak from November to April when the mercury levels are in between a comfortable 24-35°C (75-95°F), keeping the evenings pleasant and the nights cool. Months from November to February observe gentle winds where the thermometer dips down to almost 14°C (57.2°F). If your lucky you can even experience the occasional rains that occur between January and April.
It is advised to take into account the months when the holy month of Ramadan is observed through out the emirate. The month of Ramadan is a particularly good time to visit Dubai if you are interested in experiencing the culture and heritage of the emirate. You can take our Heritage tour of old Dubai to learn about the history and importance of this holy month.
A lot of fun and exciting events take place between the months of October and May such as:
(January-February) – It is an annual event generally organized between December and February. Huge Discounts, Mega promotions and numerous live events are the key highlights of the festival.
Dubai World Cup (March) – It is one of the most prestigious Thoroughbred Horse Races, organized at Meydan Racecourse.
Gitex Technology Week (April and October) – It is the leading Tech-Fest held in Dubai twice a year. Leading international brands use it as a platform to launch and showcase their new products.
UAE National Day (2nd December) – This is the union day between six emirates (later joined by the seventh). This memorable day is celebrated all over the country and Dubai is no exception. Extravagant fireworks, road rallies and traditional dance shows are seen everywhere. The whole plethora of UAE’s history and culture is on display on this momentous day.