Dubai & Abu Dhabi: 8 Days of Culture, Adventure, & Skyscrapers!

Glitter! Glamour! Adventure! Architecture! Beaches! Spas! Safaris! Luxury! Shopping! Cosmopolitan! Culture! That’s Dubai for you! 🙂

Situated in the heart of the world, Dubai has lots to offer, especially for the first time visitors! A mind-boggling place which you can visit umpteen times and still can’t be bored with. Best for solo travelers, groups, family, extended families or as a couple. Dubai caters to everyone. Let us guide you through the opulent and extravagant city which will make you want to visit Dubai today!

When to visit:

The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months of November to March. Dubai Shopping Festival takes place in the month of January each year.

Visa Requirements:

Indian nationals must apply for a Dubai visa to enter Dubai. I applied for a UAE visa that included Covid insurance and travel insurance to make sure I was fully covered during my trip.


I carried United Arab Emirates Dirhams (AED) for my trip. Alternatively, you can also withdraw money from ATM and use forex card while traveling. But if you are planning to exchange currency then do it only from authorized shops.

Sim Card:

The major mobile network providers – Etisalat, Virgin Mobile and Du in the UAE. I decided to purchase a Du Sim Card. I found out that this sim card was available only in Dubai Mall, Marina Mall, and Emirates Mall. Therefore, I went to the Dubai Mall and got myself a Du Sim Card to stay connected during my trip.

Getting Around:

Various modes of transport are available such as Taxis/Metros/Buses/Boats/Cars. I purchased a Nol Silver Card, which is a rechargeable card used for public transportation in Dubai. This card made it easy for me to travel around the city on the train and bus systems.


After doing some research, I decided to stay at the Route 66 Beach Hostel located in the JBR area. I was happy with my decision as the hostel offered affordable accommodations in a prime location just a few steps away from the beach.

Day Wise Itinerary:

Day 1:

After landing in Dubai, I took a taxi from Al Wasl Centre, located in the Al Wasl Road district to my hostel. Once settled in, I decided to visit the Burj Khalifa and go up to the 124th and 125th floors. It is the tallest building in the world, standing at a height of 828 meters (2,716 feet). The building has 163 floors and features a mix of residential, commercial, and hotel space. I had pre-booked the tickets through Gulshan Bhai (+971 58 918 7475) and took the metro from DMCC to Burj Khalifa located in the Dubai Mall. While at DMCC, I also topped up my Nol card from the machine available there.

The Dubai Mall is one of the largest malls in the world, covering an area of over 13 million square feet, with more than 1,300 retail outlets, 200 restaurants, and numerous entertainment attractions. While at the mall, I could not resist trying some delicious gelato at Amorino. I also visited the Du store and purchased a 2 GB plan for a month along with 30 minutes of flexi minutes.

For dinner, I visited The Cheesecake Factory at the Dubai Mall and enjoyed a delicious meal including their classic red velvet cheesecake. Before leaving, I purchased a Burj Khalifa magnet as a souvenir.

Finally, to end the night, I went clubbing at The Penthouse, located in Five Palm Jumeirah. The atmosphere and music were amazing and it was the perfect end to a wonderful day.

Day 2:

I headed to Culinaire restaurant which is picturesquely situated along the promenade at The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) for a scrumptious brunch that included a plate of delicious vegetarian fried rice and a refreshing Avocado, Chocolate, and Strawberry smoothie.

Thereafter, I visited Al Habab Desert Safari in the afternoon and it was an unforgettable experience. It included sandboarding, camel riding, desert safari, and quad biking, and a delicious dinner all of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

During the desert safari, I was delighted to have a close encounter with the national bird of the UAE, the falcon, and take some memorable pictures with it for a nominal fee of 15 AED. The experience was truly unique and unforgettable.

To wrap up my day, I visited the picturesque Marina beach at night and indulged in two mouth-watering organic popsicles from the House of Pops. The flavors of Strawberry Coconut and Chocolate Coconut were absolutely delightful and a perfect ending to an exciting day full of adventure and fun.

Day 3:

I started my day by trying the delicious Matcha Bubble Tea at Tealicious located at Marina beach, then took the train from DMCC to the Mall of the Emirates. I savored the tasty Veg Sandwich at Food 2 Go, situated in the Mall of the Emirates.

To reach the beautiful Miracle Garden, I took the bus number 105 from Bus Station 5 at the Mall of the Emirates. The Miracle Garden is a stunning flower garden that features over 45 million flowers of various species arranged in unique patterns and designs. The garden spans over 72,000 square meters and is the world’s largest flower garden. The garden is open from November to May each year and attracts visitors from all over the world.

One of my favorite culinary experiences in the evening was at Hafiz Mustafa since 1864, located in the Dubai Mall, where I relished the delectable Pistachio baklava with milk sauce and Turkish tea. While at the Mall, I also indulged in some heavenly Pistachio and Chocolate gelato at Cafe de Paris.

In the evening, I enjoyed watching the mesmerizing Night Fountain Show at the Dubai Mall. However, after the show, as trains and buses do not operate after 11.30 pm, I took an authorized Dubai taxi to reach my hostel, and the fare was quite reasonable.

Day 4:

Today, I started my day by having french fries near my hostel. Later, I headed to the Butterfly Garden, which is on the same route as the popular Miracle Garden, where I relished a refreshing lemon gelato. It is a beautifully landscaped garden that is home to over 15,000 butterflies from 26 different species.

I then made my way to the Dubai Mall to visit the impressive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. I was fascinated by the variety of marine life on display. Visitors can walk through a glass tunnel that runs through the center of the tank, offering incredible views of sharks, stingrays, and other sea creatures swimming overhead. While at the mall, I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying the delectable Creme Brulee cube from Candilicious.

I took the metro from the Dubai Mall to the Max station and then an authorized Dubai taxi ride to reach the Glow Garden. I visited the Dubai Glow Garden, which included a tour of the Art, Magic, Glow, and Dino Gardens. Dubai Glow Garden is a dazzling display of lights and colors that is sure to delight visitors of all ages. The Dubai Glow Garden Combo ticket allows visitors access to all four areas of the park and is a great way to experience the full range of this magical attraction. For dinner, I relished a mouth-watering veg sandwich and tea at the Glow Garden.

Day 5:

Today, I took a journey from DMCC to BurJuman station and headed towards Platform 3 to board the Green line metro for Al Ras. Once I reached my destination, I explored the bustling area of Deira, where I walked through the iconic Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and Grand Souk. Exploring these three souks is a unique experience that immerses visitors in the vibrant and diverse culture of Dubai. From sparkling gold to fragrant spices and colorful textiles, these souks offer an unparalleled shopping experience that is both exciting and unforgettable.

In the souks, I indulged in some shopping and picked up some dry fruits, mixed nuts, and Medjool dates. I also had an incredible experience taking an Abra, a traditional boat, from Deira to Bur Dubai, where I got to admire the beautiful sights of the city from the water.

For lunch, I went to the Arabian Tea House and enjoyed a delicious Grilled Halloumi Salad paired with a refreshing Tamarind drink. The atmosphere of the tea house was very relaxing and welcoming, making it the perfect spot to unwind and refuel before continuing my journey.

After lunch, I retraced my steps and took the same route back to my hostel, feeling fulfilled and enriched by my adventures in Dubai.

Day 6:

Today, I went on a day trip to Abu Dhabi, it is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and is home to several iconic landmarks and tourist attractions. I started my day trip by visiting the thrilling Ferrari World amusement park. I had a blast riding on some of the park’s most exciting roller coasters, including Formula Rossa, which is the world’s fastest roller coaster, and Flying Aces, which is the world’s highest roller coaster.

After enjoying the rides, I visited the following in Abu Dhabi:

  1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: This stunning mosque is one of the largest in the world and is famous for its intricate architecture, featuring 82 domes and four minarets.
  2. Emirates Palace: This opulent hotel is a popular destination for tourists, boasting stunning architecture, luxury amenities, and breathtaking views.
  3. Abu Dhabi Corniche: This beautiful waterfront promenade is perfect for a leisurely stroll, offering stunning views of the Arabian Gulf.
  4. Qasr Al Watan: This impressive palace was recently opened to the public and offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the UAE.
  5. Yas Island: This popular entertainment destination is home to attractions such as Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and the Yas Marina Circuit.
  6. Saadiyat Island: This cultural island is home to several museums and galleries, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.
  7. Heritage Village: This cultural attraction offers a glimpse into traditional Emirati life and features demonstrations of local crafts and activities.

I headed back to Dubai in the evening and went to Eataly at the Beach, located in the Marina Beach area, where I had a delicious dinner. I started with some flavorful Bruschetta and then enjoyed a tasty dish of Spaghetti Alio-e-Olio. For dessert, I indulged in a delectable Tiramisu that was the perfect way to cap off my meal.

To round off my day, I stopped at the House of Pops and treated myself to a Chocolate Strawberry pop, which was both refreshing and satisfying.

Day 7:

I started the day by visiting the Dubai Dolphinarium to watch their show at 2 pm. It is home to several bottlenose dolphins and seals, and offers daily shows where the animals showcase their intelligence and agility through various acrobatic and athletic performances. The dolphins were amazing!

The Dolphinarium is open from Sunday to Thursday, with shows at 11 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm. On Fridays and Saturdays, there are additional shows at 4 pm and 8 pm. Note that there are no shows on Tuesdays.

After that, I headed to the Dubai Frame, it is a 150-meter-high and 93-meter-wide rectangular structure that resembles a picture frame, hence the name “Dubai Frame”. I was impressed by its stunning architecture and panoramic views of the city from its observation deck. The exhibition uses modern technology and visual effects to take visitors on a journey through Dubai’s past, present, and future.

For lunch, I went to Pad Thai at the Dubai Mall and ordered their delicious Pad Thai noodles with a refreshing Strawberry Coconut Milk. I also indulged in a Cinnamon bun at Cinnabon for dessert.

Later in the evening, I visited the Global Village, which is an open-air theme park that showcases the culture, traditions, and cuisine of various countries from around the world. It is divided into various pavilions, each representing a different country or region. Visitors can explore the pavilions and experience the unique sights, sounds, and tastes of each culture. The pavilions are designed to resemble traditional markets, with shops selling handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs.

I had a fun time going on various rides, including the Global Burj, Athens Slingshot, and Honolo Loop. I also enjoyed a refreshing Mango smoothie while strolling around.

Before leaving, I bought an Egypt mug and an African body scrub for daily use in Mumbai. For dinner, I tried Baklava and Su Boregi (Turkish borek with cheese and parsley) and it was absolutely delicious!

To get back to my hostel, I took a taxi and called it a day.

Day 8:

On my last day in Dubai, I visited Marina Beach and had an amazing lunch at Zou Zou restaurant. I ordered their signature dish, Katmer with ice cream, which was absolutely delicious. I also had a refreshing Virgin Colada and some creamy Fette Hummus, which added to the overall culinary experience.

Also read: Hotels With Eiffel Tower View

After lunch, I decided to go for a swim at Marina Beach, and it was my first time ever swimming in a bikini. The water was refreshing, and the view was breathtaking with Dubai Eye in the background. It was definitely an experience that I will cherish for a long time.

In the evening, I took a train from DMCC to DXB Terminal 1 station to catch my night flight back to Mumbai. My solo trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi came to an end with amazing memories to cherish for a lifetime!

In conclusion, Dubai offers a wide range of activities, from exploring the towering skyscrapers to discovering the traditional souks. Our comprehensive itinerary provides a well-rounded guide to experiencing the best that Dubai has to offer. With insider tips and hidden gems, you can create your perfect itinerary and make unforgettable memories in this stunning city. Don’t wait, start planning your trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi today!

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49 Responses

  1. Navneet says:

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  5. Great Posting such as beautifully writer by you and all images are too much good which is explain the very thing about dubai but I really much like the desert safari section because I did the full enjoy desert safari with my friend and made the unforgettable trip.

    Thanks & Regards

  6. superb work, your explanation such a amazing, i love to read and see the pictures
    what do you think about this?

  7. Dubai is a very futuristic city with innovations and developments cropping up on the basis of ideas, which are quite ahead of their time. This futuristic land which seems straight out of a magic lamp, is often seen as the first international trip option for many Indian travellers.

  8. avni says:

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  9. joe says:

    Dubai is really an amazing place to visit. Its record breaking structures are fantastic and amazing comprehensive blog!

  10. Website says:

    Amazing, I’m glad you have enjoyed your trip.


  11. Shedi says:

    Dubai without a doubt one of the finest cities in the world. High Skyscrapers, Awesome Beaches, and the most affordable shopping destination. I would say, you must visit Dubai at least once in a lifetime.

  12. Abedin says:

    Very nice post, really enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff…I think you’ve made some truly interesting points.Keep up the good work
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  14. Abedin says:

    Very nice post! Thank you for sharing.

  15. Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article ..
    thanks for giving us go through info. Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. and thank you for sharing an amazing article.

  16. Hey Aditi and Deepak! Thank you for sharing such an amazing itinerary, it is surely going to help me on my next Dubai vacation. Much love for you both <3

  17. tiabarret says:

    Nice article. it’s one of my favorite parts of the country. Because I have relatives there I visit it pretty often.

  18. Happy Tours says:

    Thanks to you both Aditi and Deepak for sharing such a useful piece of information. Dubai is indeed a beautiful place and I simply fall for its stunning attractions. I visited Dubai once only back in 2017 and I wish to visit again.

  19. happy tours says:

    Dubai is really an amazing place to visit. Its record breaking structures are fantastic. This place delights its tourist with its remarkable attractions.

  20. madhuri says:

    thanks a ton for this informative n detailed article! …will b at dubai from 1st jan 2019 to 7th jan 2019! n my husband ( age around 58) will b glad if u can help us with guidance to make our trip hasslefree!

    …thanks in advance

  21. mia says:

    Much excited that I’m vising to Dubai this month….just cant wait any more….surely i will travel…7 days as u have said…That time this blog will be so helpful…more…Thanks for sharing!

  22. Coolpams says:

    Beautiful post dear. So informative 🙂

  23. Helene Guara says:

    Hey keep posting such good and meaningful articles.

  24. Zahir Ahlina says:

    Aditi nice article..thanks for sharing this.

  25. Shweta says:

    Wow.. one of the few itineraries I’ve come across where one can make the most of their precious holiday time abroad. Pleased to not have found any ‘leisure day’ 😊. Good one Aditi!

    • Thanks Shweta! Since we travel at a fast pace while enjoying the things that we want to, we thought to post such itineraries which match our travel principles. After all, most of us visit the same place once or twice for a limited duration, why not make the most of it! 😉
      Glad that we think alike. 🙂

  26. Maria Joseph says:

    Hey, keep posting such useful articles. They are of real help to the readers.

  27. I am seriously impressed by your informative article. You saved my time while planning a trip to Dubai. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

  28. Detailed and nicely explained …..very good article & helpful ….great one Aditi

  29. Ishita Kulkarni says:

    Wow Aditi…really nice and informative article…thanks for sharing this! 😊

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