In this article, you will learn about the best things to do in Dubai, whether you are just stopping over on your journey or you are looking for some frugal ideas to spend one day in Dubai and make the most of it. Our one day Dubai trip itinerary may seem quite intense, but we took into consideration Dubai heat and the distance between the Dubai tourist places. We will also focus on the places to visit in Dubai for free or for cheap.

Feel free to print out our Dubai one day tour schedule as a table or full itinerary.

One Day In Dubai in a glance

10:00 am – 11:30 amGolden Souk, Spice SouqFree
11:30 am – 12:30 pmDubai Creek1 AED [$0.3]
1 pm – 2 pmThe Dubai Frame50 AED [$13]
2:30 pm – 4:30 pmLa Mer beachFree
5 pm – 6:30 pmDubai MallFree
6:30 pm – 7:00 pmBurj KhalifaFree / >150 AED [$40]
7:30 pm – Dubai FountainFree


Time to spend here: 1.5 hours
How to get here: Ride the green metro line and stop at the Al Rais metro station or take the abra ride from the Bur Dubai.

one day in dubai
One Day in Dubai

Let’s start our journey in Deira, which historically has been the commercial center of Dubai. We think that it is one of the unique places to see in Dubai, full of scents, aromas, and flavors. In Gold Souq or Spice Market, you can buy the best souvenirs from Dubai, practice your bargaining skills, and have a delicious cup of tea.

Deira Gold Souq

You don’t need to buy tons of gold to enjoy your visit in Gold Souq. As we are traveling on the budget, we decided to do some window shopping just for eye candy. The Gold Souq is one of the Dubai best places where you can find a countless amount of gold (approximately 10 tons of gold!) and other jewelry. Dubai indeed offers the lowest gold prices, and you can be sure that the gold in the Gold Souq is real and good quality.

Walk among the shops, take photos, and make sure that you don’t miss the Najmat Taiba which has a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records. The Star of Taiba is the heaviest ring in the world (63.8 kg), and it is estimated to cost $3 million.

TIP: You can get a better bargain in the Gold Souq when you pay in cash.

Dubai Spice Souq

Dubai Spice Souk

Dubai Spice Market is just 3 minutes walk from the Gold Souk. In the Spice Souq, you can travel back in time and feel like in a different century for a while. There are plenty of smells and colorful mountains of spices. Additionally, you can buy here dried fruits and vegetables, toys, clothes, and gadgets. If you decide to purchase anything here, you have to remember about a few things: 

  • Although the Spice Market is unique and worth visiting place, prices are not always the lowest in the market. Don’t buy without bargaining.
  • Buy carefully, especially more expensive spices, such as saffron, as some salesmen tend to sell low-quality products. If you are looking for the best quality saffron, ask for “negin” type.
  • Some traders may aggressively hassle the tourists (especially single women) forcing them to enter their shop.

TIP: Avoid visiting Spice Souq on Fridays.

Dubai Creek

Time to spend here: 30 minutes
How to get here: 2 minute walk from the Spice Souq

Dubai Creek

Before we leave the old part of Dubai, let’s stay here for a few minutes more, stroll along the river, enjoy the natural beauty of Dubai, and maybe grab some coffee. When you are ready to go, head to the docks and hop on the abra (wooden water taxi) and cross the river together with the locals.
The Abra ride across Dubai Creek is very cheap costs only 1 AED per person (~0.27$). The journey takes about 10 minutes, and the boat stops at Bur Dubai Souk Market. Once crossing the river, spot the difference between the big hotels and skyscrapers on the one side, and small houses, shops, and restaurants on the other side.

The Dubai Frame

Time to spend here: 30 minutes – 1 hour
How to get here: Ride the green metro line from Al Ghubaiba and on the 2nd station at Burjuman change for red line and get off at Al Jafiliya (2nd station).

Dubai Frame

The Frame is a 150 meters high iconic structure of Dubai. The attraction is reasonably priced at 50 AED (~13$). Firstly, you visit the small museum where you can learn about the history of Dubai. Secondly, you go up in a glass front lift to the top of the Frame. It is worth standing by the window in the elevator to have a great view of the city. Once on the top of the Frame, you can walk the glass floor, which when you take a step, becomes transparent. Don’t miss impressive views of Old and New Dubai and take as many pictures as you want. By the end of your tour, you will learn how Dubai will look like in 2050.

La Mer beach

Time to spend here: 2 hours
How to get here: you can use public transport (the journey make take up to 40 minutes). But as the time is limited, we recommend taking a taxi. You can check the rates here.

La Mer Beach Dubai

It is now an excellent time to enjoy some relaxing activities in Dubai and lie down on the small, but clean and not very crowdy beach. La Mer offers charming views of the city skyline, golden sand, and it looks like a small town in the metropolis. You can soak up the sun, swim in the sea, walk the palm tree-lined boulevard and visit one of the restaurants and cafes.

Dubai Mall

Time to spend here: 2 hours
How to get here: from La Mer beach the most convenient way to get to the Dubai Mall is taking a taxi.

Dubai Mall

It is time to escape from the heat and visit one of the largest shopping centers in the world. You don’t need to do any shopping to enjoy your stay in Dubai Mall. Here are our proposals:

  • Dubai Dino is a 155-million-year-old dinosaur. The skeleton of this dinosaur was discovered in 2008 in Wyoming, USA, and transported to Dubai via air-freight. If you want to know more about Dino, don’t hesitate to ask the staff in the mall. You can find Dubai Dino in the heart of Souk.
  • Dubai Aquarium is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. You can watch it for free from the outside, but if you want to discover more, walk through the tunnel, see sharks or king croc, you will need to buy the ticket.
  • Human Waterfalls is often used as the meeting point in the mall. Human Waterfall is a breathtaking feature traversing all the mall’s four levels with fiberglass sculptures of human divers.
  • Grab your lunch in the Dining section of the Dubai Mall. You will find restaurants with good quality Asian and world cuisine.
  • Watch the spectacle called Melodies of the Village. This art installation is located in The Village. Melodies of the Village features LED lights with a musical system that responds to touch.
  • See the colorful umbrellas displayed overhead at the denim street.

Burj Khalifa

Time to spend here: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Burj Khalifa Dubai

Once visiting Dubai Mall, it is almost impossible not to spot Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world and one of the most popular places in Dubai. You may consider buying the Observation Decks ticket [prices start from 149 AED] or enjoy the free view from the ground. Did you know that the Burj Khalifa’s design was inspired by a local desert flower – Spider Lilly? You can learn more fun and interesting facts about Dubai reading our comprehensive blog post.

Dubai Fountain

Time to spend here: 30 minutes

Dubai Fountain

Dubai Fountain is located in the Dubai Mall area and like many things in the city is the world’s LARGEST performing fountain. In our opinion, it is a Dubai must-see. You can watch the spectacle for free. There is also a possibility to enter the inflatable boardwalk situated in the fountain pool area (cost 20 AED) or set sail on the traditional Abra ride (cost 68.25 AED). Evening shows are performed every 30 minutes, from 6 pm to 11 pm.

If you are wondering what to do in Dubai after dusk and what Dubai tourist attractions are better to visit when it is dark, read our blog post with the best places to visit in Dubai at night.

One Day in Dubai – few word from us

We hope that you find our 1 day in Dubai itinerary useful. Now you should know where to go in Dubai, what to do in Dubai for a day and how to plan your Dubai trip cost. We were carefully preparing this guide and including only top things to do in Dubai in a day.


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