48 Hours In Dubai Itinerary

UPDATE 2020: Living in Bangkok, but with family in Ireland, I’m often stopping over in Dubai when I fly back and forth. It’s a fun option, and it has allowed me to get my Dubai itinerary on point! So if you’re looking at how to spend 48 hours in Dubai, read on – here’s a step by step guide. As you know, Dubai has become a top tourist destination over the last decade. It would seem that nothing is impossible in this glitzy destination; Indoor skiing in the desert? Check! The tallest building in the world? Check! If you can dream it, Dubai has probably already built it.

Also, if you’re wondering ‘Is Dubai is a country’ I have answered that here. It can be a little confusing, I know!

48 hours in Dubai
48 hours in Dubai

I think that 48 hours in Dubai is just enough time for you to explore the extraordinary way of life in Dubai. You’ll be able to live the jet-set lifestyle, climb skyscrapers, stroll through luxurious malls, try your hand at adventure sports, and tantalise the taste buds in any number of top-class restaurants. So, if you want to find out what makes Dubai so special and probably the most futuristic place on the planet, then follow my awesome 48-hour guide. It’s amazing how much you’ll be able to see in such a short space of time, I guarantee you’ll never get bored!

Dubai Itinerary Day 1 


Your 48 hours in Dubai start here! You should start your first day with a bang, so after brekkie in your hotel, go and explore the lofty heights of the Burj Khalifa. The tallest building on the planet. Take the super quick elevator to the 124th floor where you’ll be able to get the best view of Dubai from the observation deck. After you’ve marvelled at the jaw-dropping views, head down to The Jetty Lounge at The One & Only Royal Mirage. It’s difficult to describe how special it feels being on the super-lush beachfront as you feast on world-class cuisine, it’s an absolute must-do in Dubai! A foodies’ guide to Dubai will always include The Jetty Lounge.

TOP-TIP: Book your Burj Khalifa ticket ONLINE IN ADVANCE, save money and skip the queue!

The view from the Burk Khalifa during my 48 hours in Dubai:

Dubai Itinerary
Dubai Itinerary


After lunch has settled, take a short stroll over to the largest mall in the world, Dubai Mall. If you’re a shopaholic then you’ll be in paradise, if not check out the Armonia spa. If, like me, you don’t like spending your days in high-end shops, don’t worry because this is more than just your average mall. Inside you’ll find an aquarium and zoo – they don’t do things by halves in Dubai! With over 54 million visitors a year, the mall is actually the most visited building on the planet.

As you leave the largest mall in the world, you’ll be able to watch the largest dancing fountain ever created. The Dubai Fountain performs three times a day for excited crowds. Think Ocean’s Eleven when they’re standing by the Bellagio fountains in Vegas, but much bigger and better.

48 hours in Dubai
48 hours in Dubai; Dubai Mall and it’s impressive fountain


At times the city can be quite overwhelming. So one of my favourite things to do is hop on a traditional water taxi. This gives you the chance to sit back, relax and float along the Dubai Creek. It might be a simple activity, but it’s one of the best and gives you a different view of the city.

TOP-TIP: Don’t get ripped off. Book a traditional boat and the water fountain show here for $20 or so

After a packed schedule, we all deserve a bit of luxury and a good meal. No one does it better than Zuma, a seriously chic restaurant. The contemporary Japanese food will blow you away.

Day 1 is almost over, so get your head down in one of the world’s most iconic hotels, Burj Al Arab. I’m pretty certain you’ve all seen a picture of the building, which is completely made of glass that looks like a sail. I couldn’t believe the level of luxury here; every guest is completely spoiled! Each of the 200 rooms comes with your very own private butler. You should try it at least once.

48 hours in Dubai
48 hours in Dubai; Dubai Creek
48 hours in dubai
48 hours in Dubai; Burj al Arab

Day 2


Onto the second day of your 48 hours in Dubai. Start your morning with a hearty breakfast from the top chefs at Burj Al Arab to set yourself up for a busy final day. Then move over to Bastakiya. A great little place to visit, because it gives you an idea of what Dubai used to be like long before skyscrapers dominated the landscape. We decided to take our time exploring the old neighbourhoods (and you should too).

Dubai itinerary
Dubai itinerary; Don’t miss Bastakia

After taking in the local scene you’ll be more than ready for a sumptuous lunch. So what better than to eat at Olea, which was voted the 4th best in Dubai by TripAdvisor! Here you can feast on delicious local food, be wowed by the exceptional service and chat about the amazing morning you had. Being a vegetarian myself, I loved the menu because there are so many options for people like me. It isn’t the cheapest restaurant you’ll eat in but you’ll get value for money.

Dubai itinerary
Dubai itinerary; Lunch at Olea


There’s still time for one more mall (I know, this IS Dubai!). The Mall of the Emirates is another popular destination for shoppers among us. Remember I said that you could ski in the desert? Well, this is where you do it. Ski Dubai has created the biggest indoor ski slope on the planet. It wouldn’t be Dubai if it wasn’t the largest ever created, would it? Even if you’re an amateur you can still try your hand on the slopes, and you don’t need to bring any of the gear with you because it’s all provided.

TOP-TIP: For less than $60 you get full access to Dubai ski AND a 2 hour lesson!

48 hours in Dubai
48 hours in Dubai; Skiing at the Mall of the Emirates


After seeing the old and new of Dubai, head back to the hotel to freshen up. Put on your best clothes and make your way to the Barasti Bar for dinner and tasty cocktails. I love this place because the bar overlooks Jumeirah Beach, and even though this bar has won countless awards it feels extremely laid back. You can lounge on the wooden deck in one of the beach beds as you look out onto the stunning views.

48 hours in Dubai
48 hours in Dubai; Barasti Bar
Dubai itinerary
Dubai itinerary; Jumeirah Beach


If you only have 48 hours in Dubai, this is the way to make the most of it.  If you have a little longer to spend on your Dubai itinerary, then the one other thing you need to do? Sand-boarding and SUV buggy riding over the sand dunes! It’s much cheaper than people think at just over $30 too! So try to squeeze that in. Other than that, that’s all the things to see in Dubai done in just a couple of days. Now you can relax, enjoy!

48 hours in dubai
48 hours in Dubai

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