Review: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach is a true desert oasis amongst the busy streets of Dubai, with expansive pools, lush gardens, and impeccable service. If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay for exploring Dubai but also relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather and beaches, this is the place for you!

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Room Ocean View

We spent 3 days here and put together this Four Seasons Resort Dubai review, to help you decide where to stay on your next visit to Dubai!

Disclaimer:  Our stay at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach was complimentary. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Four Seasons Resort Dubai hotel review are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Location

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai is located on Jumeirah Beach, but still just a short drive away from many of Dubai’s top attractions. The resort is located a 20-minute drive from Dubai International Airport. From the resort, you are just a short 10-15 minute drive to the popular Dubai Mall area, along with the Burj Khalifa. In the opposite direction, the Palm Dubai and Dubai Marina area are about a 20 minute drive.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai City View Girl Dress

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai does not provide shuttle service from the airport. You can book a transfer to your hotel from as a private airport transfer.

Taxis are readily available at Dubai airport, and cost up to around 200 AED ($55 USD) for the 20 minute drive. Uber and Careem are the popular ride-sharing apps in Dubai, and both offer good services for similar prices. Depending on your destination, it might be better to open the apps and compare costs.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Sunset Beach

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Arrival

When you arrive at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, at first you won’t see the building, but will drive up a short winding driveway, adorned with beautiful palm trees on either side. When you soon reach the grand entrance of the main building, you will be welcomed and greeted by the bellman, before being ushered inside as your luggage is being taken care of.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Entrance

As you enter the building you will already get a glimpse of the resort grounds straight ahead. The lobby has a beautiful long hallway with Middle Eastern architecture, with the concierge and check-in desk located on the right. Four Seasons staff always provide impeccable service, and our welcome and check-in process here was as wonderful as always at a Four Seasons.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Grand Staircase Dress

Get Out and Explore with the Best Abu Dhabi Safari Tours

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Rooms

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai is a 237-room resort, with all rooms located on the sides of the building as it angles around the resort grounds. The rooms and suites in the hotel vary quite a bit in size, with plenty of large rooms and suites available.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Living Room
Four Seasons Resort Dubai Suite Bedroom

During our time at Four Seasons Resort Dubai, we stayed in a Jumeirah Sea-view Suites on the third floor. The suite was very impressive. As you enter the room you will find the in-room mini-bar which is well appointed and nicely designed. You will then immediately notice the huge size of the living room area with an extra-large couch, desk area, and small terrace outside.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Room Terrace

Further into the suite, the bedroom features a large signature Four Seasons bed, beautiful design touches, another balcony, and a sizeable walk-in closet. Lastly, the bathroom is also spacious, full of useful amenities, a large free-standing tub, and typical of what you can expect at Four Seasons properties.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Bathroom Tub

Some of the unique touches in the room include a beautifully scented Four Seasons Dubai candle, the luxurious robes, and overall attention to detail everywhere you look.

Four Seasons Pillow Case Bed
Four Seasons Resort Dubai Mini Bar

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Amenities

The overall feel of the resort is that it is located on a far off tropical island, and not just 10 minutes drive to downtown Dubai. The building is angled on the city side of the property, with the resort grounds inside and towards the ocean. That means that you don’t really see, hear, or feel, the sounds of the city and instead can get on with relaxing.

Four Seasons Dubai Resort Pool

In the expansive resort grounds there are two very large curving pools. Facing the ocean, the pool on the left is for adults, and the one on the right allows kids. Spread out all around the pools are plenty of lounge chairs with lush Four Seasons towels. As soon as you sit down, you are provided with bottled water and can order drinks or poolside snacks throughout the day. Also outside in the main resort grounds you will find the expansive beach, including even more lounge chairs and umbrellas. For those looking for even more privacy, cabanas are available, or you can swim out to the floating dock where there are also a few lounge chairs and umbrellas available.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Spa Pool

Inside the building, the fitness center is large and extremely well equipped. They also offer plenty of classes such as yoga or spinning, which are sometimes offered outside. Just next to the fitness center is the The Pearl Spa. Here you can of course schedule yourself a relaxing spa treatment, or just go to utilize the spa pool and steam room facilities. The spa pool is large and in a beautiful room with plenty of natural light. Outdoors on the other side of the resort, there are tennis courts and padel courts available for use.

Four Seasons Resort Grounds Dubai

Not sure whether Dubai or Abu Dhabi is best? Check out our comparison Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi guide!

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Dining

There’s no shortage of amazing places to eat at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai.

At the Four Seasons Resort Dubai, you will want to get up in time for breakfast, as this is one of the best breakfast buffets we have ever tasted. Located at Suq on the ground floor, with indoor and outdoor seating, the breakfast buffet offers endless options to suite any taste. There are different sections of the buffet that each have incredible options. Sections include fresh pastries, hot Western breakfast options including an omelet station, fresh fruits, cheese and charcuterie, hot Indian breakfast options, as well as hot and cold Middle Eastern options.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Dining
Avocado Toast Four Seasons Dubai
Suk Four Seasons Resort Breakfast Special

We also loved the health supplements section which included some fresh booster shots, bee pollen, colloidal silver, and more. The resort also does exceptionally well with their selection of plant-based milk and yogurt options, and other vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. At your table you can order any customized coffee, fresh juices, as well as order some additional hot breakfast items off the menu.

For lunch, Sea Fu is a popular option, with a focus on Asian-inspired seafood dishes, located beachfront at the resort. The Sea Fu bar shares the amazing beachfront views of the restaurant, with beautiful sunken lounges ready to relax in while enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail.

Four Seasons Dubai Resort Grounds

If you’re looking for food anytime of day, don’t forget about the Shai Salon & Terrace, located off the main hotel lobby, with a terrace overlooking the full resort grounds. Shai Salon is the perfect place for a quiet breakfast, the Shai Salon Signature Afternoon Tea, or a refreshing drink or snack anytime of day.

Shai Salon Four Seasons Resort Dubai

The flagship evening gathering spot at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai is the Mercury Rooftop, with a stunning view of the Dubai skyline in the warm Arabian nights. The lounge serves Sicilian-inspired dishes late into the evening, alongside specialty cocktails. We really enjoyed our late-night evening meal dining on the

Mercury Rooftop Lounge Chairs Dubai
Mercury Lounge Dubai Swing
Mercury Lounge Four Seasons Dubai Rooftop View
Four Seasons Dubai Mercury Lounge Food
Four Seasons Dubai Mercury Lounge Food

One unique aspect of the Four Seasons Resort Dubai is that just opposite the main entrance, you will find a beautiful building home to six additional restaurants. Here you can find:

  • Mimi Kakushi, a modern Japanese restaurant with a jazz twist
  • Nammos Dubai, for a new type of dining experience
  • Coya, incorporating a modern spin on traditional Peruvian cuisine
  • Nusr-Et, a unique Turkish steakhouse, with a definite focus on meat dishes
  • Scalini, for an authentic and charismatic Italian experience
  • Verde, for a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant from Paris

In addition, 24 hour room service is also available so you can dine within the comforts of your room.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Amenity

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Conclusion

Staying at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach will have you planning your return trip before you even leave! The resort manages to feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of Downtown Dubai, despite being just a short drive away. If you a place to relax while staying in Dubai, while enjoying exquisite food, and the excellent service all-around, this is one of the best options in Dubai.

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Four Seasons Resort Dubai Review
Four Seasons Resort Dubai Hotel Review

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days

Take in the best of Dubai in 2 days with this step-by-step itinerary. With its glistening high-rises, bustling bazaars, incredible architecture, and vibrant culture, there’s no other city quite like it. If you’re only in town for a short time, make every moment count by following this complete guide – from where to eat and shop to the best things to see in Dubai in 2 days! Let us help you create an unforgettable experience of the gleaming metropolis that is Dubai.

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 1

Read more about Dubai and the United Arab Emirates:

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the perfect Dubai itinerary for 2 days are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Are 2 Days in Dubai Enough?

If you only have two days in Dubai, your main goal should be to see the highlights of this beautiful city. Fortunately, there are plenty of attractions and activities that you can squeeze into 48 hours! From luxury shopping malls to jaw-dropping skyscrapers, you’ll get to experience a little bit of everything that makes Dubai unique.

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 2

Two days in Dubai is enough time to get a good taste of the city’s attractions and visit the most popular spots. With careful planning and some helpful tips, you can really make the most of your short visit!

Best Time to Visit Dubai

The best time to visit Dubai is between November and March. The temperatures are perfect during this time, allowing you to explore the city without becoming overwhelmed by the searing heat. June, July, and August may get a bit too hot for some people, but if you choose to come at this time there are still plenty of indoor activities that can be enjoyed during the day and the city looks amazing and comes alive at night.

So while this time may not be ideal, particularly if you are sensitive to heat, you can still have a great time in Dubai even if you come during these months. No matter when you decide to visit, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in this incredible city!

How to get from Dubai Airport to City Center?

Once you have arrived at Dubai Airport, there are several transportation options to get you to the city center.

The most convenient is by taking the Red Metro Line which goes directly from the airport right downtown to Burj Khalifa station. This ride typically takes around 40 minutes and costs about AED 5 ($1.50 USD) for a single journey ticket. There are plenty of taxis in the vicinity to reach your hotel from Burj Khalifa station.

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For those who prefer a more private ride, there are always taxi and rental car options available.

You can find taxis at the airport’s Arrivals area or book one in advance through an application or website. Depending on your destination, it will take around 20 to 30 minutes and cost you roughly AED 60 – 80 ($16 – $25 USD) for the ride.

Alternatively, you may choose to rent a car which can be picked up at the airport and dropped off at your destination. This is a popular option for travelers who are making their way to Abu Dhabi.

Not sure whether Dubai or Abu Dhabi is right for you? Check out our post or our Abu Dhabi itinerary to see how the two cities compare.

No matter which method you choose, you will have no trouble getting from Dubai Airport to the city center!

How to get Around Dubai

When it comes to getting around Dubai, there are several options available. Renting a car is one of the most popular choices and can be very convenient depending on your travel needs and where you’re headed after you leave the city.

Taxis are also an easy way to get around town and they usually cost less than renting a car. You will also find popular rideshare options such as Uber and Careem. They typically cost a bit more than a taxi, but the convenience of using a familiar app, and the ease of use are a definite benefit for getting around Dubai in two days.

Public transport is also available in Dubai and can be quite affordable, but it does require purchasing a Nol card in advance. This card can be purchased at any metro station or RTA kiosk. Keep in mind that the public transportation system may be quite full during peak times so plan accordingly.

Some methods may work better for certain needs than others, particularly when you only have 2 days in Dubai. Consider what your travel needs are and how much of the city you want to see.

No matter which method of transportation you choose, make sure that you plan ahead and have all the necessary information before your trip. Dubai is not a walkable city, so plan in advance.

Overview of Dubai 2 Day Itinerary

Discover the best of Dubai in just two days with this comprehensive itinerary, featuring a mix of attractions and experiences that will give you an unforgettable taste of the city.

On your first day, head to the iconic Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building. Visit one of the observation decks for stunning views of the entire cityscape and take some amazing photos! Then explore the renowned Dubai Mall – an enormous shopping center filled with designer shops. Afterwards, venture outside to marvel at the Dubai Miracle Garden, explore Burj Park by Emaar, Ride the Palm Jumeirah Monorail, visit the aquarium, and finish with dinner or a fountain show.

Mexican Wings Downtown Dubai 2

On day two, start the day with a desert safari before exploring the exotic souks and experience traditional Arabian culture. Make sure to check out the Spice Souk and Gold Souk, where merchants sell spices, incense, jewelry and more. Afterwards, make your way to Jumeirah Beach for some rest and relaxation in this picturesque beachfront setting.

Ultimate Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days: Day 1

The first day of your 2 day Dubai itinerary focuses more on the modern appeal of Dubai. Visiting the tallest building in the world, experiencing luxury shopping at its finest, literally stopping to smell the roses at the Dubai Miracle Garden, and finishing off the day with dinner fit for a king, day one is all about indulgence.

Sunrise at Burj Khalifa

Watching the sunrise at Burj Khalifa is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Entrance tickets should be purchased ahead of time with a reserved timeslot. With the unique Sunrise and Snacks ticket, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city while indulging in delicious snacks. The ticket includes access to Level 124, the top level, allowing you to observe the different colors that light up Dubai’s skyline as the sun peeks over the horizon. The ticket also provides access to a range of delicious breakfast treats, including croissants, cakes, muffins and a hot drink of your choice.

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 4

Step out onto the open-air terrace and feel the warmth of the morning sunshine as you watch the sun peeking through the clouds. There’s no more unforgettable way to start your weekend in Dubai.

Shopping at Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is a veritable shopper’s paradise – the city is famous for its shopping. Even if you’re not a shop-til-you-drop type of person, you’ve got to include a stop here during your Dubai itinerary in 2 days. You can find everything from high-end designer boutiques to affordable, everyday items. The mall offers an array of stores and restaurants that are sure to suit all tastes and budgets. With more than 1,200 retail outlets and 200 restaurants, Dubai Mall is one of the biggest shopping malls in the world!

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The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 6

The atmosphere at Dubai Mall is truly unforgettable. With its amazing architecture and luxurious design, the mall creates an oasis of sophistication in the heart of Dubai. Whether you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or just want to relax and enjoy your time in this spectacular location, you’ll be awestruck by Dubai Mall. From live shows and events to fine dining experiences and children’s play areas, each of your travel companions will find something that piques their interest.

Stroll through the Burj Park by Emaar

Burj Park is a lush, green oasis in the heart of Downtown Dubai. It is located between Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall and provides a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of city life. It is an ideal spot to relax, unwind and take in the beautiful views of this vibrant city.

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 7

The park is filled with lush greenery, trees and pathways that can be explored while admiring some of the most iconic architecture in the city. It’s a great spot to take a leisurely stroll or spend an afternoon. You’ll also find plenty of seating areas throughout the park and plenty of cafés and restaurants close by.

We’ve included Burj Park in your Dubai itinerary around midday, but you can visit this area at any time. It’s a great spot to watch the sunset or spend the evening catching the magical views of the Dubai Fountain Show.

Witness the Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden is a must-see on any visit to the United Arab Emirates. Located in Dubailand, it’s the world’s largest natural flower garden and features over 150 million blooms arranged in unbelievably intricate designs. From floral arches and heart shapes, to pyramids and domes, every corner of the garden is an Instagrammer’s paradise.

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 8
The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 9
The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 10

The garden is open from October through April, so make sure you plan your visit accordingly as it’s closed during the summer months. Once inside, you can explore a myriad of flower varieties spread across 72,000 square meters (17.8 acres). There are also multiple themed areas and lots of attractions such as butterfly domes, a flower parade, and live music events.

What’s more, the colorful displays change throughout the season, making it a great spot for multiple visits if you’re spending longer than a weekend in Dubai. It’s truly an experience like no other, and you can purchase tickets with round-trip transfer as the Dubai Miracle Garden is a little further out from Downtown Dubai.

Ride the Palm Jumeirah Monorail

The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is the only way to see the iconic Atlantis Hotel from an aerial view. The Monorail offers a unique and unforgettable experience, as it glides along the crescent of the famous palm-shaped island. Enjoy breathtaking views of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks and picturesque waterfront vistas.

Monorail and the Atlantis Dubai

The Monorail is incredibly easy to use, with free 3-hour parking included in the price. Simply purchase your ticket and board the train at either The Palm Gateway or Al Ittihad Station for a one-way journey of 8 minutes. There are plenty of comfy seats onboard so you can sit back and take in the views.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to make your Dubai itinerary extra special (and take in some truly unique vantage points), then the Palm Jumeirah Monorail will be perfect for you!

Visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium

The Lost Chambers Aquarium is an incredible underwater world full of fascinating marine life waiting to be discovered. Featuring 21 exhibits and 10 unique chambers, the aquarium gives visitors the unique chance to explore a lost city beneath the sea. Guests can observe more than 65,000 aquatic animals from 250 species, including tropical fish, seahorses, jellyfish, starfish, stingrays, sharks and much more.

Lost Chambers Atlantis Dubai

The aquarium also offers a range of interactive experiences for guests of all ages. Guests can explore the Lost Chambers through an underwater walking tour or take part in behind-the-scenes tours to learn about the animals and habitats in more depth. The aquarium also provides educational and entertaining daily feedings and guest lectures.

The Lost Chambers Aquarium is a must-see destination for anyone wanting to discover the incredible underwater world of Dubai’s sea life. With its amazing selection of marine creatures, interactive experiences and educational activities, it’s sure to be an enriching experience for everyone!

Dinner at St. Regis Rüya

St. Regis Rüya in Dubai is a must-visit dining experience for any foodie! Located in the iconic DIFC, this restaurant offers Middle Eastern and Anatolian cuisine with a modern twist – perfect for those who want to try something new and exciting while also savoring traditional flavors.

From the moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted with a sophisticated and inviting atmosphere. The menu has something for everyone – from creamy Muhammara to mouth-watering kebaps and flavorful short ribs.

If you’re looking for the perfect place to have dinner in Dubai, St. Regis Rüya is an ideal choice! With attentive service and delicious food, it’s no wonder why this restaurant has been hailed as one of the best dining experiences in the city.

Alternative Evening for Day 1: Dubai Fountain Show and Dinner at Ce La Vi

The Dubai Fountain Show takes place in the heart of Downtown Dubai. It is located on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake and features a coordinated performance by over 6,600 lights and 25 color projectors along with 22,000 gallons of water. This spectacular show is choreographed to various pieces of world music and entertains visitors every evening. It is truly a sight to behold!

The Dubai Fountain Show has become one of the most popular attractions in the city, and it’s easy to see why. The show starts at 6:00 PM every day and runs until 11:00 PM on weekdays with additional performances added during the weekends. Visitors can enjoy the performance from either side of the lake, or even from a boat ride around the lake.

Visitors looking for a more interactive experience can book a special ‘Dhow Cruise’ package that includes a romantic cruise around the lake with exclusive access to the best viewing spots of the show. This package is offered by several tour operators in Dubai and provides an unbeatable view of the Dubai Fountain Show.

Ce La Vi is the perfect spot to end your evening in Dubai, located high atop the Address Sky View Hotel. The restaurant and bar offers some of the best views of Dubai’s iconic skyline, making it a great place for dinner after watching the nightly fountain show.

The cuisine at Ce La Vi ranges from Asian tapas to classic French dishes and an impressive selection of international wines. The decor is modern and stylish, perfect for a romantic evening out or celebratory dinner with friends. Plus, the restaurant offers live music from Thursday to Saturday – the perfect way to end the night in style! 

For those looking for a more casual dining experience after taking in the fountain show, Ce La Vi features a chic rooftop terrace where you can enjoy cocktails and light snacks while taking in the views. There are also several private rooms and lounges to choose from for groups or special occasions.

Ultimate Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days: Day 2

While day one was all about the modern luxury of Dubai, day two of your weekend in Dubai focuses more on the city’s ancient culture and beauty. Start the day with a once-in-a-lifetime desert safari, followed by exploring some of the ancient areas of the city and its famed souks. Finish off your second night with a beautiful Dubai sunset over the beach.

Desert Safari

On the second day of your 2-day Dubai itinerary, consider going on a desert safari. This is one of the best ways to experience the beauty and mystery of Dubai’s stunning desert regions. A desert safari typically lasts 4 to 6 hours and includes activities such as dune bashing (riding up and down sand dunes in a 4×4 vehicle), camel rides, sandboarding, and quad bike rides.

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You can also enjoy traditional activities like henna painting, belly dancing shows, and even a barbecue dinner with entertainment under the stars if you opt to do an overnight desert safari (which we totally recommend if you have more than 2 days in Dubai!). Taking a safari is an incredible way to explore Dubai’s desert landscapes and appreciate its unique beauty. You can also opt to take a desert safari in Abu Dhabi, if that’s where you’re headed next!

Also, you’ll have the opportunity to witness stunning landscapes and take photos of the beautiful scenery. With a desert safari, you’re sure to make fantastic memories that will last a lifetime!

Explore Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya is a historical neighbourhood in the heart of Dubai. It is known for its ancient stone wind towers, traditional courtyard buildings and winding lanes. Visitors to Al Bastakiya can explore the colourful architecture and heritage sites, sample local cuisine and shop at the unique arts and craft stores.

The area has a rich cultural history, with many of the buildings still standing since the 19th century. A stroll through Al Bastakiya reveals a blend of traditional Islamic and colonial architecture, featuring wind towers, limestone-clad walls and intricately carved shutters.

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Al Bastakiya Dubai 3
The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 13

For visitors interested in local culture and history, there are several museums located within Al Bastakiya. The Dubai Museum of Islamic Culture showcases a collection of artifacts, manuscripts, photographs and maps from the region’s past. The Al Fahidi Fort is an 18th-century fort that contains displays about Dubai’s seafaring culture and heritage.

In addition to its cultural attractions, Al Bastakiya also offers plenty of shopping opportunities. Visitors can purchase traditional handicrafts from the many local shops, and sample traditional foods from the countless cafes in the area.

Visit the Dubai Museum of Islamic Culture

The Dubai Museum of Islamic Culture is one of the oldest and most iconic museums in the city. It was opened in 1963 and features a range of artefacts, artworks, manuscripts and photographs that explore the history, culture and beliefs of Islam across the region.

The museum houses a number of permanent collections which are displayed throughout different galleries, including Islamic art, calligraphy and coins. It also hosts a number of temporary exhibitions which highlight the contributions of Islamic culture to the world.

Visitors can explore the wonderful collection at their own pace or take part in guided tours which are led by knowledgeable museum staff. You can also attend lectures, workshops and seminars that are held regularly throughout the year.

The Dubai Museum of Islamic Culture is a great place to explore and learn more about the vibrant culture of Islam. It offers a unique insight into its history, art and beliefs, making it an essential part of any visit to the city, even if you only have 2 days in Dubai.

Stroll through the Spice and Gold Souks

The Spice and Gold Souk in Dubai is a must-visit for anyone who’s looking to experience some of the city’s famous culture. Located in Deira, this traditional market is home to hundreds of stalls selling an array of spices, dried fruits, nuts, jewellery, fabrics, incense and more. It’s a great place to pick up some souvenirs and explore a truly unique shopping experience.

When visiting the Spice and Gold Souk make sure to wear comfortable shoes as many of the winding lanes are quite narrow and tend to get crowded during peak times. Also, be prepared to bargain for goods – it’s part of the fun!

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A good tip is to have an idea of the market price for any product you’re interested in before you start bargaining. If you don’t have any idea as to the true value, ask how much the item is and counter with an offer of approximately 60% of the asking price. This is conservative – some hagglers go down to 40%! It all boils down to what you’re comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to walk away.

The Spice and Gold Souks are typically open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekdays, but be sure to check the opening hours as they vary during Ramadan, Eid, and other special occasions. There are plenty of places nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or take a break from the hustle and bustle of the market.

Whether you’re looking for exotic ingredients, unique finds or local souvenirs, the Spice and Gold Souk is a great place to explore Dubai’s culture and have some fun bargaining with shopkeepers!

Enjoy Arabic Coffee at the Arabian Tea House

The Arabian Tea House in Dubai offers a delightful way to experience the flavors of traditional Arabic coffee. Enjoy a steaming cup of freshly-brewed kahwa, made with roasted Arabica beans and fragrant cardamom. Or, if you prefer something sweeter, try the sahlab – an indulgent blend of milk, sugar, and delicate spices.

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The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days 16

No matter what your preference is, the Arabian Tea House has something to satisfy every coffee enthusiast. And don’t forget to pair your cup of joe with one of their delicious local pastries for a complete experience!

Watch the Sunset at Jumeirah Beach

After you’ve spent the day sightseeing in Dubai, why not take some time to relax and watch a beautiful sunset by Jumeirah Beach? This beach is situated along the Arabian Gulf coast and offers breathtaking views as the sun sets below the horizon. You’ll have plenty of room to spread out your beach blanket or set up a picnic as the waves of the water gently lap up against the shore.

Jumeriah Beach Dubai

Make sure to bring your camera for some stunning photos that will be a great memory of your time in Dubai. Once you’re done taking in the beautiful scenery, you can explore the nearby restaurants for dinner before heading out for some nightlife fun.

Finishing off your day with a breathtaking sunset is the perfect way to round out your 2 day itinerary in Dubai.

Summary of 2 Days in Dubai Itinerary

Overall, 2 days in Dubai can be packed full of activities and experiences to fill your time there. From riding a camel in the desert to exploring the history and culture in Dubai’s past; from taking an unforgettable stroll through Burj Park to feasting on all the delicious foods around, these are just some of the many possibilities that await you when you visit.

No matter where your itinerary takes you, don’t forget to explore one of the malls or souks for some shopping, as it is always a great way to find souvenirs to carry with you everywhere.

With so much to do and explore, two days will seem like a breeze! Have you been to Dubai? What do you consider to be the must-sees if you only have two days there? Let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear about your experiences!

The perfect 2 day itinerary in Dubai
The perfect 2 day itinerary in Dubai

Best Area to Stay in Dubai

Dubai is a city full of life and is such a popular destination for tourists because of its spectacular beaches, world-class shopping malls, and the vibrant nightlife. We’ve been to Dubai over five times now! Each time we’ve stayed in a different area of the city, allowing us to get a good understanding of the layout and the best area to stay in Dubai depending on your travel needs.

View from Address Skyview Infinity Pool

Dubai offers many different areas in which to stay. With so much variety, it can be difficult deciding where to stay in Dubai. To help you decide, we have put together some information on the best areas to stay in Dubai during your next visit.

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Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the Best Area to Stay in Dubai are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Where to stay in Dubai – Why it Matters

Dubai is not a walkable city – at all! As such, it’s important to pick the best area to stay in Dubai depending on what you’d like to do during your vacation (as well as how much time you have to spend there). If you are spending a mere 2 days in Dubai, the neighborhood you stay in will have a big impact on how much you’re able to see. Although everything seems relatively close by car or taxi, the traffic in Dubai can be an absolute nightmare at times, and is often unpredictable.

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Staying in the right area of Dubai can make all the difference when it comes to having a successful and enjoyable trip. Different areas offer different attractions, amenities, and experiences which cater to many types of travelers. For those looking for a modernist escape with plenty of nightlife, Marina Dubai could be the ideal choice. Staying close to Downtown Dubai offers easy access to iconic attractions such as Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall; the perfect spot for an action-packed holiday!

For those wanting a more diverse range of experiences, consider staying in or around Palm Jumeirah; here you’ll have easy access to both traditional Arabian markets and modern shopping malls alike. You’ll also find plenty of dining options, many of which have jaw-dropping views of the Arabian Gulf.

Map of Dubai on Ceiling

Wherever you choose to stay in Dubai, it’s important to research the area thoroughly and pick a location that suits your needs and interests. Staying in the right part of town can make all the difference when it comes to creating the perfect travel experience.

Best Area to Stay in Dubai

AreaGood ForBudget HotelLuxury Hotel
Downtown DubaiFirst-Timers, Sight-SeeingDAMAC Maison DistinctionArmani Hotel
Marina DubaiFamilies, NightlifeRoute 66 Beach HostelRitz-Carlton Dubai
Jumeirah BeachDigital Nomads, Beach BumsRove la Mer BeachFour Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Read our review here
Dubai International Financial CenterBusiness TravelersGevora HotelShangri-La Dubai
Read our review of the Shangri-La Dubai
Bur DubaiHistory Buffs, Culture Enthusiasts, Budget TravelersHampton by Hilton Dubai Al SeefThe Canvas Dubai
The PalmLuxury Travel, CouplesW Dubai, The PalmAtlantis, The Palm
Al BarshaBudget Travelers, Dining Options, FamiliesThe S Hotel Al BarshaSheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel
DeiraBudget Travel, Culture EnthusiastsMovenpick Al MamzarPark Hyatt Dubai

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is the perfect area for first-time visitors to explore. This vibrant district of modern skyscrapers and cultural attractions offers something for everyone – from families seeking entertainment, to nightlife enthusiasts looking to experience the city’s vibrant energy after dark.

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Shopaholics will be spoiled for choice in Downtown Dubai, with a range of international fashion brands available at The Dubai Mall. Home to over 1,200 stores, you can find everything from luxury designer boutiques to traditional souks where you can bargain for local wares. After a shopping spree why not take time out for lunch or dinner? There are countless restaurants serving up cuisine from all around the world including Mexican tacos, Italian pizzas and Arabian delicacies. You will be surprised how many of your favorite American and Canadian brands are here.

Mexican Wings Downtown Dubai 2

Also within easy reach is The Dubai Fountain, featuring light and water displays choreographed to music – best seen during a nighttime stroll along the sparkling lakefront promenade.

If you’re looking for something to do with kids, head over to KidZania at The Dubai Mall where they can enjoy educational activities in a simulated city environment complete with shops, cafes and fire stations. 

Of course, no visit to Downtown Dubai would be complete without a visit to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Take in the views from near its top and admire the sleek design of this modern marvel.

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Dandelions Burj Park by Emaar Dubai

For more underwater fun, check out Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo where you can explore a diverse array of marine life including sharks and stingrays.

Finally, don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience world-class shows at nearby Dubai Opera House – a multi-format venue with seating for up to 2,000 people! 

With so much on offer downtown, it is easy to see why this vibrant district is consistently a top contender for where to stay in Dubai.

Budget Hotel Pick Downtown Dubai: DAMAC Maison Distinction

Luxury Hotel Pick Downtown Dubai: Armani Hotel

Marina Dubai

Marina Dubai is one of the best areas to stay in Dubai for its vibrant atmosphere and multitude of attractions. As a luxurious and modern district, Marina Dubai offers all kinds of activities and entertainment that suit a range of lifestyles.

Those looking for nightlife won’t be disappointed – the area is home to some of the city’s top bars and clubs, as well as a wide range of live music venues.

Shopping enthusiasts can explore the area’s buzzing malls and independent retailers for everything from local crafts to designer labels. Dining options are plentiful too – Marina Dubai is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, ranging from high-end establishments offering gourmet dishes to casual eateries serving up street food favorites.

The Marina Harbor Dubai
The Marina Neighborhood Dubai
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Meanwhile, those wishing to take in some culture will find plenty of attractions such as museums and art galleries. Nearby, The Beach at JBR is a great spot for relaxing on the sand, while adventurous visitors can try their hand at skydiving nearby. With something for everyone, Marina Dubai offers an unforgettable experience that is sure to make your stay in the city one you’ll never forget.

The kids will love watching the yachts come to port while splashing in the calm, shallow waters nearby.

From vibrant nightlife to fascinating cultural attractions, there really is something for everyone here. Plus, with its stunning views and easy access to other parts of the city, staying in Marina Dubai makes for an ideal base to explore Dubai and its many attractions.

Budget Hotel Pick Marina Dubai: Route 66 Beach Hostel

Luxury Hotel Pick Marina Dubai: Ritz-Carlton Dubai

Jumeirah Beach

Jumeirah is a luxurious, somewhat residential district located in Dubai, UAE. It’s renowned for providing the perfect balance of relaxation and recreation for tourists, making it one of the best areas to stay in Dubai. From family-friendly activities to exciting nightlife options, Jumeirah offers something for everyone.

When it comes to shopping, Jumeirah has some of the best malls and boutiques in all of Dubai. The Mercato Shopping Mall houses plenty of luxury retailers such as Dolce & Gabbana and Salvatore Ferragamo. For a more traditional experience, visitors can explore traditional souks such as Madinat Jumeirah.

Jumeriah Beach Dubai

Jumeirah is also home to some of the best restaurants and beachside cafes in Dubai offering a wide range of cuisines including Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Mediterranean fare.

If you’re looking for something more cultural and educational, Jumeirah is home to a number of museums and galleries. The Etihad Museum is one of the most popular attractions as it provides insight into the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates. The Jumeirah Mosque is another must-see destination with its stunning architecture and surrounding gardens that provide a peaceful spot for relaxation or contemplation.

Dubai Downtown Skyline

Finally, Jumeirah has plenty of exciting activities to keep visitors entertained. The Laguna Water Park is a great spot for families and thrill-seekers alike with its variety of water slides and rides. Of course, the beaches are also a must-visit for sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts. Although the beaches in Dubai are not quite as nice when comparing Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi, the beach at Jumeirah is a solid option. With all these amazing attractions, Jumeirah is certainly one of the best places to stay in Dubai.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai Room Ocean View

Budget Hotel Pick Jumeirah Beach: Rove la Mer Beach

Luxury Hotel Pick Jumeirah Beach: Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Read our review of the amazing Four Seasons Resort Dubai

Dubai International Financial Center

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is widely regarded as one of the best areas to stay in Dubai. Boasting a wide range of entertainment, dining and shopping options, the DIFC offers something for everyone.

This vibrant financial hub is home to world-class attractions such as The Gate Village and the Burj Daman Tower, which provide stunning views of Downtown Dubai from their observatories. For those looking for a place to relax, the area also features lush gardens, terraces and jogging tracks.

Girl in Red Dress on Rooftop on the 42nd Level at the Shangri-La

Families can enjoy a range of activities within the DIFC such as Modhesh World – an indoor theme park with over 70 interactive games, rides and activities – or Sports World – an exciting world of adventure sports, bowling and a trampoline park.

The DIFC is also known for its extensive selection of top dining and shopping options. From Michelin-starred restaurants to high-end boutiques, the area has something for every taste and budget. Plus, nearby attractions such as the Dubai Fountains, Miracle Garden and Dubai Mall are just a few minutes away from the DIFC. With so much to offer, it’s easy to see why the DIFC is considered one of the best areas to stay in Dubai.

Budget Hotel Pick Dubai International Financial Center: Gevora Hotel

Luxury Hotel Pick Dubai International Financial Center: Shangri-La Dubai

Read about our stay and review of the Shangri-La Dubai

Bur Dubai

Bur Dubai is one of the most popular and sought-after areas to stay in Dubai. Located on the western side of the historic Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai has a rich cultural history, as well as many modern attractions that make it a great place to explore and enjoy.

Bur Dubai offers something for everyone! Families can visit Zabeel Park – one of the largest parks in town – or take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the creek. Shopping enthusiasts won’t be disappointed, with WAFI Mall offering up all kinds of luxury goods and Al Karama housing a variety of local markets and bargain prices. There’s also plenty of restaurants serving traditional Emirati cuisine, plus numerous art galleries and museums that showcase some of the area’s heritage.

Al Seef Dubai Sign
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Al Seef Neighborhood Dubai 2

If you’re looking to explore more of Dubai, Bur Dubai is conveniently located near some of the city’s most famous historic and cultural attractions. These include Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, where you can learn about local culture and visit some of the oldest buildings in town, as well as Al Seef and the Heritage Village.

Bur Dubai is truly a great place to stay in Dubai; offering up plenty of entertainment, cultural experiences, and convenient proximity to many popular attractions. It’s also one of the areas where you will find the most affordable accommodations in the city. Whether you’re on vacation or business travel, this area has something for everyone!

Budget Hotel Pick Bur Dubai: Hampton by Hilton Dubai Al Seef

Luxury Hotel Pick Bur Dubai: The Canvas Dubai

The Palm

The Palm, Dubai is one of the most desirable places to stay in the city. It’s a man-made archipelago that’s situated off Dubai’s Jumeirah coastline and offers an idyllic getaway with unparalleled waterfront views. This luxury destination caters to families, nightlife enthusiasts, shoppers, and foodies alike.

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For those looking for family fun activities, Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm has something for everyone. There are thrilling rides and slides for adrenaline junkies as well as plenty of shallow pools and water play areas for younger kids.

Monorail and the Atlantis Dubai

Shopaholics will love strolling along The Pointe Fountain Walk – the largest outdoor fountain complex in the Middle East. Here, you’ll find over 170 stores, restaurants and cafés set along this picturesque waterfront destination.

Dining options in The Palm are plentiful and include everything from casual eats to world-renowned fine-dining establishments. If you’re looking for something unique, head to The View at the Palm. This rooftop restaurant offers delicious cuisine with stunning panoramic views of Dubai Marina Skyline, Arabian Gulf and Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

For those wanting to explore beyond The Palm, there are plenty of nearby attractions that make fantastic day trips – including Dolphin Bay at Atlantis The Palm where visitors can swim alongside friendly dolphins or Dive Atlantis which features a chance to discover the marine life of the Red Sea.

The Palm is one of the best areas to stay in Dubai for those looking to indulge in some luxury experiences or intimate vacationing with their partner. But overall, The Palm is an amazing destination that offers something for everyone – from thrilling water parks and shopping malls to fine-dining establishments and unique attractions.

Budget Hotel Pick The Palm: W Dubai, The Palm

Luxury Hotel Pick The Palm: Atlantis, The Palm

Al Barsha

Al Barsha is one of the most popular areas when considering where to stay in Dubai. It’s a bustling residential area, located in close proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, sports and leisure activities, and other attractions. It has something for everyone – perfect for families looking for an exciting adventure or nightlife enthusiasts wanting to explore the vibrant city.

This neighborhood is known for its great family-friendly amenities. From malls like Al Barsha Mall and Shopping Centre with plenty of entertainment options to Ski Dubai – the world’s largest indoor ski resort – there is no shortage of fun activities for the whole family. Those looking for something more sophisticated can visit Dubai Miracle Garden or take a stroll in The Butterfly Garden at Al Barsha Park.

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Foodies are in luck too! Al Barsha is full of incredible dining spots, including the popular El Chapo Mexican Grill and several of Dubai’s acclaimed restaurants like Play Restaurant & Lounge.

For those interested in museums, science, and culture – there’s no better place than Al Barsha. The nearby Dubai Science Park offers a unique look into scientific breakthroughs while Mall of the Emirates houses a number of cultural attractions, such as its own museum dedicated to robots and artificial intelligence.

Al Barsha also has plenty to offer for nightlife enthusiasts. After sunset, revelers can explore the city’s vibrant nightlife with bars, clubs and late-night eateries.

Those looking for a more laid-back getaway will not be disappointed either – the nearby Dubai beachside is perfect to relax and unwind while enjoying the beautiful views of the Persian Gulf.

All in all, Al Barsha is one of the best areas in Dubai – offering something for everyone and providing an unforgettable experience!

Budget Hotel Pick Al Barsha: The S Hotel Al Barsha

Luxury Hotel Pick Al Barsha: Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel

Deira

Deira is an area in the Emirate of Dubai that is renowned for its incredible attractions and activities. Located on the northern shore of the Dubai Creek, Deira has become one of the most popular areas to stay in when visiting Dubai. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, family-friendly activities, shopping experiences, dining options and cultural attractions.

The Gold Souk in Deira is a must-see attraction when visiting this area. The souk houses over 300 jewelry shops where visitors can browse through gold chains, necklaces, bracelets, rings and more. If you’re looking to buy souvenirs or gifts while in Deira then be sure to check out the Spice Souk too – here you can find a range of spices, dried fruits and nuts that make excellent gifts. When bargaining at either souk, be sure to remain friendly yet firm as shopkeepers will often quote high prices. A good rule of thumb is to offer 60% of the initial price, but it all comes down to what you feel comfortable with.

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The waterfront market is another popular attraction in Deira as it is home to over 400 shops selling fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs. For outdoor activities, visitors can try their luck at Dubai Creek Golf Course or visit the Dubai International Bowling Center for a game of bowling with friends. There are also several museums located nearby such as the Etihad Museum and Al Ahmadiya School Museum – both great places to learn more about the history of this amazing city.

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Flamingos at Creek Harbor Dubai

Overall, Deira is an incredible part of Dubai that should not be overlooked. From its vibrant nightlife to its shopping experiences and cultural attractions, it truly has something for everyone. So if you’re looking for a place to stay when visiting Dubai with budget-friendly hotels and heaps to do, then be sure to throw Deira in the mix when considering where to stay in Dubai.

Budget Hotel Pick Jumeirah Beach: Movenpick Al Mamzar

Luxury Hotel Pick Jumeirah Beach: Park Hyatt Dubai

Additional Tips for your Dubai Trip

We’ve visited Dubai countless times, and have put together some of our favorite tips to make the most of your visit to this amazing world city!

How to Get to Dubai from the Airport

After you touch down at Dubai International Airport, there are several ways to get from the airport to the city center.

The most hassle-free way to reach the city center is by taking the Red Metro Line, a speedy 40 minute ride that costs just AED 5 ($1.50 USD) for a single journey ticket. Upon arriving at Burj Khalifa station, you’ll find plenty of taxis ready and waiting to take you directly to your hotel.

Whether you want the privacy of a car or just want to relax during your journey, taxi and rental cars provide an excellent solution.

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Transportation to your desired location is just a few steps away at the airport’s Arrivals area or can be easily booked ahead of time through an app or website. The transit usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes, with prices ranging from AED 60-80 ($16-$22 USD) for the ride.

For those venturing to other areas of the UAE, such as Abu Dhabi, renting a car is an increasingly popular alternative. You can conveniently pick up your rental at the airport and drop it off upon arriving in town. The only downside to renting your own car is that the traffic in Dubai can be rather unpredictable and chaotic at times. We have a full blog post on Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi for tourists to get you ready to drive.

How to Get Around Dubai

Unfortunately for travelers who enjoy traversing new cities by foot, Dubai is not really a walkable city. With its attractions spread out across different neighborhoods coupled with the (sometimes) crippling heat, don’t plan on walking anywhere in Dubai.

For those looking to get around Dubai, there are several options available. Uber and Careem are both ride-hailing services that are incredibly popular in the city. Both apps function similarly – you simply open up the app and input your destination, after which a driver will be assigned to pick you up. No cash is necessary as all payments can be made electronically within the app itself.

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Rental cars are also an option for visitors to Dubai who wish to explore at their own pace without having to rely on someone else’s schedule. Many international car rental companies have offices located throughout the emirate, so finding a vehicle that fits your needs should not be difficult. All rental companies require valid identification documents such as a passport or driving license, as well as a valid credit or debit card.

Public transport is another option for getting around Dubai, but with the vast amount of options available it can be confusing to navigate. The city’s metro system covers most major areas and provides an efficient way of travelling between points in the emirate. There are also buses, water taxis and other forms of public transportation available to get you where you would like to go.

Regardless of your preference when travelling around Dubai, there are plenty of options available to suit all budgets and needs.

What is the Best Time to Visit Dubai?

The Persian Gulf Region gets very hot, and we recommend visiting in winter when the

temperatures are most manageable. This area experiences only two seasons: summer and

winter.

Winter in Dubai

Winter in Dubai is often referred to as the best season to explore this vibrant city. Although it doesn’t get cold, temperatures are more bearable than during summer months. Days will still be hot and dry due to its desert location, but nights can become pleasantly chilly, providing a welcome break from the heat.

Whether you’re looking for some winter sun or keen on exploring the many attractions that Dubai has to offer, wintertime is an ideal time to visit!

Arch at Creek Harbor Dubai

With days spent exploring traditional souks or relaxing by one of Dubai’s many beaches and swimming pools, there’s plenty to do when visiting during winter. As well as sight-seeing and shopping in some of the world’s most luxurious malls, visitors can enjoy a range of activities from desert safaris to hot air balloon rides.

Plus, winter is the time for Dubai’s famous festivals – so don’t forget to check out the local event calendar if you’re looking for something exciting and different to do during your stay!

The only downside to visiting Dubai during the winter months is that it’s the city’s high season, meaning accommodation prices are at an all-time high (and availability is much lower than in the summer months).

Summer in Dubai

Summer in Dubai is a great time to take advantage of the city’s many indoor attractions. The malls are bustling, the aquariums and museums are full of interesting sights and activities, and the entertainment centers provide endless hours of fun.

With temperatures soaring during the day, it’s best to explore indoors and escape from the heat. Once the sun sets, however, you’ll be glad you stuck around as Dubai comes alive with social events ranging from concerts to outdoor movie screenings.

Lost Chambers Atlantis Dubai

Hotel prices also drop significantly during summertime so you can save some money if you plan your trip accordingly.

All in all, there’s no need to worry about having a dull vacation – even if it does get a little too hot outside during summer months! With so many incredible indoor attractions available, you can still have a fantastic time in Dubai and make the most of your summer holiday.

Dress Code

The dress code in the predominantly Muslim UAE is influenced by its cultural and religious heritage, which means modest clothing should be worn. Women should cover their knees and shoulders, while men are expected to have a more formal attire.

Although Dubai is quite modern and many people wear revealing clothes, it’s always recommended for women to carry a scarf with them so that they can cover up if necessary, particularly when visiting religious institutions or mosques.

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Additionally, due to drastic temperature changes between outdoors and indoors, it’s advised to wear layers of clothing in order to stay comfortable throughout the day.  Although there may be regional variations in dress etiquette within the UAE, following these guidelines will ensure respect for local customs as well as providing comfort. 

Having an understanding of the dress code requirements before visiting will ensure that you make the most out of your stay in the UAE.  It’s important to remember that dressing respectfully is not only a sign of courtesy and politeness, but it also serves as a way to show appreciation for the country’s culture and religious beliefs.

Conclusion on the Best Area to Stay in Dubai

Dubai is an incredible city full of history, culture, nightlife, shopping, and adventure. There is something for everyone here and it can be difficult to decide on the best area to stay!

Whether you want a budget-friendly hostel in the Deira district or an opulent experience overlooking downtown Mall of the Emirates, these locations are great options and will provide a memorable stay. With so many vibrant and culturally-rich neighborhoods in Dubai, it’s impossible to choose just one favorite area!

Nevertheless, careful consideration must be taken when selecting your accommodations in order to ensure you get the most out of your trip; if you follow our advice before you plan your journey, you’ll wind up staying in the perfect area of Dubai to suit your travel style and needs.

Have you been to Dubai? What do you think is the best area to stay in Dubai? Share your views and exciting stories with us in the comments below!

Best Neighborhood to Stay in Dubai 3
Best Neighborhood to Stay in Dubai 2

Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist

If you’re planning a trip to Dubai or Abu Dhabi and are curious about what it’s like to drive here, you’ve come to the right place. It’s beneficial to have a car when driving in the United Arab Emirates. You’ll be able to do it all, from Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach to the best Instagram spots in Abu Dhabi. Regardless of whether you’re following a Dubai itinerary or Abu Dhabi itinerary (or both), getting your own car is the easiest way to get around.

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In this post, we’ll give you an overview of the roads, traffic conditions, and driving culture in both cities. We’ll also share some tips on how to stay safe when driving in these parts of the world. So whether you’re already packing your bags or just doing some research before your trip, keep reading for all you need to know about driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi!

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Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Is it Safe to Drive in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

It’s no secret that the roads in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be a bit chaotic. With all of the construction, traffic, and pedestrians, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed when behind the wheel. The roads are, as a general rule of thumb, very well-maintained and up to modern standards.

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Despite the challenges, driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is generally safe. Of course, there are always risks associated with any type of driving, but as long as you use common sense and follow the rules of the road, you should be fine.

Top Ten Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist

In no particular order, these are our top tip for driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as tourists that we have accumulated from driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over five different trips.

Understand the Unique Rules of the Road

In addition to the increasingly standard rules of the road, such as always wearing your seat belt and not using your cell phone while driving, there are a few things to take note of when driving in the UAE.
First and foremost, despite how frustrated you may get at your fellow drivers, it’s important that you do not yell, use hand gestures, or make any motions to another driver that may be offensive. This is considered public indecency and is punishable by law.

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Be sure to keep a safe distance (approximately 3 seconds) from the car in front of you. Tailgating is also a serious offense that could result in hefty fines, although you will see many locals doing it.

It is Okay to Drive Fast, But Safe

The locals like to drive fast, and speed limits are also high. The UAE has the highest posted speed limits in the world with 2 roads (the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain highway and the Sheikh Khalifa highway) having a limit of 160 km/h (99 mph). You may still see people driving faster than the speed limit. That’s because most speed cameras will not ticket you unless you are going more than 20km/h faster than the limit.

The minimum speed limit is just as important as the maximum speed limit. Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi means incredible amounts of traffic, and the minimum speed limits are designed to prevent gridlocks or backups.

Police Checkpoints

When driving in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, there are a few things you should know about police checkpoints. First and foremost, always have your driver’s license and rental car papers with you. Secondly, be aware that police may ask to search your vehicle. If this happens, you have the right to decline and ask for a supervisor.

Police checkpoints are not as common as when driving in Jordan, however, so try not to worry too much. Usually, as a tourist, you’ll be waved along and allowed to continue. You may be asked a few simple questions such as the purpose of your trip or where you are driving.

Understand the Salik Toll Roads

Salik is the name of the road toll system in the United Arab Emirates. There are currently eight Salik toll gates in Dubai and four Salik toll gates in Abu Dhabi.

To use the Salik system, motorists must purchase a tag from any of the authorized retailers (gas stations generally sell tags), and attach it to their windshield. The tag is linked to the driver’s credit or debit card, and is used to automatically deduct the toll fee when passing through a Salik gate. If you already have a Salik tag, you can recharge your account online.

Salik Toll Booth in Dubai

Most rental cars from Dubai and Abu Dhabi should already have a Salik tag on the vehicle, however check with the rental car company if there are any additional fees for using it.

There are no barriers or gates at the Salik toll points, and motorists do not need to stop to pay the toll. Instead, sensors mounted on gantries above the road detect the presence of a Salik tag, and deduct the appropriate fee from the associated account.

The main advantage of the Salik system is that it helps to reduce traffic congestion on frequently used roads. By introducing a toll for using certain roads during peak hours, Salik has encouraged motorists to use alternative routes that are less congested. Depending on the time of day you drive, you may have to pay, or there will be no fee!

Parking in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Parking in Dubai is pretty straightforward. The city has different parking zones established for different uses, usually with different tarifs associated with them. Be sure to pay the right amount at the machine and display the ticket on your dashboard when required.

In general, you will have to pay for parking in the city. In fact, all public parking zones in this emirate are paid parking zones. However, free parking is available on Fridays and some holidays.

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Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist 33

Abu Dhabi has a parking system call Mawaqif. To use Mawaqif, you’ll need to purchase a card from any of the Mawaqif offices or machines located around the city. You can then use this card to pay for parking at any of the Mawaqif-designated parking spots. To park, simply drive into the spot and insert your card into the machine. The machine will then give you a ticket, which you’ll need to display on your dashboard.

When you’re ready to leave, simply insert your card into the machine again and pay the amount of time you’ve parked for.

If you’re looking for free parking, most malls in both Emirates offer free parking for the first 3 hours.

Familiarize Yourself with UAE Road Signs

Thankfully, there aren’t many differences between the road signs in the United States and the United Arab Emirates. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are both incredibly popular tourist cities, so you can put your mind at ease knowing that signs here will likely be in both Arabic and English.

If you venture outside of city limits, however, you’ll find that in rural areas the signs may only be in Arabic.

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How to Get Gas for Your Rental Car in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Refueling in the Emirates couldn’t be more simple. Simply pull up to the gas station, of which there are plenty scattered throughout both cities, roll down your window, and let the attendant know which type and how much gas you’d like. Most gas stations in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are full service, though occasionally you may stumble across one which is self-serve.

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Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist 36

To make things even easier, nearly all gas stations accept credit cards. If you are driving out through rural areas, this may not be the case, so you’ll have to be sure to keep some cash on you just in case.

Driving in Dubai

The roads are expansive and often very busy, with a mix of luxury cars and huge trucks traveling at high speeds. However, most drivers are fairly respectful and follow the rules of the road.

There is a dense amount of traffic in a relatively small area, with a ton of lanes to navigate. Drivers in the UAE generally don’t abide by the ‘pass on the left’ rule of thumb, and you’ll often find vehicles going too slow in the left lanes or find yourself getting passed on the right.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some highways have separate lanes for buses and taxis. It’s important to stay out of these lanes, as it is illegal for non-commercial vehicles to drive in them.

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You will also find a lot of on-ramps, off-ramps, and side-streets and sometimes Google Maps can get confused, or not provide you with enough time to change lanes before it is too late. It’s best to have a passenger that can help with navigation.

It’s also important to note that there are very strict laws against drinking and driving in Dubai. The legal blood alcohol limit is zero, so it’s best to avoid any alcohol if you plan on driving.

Driving in Abu Dhabi

As a tourist in Abu Dhabi, driving can be both exciting and intimidating. The roads are well-maintained and there are multiple lanes for smooth flow of traffic, but drivers tend to change lanes quickly and often without signalling.

Furthermore, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with traffic laws before hitting the road. Some notable rules include no drinking and driving, always giving way to emergency vehicles, and not using cell phones while driving unless hands-free.

Abu Dhabi is much more spread out as a city in relation to Dubai, and having your own vehicle here is much more useful.

Overall, driving in Abu Dhabi can be a thrilling experience as long as visitors exercise caution and follow the rules.

Do Not Drive Drunk

In the United Arab Emirates, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.00%. This is lower than the BAC limit in many other countries, including the United States (0.08%). This means that even if you have one drink and don’t wait long enough before getting behind the wheel, you could be looking at some serious consequences should you get pulled over.

It is important to note that drinking alcohol and driving may result in severe penalties, including jail time and large fines.

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If you plan on consuming alcohol, it is best to use a designated driver or alternative transportation options such as taxis or ride-sharing services. Stay safe and follow the law while visiting or living in the UAE.

Driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

The best option when driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi or vice versa is to go through Sheikh Zayed Road, also known as E11. This highway connects both cities and offers stunning views of Dubai’s skyscrapers and Abu Dhabi’s skyline. This is the most direct route and the fastest.

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Another good route to take when driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi is through Al Ain, known as the Garden City. However, this should only be done if you have the time to spare, as it brings you completely out of the way. Still, Al Ain is a great, lesser-known destination in the UAE. Along the way, you can stop and visit the historic Al Jahili Fort or the picturesque Hili Archaeological Park.

The distance between the two cities is approximately 140 km (87 miles) and it typically takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Abu Dhabi without traffic.

Driving to Oman from Dubai

A good route to take when driving from Oman to Dubai is through the Dubai-Hatta Road. Along this route, there are various points of interest such as the Hatta Heritage Village and historical forts, with an optional detour to check out the Hajar mountains.

The distance from Muscat, Oman to Dubai is approximately 450 km (280 miles) and can take 4.5 hours of driving time without stops. It is recommended to not have the smallest economy car as for parts of this journey there is hilly and mountainous terrain.

Additionally, travelers should be aware of rules and regulations regarding crossing borders between Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Don’t forget to let your rental car agency know that you’ll be crossing the border – they will provide everything you need in order to do so safely and efficiently.

Overall, taking this route allows for an adventurous and culturally enriching road trip experience while making the journey from Oman to Dubai. It is possible to drive to Oman with a rental car, however you will need to have permission from your rental car company. Make it clear to them that you intend to drive to Oman and they will provide you with the required papers.

Tips for Renting a Car in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Renting a car in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be a convenient way to explore the cities and other remote parts of the country, but there are some important things to keep in mind before signing a rental contract.

First, it is important to make sure you have a valid driver’s license from your home country as well as an international driver’s permit.

Additionally, most car rental companies will require that you are at least 21 years old and have had your license for at least one year.

Make sure to thoroughly read the terms and conditions of your rental contract, as some companies may have different policies regarding insurance coverage or additional drivers. Be absolutely sure to take photos of your car before and after your rental dates to serve as proof of condition. The last thing you want is to be held responsible for any dings or dents that were there prior to your possession of the car!

Finally, be aware of any cultural sensitivities, such as avoiding drinking and driving or wearing appropriate clothing when driving in more conservative areas. By keeping these tips in mind, renting a car in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be a smooth and enjoyable experience.

What Vehicle Should I Rent in the UAE?

When choosing a rental car, consider what type of terrain you will be primarily driving on. For city driving or paved roads, a sedan or small car may suffice. However, if you plan on venturing off-road into deserts or mountains, a four-wheel drive vehicle may be helpful.

It is also important to consider the size of the car and number of passengers. If you are traveling with a large group or plan on packing heavy, a larger vehicle such as a van may be more suitable. Thankfully, when driving in the UAE, you don’t have to worry about competing with narrow parking spaces and roads, as everything here is quite spacious, similar to North America.

Desert Safari Tour Abu Dhabi

Lastly, determine what amenities you may need in your rental car, such as GPS navigation or additional insurance coverage. Most rental vehicles come equipped with a GPS navigation system. Be sure to research and compare prices from different rental companies to ensure you get the best deal for your needs.

What Documents Do I Need to Rent a Car in the UAE?

In order to rent a car in the UAE, you will need to have a valid driver’s license from your home country as well as an international driving permit. You will also need to present a credit card in your name for deposit purposes.

Some companies may ask to make a copy of your passport as well, which is pretty standard.

Additionally, it is important to note that individuals under the age of 21 are not able to rent cars in the UAE and some rental companies may have additional age restrictions.

Driving in Abu Dhabi and Dubai Frequently Asked Questions

We have answers to some of the most popular frequently asked questions about driving in Dubai as a tourist, as well as Abu Dhabi!

Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist 40

Is it safe for tourists to drive in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Yes! Driving as a tourist in Dubai and Abu Dhabi isn’t less safe than driving virtually anywhere else in the world, it just takes some getting used to. First, both cities have strict traffic laws that must be followed at all times. This includes the use of seat belts, not using cellphones while driving, and adhering to speed limits. Additionally, drivers must have a valid international driver’s license or local UAE license in order to operate a vehicle.
It is also important to note that Dubai and Abu Dhabi have high rates of traffic accidents, so it is crucial to exercise caution while on the roads. In addition, road conditions can vary greatly and sudden sandstorms are not unusual in these desert cities.
Overall, while driving may be an efficient way to get around in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is always wise to exercise caution and familiarize yourself with local laws and road conditions before hitting the roads.

Can I drive in Dubai with an American license?

Driving in Dubai with an American license is possible, as long as it is valid. However, it is important to note that some car rental companies may not allow renters to use only their American license. It is strongly recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit before traveling to Dubai.
The easiest way to get an IDP in the USA is through your local AAA.
Additionally, traffic laws and road rules in Dubai are slightly different than those in the United States (and generally have stricter enforcement), so it is important for visitors to familiarize themselves with these regulations before driving.

Can I drive in Dubai with a UK license?

It is possible to drive in Dubai with a valid UK license, as the UAE recognizes international driving permits. However, it is important to note that motorists must be at least 21 years old and should have had their license for a minimum of 1 year in order to rent a car. 
It is required to obtain an International Driving Permit in addition to your UK license before traveling to Dubai. This can easily be obtained through the AA or RAC in the UK.
Be sure to heed all traffic laws and rules of the road in the UAE, as enforcement is strict.

Do I need an International Driving License for Dubai UAE?

While not every rental car agency will require you to have an IDP to rent a car, we have heard some wild rumours of obscene fines for drivers not having one and getting pulled over. This question is a subject of much contention, although on the UK official travel site, it is stated that you need an IDP for driving in the UAE. In addition to an IDP, it is important to note that the license must be valid in the country of issue, and must correspond to the type of vehicle being driven (i.e. a motorcycle license will not suffice for driving a car).
It is also important to keep in mind that visitors and tourists are only able to drive vehicles rented under their own name. Driving a privately owned or company-owned vehicle requires obtaining a temporary local license.
Overall, while there may not always be a strict enforcement of the international driving license requirement in Dubai, it is highly recommended to obtain one for peace of mind in avoiding any potential issues or fines during your stay. Better safe than sorry!

Do they drive on the left or right in Dubai?

Despite the United Arab Emirates’ historical ties with the UK, Dubai follows a right hand drive system with the steering wheel on the left of the car. 
Overall, drivers in Dubai should be aware and cautious of both right and left hand drive vehicles on the road.  It is also worth mentioning that traffic can be heavy in certain areas, especially during rush hour. Following all local laws and driving safely are crucial for a smooth experience on Dubai’s roads.

Can women drive in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, women are allowed to drive just like men. In fact, Emirati women have been able to obtain driver’s licenses since the 1970s.  However, there are still some restrictions in place for women living in the UAE.  For example, they must have a local sponsor (typically their husband or father) who can vouch for them and give permission before they can apply for a license.
Overall, women in Dubai and Abu Dhabi enjoy equal rights when it comes to driving and owning cars. The UAE has made efforts to promote gender equality, including appointing female ministers and ambassadors and implementing laws against workplace discrimination. Nevertheless, there may still be cultural barriers and prejudice that foreign women may encounter when driving in the UAE. It is important to respect local customs and dress modestly while operating a vehicle.  Ultimately, it is advised for foreign women to exercise caution and research the regulations before driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Is it safe to drive at Night in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist 41

Driving at night in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be generally safe, as long as drivers exercise caution and adhere to traffic laws. However, there are some important precautions to keep in mind.
Firstly, it is important to make sure that all car lights are functioning properly and are turned on during the night time hours. Additionally, the roads can become particularly busy during peak times such as Fridays and holidays, so it is crucial to pay attention to other cars on the road and maintain a safe distance between vehicles.
It is also important to avoid any distractions while driving at night, such as using a cell phone or adjusting music or GPS devices. Additionally, it may be safer to avoid driving alone at night, especially for women or expatriates who may not be familiar with the roads.
Overall, as long as drivers exercise caution and adhere to traffic laws, driving at night in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can be safe. However, it is always important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions for a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

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Are You Ready to Go Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi?

Now that you know all there is to know about driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, what are you waiting for? Go out and explore all that these amazing cities have to offer! But keep our tips in mind so that you don’t get into any trouble while behind the wheel. Have you driven in the UAE before? What did you think of the experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Review: Shangri-La Dubai Hotel Epic Views

The Shangri-La Dubai is one of the most well-known hotels in Dubai thanks to it’s amazing central location and even more impressive view. You may not have heard about the Shangri-La Dubai hotel before, but you’ve surely seen a photo from its famous Level 42 outdoor terrace.

We spent 3 days here and put together this Shangri-La Dubai review, to help you decide where to stay on your next visit to Dubai!

Dubai Downtown and street network view at night from Shangri-La hotel

Looking for more information on Dubai?

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Tips for Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a Tourist

Best Area to Stay in Dubai

The Perfect Dubai Itinerary for 2 Days

Disclaimer:  Our stay at the Shangri-La Dubai was complimentary. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and as always, all our opinions on this Shangri-La Dubai hotel review are our own. Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement. Thank you for supporting the businesses that support us!

Shangri-La Dubai Location

The Shangri-La Dubai is located in a very central area of Dubai, on the main thoroughfare, Sheikh Zayed Road.  This is located an easy 15-minute drive from Dubai International Airport. This area is perfectly located as a base for exploring Dubai, just 10 minutes from Downtown Dubai, which includes the famous Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, and Dubai Mall.

The Shangri-La Dubai does not provide shuttle service from the airport. You can book a transfer to your hotel from as a private airport transfer.

Taxis are readily available at Dubai airport, and cost around 150 AED ($40 USD) for the 15 minute drive. Uber and Careem are the popular ride-sharing apps in Dubai, and both offer good services for similar prices. Depending on your destination, it might be better to open the apps and compare costs.

Couple sitting on the ledge of the 42nd floor at the Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the background at sunset

Shangri-La Dubai Arrival

When you arrive at the Shangri-La Dubai, you will first be greeted by the bellman at the short curved driveway at the street level in front of the hotel. Note that if you arriving by taxi or a rideshare, you will arrive at this entrance, however if you are driving yourself, take the driveway on the right immediately after the hotel and drive around the back to find the valet.

The rear entrance is where you will leave your car with the valet for complimentary parking and the bellman will take your luggage. The lobby is easily accessed through glass doors.

The lobby is large, with lots of marble finishings and ceilings that are multiple floors high. The concierge and check-in desk is located on the left, where staff will help you with the check-in process and explain all of the features of the hotel.

Get Out and Explore with the Best Abu Dhabi Safari Tours

Marble Lobby at Shangri-La hotel in Dubai

Shangri-La Dubai Rooms

The Shangri-La Dubai is a 302-room hotel, with all rooms located throughout the upper floors of the tower. The rooms in the hotel are fairly similar, with the main distinction being what view you have. There is the option of a Deluxe Sea View, Deluxe Burj Khalifa View, or what they call the Picture Perfect Room, which has corner windows facing the iconic Burj Khalifa.

During our time at Shangri-La Dubai, we stayed in a Picture Perfect Room located on the 37th floor, which is one of the highest floors. The room was nicely appointed, with a lot of unique touches. As you enter the room you will find the bathroom just past the door.

It is not overly large, but has everything you need, including a marble rainfall shower, large soaking tub, and the small size is made up for with the large bedroom area. Further in, the room expands to reveal substantial storage areas, a comfortable king-size bed, desk area, and finally a cozy sitting area with floor to ceiling windows that feature the Burj Khalifa as a backdrop.

Couple in bed having coffee and reading a magazine with a view of downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa.

Inside the room you will also find a kettle for tea and coffee as well as a stocked mini-bar and plenty of water that is replenished daily. One of the unique touches in the room that we loved were the custom Shangri-La Dubai coloring postcards that can be used for some spontaneous creativity, and then mailed home to a loved one.

Shangri-La Dubai Amenities

One of the great features of the Shangri-La Dubai is the complimentary valet parking, although this is a relatively common feature among many hotels in Dubai. The true stand-out feature of the Shangri-La is Dubai is the outdoor terrace and view from Level 42, not surprisingly on the 42nd floor. Here you can access a small outdoor terrace which has one of the most iconic Dubai views with the Burj Khalifa directly in front, and the sprawling Dubai highway system in the foreground.

On Level 42 there is an exclusive indoor pool area, but the real excitement is visiting the outdoor terrace, which is very popular with photographers day and night. If you would like to have a morning to remember, you can reserve an unforgettable terrace breakfast so that you can start you day with incredible views of the Burj Khalifa.

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On the fourth floor of the hotel you can find the Health Club which has a fully equipped gym, but also squash and tennis courts, and Chi, The Spa. Opposite the Health Club is an outdoor passageway to iKandy ultralounge and the outdoor pool that is situated on the roof of the parking garage. Here you also have a great view of the Burj Khalifa, and this is the perfect place to spend a morning, afternoon, evening, or even the whole day!

The Shangri-La Dubai offers a floating breakfast experience at the pool, as well as live entertainment and special events on weekends. This is one of the popular lounges in Dubai due to its great location, stunning views, and great vibes day and night.

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Can you Visit Shangri-La Dubai Level 42 Without Staying at the Hotel?

Yes! The Shangri-La Dubai offers the ability to visit Level 42 even if you are not staying at the hotel. The Shangri-La Dubai offers non-hotel guests the ability to visit the outdoor terrace at Level 42 by offering a 1 hour terrace package for two people for 250 AED ($68 USD). By itself, it is quite costly just for the view, however the cost of the package can also be applied towards any restaurant at the hotel! So you can go for lunch, dinner, or some drinks at one of the Shangri-La Dubais many restaurants, and if you spend more than 250 AED, you will have complimentary access to Level 42.

Couple having breakfast with burj khalifa view

Ikandy Ultralounge as the Best Dubai Dayclub for a Long Layover

If you find yourself with a long layover in Dubai of 8 hours or more, why not get out of the airport and have a relaxing time poolside at the Shangri-La Dubai? The ikandy ultralounge is open in the morning until late at night and offers poolside service for drinks and food. In addition, you have showers to freshen up after a long flight, and plenty of outdoor lounge chairs to enjoy the warm Dubai weather. The cost of a day pass is 150 AED ($40 USD).

Review: Shangri-La Dubai Hotel Epic Views 47


Not sure whether Dubai or Abu Dhabi is best?
 Check out our comparison Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi guide!

Shangri-La Dubai Dining

When you stay at the Shangri-La Dubai, you of course have the enormous number of international cuisine restaurants in Dubai, close at hand, however the hotel itself also has 6 different restaurants and bars.

For breakfast, a large buffet is available at Dunes Café, located on the ground floor on the right-hand side of the lobby. There is a large selection of items on offer, with a Mediterranean and Middle East section, hot Indian foods, hot Asian foods, and hot Western breakfast options. Additionally, there is a nice assortment of breads and pastries. If you are interested in ordering items off of the menu, or customized coffees, this can all be done with your server. We always love the diversity of food on offer at Dubai hotel breakfasts, and the Shangri-La Dubai did not disappoint.

For lunch, Dunes Café is an option, with a selection of international food options. In addition, you have the Shangri-La speciality restaurants such as Shang Palace, which features a large selection of Chinese dishes, including their signature dish, Peking Duck. Shang Palace also has a large Dim Sum offering, and is a pleasant place to enjoy many popular Chinese dishes for lunch.

For dinner, you can again choose Shang Palace, for an extensive selection, or try Hoi An, serving up Vietnamese specialties each evening. Both Shang Palace and Hoi An are located one level above the lobby level. We loved the fresh spring rolls and Pho soup, which can be enjoyed in smaller portions if you also want to try some other items on the menu.

Throughout the day, the both the Lobby Lounge and Balcony Bar are open for a quick bite or drinks. The Lobby Lounge specializes in cakes and sweets as well as their afternoon tea, whereas the Balcony Bar is where to go for a pre-dinner or after-dinner cocktail.

Not to be forgotten is the ikandy Ultralounge located at the outdoor pool. Ikandy is open from the morning until late into the evening for drinks and lighter bites poolside, or in the outdoor dining area near the pool.

In addition, room service is also available 24 hours a day when hunger strikes at that late night hour, or you prefer to stay in the comforts of your room.

Shangri-La Dubai Conclusion

Staying at the Shangri-La Dubai will be unforgettable if you make sure to spend some extra time on Level 42. This is the highlight of the hotel and what really makes it stand out from other hotels in Dubai. Overall the hotel offers a nice exotic selection of restaurants, and friendly service, on top of a great location amongst sprawling Dubai neighborhoods. We recommend selecting one of the rooms with a view or the Burj Khalifa, which is a wonder to stare at day or night.

Girl in Red Dress on Rooftop on the 42nd Level at the Shangri-La

Check availability at the Shangri-La Dubai  for your vacation!

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Review: Shangri-La Dubai Hotel Epic Views 51

Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots

Dubai is a one-of-a-kind city in the United Arab Emirates that looks like a town from the future. This bustling desert oasis is a major hub for financial businesses, incredible shopping, and some of the best dining, architecture, and adventures in the world. Not only is Dubai home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, but it also holds other world records like the worlds deepest pool and the largest inflatable aqua park!

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There’s no shortage of things to see and do in Dubai, and the city is also home to plenty of Instagrammable places. You can find everything from traditional Arabic architecture to some of the most interesting buildings and structures in the world throughout Dubai. Around every corner in Dubai is a new and unique photo opportunity that makes this city a dream for photographers, regardless of your experience level and what gear you’re shooting with. This guide to the Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots highlights all the best spots where you can snap legendary photos.

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the Most Instagrammable Places in Dubai are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Map of Best Dubai Instagram Spots  

Dubai is a large city and on a map, it looks deceivingly small. Each neighborhood in Dubai has beautiful Instagram spots but getting to and from each of these areas can be a bit time consuming. We put together a map with all the 30 Instagram spots in Dubai to make it easier for you to plan your Dubai itinerary and make sure you can capture as many beautiful photos as possible.

Staying Longer? Check out the Most Instagrammable Places in Abu Dhabi on the same trip!

How to Get Around Dubai

There are several ways to get around Dubai including the Metro, taxis / Uber or renting a car. Which option is the best for you depends on your travel style and on how many different areas you would like to explore in Dubai.

The Metro is a quick and efficient way to get around Dubai, and it’s also very affordable. There are two lines that cover most of the city, and they’re easy to use. However, the Metro only connects the main areas in Dubai and some places might be difficult to reach with public transportation. Make sure to buy a ticket before you get on the train, as tickets are not sold at the station.

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A better option for getting around and visiting more remote places is taking a taxi or Uber / Careem. Taxis are plentiful in Dubai, and they’re usually reasonably priced. If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to agree on a price with the driver before you get in the car. Alternatively, Uber and Careem are very popular ride sharing apps which are commonly used in Dubai.

If you are staying in Dubai for an extended period of time and also want to some trips from Dubai, such as a weekend in Abu Dhabi, we recommend renting a car. Driving in Dubai is relatively straight easy but the road signs can be a little confusing and might take some time to get used to. Be aware that traffic can be heavy, and parking can be difficult to find.

Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots

From historic buildings with traditional architecture to modern wonders, this list of the Top 30 Dubai Instagram spots has a great variety of locations no matter what you hope to photograph. We’ve highlighted all the best Dubai photo spots so you can make the most of your time in the city and capture some amazing photos to level up your Instagram!

Sky Views Observatory

First up is an adrenaline-pumping Dubai experience called Sky Views Observatory. Sky Views Observatory offers incredible views of the Burj Khalifa and allows visitors to try thrilling activities like taking a ride on a glass slide and going on an Edge Walk over the city of Dubai. The 360-degree views from the Sky Views Observatory are some of the best in the entire city and make the whole experience worthwhile.

Even if you’re not much of a thrill-seeker, we promise this spot is worth a visit to get a new perspective on Dubai as you see it from above. This Dubai photo spot is one of the coolest experiences you’ll find in the city, so don’t skip it! 

Location: Sky Views Observatory

Best Time for Photos: We recommend planning your visit right at opening.

Cost: General admission to the Observatory, which includes a ride on the Glass Slide, is AED 85 for adults ($23 USD) and AED 70 for kids 4-12 ($19 USD). If you want to do the Edge Walk, tickets are AED ($137 USD) and include tickets to the Observatory and a one-time ride on the Glass Slide.

Tips: Bring a polarizing filter for your camera to help minimize glass reflections.

Shangri-La 42nd Level

The Shangri-La Dubai is a luxury hotel that ranks as one of the best Instagram spots in Dubai thanks to its jaw-dropping views on the 42nd floor. The 42nd level is open to all hotel guests (unless there’s a private event going on), but there are also two other ways to visit this spot if you aren’t staying at the hotel.

The first is to book a private breakfast where you’ll have the entire terrace on the 42nd level to yourself. This is an amazing experience but can cost between AED 4,000 to 5,000 ($1,090 to $1,360 USD).

Another option is to purchase an AED 250 ($68 USD) package that gives two people access to the 42nd level for one hour. The cost of the package is also applied toward any restaurant in the hotel. Note that this option cannot be reserved in advance, and the hotel does have the right to reserve how many people can access the 42nd level.  

Location: Shangri-La Dubai

Best Time for Photos: Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take photos for gorgeous natural light.

Tips: This Dubai photo spot has excellent views of the Burj Khalifa, but make sure to check out Dubai’s crazy road system from above while you’re there, too!

Not sure how to caption your new photos? We have over 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes!

Ikandy Ultralounge

Next on our list of top Dubai Instagrammable places is Ikandy Ultralounge, located inside the Shangri-La hotel. This rooftop lounge is a great hangout spot complete with a pool, delicious food, live music, and direct views of the Burj Khalifa. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a true urban oasis when you pay a visit to Ikandy Ultralounge!

The lounge is definitely a top Dubai nightlife spot but we love spending the day there as well. One of the coolest experiences they offer is a floating breakfast where food is delivered to you in the pool atop a floating tray. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a slow start to the morning while snacking on delicious food and taking in views of the Burj Khalifa – what’s better than that?       

Location: Ikandy Ultralounge

Cost: You can visit the IKandy Ultralounge if you are a guest of the Shangri-La Dubai Hotel, or you can purchase a day pass to enjoy the lounge. Daypasses start at AED 150 ($40 USD).

Best Time for Photos: Visit right at opening to avoid crowds.

Tips: Ikandy Ultralounge serves a delicious poolside brunch – sign us up!

Wings of Mexico Statue

The Wings of Mexico Statue is one of the best Dubai photo spots to capture amazing views of the Burj Khalifa in the background. This large wing sculpture was designed by Mexican artist Jorge Marin, who wanted the sculpture to represent the feeling of being completely free and secure in your individuality. We love the message behind the Wings of Mexico Statue and the fact that this piece of art is so beautiful both in person and in photos!

Personal photography is allowed here but to shoot professionally, you would need a permit. Keep in mind if you are wearing an over-the-top or extravagant outfit while taking photos, guards might approach you to ask for a photography permit.

Location: Wings of Mexico Statue

Best Time for Photos: We recommend visiting early in the morning to avoid crowds because there are usually long lines to take photos.

Tips: Bring your wide-angle lens or use 0.5x on your phone to capture the entire Burj Khalifa in the background!

Fountain at Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is home to several of the best Dubai Instagram spots, including the fountain which holds the distinction of world’s largest synchronized fountain show! The fountain at Dubai Mall is crazy big and puts other famous fountain shows in places like Las Vegas to shame.

Located in the heart of downtown Dubai, the fountain at Dubai Mall is an unforgettable experience that anyone visiting Dubai should take the time to see. There are also amazing views of the Burj Khalifa at this spot, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Fountain shows take place every 30 minutes from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day of the week, so make sure to block off some time during your trip to Dubai to attend one of the shows – we can promise you won’t regret it. 

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Location: Fountain at Dubai Mall

Best Time for Photos: Make sure to time your visit during the fountains show times.

Tips: Get to the fountain early to secure your spot for the show so you can get the best views!

Dubai Mall Waterfall

One of our favorite Dubai Instagrammable places is the waterfall inside the Dubai Mall. This waterfall is sometimes referred to as the Human Waterfall because it features statues of divers that appear to be falling down the water feature. Interestingly, if you stare at one of these statues for about 30 seconds the flowing water in the background will give the illusion that the divers themselves are moving down while the water moves up!

The human-like statues in this sculpture actually represent pearl divers, paying homage to a unique slice of the city’s rich history. Pearl-diving has been a long tradition in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates and was one of the main industries that helped build the city up to what it is today.  

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Location: Dubai Mall Waterfall

Best Time for Photos: Visit in the morning as the mall gets busy around and after lunchtime.

Tips: Don’t forget your wide-angle lens to capture all 24 meters of the waterfall.

Burj Park by Emaar

Next up on this list of the best Instagram spots in Dubai is Burj Park by Emaar. This public park is located in downtown Dubai and features beautiful dandelion sculptures. You’ll be surrounded by towering skyscrapers as you walk through this city park, but the area offers a sense of peace and quiet that’s otherwise hard to find in such a booming city. Burj Park is a true urban oasis where you can relax and unwind from the hustle and bustle of Dubai without having to travel outside the city.  

Location: Burj Park by Emaar

Best Time for Photos: You can visit this Dubai Instagram spot any time of day and take great photos.

Tips: This is another photo spot you’ll want your wide-angle lens for.

Palace Downtown Pond

Palace Downtown, a five-star Dubai hotel, is home to a gorgeous pond that’s one of the most iconic and best Dubai photo spots. The pond is lined with palm trees and offers incredible views of the Burj Khalifa that are hard to beat. One of the coolest features of the Palace Downtown pond is a walkway that goes through the center that provides the perfect dramatic photo opportunity!

We recommend dressing up in something very flowy to add some extra flair to your photos as you strut down the walkway.

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Location: Palace Downtown Pond

Best Time for Photos: Make sure to visit in the morning before the afternoon crowds begin to gather.

Tips: You need a permit to shoot professional photos here, so be aware of what camera gear you bring and what you wear (extravagant outfits might tip off the guards to ask for a permit).

Swing at CE LA VI

CE LA VI is an upscale rooftop restaurant that features a stunning flower-covered swing with views of the Burj Khalifa. This Dubai Instagram spot can be found on the 54th floor of the Address Skyview Hotel, a luxury hotel in the heart of downtown Dubai. The swing is a well-known place to take photos in Dubai and it’s easy to see why!

Influencers and tourists like flock to this beautiful photo spot to capture some whimsical shots of the flower-covered swing with the contrast of the Burj Khalifa in the background. You can get really creative at this Dubai Instagram spot which is all part of the fun, and don’t forget to dress up in something gorgeous and flowy to really add some oomph to your swing photos.    

Location: CE LA VI

Best Time for Photos: There’s no bad time to take photos of the swing at CE LA VI.

Tips: CE LA VI serves an amazing brunch with lots of vegetarian and vegan options!

Infinity Pool at Address Sky View

The infinity pool at Address Sky View is our next recommendation for one of the top Dubai Instagrammable places. Address Sky View is an upscale hotel that features one of the most popular photo spots in Dubai, an infinity pool located on the hotel’s Sky Deck. You’ll seriously feel like you’re swimming on the edge of the world as you float around this insane infinity poo. The only downside to this spot is you can only access it if you’re staying as a hotel guest, but we promise it’s worth it to stay even just one night!

Location: Address Sky View

Best Time for Photos: Any time during the day is great to take photos of the infinity pool at Address Sky View.

Tips: We recommend visiting around sunrise for beautiful photos with barely any crowds.

Burj Khalifa Observatory – At The Top

Of course, a list of the best Instagram spots in Dubai would be incomplete without the Burj Khalifa! The Burj Khalifa officially became the tallest building in the world when it was inaugurated in 2010, and this insane piece of architecture rises over 2,700 feet (823 m) into the air. The 125th floor of the Burk Khalifa towers almost 1,500 feet (457 m) into the sky and offers 360-degree views of the Dubai skyline. The views here are absolutely mind-boggling and you’re guaranteed to capture some amazing photos. Plus, it’s incredible to say that you’ve been inside the world’s tallest building!

Location: Burj Khalifa Observatory – At The Top

Cost: Tickets for the Burj Khalifa – At The Top experience start at 169 AED ($46 USD) for general admission, however there are also multiple ticket packages available which combine different experiences for discounts and savings, such as also seeing the 148th floor!

Best Time for Photos: Plan your visit early in the morning at opening to avoid crowds.

Tips: For an extra special experience, book the Burj Khalifa At The Top Level 124 Sunrise with Morning Treats at The Café (available weekends only) to watch the sunrise!

Dubai Creek Harbor  

After reaching new heights in the Burj Khalifa, it’s time to head back down to sea level and visit Dubai Creek Harbor. This charming area is one of the best Dubai photo spots because it offers amazing views of the city skyline. There are a few Instagrammable places to be found in Dubai Creek Harbor, including a large flamingo statue and an illuminated lighthouse.

This is the perfect spot to wander around during the late afternoon or evening when the sun is beginning to set and everything is peaceful. The waterfront views at Dubai Creek Harbor are spectacular around sunset when the sky is full of dramatic colors.

Location: Dubai Creek Harbor

Best Time for Photos: Sunset is a beautiful time to take photos at this Dubai Instagram spot.

Tips: Use a zoom lens when taking photos to bring the skyline in the background closer to the forefront.

Al Jadaf Walk

Al Jadaf Walk is a beautiful park with unobstructed views of downtown Dubai that ranks as one of our favorite Dubai Instagram spots. This public area is perfect for walking or running, especially around sunset when the sky is painted with pink, purple, and orange tones. From Al Jadaf Walk you’ll even be able to watch the sun go down behind the Burj Khalifa which is a once in a lifetime experience! Another pro of this photo spot is it gives visitors plenty of space to spread out so you won’t have to worry too much about other people getting in the background of your photos.

Location: Al Jadaf

Best Time for Photos: Any time of day is good to take photos at Al Jadaf, but sunset is especially stunning.

Tips: There’s plenty to explore at Al Jadaf Walk so take your time visiting this Dubai Instagram spot.  

Dubai Half Desert Road

Dubai Half Desert Road is one of the most interesting and unique locations on this list of Dubai Instagrammable places. Half Desert Road is an abandoned road system located a few miles outside the city center. This spot is truly a photographer’s dream because the road is partially covered by sandy dunes, creating an almost dystopian or post-apocalyptic vibe.

A lot of photographers will edit in the Dubai skyline to add some extra drama, but in reality, the skyline isn’t visible from this location. Visiting this photo spot will make you feel as though you’ve stepped on the set of a movie, and you’re sure to capture plenty of Instagram-worthy photos here!

Location: Dubai Half Desert Road

Best Time for Photos: There’s no bad time to photograph Dubai Half Desert Road, but sunset provides the best natural light.

Tips: This road looks super cool from the road but drone usage is heavily restricted in Dubai, so use the Insta360 X3 camera with the 3 meter selfie to get a drone-like photo minus the drone!

Arabian Tea House

Arabian Tea House is one of the best Dubai photo spots if you love picturesque restaurants that serve amazing food and drinks! This authentic Arabic restaurant is the perfect place to experience local culture while sampling some traditional food and tea.

We love all the ornate details and traditional Arabic touches that have been incorporated into the café’s design and décor. Arabian Tea House is super charming and a great place to snap photos while you rest your feet and enjoy a delicious lunch.

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Location: Arabian Tea House

Best Time for Photos: Any time of day is great for taking photos at this Dubai Instagram spot.

Tips: Arabian Tea House serves over 150 types of tea!

Al Seef Starbucks

Before you judge us for including a Starbucks on this list of the best Instagram spots in Dubai, hear us out! The Al Seef Starbucks is one of the most unique and beautiful Starbucks locations in the world because of its incredible décor and architecture.

Located in the Al Seef shopping and dining center, this Starbucks features traditional Arabic décor and architecture that pair excellent with a fresh cup of coffee. You’ll probably forget you’re at a Starbucks because of how insane the design of this location is and how well it fits into the surround architecture. 

Location: Al Seef Starbucks

Best Time for Photos: Morning and early afternoon are the best times to visit because there will be fewer crowds.

Tips: Note the menu here is pretty standard when it comes to Starbucks, so there are better places in town if you want more unique or traditional drink offerings.

Al Bastakiya

One of the best Dubai photo spots is Al Bastakiya, a historic neighborhood built in the 1890s. This neighborhood has tons of charming streets and walkways and some incredible examples of traditional Arabic architecture. From small cafes and shops to gorgeous homes and businesses, there’s plenty to discover as you explore the streets of Al Bastakiya, making it a paradise for photographers.

Al Bastakiya is a great place to wander around and snap photos if you want a lowkey morning or afternoon activity.

Location: Al Bastakiya

Best Time for Photos: Try to visit in the morning or early afternoon when things are still quiet.

Tips: Given its small size, it’s super easy to explore all the small side streets in this charming neighborhood.

Al Fahidi Fort

Al Fahidi Fort holds the distinction of being Dubai’s oldest building, having been built in 1787. The fort was built to protect important buildings in the city, like the palace and prison, and was outfitted with guard towers and canons for defense.

Al Fahidi Fort was converted into a museum in the 1970s and has become an amazing place to learn about local Dubai history. The museum at Al Fahidi Fort covers everything from the discovery of oil in the UAE to the city’s tradition of pearl diving. It’s amazing to walk through Al Fahidi Fort and think about what it was like during the 1800s! 

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Location: Al Fahidi Fort

Cost: The entrance fee is AED 3 for adults ($1 USD) and AED 1 ($0.30 USD) for kids.

Best Time for Photos: We recommend visiting this Dubai photo spot early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Tips: Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the museum, which is full of artifacts and information.

Miracle Garden

Our next recommendation for one of the best Dubai Instagrammable places is Miracle Garden, a massive botanical garden with millions of flowers. This seasonal garden is stunning when everything is in bloom and also features unique statues and exhibits like a full-size Airbus A380 plane covered in flowers!

There’s no shortage of incredible photo spots in Miracle Garden, and you could truly spend hours exploring all the walking paths and exhibits. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fantasy world when you walk through the gates of Dubai Miracle Garden!

Location: Miracle Garden

Cost: The entrance fee to visit the Dubai is AED 75 ($20 USD). It can get very busy here, especially on weekends, so we would suggest the Skip the Line ticket to ensure you are one of the first to see the beautiful gardens in the morning.

Best Time for Photos: Visit right at opening to avoid crowds, however if you are unable to visit at opening, during the week closer to closing time is also a time of lower crowds.

Tips: Miracle Garden is closed between the months of April and October due to extreme heat.

Jumeirah Beach with Burj Al Arab

Jumeirah Beach is one of the best Instagram spots in Dubai to take photos of Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel with iconic modern architecture. The beach itself is pristine with plenty of space to lay out and enjoy the beautiful waterfront views. The main appeal of this photo spot is definitely the Burj Al Arab views, though!

The unique design of Burj Al Arab almost makes it look like a giant sailboat floating in the water. The views of this incredible structure from Jumeirah Beach are completely unobstructed and incredible to experience in person.  

Location: Jumeirah Beach

Best Time for Photos: Any time of day, but sunset is especially beautiful at this Dubai photo spot.

Tips: Jumeirah Beach is not open to the public, so you must be staying at a Jumeirah hotel to visit unless you go for dinner at Shimmers and request a beachfront table. The views from the Jumeria public beach to the north of the Burj Al Arab used to offer unobstructed views of the Burj Al Arab but since the construction of the Jumeirah Marsa Al Arab, the view has changed significantly.

Forever Rose Café

For one of the most unique Instagrammable places in Dubai, pay a visit to Forever Rose Café. This restaurant has a quirky 2D-themed interior that makes you feel as though you’ve stepped inside a painting. Everything is painted white with black trim to give the illusion of the entire restaurant being flat and two-dimensional, almost like a comic book.

The all black and white décor is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, and the food here is delicious as well, so make sure to come hungry.

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Location: Forever Rose Café

Best Time for Photos: Mornings are the least busy time but there’s no bad time to visit.

Tips: Forever Rose Café serves a lot of tasty, traditional Arabic breakfast dishes.

Atlantis, The Palm

Atlantis The Palm is an iconic hotel that doubles as one of the best Dubai photo spots. This stunning and massive hotel is styled after the mythical city of Atlantis and located at the far edge of the Palm Islands. The Palm Islands are a unique area consisting of three manmade islands constructed in the shape of a palm leaf.

It’s hard to put into words just how big the Atlantis, The Palm hotel is until you see it for yourself in person. The impressive size and design make this unique structure a must-visit Instagram spot in Dubai.  

Location: Atlantis, The Palm

How to Get There: The easiest way is to take the monorail and get off at the Pointe.

Best Time for Photos: Visit around sunrise or sunset for dramatic colors.

Tips: There are plenty of places that offer amazing views of Atlantis, The Palm, but one of the best is from The Pointe, a waterfront shopping and dining area.

The View at the Palm

For more incredible views of The Palm, consider visiting The View, a scenic observatory. Located on the 52nd level of the Palm Tower, this observation area has completely unobstructed views of The Palm and the entire city of Dubai. Seeing The Palm from above is the perfect way to capture photos of the islands’ eye-catching and iconic design. The View at the Palm is a really fun experience that photographers are sure to love, so we definitely recommend reserving some time to visit!

Location: The View at the Palm

Cost: General admission is AED 100 for adults ($27 USD) and AED 69 for kids ($19 USD) during non-prime hours which are 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM and 6:30 PM to closing. General admission during prime hours (3:30 PM to 6:00 PM) is AED 158 for adults ($43 USD) and AED 111 ($30 USD) for kids.

Best Time for Photos: The best light is around sunrise and sunset when there are dramatic colors in the sky.

The Lost Chambers Aquarium

Continuing with the Atlantis theme is Lost Chambers Aquarium, the next location on this guide to the best Instagrammable places in Dubai. The Lost Chambers Aquarium is a fully-immersive themed aquarium where you can learn about a wide variety of marine life.

This aquarium is one of the biggest in the world with over 20 exhibits and lots of unique experiences like marine animal feedings and tank diving. With tens of thousands of sea creatures and the opportunity to go on an underwater walk through an area called Ambassador Lagoon, Lost Chambers Aquarium is an unforgettable destination.

Location: The Lost Chambers Aquarium

Cost: The entrance fee for the aquarium starts at AED 135 ($37 USD) for adults and AED 95 ($26 USD) for children. Tickets can be purchased in advance to save time upon your arrival.

Best Time for Photos: Any time of day is great to visit this Dubai Instagram spot!

Tips: If you don’t have time to visit the aquarium you can still see some marine life by accessing the Atlantis Hotel lobby where there are several large glass windows that look into one of the aquarium exhibits.

Iranian Mosque – Imam Hussein Mosque

Dubai’s Iranian Mosque (also known as Imam Hussein Mosque) is an amazing place to take photos thanks to its unique exterior. The architecture of the Iranian Mosque features Persian influences like a large dome covered in gorgeous blue tiles.

The mosque also offers tours so non-Muslins can tour the inside of the mosque and learn more about its significance. Taking a tour of Dubai’s Iranian Mosque offers the incredible opportunity to see a whole other side to the city that most tourists don’t get to experience.   

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Location: Iranian Mosque

Hours: Visitors can access the mosque daily from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM and 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

Best Time for Photos: There’s no bad time to visit the Iranian Mosque.

Tips: The dress code here is very strict – no one is allowed to wear shorts or short skirts, and women must cover their hair.

Meydan Bridge

Meydan Bridge is one of the most well-known and best Instagram spots in Dubai. This modern bridge has very interesting architecture and incredible views of the city skyline. With its eye-catching wavy architecture, Meydan Bridge is a top Dubai photo spot for photographers who want some epic shots. The bridge especially shines at night when it’s completely illuminated, giving it a futuristic appearance that looks straight out of a science fiction movie.  

Location: Meydan Bridge

Best Time for Photos: Any time, but the bridge looks especially cool at night with all the lights on.

Tips: This bridge is a hotspot for photographers, especially during sunset and in the evening. If you want to capture photos alone here, prepare to be patient!

Dubai Souq

Dubai Souq, also known as Bur Dubai Souk Market and Old Dubai Souk, is a traditional market that sells textiles, jewelry, spices, décor, and more. A souq is a street market or bazaar typically found in Arabic countries where people gather to buy and sell goods.

Dubai Souq is one of our favorites in the city because of the variety of vendors and beautiful setting that transports visitors back in time. There are a number of souqs throughout Dubai, and they offer an amazing opportunity to experience local culture and pick up some authentic souvenirs.  

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Location: Dubai Souq

Best Time for Photos: The best time to visit it morning when there are fewer crowds.

Tips: Make sure to check with shop owners if they’re okay with you taking photos.

View of Downtown from Mercury Lounge

Mercury Lounge is one of the top Instagrammable places in Dubai thanks to its stunning views of downtown. The lounge is located atop the Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach and boasts impressive views of downtown Dubai and the financial district.

Mercury Lounge is only open in the evenings, so make sure to plan your visit for a night when you don’t mind staying up late. This is a bustling spot once the sun goes down, so dress up in something fun and get ready to dance the night away!

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Location: Mercury Lounge

Best Time for Photos: The lounge opens at 6:00 PM so sunset is a great time for photos.

Tips: Professional photography is not allowed in the restaurant itself but there is a tower next to the restaurant with incredible views.

Hot Air Balloon Ride in the Desert

Embarking on a hot air balloon ride in the desert is one of the most surreal experiences in Dubai that also offers endless photo opportunities. Seeing the Dubai desert from the sky while riding in a hot air balloon is truly incredible and hard to beat.

Hot air balloons are so much fun and provide the unique opportunity to see places from above in a more immersive experience than just flying in a plane or standing at the top of a building. If you’ve never taken a hot air balloon ride, Dubai is definitely the place to try it out.

Location: Balloon Adventures Dubai

Best Time for Photos: There’s no bad time to take photos of the desert from a hot air balloon!

Tips: We booked our ride through Balloon Adventures Dubai, but there are other companies in town as well.

Dubai Desert Safari and Camel Ride

Rounding out this list of the best Instagram spots in Dubai is a Dubai desert safari and camel ride. There’s nothing more quintessentially Arabic than venturing into the desert atop a camel, and we had an incredible time experiencing this side of the city during our visit. We were definitely surprised by how challenging it is to stay on a camel while it stands up or sits down so hold on tight!

There are several companies in Dubai that offer desert safari and camel rides, so make sure to do some research to find one that works best for you. We also recommend coming dressed in something comfortable but that will complement the desert background, so don’t be afraid to have some fun with your outfit.   

Location: Desert Safari Dubai

Best Time for Photos: Sunset is a gorgeous time to take photos on your desert safari.

Tips: Make sure to dress comfortable for your safari and camel ride!

Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots

There you have our picks for the top 30 Dubai Instagram spots! We hope this guide is a helpful resource as you plan your next (or first!) trip to the United Arab Emirates. Dubai is a city like no other and we’ve loved every minute of our time there, so we’re sure you will, too.

zWhether you’re a professional photographer looking for that perfect Dubai shot or a tourist wanting to take some incredible iPhone photos, it’s impossible to take bad photos of Dubai with this guide to help you out. If you need even more Dubai inspiration, check out our Dubai 2-Day Itinerary and our recommendations on the Best Areas to Stay in Dubai.

Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots
Top 30 Dubai Instagram Spots

Top 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes

Dubai is one of those larger-than-life cities you have to experience for yourself to truly appreciate. Home to the tallest building on the planet and some of the most luxurious shopping and nightlife in the world, Dubai is a city like no other. If you have the opportunity to experience this one-of-a-kind travel destination, you’re sure to leave with some showstopping Instagram photos.

Top 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes 101

The challenge of sharing your Dubai Instagram photos comes with creating a caption to match the unique grandeur of the city itself. We’ve curated this list of the Top 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes to make that daunting task more attainable than ever. Keep reading for all the best captions and quotes for your Dubai Instagram photos!

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Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the top Dubai Instagram captions and quotes are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Best Dubai Instagram Captions

To start off this list of the top Dubai Instagram captions, we’re highlighting some ideas that are sure to inspire. These captions are classic, fun and pair well with any photo of Dubai, whether focused on the glimmering city or the surrounding desert. 

  • Anyone who says “money can’t buy happiness” has never been to Dubai.
  • Relationship status: single but in love with this city.
  • You name it, Dubai has it. And if they don’t have it, they’re probably building it.
  • Dubai is calling my name and I must go.
  • Never leaving this concrete jungle.
  • All I need are palm trees and this slice of paradise.
  • Dubai, you have my heart.
  • Dubai is always the answer, regardless of the question.
  • Going to Dubai and never coming back.
  • I’m in a Dubai state of mind.
  • Dubai is always a good idea.
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Best Dubai Instagram Quotes

Using a Dubai Instagram quote is a great way to catch the attention of your followers and engage them with your content. We recommend using one of these quotes for your Dubai Instagram photos.

  • “Dubai, with all its glitz and glamour, rose in the heart of the desert.” -Soroosh Shahrivar
  • “Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.” -Dalai Lama
  • “I want Dubai to be a place where everybody from all over the world meets each other.” -Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
  • “Desert, in general, is a very good place to find yourself. Or lose yourself.” -Maynard James Keenan
  • “People often refer to Dubai as the Hong Kong of the Gulf, but it’s really more like Vegas!” -Tucker Carlson
  • “What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote.” -Edward Abbey
  • “We are living proof that when human beings have the courage and commitment to transform a dream into reality, there is nothing that can stop them. Dubai is a living example of that.” -Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
  • “Some beautiful paths cannot be discovered without getting lost.” -Erol Ozan
  • “Just like a caravan of camels walking in the desert, be durable against the adversaries of life and walk with decisive steps.” -Mehmet Murat Ildan
  • “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams!” -Oprah Winfrey
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Funny Dubai Captions for Instagram and Dubai Puns

Humor is one of the most powerful tools we have to connect with others, so don’t be afraid to get fun with your Dubai puns and captions for Instagram! 

  • Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy a plane ticket to Dubai.
  • I will never desert you, Dubai.
  • Dubai: been there, dune that.
  • What do I say to the haters? Du-bye!
  • In need of some Vitamin D(ubai).
  • The palaces here are a breath of fresh heir.
  • Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are sandy.
  • Talk to the sand!
  • Riding a camel isn’t that hard – once you get over the first hump, the rest is easy!
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Dubai Desert Captions for Instagram

Aside from the bustling city, Dubai is also known for being surrounded by the beautiful Arabian Desert. These Dubai desert captions for Instagram are the perfect complement to your desert photos.

  • Sky above, sand below, and peace within.
  • “A rose in the desert can only survive on its strength, not its beauty.” -Matshona Dhliwayo
  • Into the desert I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.
  • “The desert tells a different story every time one ventures into it.” -Robert Edison Fulton Jr.
  • Soaking up this desert sun.
  • “I love the desert and its incomparable sense of space.” -Robyn Davidson
  • Forever wandering where the Wifi is weak.
  • “You can’t fight the desert. You have to ride with it.” -Louis L’Amour
  • Keep calm and take a trip to the desert.
  • “But in the desert, in the pure clean atmosphere, in the silence – there you can find yourself.” -Father Dioscuros
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Best Burj Khalifa Captions for Instagram Dubai

One of the most popular attractions in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa, which is famous for being the tallest building in the world! The skyscraper opened in 2010 and has earned a reputation for being an amazing feat of architecture. Make sure to visit this incredible landmark and use one of these Burj Khalifa captions for Instagram to share your photos.

  • On top of the world…literally!
  • I’ve got my head in the clouds.
  • Don’t rush, great things take time.
  • From the earth to the sky.
  • This city has taught me the definition of thinking big.
  • How could you top this?
  • Getting high as the sky in Dubai!
  • Dubai will never settle for anything other than first place.
  • The views from the top are always breathtaking.
  • There’s something magically surreal about a skyscraper in the middle of the desert.
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Inspirational Dubai Instagram Captions

A trip to Dubai, and traveling in general, provides an excellent opportunity to get inspired. Just like the City of Gold is sure to inspire, so are these inspirational Dubai Instagram captions.

  • Dubai is the only place in the world where the sky isn’t the limit.
  • Some moments are golden.
  • The best view comes after the hardest climb.
  • Go where you feel most alive.
  • Take only memories and leave only footprints.
  • A daisy blooming in the desert is worth more than a rose blossoming in a rainforest.
  • If you don’t build your dream, someone else will hire you to build theirs.
  • Dubai isn’t a place, it’s a dream.
  • Nothing tastes as sweet as a sunset in Dubai.
  • Don’t be delicate – be vast and brilliant.
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Short Dubai Captions for Instagram

You don’t need to say a lot to leave a big impression. Keep things simple and straightforward with one of these short Dubai captions for Instagram.

  • Dubai is my kind of city.
  • Feeling fly in Dubai.
  • The jewel of the desert.
  • All you need is love and city skylines.
  • I have Dubai on my mind.
  • I love Dubai in every way.
  • Keep palm and carry on.
  • Wanderlust and city dust.
  • This is how we do it in Dubai.
  • I came, I saw, I fell in love with Dubai.

Short Dubai Quotes for Instagram

Using a short Dubai quote for your Instagram post is another easy way to help your Dubai photos pop, and these are some of our top recommendations. 

  • “There is so much to discover in Dubai!” -Mo Farah
  • “Oh, the places you’ll go!” -Dr. Seuss
  • “A desert is a place without expectation.” -Nadine Gordimer
  • “Live your life by a compass, not a clock.” -Stephen Covey
  • “Dubai’s a pretty powerful place!” -Solange Knowles
  • “Like water in the desert is wisdom to the soul.” -Edward Counsel
  • “We in the UAE have no such word as ‘impossible.’” -Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum
  • “Sunshine all the time makes a desert.” -Arab Proverb
  • “Dubai is a vibrant city: big cars, big buildings.” -John Rocha
  • “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” -Confucius
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One Word Dubai Instagram Captions

What word comes to mind when you think of Dubai? These are some of our favorite one-word Dubai Instagram captions that we think perfectly encapsulate this incredible city.

  • Dazzling
  • Desert
  • Travel
  • Sandy
  • Luxury
  • Unreal
  • Adventure
  • Sunshine
  • Golden
  • Vibrant

Two Word Dubai Instagram Captions

If you want to give yourself some more freedom to get creative, try using a two-word Dubai Instagram caption instead. 

  • Dubai livin’
  • Desert vibes
  • Loving life
  • Concrete jungle
  • Dubai skies
  • City lights
  • Dune rider
  • Forever wandering
  • Desert hearts
  • Always exploring

Three Word Dubai Instagram Captions

Let your Dubai photos do all the talking by pairing them with one of these three-word Dubai Instagram captions.

  • Larger than life
  • A desert jewel
  • Sun, sand, repeat
  • I love Dubai
  • Dubai is beautiful
  • Into the desert
  • Bright blue skies
  • Fun and sun
  • Riding these dunes
  • City of Gold
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Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes

It isn’t hard to capture some amazing photos when you take a trip to Dubai. All of Dubai and the surrounding desert is incredibly picturesque, and the city truly feels like a desert oasis. While taking beautiful photos of Dubai is easy, the tricky part is figuring out how to perfectly caption them for Instagram.

We know how it feels to hit a creative roadblock which is exactly why we decided to put together this list of the Top 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes in the first place. Captioning your Dubai Instagram photos has never been easier, and you can find even more ideas in our guide to the 365 Best Travel Captions for Instagram. Let us know in the comments if we missed any of your favorite Dubai Instagram captions and quotes, and happy posting!

100+ Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes
Top 110 Dubai Instagram Captions and Quotes

The Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris

Abu Dhabi is a lovely city with plenty to see and do, and a must on any Abu Dhabi itinerary is to take a desert safari tour. Taking an Abu Dhabi desert safari is a truly bucket list-worthy adventure that any traveler would be thrilled to have. But, with the vast array of options from which to choose, the decision of which tour(s) to pick can be overwhelming! 

The first step you’ll need to take to start planning the adventure of a lifetime is to determine what it is you want to see or do on your Abu Dhabi desert safari. Do you want to ride camels? Go dune-bashing? Have a picnic beneath the starry skies of the Abu Dhabi desert? Catch a desert sunset? Take some stunning photographs? Thankfully, there is a tour to suit every need – and usually, Abu Dhabi desert safaris include more than one of these activities! 

The Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris 110

We’ve broken down a basic guide on how to choose the best Abu Dhabi desert safari, as well as some frequently asked questions that travelers generally have when they begin planning such an adventure. 

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Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on how to choose the best Abu Dhabi desert safari are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Options

These are our top picks for the different types of Desert safaris available as well as the best guided tours currently available. We’ve included a little bit of everything, so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs and interests.

The Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris 111
The Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris 112

Please note: Tours that involve dune-bashing may not be suitable for pregnant women or babies under three years of age depending on the tour. Be sure to double check with the tour operator before booking your tickets.

Abu Dhabi Sunrise Desert Safari

Are you an early riser who loves the fresh beginnings and new possibilities that appear every time the sun comes up? An Abu Dhabi sunrise desert safari tour is perfect for you. Sunrise desert safaris are also a great option if you don’t fare well in the heat and want to beat the midday sun (and the crowds!). Be sure to get a good night’s sleep the night before and hydrate well before bed!

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This Sunrise Abu Dhabi Desert Safari takes you on a morning adventure, complete with a visit to a camel farm, camel riding, dune-bashing, sand boarding, and more photo opportunities than you can count. The Al-Khatim desert is truly a sight to behold, particularly during the golden hours of early morning. 

Approximate Cost: Starting at $85 USD per person

Length of Tour: 4 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, cash for gratuities.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: This tour requires two things to take place – proper weather and a minimum number of travelers. In the event of inclement weather or the minimum group size is not met, you will be offered either an alternative date or a full refund. This tour is not recommended for people with mobility issues.

Abu Dhabi Half Day Desert Safari

A half day safari is perfect for those who either don’t want to get too much sun, or who have other things to do on their Abu Dhabi itinerary. You should know that, although many of the Abu Dhabi desert safari tours don’t market themselves as half-day tours, they usually aren’t longer than 6 hours regardless. Check the tour duration to be sure.

This half-day Abu Dhabi desert safari takes you on an epic adventure by 4×4 through the desert, culminating in a lovely desert BBQ. Vegetarian options are available upon request. 

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You can expect fun-filled activities such as dune-bashing, camel riding, a treat of fresh dates and Arabic coffee, henna tattoos, sand boarding, and a belly dance show! Seriously, we’re not sure you could pack any more activities into a 6 hour window!

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Approximate Cost: Starting at $79 USD per person

Length of Tour: 6 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, cash for gratuities.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Some of the activities may not be included in the price of the tour (such as quad bike). This tour is not recommended for people with mobility issues.

Abu Dhabi Evening Desert Safari

An evening desert safari in Abu Dhabi is the perfect cap to a day exploring Abu Dhabi. After you’re done exploring all of the sights, attractions, and best Instagram spots in Abu Dhabi, you can embark on a swoon-worthy Arabian adventure through the desert that ends with what is surely one of the most magnificent starry skies you’ve ever seen.

This evening Abu Dhabi desert safari is the perfect option after a busy day. You’ll leave the city mid-afternoon, taking your vehicle through the sand dunes of the desert before stopping at a camel farm where you can go for a short camel ride, perfect for photos during the sunset.

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Next, you’ll set off towards a traditional Arabic desert camp, where you’ll have the opportunity to try henna painting, belly dancing, sand skiing, and shisha, a traditional Arabic pipe. You’ll also be showered with traditional Bedouin sweets and coffees from the locals.

Finally, you’ll enjoy a scrumptious feast of traditional Arabic BBQ under a starlit sky, complete with entertainment. 

Approximate Cost: Starting at $68 USD per person

Length of Tour: 5 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, lightweight clothes, cash for gratuities.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: This tour is not suitable for wheelchair users or people with mobility limitations. 

Abu Dhabi Full Day Desert Safari

There are not too many full day Abu Dhabi desert safari tours available, but you can always opt for one that’s longer in duration than the others if you’re looking to spend more time in the desert. This is due to a couple of different reasons – at certain times of day, the sun in the desert can be too unbearable for those of us who aren’t accustomed to it. The desert sun is also very draining and exhausting, so a full day tour would likely be too much for the average tour participant. 

This full-day Abu Dhabi desert safari isn’t quite a full day at only 8 hours (2 hours longer than the standard tour). Still, you get to experience quite a bit more than if you opt for a 6 hour tour.

The day starts with a myriad of desert adventure activities. Enjoy the adrenaline rush you’ll undoubtedly feel with dune-bashing and sand boarding while traditional Bedouin entertainment plays in the background. 

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You also have the opportunity to experience henna painting, shisha, camel rides, and more.

The best part about this tour is that photography comes with the package! So you can select some of your favorite photos as souvenirs, all-inclusive. 

Finish the day with a buffet dinner, with both carnivorous and vegetarian options available. 

Approximate Cost: Starting at $70.75 USD per person

Length of Tour: 8 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sun hat, comfortable shoes, sunglasses, lightweight clothing, cash for gratuities. 

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: This tour is not wheelchair accessible. It is not suitable for people with back problems or heart conditions.

Abu Dhabi Overnight Desert Safari

If you ask us, we think this is the ultimate experience for your Abu Dhabi desert safari! Having the opportunity to spend the night in such an environment is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You get the best of both worlds with an overnight desert safari – the quiet before the sun rises in the morning, the beautiful starry sky at night, and everything in between. You also have the opportunity to check out any nocturnal desert critters that may come out at night! 

This overnight Abu Dhabi desert safari ticks all of the boxes. You get to enjoy all of the typical desert adventures that come along with an Abu Dhabi desert safari with the added bonus of sleeping under the stars in a desert camp. Enjoy extreme dune-bashing, camel riding and a visit to a camel farm, henna painting, shisha, a bonfire, with breakfast and dinner included. Quad bikes cost extra if you’d like to try those!

Approximate Cost: Starting at $149 USD per person

Length of Tour: 17 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, change of clothes, comfortable shoes, pajamas, cash for gratuities.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Certain forms of entertainment, such as alcoholic beverages or Tanoura dance shows, are not permitted during Islamic holidays as per the local law. This tour is not recommended for people with mobility issues.

Private Desert Safari Abu Dhabi

Though private tours are undoubtedly more costly, they can be a great option for those who are introverted and only want to have the desert safari experience with people with whom they are familiar. Sometimes, traveling can be exhausting and it can be equally as exhausting to make new friends! There’s no shame in wanting a special experience to be shared with just your loved ones. That’s what’s so great about these private tours!

This private Abu Dhabi desert safari tour is an excellent option to have a sacred morning in the desert with those you are closest with (and your expert guide, of course). You’ll get to enjoy the typical desert safari activities, such as sand skiing, camel riding, dune-bashing, photo shoot, and tea with dates. Lunch or breakfast is available upon request for an extra cost. You can also rent quad bikes if you wish!

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This private tour is surprisingly inexpensive, if you have 6 people to go with. If you have less than 6 people, the tour is more expensive per person.

Approximate Cost: Starting at $250 USD per group (up to 6 people)

Length of Tour: 4.5 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, cash for gratuities, comfortable shoes.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: This tour is not designed for people with mobility issues.

Looking for more luxury in Abu Dhabi? Check out the Venetian-inspired Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Resort!

City Tour & Desert Safari Abu Dhabi

If you want a full day planned without the hassle of having to work out the logistics on your own, a great option would be to take one of the combination city-desert safari tours that are offered. This is perfect for anyone who wants to sit back and relax while someone else does the planning.

This city tour & Abu Dhabi desert safari combo brings the best of both worlds. In addition to the desert safari experience, which includes virtually everything you can imagine that’s offered on desert safari tours, you’ll also have the opportunity to experience the best sights and attractions from Abu Dhabi, including the stunning Grand Sheikh Zayed Mosque. You’ll also get to visit Heritage Village for a little taste of traditional Bedouin culture, as well as both Yas Island and Saadiyat Island. Stop for photos at Emirates Palace, followed by a leisurely walk through the dates market.

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You’ll have time to rest at your accommodation before the desert portion of the tour, which may be the best part about this. It’s not often a tour allows you the chance to wash up and recharge midday!

In the desert, you’ll enjoy a 30-minute dune-bashing session, henna painting, shisha smoking, photo opportunities in traditional Arabic clothes (complete with a falcon!), sand boarding, camel riding, and an Arabic BBQ buffet (vegetarian options available).

Approximate Cost: Starting at $147 USD per person

Length of Tour: 10 hours

What to Bring: Sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, cash for gratuities.

Hotel Pick-up Available: Yes

Know Before You Go: Since you will be visiting the Mosque, you must be sure you’re dressed/covered appropriately. Women must cover their arms, legs, and heads in the Mosque (and no transparent clothing is permitted, even if it covers your limbs). This tour is not recommended for people with mobility issues.

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Frequently Asked Questions

Not sure what to expect on an Abu Dhabi desert safari? We have the answers you are looking for!

How Much Does a Desert Safari Cost in Abu Dhabi?

A desert safari is a great way to experience the beauty of the Arabian Desert. However, before you book a tour, it is important to know how much it will cost.

The price of a desert safari can vary depending on the company you book with and the length of the tour. However, most tours will cost between $50 and $100 USD per person. Expect to pay as little as $140 USD per person for an overnight Abu Dhabi desert safari.

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If you want to add extras such as camel riding or dune buggy rides, there may be additional fees, but usually these are included in the cost of a tour. Quad bikes are almost always an additional cost for any tour.

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When booking a desert safari, be sure to ask about any discounts or deals that may be available. You may be able to find a cheaper rate if you book in advance or during certain times of the year.

Which Desert is Better: Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

If you’re looking for a desert safari experience, both Abu Dhabi and Dubai offer great options. However, there are some key differences between them that may sway your decision.

Abu Dhabi’s desert for safaris is far more vast. This means that there’s plenty of space to explore, and you’re likely to see a wider variety of wildlife than you would in Dubai.

The climate in Abu Dhabi is also generally cooler than in Dubai, so it’s a good option if you’re looking to escape the heat. However, this does mean that sandstorms are more common in Abu Dhabi.

Find out which destination is best for you: Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi

Dubai, on the other hand, offers a more cosmopolitan desert safari experience. The downside of Dubai is that it can be quite crowded, and you may not have as much space to yourself as you would in Abu Dhabi.

You’ll be able to ride camels, go sandboarding, and experience the true beauty of the desert in both deserts.

So, which is better? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more cosmopolitan desert safari experience, go for Dubai. However, if you’re looking for a more authentic experience with plenty of space to explore with a milder climate, Abu Dhabi is the better option.

Where is the Abu Dhabi Desert?

Al-Khatim desert is the main location for Abu Dhabi desert safari tours. It covers an area of approximately 10,000 sq km (3,860 sq miles) and is one of the largest deserts in the country, located in the southeastern region. Oman sits to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south. 

The Al-Khatim Desert is home to a variety of plant and animal life, including reptiles, mammals, and birds. The desert has a variety of landscapes, including sand dunes, gravel plains, and salt flats. There are also some oasis areas where date palms and other vegetation grow.

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The desert has a hot, arid climate with very little rainfall. Temperatures can reach up to 50 C (122 F) in the midst of summer. Rainfall is very rare, averaging less than 50 millimeters (2 inches) per year.

The Al-Khatim Desert is an amazing place to visit and explore. With its unique landscape and wildlife, it is an experience that you will never forget.

How Far is the Desert from Abu Dhabi?

The Al Khatim desert is located approximately 100 km (62 miles) from Abu Dhabi. It takes approximately two hours to drive there.

What is Dune-Bashing?

Dune-bashing is a form of off-roading that involves driving over sand dunes. This activity is typically done in desert areas, where there are large expanses of sand dunes. Dune-bashing can be a fun and exciting way to explore the desert, but it is important to be aware of the dangers involved.

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Dune-bashing is a popular pastime in desert areas around the world. Though it can be dangerous, many people find the thrill of driving over sand dunes to be well worth the risk. If you’re considering trying dune-bashing, make sure to take all the necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Wear proper clothing and safety gear, and bring plenty of water and supplies (your guide will supply everything you need for a safe dune-bashing experience on your Abu Dhabi desert safari).

What is the Best Time for a Desert Safari?

There is no definitive answer to this question as the weather in Abu Dhabi can be quite variable and unpredictable. However, in general, the best time of year to go on a desert safari is from November to March. This is because the temperatures are cooler during this period and allow for more comfort during your Abu Dhabi desert safari. Remember to pack appropriate clothing for your safari, regardless of what time of year you go, particularly if you opt for an overnight safari.

Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Summary

Have you been on a desert safari in Abu Dhabi? What did you think? As you can see, there are plenty of different types to choose from if you haven’t had the experience yet! Whether you want to experience the desert overnight, enjoy an evening under the stars, or take in a beautiful sunrise, there’s a perfect safari for everyone.

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Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

So you’re trying to decide whether to take a vacation to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Both are great choices, as they are the two most popular vacation destinations in the United Arab Emirates. But when considering Abu Dhabi vs Dubai, which one is the better choice for your next trip?

To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of the major factors in each city that may sway your decision. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE and is known for its luxury hotels and resorts, as well as its cultural attractions. Dubai, on the other hand, is a more modern city with a vibrant nightlife and shopping scene. Let’s take a closer look at some of the highlights and differences between these two incredible cities.

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How to Get There – Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

Both cities have their own airports, though since they are not too far from one another, if you find a great flight deal, don’t be afraid to snatch it up even if you’re going to the other city!

Getting There – Abu Dhabi

There are a few ways to get from Abu Dhabi International Airport to the city. The most popular option is by taxi, which is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. You can also take the bus or rent a car, but these options may take longer.

If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to use a reputable company like Yellow Cab or Blue Diamond. It’s also a good idea to agree on a price with the driver before getting in the car.

The bus is another option for getting from the airport to the city. The fare is only a few dollars, but the ride will take longer than a taxi.

If you’re renting a car, be aware that driving in Abu Dhabi can be a challenge. Traffic can be heavy, and roads can be congested. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the city’s traffic laws before getting behind the wheel. That being said, Abu Dhabi attractions are quite spread out, so having a car to get between everything can be helpful, and our Driving in UAE Guide will have you ready to drive in no time.

Uber and Careem are the local ride share services, which are available but sometimes difficult to get a driver.

Distance from airport to city: 20 miles (32 km)

Distance from Dubai Airport: 72 miles (116 km)

Getting There – Dubai

There are a few different ways to get from Dubai International Airport to the city, depending on what your budget and preferences are. Note that there are actually two Dubai airports, DXB and DWC, so be sure to double check which airport you are arriving at. 

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Taxis are always available outside of the airport and can be hailed right off the street. They’re probably the most convenient option, but also the most expensive. Try to agree on a price with the driver before the trip begins if they do not have a meter, as not all taxis do.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, there are buses that run from the airport to various parts of the city. The downside is that they can be quite crowded and you’ll have to lug your bags around with you.

If you’re renting a car, most car rental companies have locations at the airport. This is a good option if you’re planning on doing a lot of driving while you’re in Dubai.

Finally, there are ride share services like Uber and Careem that you can use to get from the airport to your destination. These can be a bit cheaper than taxis, but sometimes it can be hard to find a driver when you land.

Distance from airport to city: 9 miles (15 km)

Distance from Abu Dhabi Airport: 93 miles (150 km)

How to Get Around Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

There’s no easy answer when it comes to figuring out whether Abu Dhabi or Dubai is easier to get around. It really depends on a number of factors, including your own personal preferences and needs. That said, we will take a closer look at both cities to see which one might be better suited for getting around.

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and is located on an island in the Persian Gulf. It covers an area of about 67 square miles (172 sq km). In comparison, Dubai is much larger, covering an area of nearly 2,000 square miles (5,200 sq km).

When it comes to population, Abu Dhabi is home to about 1.6 million people, while Dubai has a population of over 3 million. So, when it comes to population density, Abu Dhabi is much more densely populated than Dubai.

This can have an impact on how easy or difficult it is to get around each city. In general, the more densely populated a place is, the more challenging it can be to get around. This is because there are more people and vehicles competing for space on the roads and sidewalks.

So, if we take these factors into account, it would seem that Abu Dhabi might be the more difficult city to get around. However, there are a few other factors to consider.

For one, Abu Dhabi attractions are much more spread out than Dubai. This means that there are typically fewer people and vehicles concentrated in any given area. As a result, it can actually be easier to get around in Abu Dhabi, even though it is more densely populated overall.

Another factor to consider is the infrastructure of each city. Abu Dhabi has a well-developed bus system and plenty of taxis and private cars available for hire. In contrast, Dubai’s infrastructure is quite advanced with extensive buses, as well as a metro, tram, monorail, and even more taxis and private cards than Abu Dhabi.

Getting Around Abu Dhabi

There are plenty of ways to get around Abu Dhabi, whether you’re looking to explore the city or getting out into the desert. The city is a bit more pedestrian-friendly when comparing Abu Dhabi vs Dubai, making things a bit easier.

Renting a car is a great option if you want the freedom to explore at your own pace. There are plenty of car rental companies located throughout Abu Dhabi, so you’ll be able to find a great deal on a vehicle that suits your needs.

Abu Dhabi’s public transportation system is reliable and efficient, making it a great option for getting around the city. The bus network covers most of Abu Dhabi, and there are also a few tram lines that run through the city center. If you’re looking to travel outside of Abu Dhabi, there are also plenty of options for long-distance bus and train travel.

Taxis are a convenient option for getting around Abu Dhabi, and they can be found throughout the city. You can hail a taxi from the street, or you can call a taxi company to request a pick-up.

Getting Around Dubai

If you’re visiting Dubai, you’ll want to know the best ways to get around. The city is huge and can be difficult to navigate, but there are a few options that will make getting around much easier.

The first option is the Metro. The Metro is a quick and efficient way to get around Dubai, and it’s also very affordable. There are two lines that cover most of the city, and they’re easy to use. Just be sure to buy a ticket before you get on the train, as tickets are not sold at the station. When considering the ease in getting around between Abu Dhabi vs Dubai, Dubai wins simply because it has the Metro.

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The second option is taxi or Uber / Careem. Taxis are plentiful in Dubai, and they’re usually reasonably priced. If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to agree on a price with the driver before you get in the car.

The third option is to rent a car. This is a good option if you’re going to be staying in Dubai for an extended period of time, as it will give you the freedom to explore at your own pace. Just be aware that traffic can be heavy, and parking can be difficult to find.

Which Has Better Beaches – Dubai vs Abu Dhabi

Before heading to the beach, it’s important to be aware of the cultural norms here. Some beaches in Abu Dhabi are segregated, with separate areas for men and women. It’s also important to dress modestly, as clothing that is too revealing is not allowed.

As a general rule of thumb, in the contest of Dubai vs. Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi tends to be more conservative. This applies, not only to the beaches, but all aspects of life and vacation in the two cities.

Beaches in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is well known for its stunning beaches. With miles of coastline and beautiful weather all year round, it’s no wonder that the (mostly man-made) beaches here are some of the most popular in the world.

There are many different beaches to choose from in Abu Dhabi, so whether you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or a more lively area to enjoy some water sports, you’re sure to find the perfect beach for you.

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The most popular beaches in Abu Dhabi include Yas Beach, Corniche Beach, Hudayriyat Beach and Saadiyat Island Beach. Each beach has its own unique character and offers a different experience.

Beaches in Dubai

The beaches in Dubai are some of the most beautiful in the world. With their white sand and clear blue waters, they are perfect for a relaxing day by the sea. There are many different beaches to choose from in Dubai, so you can find one that suits your needs.

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The most popular beaches in Dubai are Jumeirah Beach, Dubai Marina Beach, and The Palm Jumeirah. These beaches are all situated in different parts of the city, so you can choose one that is convenient for you. If you are looking for a more secluded beach, then there are also many private beaches that you can visit.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

Both Abu Dhabi and Dubai have no shortage of things to do and keep you busy on your vacation. Abu Dhabi has more cultural experiences, while Dubai is more glitz and glam.

Things to do in Abu Dhabi

If you’re looking for things to do in Abu Dhabi, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The city is home to world-class attractions, including the stunning Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the beautiful Emirates Palace hotel, and the spectacular Ferrari World theme park.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-see. With its stunning white marble exterior and intricate Islamic architecture, the mosque is truly a sight to behold.

Read our Abu Dhabi Itinerary for more great things to do!

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a beautiful museum that showcases art from around the world. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in learning more about art and culture.

The Abu Dhabi Corniche is a 5 mile (8 km) stretch of road along the city’s waterfront. It’s a great place to take a walk, go for a jog, or just relax and take in the incredible views.

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Other popular things to do in Abu Dhabi include visiting the heritage village of Al Ain, taking a desert safari, and exploring the mangroves by kayak. 

But considering the epic beauty of the city, for sure one of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi is to stroll around with your camera to capture some of the best Instagram spots in Abu Dhabi!

Things to do in Dubai

There’s no shortage of things to do in Dubai, whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping activities or more laid-back pursuits.

For those who want to get their heart racing, there’s skydiving, Bungee jumping, and desert safari rides. Or, if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can go sandboarding, camel riding, or 4x4ing in the dunes.

For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, Dubai has plenty to offer as well. There are beautiful beaches to relax on, interesting museums and galleries to explore, and a whole range of activities to enjoy, from golf and tennis to horse riding and desert safaris.

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Of course, no trip to Dubai would be complete without taking in some of its iconic landmarks. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is a must-see, as is the man-made Palm Jumeirah island. Other popular attractions include the Dubai Museum, the Gold Souk, and the Dubai Fountain, many of which feature on our guide to the Top Dubai Instagram Spots!

Day Trips from Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

As they are so close together you could theoretically do the same day trips from either city, however some are better suited to Abu Dhabi or Dubai. If, like us, you love a good day trip, perhaps stay in the city with better options when considering Abu Dhabi vs Dubai.

Day Trips from Abu Dhabi

There’s no shortage of things to do in Abu Dhabi, but sometimes you just need to get out of the city and explore what else the United Arab Emirates has to offer. Luckily, there are plenty of great day trips you can take from Abu Dhabi. 

If you’re looking for a dose of history and culture, take a trip to the city of Al Ain. Just a short drive from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is home to some of the Emirate’s most important historical sites, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Al Jahili Fort. You can also explore the stunning oasis that gives the city its name, or visit one of the many museums and art galleries.

For something a little more active, head to the Hajar Mountains for a day of hiking or mountain biking. There are trails to suit all levels of fitness, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking. Alternatively, you can go camping in the mountains overnight to really make the most of your time there.

For a taste of traditional Emirati life, head to the city of Sharjah. Just a short drive from Abu Dhabi, and even closer to Dubai, Sharjah is home to a number of traditional souks (markets), as well as museums and art galleries showcasing the city’s rich heritage. Be sure to visit the stunning Blue Mosque while you’re there.

Or, if you’re looking for a beach day, there are plenty of great options to choose from. You could head to Yas Island to relax on the sandy beaches or take advantage of the island’s many attractions, such as Ferrari World and Warner Bros. 

Day Trips from Dubai

Similar to Abu Dhabi, Dubai is a great base to explore day trips to the Hajar Mountains or the city of Al Ain. 

If you’re up for a bit of an adventure, why not try sandboarding in the desert? There are plenty of operators offering tours from Dubai, and it’s a great way to see the desert in a different way. You can go for a camel ride, try your hand at sandboarding, or just take in the stunning desert scenery. If you’re up for a bit of adventure, you can even go quad biking or dune bashing.

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Fujairah is another great day trip from Dubai, one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It’s a great place to visit if you’re looking for a more traditional Emirati experience. Fujairah is home to many historic sites, including the oldest mosque in the country. The emirate is also well-known for its beautiful beaches and stunning scenery.

Shopping in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

There’s no shortage of shopping options in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But which city offers the best shopping experience? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more traditional shopping experience, Abu Dhabi is the place to be. But if you’re looking for luxury shops and malls, Dubai is the city for you.

Shopping in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is home to some of the best malls in the UAE, including Yas Mall, Marina Mall and The Galleria. These malls offer a wide range of shops and restaurants, as well as plenty of entertainment options. 

If you’re looking for a truly local shopping experience, though, you’ll want to head to one of Abu Dhabi’s many souks.

These vibrant markets are the perfect place to pick up traditional souvenirs, spices, fabrics and more.

Souk Qaryat Al Beri is a chic souk located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s luxury resort district. The souk is home to a range of high-end stores selling everything from fashion and jewelry to home décor and art.

If you’re looking for a more traditional souk experience, head to Souk Madinat Zayed. This bustling market is located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s old city and is the perfect place to pick up spices, fabrics and more.

Shopping in Dubai

Dubai is known for its luxury malls, including the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall. These malls offer a wide range of high-end shops, as well as plenty of entertainment options. 

For a more traditional shopping experience, Dubai’s souks are equally worthy of a visit. The Gold Souk is home to hundreds of gold shops, all vying for your business. You can find every type of gold jewellery here, from simple chains to elaborate wedding sets. bargaining is expected, so don’t be afraid to haggle for a better price.

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The Spice Souk is a must-visit for any foodie. This souk is crammed with stalls selling every type of spice imaginable. From saffron to cardamom, you’ll find it all here. The Spice Souk is also a great place to buy local spices for cooking at home, which make for a great souvenir.

Nightlife Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

When it comes to nightlife, there are two very different scenes in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai. Which city is better for nightlife? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more subdued and upscale experience, Abu Dhabi is the place for you. But if you’re looking to let loose and have a truly wild night out, Dubai is the city that will not disappoint.

Nightlife in Abu Dhabi

In Abu Dhabi, the nightlife is much more subdued and focused on upscale restaurants and bars. There are a few nightclubs, but they tend to be less crowded and more expensive than those in Dubai. The city’s nightlife scene is centred around the Corniche, a waterfront promenade that offers stunning views of the skyline. Clubbing hotspots include White, Cirque Le Soir, and Boudoir.

Another great party destination in Abu Dhabi is Yas Island. This man-made island is home to some of the best clubs and bars in the city, so you’re sure to have a great time. Additionally, Yas Island is home to the world-famous Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, so you can expect a lively atmosphere when the race is on.

Abu Dhabi is also generally a much safer city than Dubai, so you can feel more comfortable walking around at night. This is due to the fact that there are more police officers patrolling the streets and there is a higher concentration of security cameras in Abu Dhabi.

Sunset wahat al karama Abu Dhabi

Nightlife in Dubai

In Dubai, on the other hand, the nightlife is much more wild and varied. There are dozens of nightclubs, bars, and lounges to choose from, and the party scene here is truly world-class. 

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In Dubai, the most popular area for nightlife is probably Jumeirah Beach. This area is packed with bars, clubs, and restaurants, so you’ll never be bored. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, Dubai Marina is a great option. This area is known for its chilled-out vibe and beautiful views of the water. The city is home to some of the world’s most exclusive clubs, such as Cavalli Club and Cirque du Soleil. 

However, it is also important to be aware that Dubai can be a bit more dangerous at night, so you should take extra caution when walking around.

Restaurants in Abu Dhabi vs Dubai

There’s no easy answer when it comes to deciding whether Abu Dhabi or Dubai has better food and restaurants. Both cities have a wealth of dining options to choose from, so it really depends on what kind of food you’re in the mood for. If you’re looking for a traditional Emirati meal, then Abu Dhabi is the place to be. But if you’re craving international cuisine, then Dubai is your best bet. Whichever city you choose, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious food options to enjoy.

Keep in mind that there are also a few fasting periods observed in the UAE throughout the year. During these times, many restaurants will be closed during the day and only open for business in the evening. So, if you’re planning on dining out during a fasting period, be sure to check the hours of operation in advance.

Restaurants in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is generally considered to be more family-friendly than Dubai. This means that you’ll find more casual dining options in Abu Dhabi, as well as a greater selection of restaurants that cater to families with young children.

In Abu Dhabi, you’ll find plenty of excellent Arabic and international cuisine on offer. The best areas to head for restaurants are the Corniche and Marina Mall. During the holy month of Ramadan, many restaurants will be closed during the day, but there are still plenty of options for those who want to eat out.

Favorite Restaurants in Abu Dhabi: Butcher & Still or Finz Restaurant

Restaurants in Dubai

If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, on the other hand, Dubai is the place to be. This city is home to some of the best restaurants in the United Arab Emirates, as well as a number of Michelin-starred establishments.

The best areas for restaurants in Dubai are Downtown Dubai, Jumeirah Beach Road and Dubai Marina. Keep in mind that many restaurants will be closed during the day during Ramadan, but there are still plenty of options available in the evenings.

Favorite Restaurants in Dubai: The Restaurant at Address Downtown or Kohantei Japanese Wagyu Restaurant

Abu Dhabi Hotels vs Dubai Hotels

If you’re planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates, you might be wondering what types of hotels you’ll find in Abu Dhabi versus Dubai. Both cities are home to some of the best hotels in the world, but they offer different experiences.

Abu Dhabi is known for its luxury hotels, which offer visitors upscale amenities and stunning views of the cityscape. If you’re looking for a five-star hotel experience, such as the Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi is the place to be. However, these luxury accommodations come at a price – hotels in Abu Dhabi are typically more expensive than those in Dubai.

Abu Dhabi vs Dubai 137

Dubai, on the other hand, is known for its diverse hotel options. You’ll find everything from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts in Dubai. And while you might not get the same level of service and amenities at a lower-priced hotel, you’ll certainly be able to find something that fits your budget.

So, which city has better hotels? That depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a luxurious, five-star experience, Abu Dhabi is the place to go. But if you’re looking for more affordable accommodation options, Dubai is your best bet.

Which Destination is Better for you – Abu Dhabi or Dubai?

There’s no simple answer to the question of which city is better – Abu Dhabi or Dubai. It all depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation destination. 

If you’re looking for a cheaper city, then Abu Dhabi is the better option. Abu Dhabi is also more family friendly, with more attractions and things to do within the city limits. Abu Dhabi is also more conservative than Dubai.

Dubai is much better suited to luxury travelers and party goers. It has more glitz and glam, and world-class shopping options.

Both cities have a lot to offer in terms of activities and day trips, so it really comes down to what you’re looking for in a vacation. Since both cities are in the United Arab Emirates, you will have to remember to take certain things, such as Ramadan, into consideration when planning your trip to either city. Both are unbelievably incredible cities, depending on what you are looking for!

Still can’t decide? Abu Dhabi and Dubai are close enough to one another that you can easily split your trip and spend time between the two great cities. Get a little taste of life in each, and let us know in the comments which you prefer!

Abu Dhabi vs Dubai
Abu Dhabi vs Dubai: Which is Better?

The Ultimate Abu Dhabi Itinerary: 2, 3, or 4 Days

If you’re looking for ways to spend a few days in Abu Dhabi, this itinerary will give you some ideas of what to see, the best time to visit, and where you should stay. Whether you have 2, 3, or 4 days to spare, we’ve got you covered. With attractions like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Ferrari World, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this fascinating city. Not to mention, Abu Dhabi has some seriously amazing Instagram spots for perfect photo opportunities! So why not get started planning your trip today?

Abu Dhabi Itinerary Grand Mosque Night

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Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in the below article are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. All opinions on the Ultimate Abu Dhabi Itinerary are our own. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

What Can I Wear in Abu Dhabi?

Abu Dhabi is a city that’s full of culture and traditions. While it’s modern in many ways, there are still certain customs that should be respected. That includes the way you dress, particularly taking into consideration the fact that the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country.

For men, it’s generally recommended to wear long pants and shirts that cover your chest. You’ll also want to avoid anything too revealing or tight-fitting. It’s also a good idea to avoid shorts, unless you’re at the beach or pool.

As for women, there is a bit more leniency when it comes to clothing. However, you’ll still want to dress modestly and avoid anything too revealing. Skirts and dresses that fall below the knee are usually a safe bet. Make sure your chest and shoulders are covered. Again, shorts are generally only appropriate at the beach or pool. If you’re visiting a Mosque (which is included in our Abu Dhabi itinerary), you should wear a head covering. Please note that at the mosques, transparent clothing is not permitted even if you are covering your legs and arms. 

When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Wearing more conservative clothing is a sign of respect for the local culture. Plus, you’ll be less likely to attract unwanted attention. So, if you’re not sure what to wear, it’s always better to go with something that covers up a bit more.

Finally, remember that it is extremely hot in Abu Dhabi! You’ll want to dress for comfort as well as modesty. Light, breathable fabrics are your best bet. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

How Many Days in Abu Dhabi are Enough?

So you’re thinking of heading to Abu Dhabi, huh? Maybe you’ve got some business there, or maybe you just want to check out the city’s famous luxury hotels and resorts. But how many days do you really need to spend in Abu Dhabi to get a good taste of what the city has to offer?

Well, it all depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re just interested in seeing the sights and doing some shopping, then a couple of days should be enough. However, if you want to experience everything that Abu Dhabi has to offer, then you’ll need to give yourself about a week.

Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi Mosque Sunset

We personally wouldn’t recommend less than three days. This will give you sufficient time to see all the major highlights. If you’re interested in exploring local neighborhoods and Emirati culture more in depth, try to tack on a few extra days! 

With a week or more, you can get a little taste of life outside the city in the amazing Arabian desert, and perhaps stop by glitzy Dubai, just next door.

How to Get to Abu Dhabi

Despite being a world away there are multiple popular ways to get to Abu Dhabi.

Most Popular: Fly to Abu Dhabi

There are a few different ways to get to Abu Dhabi by plane. The most common way is to fly into the Abu Dhabi International Airport, which is located just outside of the city. If you’re coming from Europe or Asia, there are direct flights into Abu Dhabi from many major airports, and there are also strong connections to North America.

Alternative: Fly to Dubai and Drive

If you’re looking to experience the best of what the United Arab Emirates has to offer, then flying to Dubai and driving to Abu Dhabi is a great option. This way, you can see the iconic cityscape of Dubai as well as the beautiful sandy beaches and luxurious resorts of Abu Dhabi.

It’s a great option if you’re torn between Abu Dhabi vs. Dubai!

The drive between the two cities is relatively short, so you won’t have to spend too much time on the road. Plus, there’s plenty to see and do in both places, so if you’ve got the time, this is a great way to get a taste of the country’s two major cities!

How to Get Around Abu Dhabi

No matter how you arrive in Abu Dhabi, you will need to seriously think about how to get around in the car-centric city.

Get Around Abu Dhabi Without a Car

Once you’re at the airport, getting into the city is easy. There are plenty of taxis and ride share services that can take you into town. If you’re taking a taxi, be sure to agree on a price before getting in so you don’t get ripped off. 

Taxis are a great way to get around Abu Dhabi. Taxis are relatively inexpensive, and they can take you anywhere you need to go. Just be sure to hail a taxi from a reputable company, and always agree on a fare before getting in the car.

Buses are another great option for getting around Abu Dhabi. The public bus system is cheap and efficient, and it can take you almost anywhere you need to go. Just be sure to check the schedules ahead of time so you know when the buses are running. Also be aware that it is not overly common for tourists to take the bus, so you might be receiving a few stares, but otherwise taking the bus is perfectly fine.

Desert Safari Tour Abu Dhabi

Walking is also an option to get around some areas Abu Dhabi, but is generally not preferred. Between certain areas or destinations it is certainly possible, but most of the main attractions are quite spread out, not to mention the intense heat that you can experience most of the year. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.

Car Rental Abu Dhabi

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to rent a car in Abu Dhabi. The first is the cost. Renting a car can be expensive, and is generally only worth it if you plan on driving each day to one or more different locations. However, if you plan in advance car rental in Abu Dhabi can be quite reasonable, and the price of fuel is also quite low compared to European and most United States prices. Secondly, you need to consider how comfortable you are driving a car in a foreign country. We’ve prepared a complete guide to Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi that will easily have you prepared for your trip.

Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore sites that are further away from each other. Plus, parking is plentiful (and usually free!). We’d recommend renting a car if you are able to as it gives you a lot more flexibility to choose the timing of your itinerary. 

Ultimate 2 Days in Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Abu Dhabi is a relatively small city, but it’s still jam-packed with things to do! When visiting Abu Dhabi, especially if you are a first-timer, you’ll undoubtedly want to see the city’s major highlights and attractions. We’ve put together this Abu Dhabi itinerary for those who don’t have a full week to spare, but want to see the sights and scenes that Abu Dhabi is known for.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Day 1 of your 2 days in Abu Dhabi itinerary is a busy one! Be sure to wear comfy shoes and pace yourself. You’ll see some incredible architecture, panoramic views, and interesting museums. Top it off with your choice of a visit to Soul Beach or a quick shopping trip to Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island.

Visit Qasr Al Watan (Presidential Palace)

Qasr Al Watan is the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, and it’s definitely worth a visit! The building itself is very impressive, and it’s surrounded by beautiful gardens and an expansive square in front of the main entrance.

Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace

The palace was designed by a French architect and completed in 2019. It covers an area of about 4,000 sq meters (43,000 sq ft) and has a total of 200 rooms. The interior of the palace is decorated with beautiful marble, chandeliers, and intricate designs. Visitors are free to tour the palace grounds and see the presidential suite, as well as several museums and art galleries. There is also a library on site that contains over 100,000 books.

Qasr Al Watan Abu Dhabi

Inside, you can learn about the history of the United Arab Emirates, and see some of the amazing gifts that have been given to the country’s leaders over the years. 

Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace Interior

There’s also a great café on site, so you can grab a coffee or a bite to eat after your visit.

Location on Google Maps: Qasr Al Watan

Hours: Opening hours are 11:00 AM to 6:30 PM Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Monday

Cost: AED 65 for adults ($17.70 USD) tickets GYG

Helpful Tips: Check out the Palace in Motion light show if you’re able! The light show happens daily at 7:30 PM.

Staying in Dubai? There are great day trips to see Qasr Al Watan. Our check our the Perfect 2 Day Dubai Itinerary

Observation Deck at 300

Located on the 74th floor of Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, the Observation Deck at 300 offers stunning panoramic views of the city. As the highest observation deck in the city, it should come as no surprise that this is a major attraction in Abu Dhabi.

Stay for afternoon tea if you’d like (AED 250 or $68 USD) which includes yummy treats, tea and coffee, and mocktails.

2 Day Abu Dhabi Itinerary Observation Deck

Location on Google Maps: Observation Deck at 300

Hours: The Observation Deck at 300 is open from 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday; Closed Sundays

Cost: AED 95 – includes an AED 55 credit towards food or drink ($25.90 USD)

Helpful Tips: If you are a fan of sunsets (I mean, who isn’t?), this is a spectacular place to watch the sun dip below the horizon. You can adjust your Abu Dhabi itinerary to come here in the evening if it sounds like an experience you’d enjoy!

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Whether or not you’ve ever visited the original Louvre in Paris, this international museum experience in Abu Dhabi is a must! In a somewhat unexpected alliance between France and the United Arab Emirates, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors in 2017.

Abu Dhabi Itinerary Louvre Outside

Explore the magnificent halls of Emirati and international art, artifacts, and interesting relics from all over the world. There are both permanent and temporary exhibitions, showcasing over 600 pieces of art from around the globe.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Itinerary Architecture

You could easily spend a few hours here, so pace yourself in case you want to fill your Abu Dhabi itinerary with other activities!

Location on Google Maps: Louvre Abu Dhabi

Hours: You can visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Mondays

Cost: AED 63 ($17.15 USD) Tickets can be purchased ahead of time to avoid waiting.

Helpful Tips: You must buy your tickets online, in advance. Be sure to spend time enjoying the outdoor covered areas of the museum to marvel in the architecture of this impressive building and if you have the time, try the delicious on-site French restaurant.

Option 1: Soul Beach

Soul Beach in Abu Dhabi is one of the most popular beaches in the city. This is because it offers a great combination of amenities, activities, and scenery. The beach is situated on Saadiyat Island, which makes it a perfect place to relax and enjoy the views. 

There are plenty of sun loungers and parasols for visitors to use, as well as a range of water sports facilities. The loungers all have a QR code with a menu, serving a variety of refreshments.

The island also has a number of restaurants and cafes along the boardwalk, making it the perfect place to spend a few hours.

Location on Google Maps: Soul Beach

Hours: Soul Beach is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily

Cost: AED 50 weekdays & AED 75 weekends ($14 & $21 USD)

Helpful Tips: Be sure to slather on the sunscreen if you’re brave enough to lay in the searing Emirati sun! 

Option 2: Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island

Malls in the Middle East are the place to be, and this one is no different. The Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island is a pretty great place to shop, especially if you’re looking for high-end brands. The mall is huge, and it can be a bit overwhelming at first, but once you get your bearings it’s not too bad. There are plenty of stores to choose from, as well as restaurants and cafes. Our favorite place to eat here is Grand Beirut

Sushi at Abu Dhabi Ritz Carlton
Beirut Abu Dhabi Meal Galleria

If you’re visiting Abu Dhabi, the Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island is definitely worth checking out. Even if you’re not looking to buy anything, it’s still a fun place to walk around and window shop. Who knows, you might even find something you can’t live without!

Location on Google Maps: Galleria Mall Al Maryah Island

Hours: The mall is open from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM Friday and Saturday.

Helpful Tips: Once the sun goes down, the promenade waterfront path that’s adjacent to the mall is a lovely spot to take a stroll!

Day 2 of 2 Days in Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Day 2 of your 2 days in Abu Dhabi itinerary covers the rest of the major highlights of the city. This is how we would personally spend the second day, but as always, feel free to tailor this itinerary to suit your personal needs and interests!

The National Aquarium of Abu Dhabi

The National Aquarium of Abu Dhabi is one of the best places to visit in the city. Located in the heart of the Corniche, this world-class aquarium is home to more than 200 species of marine life.

National Aquarium Abu Dhabi Entrance
Abu Dhabi Aquarium Large Fish Tank

Some of the highlights of the aquarium include the Shark Lagoon, where you can see sharks up close; the Ray Lagoon, where you can hand-feed rays; and the Ocean Tunnel, which gives you a 360-degree view of the underwater world.

Abu Dhabi Aquarium Underwater Tunnel

The National Aquarium is also a great place to learn about marine conservation. The aquarium offers educational programs and activities for all ages, in addition to some fun hands-on experiences for the kiddos.

Location on Google Maps: National Aquarium of Abu Dhabi

Hours: You can experience the aquarium from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM daily.

Cost: Entrance tickets are AED 105 ($29 USD). Purchase your tickets ahead of time to avoid long lines!

Helpful Tips: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and a watch! You’ll be doing a lot of walking. This aquarium is huge, and it’s easy to lose track of time.

Afternoon at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

If you’re looking for a breathtaking afternoon activity during your stay in Abu Dhabi, look no further than the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This stunning piece of architecture is one of the largest mosques in the world and is truly a sight to behold.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Reflection

You must agree to the rules and ‘Mosque Manners’ when reserving your ticket. Read them carefully and be sure to show respect as this is a place of worship. 

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Hallway

The massive white marble structure is adorned with intricate Islamic calligraphy and design, and is surrounded by pristine gardens. Visitors can also take advantage of the free guided tours that are offered daily.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Courtyard

Location on Google Maps: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Hours: Public visiting hours are 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM Saturday through Thursday; 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM Fridays

Cost: Free! While the cost to enter is free, you need to reserve an entrance time. This can be completed at this website. You can also visit as part of a guided tour of Abu Dhabi.

Helpful Tips: Be sure to dress appropriately (women should wear a headscarf), and show up for your required entry time as per your ticket. If you arrive early, or just need a break from the heat, there is an air-conditioned underground mall at the entrance to the mosque.

Sunset at Wahat Al Karama

As the sun sets over Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi, locals and tourists alike flock to the area to watch the magnificent spectacle. The sky turns a beautiful orange hue, and the buildings and landmarks of the city are silhouetted against the backdrop. It’s truly a sight to behold and one of the best Abu Dhabi Instagram spots!

Sunset wahat al karama Abu Dhabi

Just before sunset you can also catch the Honour Guard March, a daily ceremony in memory of Emirati martyrs.

Sunset Abu Dhabi Monument

Location on Google Maps: Wahat Al Karama

Hours: The memorial plaza area is open 24 hours. 

Cost: There is no fee to visit!

Helpful Tips: For some spectacular views of the Mosque lit up at night, be sure to hang around well past sunset! Free parking is available at the entrance.

Day 3 of 3 Days in Abu Dhabi Itinerary

Yas Island is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for a mix of adventure and relaxation. There’s something for everyone here, from world-class shopping and dining to thrilling theme parks and pristine beaches. Guess where we’re headed on day 3 of your Abu Dhabi itinerary?!

Yas Mall

Abu Dhabi is well known for its luxury shopping malls, and Yas Mall is one of the best. If you’re looking to do some serious shopping, or just window shop, Yas Mall is the place to be. 

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to take a break in, as well as a cinema and an amusement park. It’s the ideal place to spend a few hours if you’re in the mood for a little retail therapy.

Location on Google Maps: Yas Mall

Hours: Mall opening hours are from 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM

Helpful Tips: The parking lots are seriously huge. Take note of exactly where you parked your car and how you entered the mall, so that you don’t get lost on the way back!

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

If you’re a car enthusiast, then a visit to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi is a must. Located on Yas Island, Ferrari World is the world’s first theme park dedicated to the legendary Italian sports car brand.

Abu Dhabi Instagram Spots Ferrari World

The park features some of the most exhilarating rides and attractions inspired by Ferrari, including the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa. You have to try this incredible roller coaster which features a maximum speed of 240 km/h (149 mph), which it reaches in just 4.9 seconds. There’s also plenty of other fun things to do at the park, from exploring the interactive museum to taking a spin in a Ferrari race car simulator.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Drive Car
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi Fastest Roller Coaster

A visit to Ferrari World is the perfect way to experience the thrill of driving a Ferrari without having to actually own one!

Location on Google Maps: Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Hours: You can visit Ferrari World between 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily.

Cost: Entrance fees are AED 310 ($85 USD) and can be purchased online ahead of time. 

Helpful Tips: The line for Formula Rossa can get quite long on busy days. It is popular for a reason! The best times to go are right at opening, over lunch (before you eat!) or near the end of the day.

Stroll the Yas Bay Waterfront

The Yas Bay Waterfront is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the beautiful views. The waterfront promenade is lined with palm trees and offers plenty of seating for resting along the way. Along the promenade, you’ll find several cafes and restaurants, as well as public art installations. 

Yas Waterfront Abu Dhabi Sunset

The Yas Bay Waterfront is also home to a variety of events and activities, so be sure to check the calendar before you visit.

Location on Google Maps: Yas Bay Waterfront

Hours: The waterfront is open 24 hours.

Cost: It’s free to visit the waterfront, and free parking is available.

Helpful Tips: For dinner, head to Café Del Mar, one of the best restaurants in the area.

Day 4 of 4 Days in Abu Dhabi Itinerary

You can’t possibly visit Abu Dhabi without taking at least a few hours to spend in the desert! The desert safari drive is the perfect option for day 4 of your 4 days in Abu Dhabi itinerary.

Go on a Desert Safari Drive

Ready to experience the desert like never before? Then it’s time to go on a desert safari drive in Abu Dhabi! If you are not sure which desert safari is right for you, check out our guide of all the best Abu Dhabi Desert Safaris!

Best Abu Dhabi Desert Safari Tour

Whether you want to spend a full day or a half day adventure in the desert, this is the perfect way to end your Abu Dhabi itinerary. 

This is your chance to see the desert up close and personal, and there’s no better way to do it than from the comfort of your own car. 

You’ll also get the opportunity to try your hand at sandboarding, camel riding, dune-bashing, and more. Most of the tours available end with a traditional meal in a desert camp of traditional Emirati cuisine.

Two camels in Abu Dhabi Desert

Some popular tours include Desert Safari with Sandboarding and BBQ or the Morning Desert Safari with Camel Ride.

Location on Google Maps: Nearly all Desert Safari tours include pickup from your hotel.

Hours: Ranging from 4 to 8 hours.

Cost: Starting at $55 USD per person

Helpful Tips: Bring plenty of water, a sunhat, sunscreen, and sunglasses.

Best Time to Visit Abu Dhabi

This is variable depending on what it is you’re looking for from your Abu Dhabi itinerary. During each season, prices fluctuate, as do the number of tourists and the accommodation availability. Personally, we think November to April is the best time to visit, but we’ll break down each season for you below! 

Winter in Abu Dhabi

The weather in Abu Dhabi is lovely during the winter months! The average temperature during December, January, and February is a comfortable 23 C (73 F). That means you can enjoy all of your favorite outdoor activities without feeling overheated.

Prices in Abu Dhabi are relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. You can find good deals on accommodation, food and activities. However, be aware that prices increase during peak times such as Christmas and New Year.

Abu Dhabi Itinerary Sunset At Grand Mosque

The city of Abu Dhabi is quite crowded during winter due to the influx of tourists. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider visiting during the shoulder season (March to April or October to November).

Spring in Abu Dhabi

Spring is one of the busiest times of year in Abu Dhabi, as people from all over the world come to enjoy the city’s many attractions. This means that you’ll need to be prepared for large crowds at all of the popular tourist spots.

The weather in Abu Dhabi during spring is also something to take into account. It can be quite hot and humid, so make sure to pack your sunscreen and drink plenty of water. 

And finally, prices in Abu Dhabi during spring tend to be higher than usual due to the increase in tourism. However, there are still plenty of deals to be found if you know where to look.

Summer in Abu Dhabi

The summer months in Abu Dhabi are hot, humid, and often quite crowded. The weather can be unbearable at times, but there are still plenty of people who flock to the city during this time of year. 

Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace Art

Prices for hotels and other attractions tend to be higher during the summer months, so be sure to plan accordingly. 

There are still plenty of things to do in Abu Dhabi during the summer, so don’t let the heat deter you from enjoying all that the city has to offer. However, we’d recommend limiting the number of outdoor activities, as the sun can be quite brutal during this time of year.

Fall in Abu Dhabi

If you’re looking for a break from the cold weather, Abu Dhabi is the perfect place to go. The temperatures in Abu Dhabi during fall are still quite warm, averaging around 30 C (86 F). 

You can expect crowds to be a bit smaller than usual during this time of year, as many people prefer to travel during the cooler months or during summer when many people have vacation time.

Prices for hotels and activities will also be lower than usual. So if you’re looking for a bargain, fall is the ideal time to visit Abu Dhabi! Just be sure to pack your sunscreen!

Best Places to Stay in Abu Dhabi

There are a number of different hotels to suit all travel styles and budgets. We’ve picked our top favorites for you below!

Budget Abu Dhabi Hotel

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Abu Dhabi Yas Island is less than a 10 minute walk to the beach and less than a 10 minute drive from the airpo