Best Things to do in Dubai in 3 Days

So you have 3 whole days to spend in Dubai. It might seem like a very brief period of time to you, especially when you’re vacationing in the very hub of tourist delights, Dubai. However, we’d like to tell you that you can do a lot in Dubai in 3 days. It’s all about planning and prioritizing attractions and activities to get what you want out of your time. We have drawn up a curated list of activities for you, along with timings to help you get the best out of Dubai during those 3 days. Note that we have taken 3 full days of your presence in Dubai in order to draw up this itinerary, so plan your trip accordingly! Have fun!

Day 1: Early-morning Balloon Ride (Pre-dawn)

Begin your first day in Dubai with a prior-booked early morning balloon ride. Your tour operator will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the desert, where your 24-passenger balloon and basket awaits you. Take to the skies in the very early morning even before the sun rises to enjoy the sight of the magnificent sleeping desert far below you. As the sun’s rays gently touch each dune, you’ll experience the awakening of the desert in a burst of glorious colors. After your fantastic balloon ride is over, you’ll be served breakfast and dropped back to your hotel by 10 A.M.

Day 1: Hop-On-Hop-Off Big Bus Tour (Noon)

Enjoy a full bird’s eye view of Dubai from the open-top bus, as you listen to the onboard guide’s history of the city, interspersed with entertaining anecdotes. Get an up-close look at over 40 different points of interest. You can hop off, explore more on foot, and then hop back on to the next bus in the tour line. Check out the Burj Khalifa, The Palm, Dubai Marina, Souk Madinat, Dubai Mall and Fountain, Burj Al Arab, JBR and more. Taking the hop-on-hop-off Big Bus tour of Dubai is one of the best things to do in Dubai in 3 days.

Day 1: Overnight Desert Safari (Evening)

We’ve left the best for your last evening in Dubai – a wonderful overnight safari in the magnificent Arabian Desert. You’ll be picked up either from your hotel or from a meeting point. You can opt to be picked up from any point on the Dubai Marina after your kayaking tour, and head straight to the desert. Once at the desert, you’ll be taken to an authentic Bedouin camp and welcomed in the traditional Arabian manner. With hot, sweet coffee in hand and clad in Bedouin robes, you can be a sheikh that owns all he surveys. Enjoy a few fabulous desert adventures such as dune driving, sand boarding, camel riding, quad biking and more.

If you’re keen on sunset photography, this is the perfect opportunity to indulge in your hobby. Desert sunsets are among some of the most magnificent sunsets out there. Enjoy a fabulous in-tent buffet meal as you watch belly dancers gyrate to exotic Arabian tunes and Tanura dancers whirl around like desert dervishes. A wonderful night spent under the desert stars culminates your fabulous desertsafari and you’re ready to head to the airport in the morning.

Day 2: Ski Dubai (Morning)

Ski Dubai is the biggest indoor ski resort in the UAE; it houses the world’s first indoor black diamond run along with five ski slopes of varying difficulty. There’s a sled and toboggan run, a live penguin zone and an ice cave for kids.

Day 2: The Green Planet (Noon)

The Green Planet is a four-story, vertical indoor rainforest, and that in the middle of one of the hottest deserts in the world! Explore the fascinating Flooded Rainforest, the top floor rainforest canopy and the incredible flowering plants. Check out the bright tropical butterflies, tropical birds, colorful frogs, reptiles and other rainforest creatures.

Day 2: High Tea at the Burj Al Arab (Evening)

Sign up for a fantastic high tea at the Burj Al Arab’s Aswan Lounge. After your tea, you can explore the hotel and get an up-close look at the golden atrium, the ground floor aquarium and if possible, a look at the private apartments above. This is the best way to explore the Burj Al Arab and check out its much-touted glory in person.

Day 3: Hub Zero Entertainment Café (Morning)

Take a break from sightseeing this morning, and enjoy some high-octane fun and games at the immersive entertainment center, Hub Zero. You can race cars, climb walls, do laser tagging, play aggressive paintball and several other cool games in a fully air-conditioned indoor set up. Of course, this being a café, we urge you to enjoy the range of coffees, teas and wonderful snacks that are available!

Day 3: At-The-Top Burj Khalifa (Afternoon)

Your trip won’t be complete without a visit to the tallest building in the world – BurjKhalifa!  Head up to the At the Top observation deck and check out the interactive displays that tell you how the building was constructed. Take your turn on the observatory deck and breathe in the truly incredible 360 degree view of the surrounding city. You can even get a look at the distant deserts via the telescope mounted on the deck.

Day 3: Shopping At the Mega Dubai Mall (Afternoon and Evening)

Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the UAE. It’s more than a shopping complex – it’s a complete all-in-one entertainment and shopping paradise. With more than 1200 retail outlets selling high-end and designer goods, you’re all set to spend some big bucks here. When you’re done shopping, do watch the magnificent lights, water and music show at the Dubai Fountain.

Day 3: Dhow Dinner Cruise (Evening)

End your evening with a perfect cruise along the beautiful Dubai Creek on a renovated dhow. Revel in Dubai’s exciting skyline and coastal delights while enjoying a full 5-Star dinner and onboard entertainment. On your cruise you’ll see the two towns of Deira and Bur Dubai, the Chamber of Commerce Building, the National Bank of Dubai and several other waterfront landmarks.


Make all your bookings in advance so that you don’t have to wait in lines and be disappointed. Our recommendation would be to discuss your three-day itinerary with a reliable tour operator and get them to do all your bookings. That way all you’ll need to do is to be ready for your next destination and enjoy your planned activity for the day.

About the writer

Neha Singh is currently studying Mass Communications in between juggling her writing job and passion for traveling. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering, she loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.