5-Day Dubai Itinerary: A First-Time Traveler’s Guide to World’s Best Destination

There’s a reason why Dubai is known as the World’s Best Destination. Dubai caters to every single traveler persona you can think of, from foodies to shopaholics, daredevils and adventurers. Dubai is a city that offers a rare blend of modernity and tradition, and it can be overwhelming for first-time travelers to decide what to see and do in this bustling metropolis. Here’s a 5 day itinerary to make the most out of your trip to Dubai.

Day 1: Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa

Start your trip with a visit to the Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world. Shop to your heart’s content, dine in some of the city’s finest restaurants, and even hit the slopes at the indoor Ski Dubai. Here’s some of my recommended eats at Dubai Mall, and I recommend eating Turkish delights and Kunafe at Turkiye’s oldest baklava specialists, Hafiz Mustafa 1864.

Afterward, head to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and take in the breathtaking views from the observation deck on the 124th floor.

Day 2: Arabian Desert Safari and Dubai City Walk

No trip to Dubai is complete without a thrilling Arabian Desert Safari. Experience dune bashing, camel riding, and traditional Arabic activities such as henna painting and belly dancing.

Return to the city and relax at Dubai City Walk, an outdoor shopping and dining destination with numerous restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. I recommend eating at Da Michele Pizzeria, Sicily’s most popular pizza institution, with a Triple Chocolate night cap at Roma’s SAID DAL 1923.

Day 3: Atlantis Palm and Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Visit the iconic Atlantis Palm, a luxurious resort with a waterpark, aquarium, and a variety of activities such as swimming with dolphins. If you’ve got the stomach for it, try out the best buffet in the world at Kaleidoscope.

Kaleidescope at Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Dubai 34

In the afternoon, visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a traditional Arabian market with numerous shops and restaurants, and enjoy a scenic view of the iconic Burj Al Arab.

Day 4: Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Take a day trip to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE, and visit iconic landmarks such as the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Return to Dubai and visit the Dubai Fountain, a stunning water and light show located in front of the Dubai Mall.

Day 5: Global Village and Al Fahidi Historical Village

Take a time machine capsule and head to Al Fahidi Fort for a sneak peek of Old Dubai’s history, culture and heritage. Have a traditional Arabian brunch and coffee at Instagram-worthy Arabian Tea House.

In the afternoon, visit the Global Village, a cultural and entertainment destination with pavilions from different countries, various performances, and activities. Note that Global Village is only open from November 2022 to April 2023.