The perfect One week Abu Dhabi and Dubai itinerary
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The perfect One week Abu Dhabi and Dubai itinerary

One-Week Abu Dhabi and Dubai Itinerary

The United Arab Emirates boasts some of the world’s most impressive attractions, combining luxury, culture, and adventure. A one-week itinerary spanning both Abu Dhabi and Dubai offers an exquisite glimpse into the richness of these dynamic cities. From the towering skyscrapers and bustling souks of Dubai to the tranquil shores and cultural landmarks of Abu Dhabi, this guide provides the ultimate tour plan. Get ready to dive into a week of exploration with this comprehensive Dubai itinerary, incorporating elements of Dubai sightseeing, Dubai city tours, and even opportunities for Dubai self-guided tours.

Day 1: Arrival in Dubai


Arrival and Check-in: Land at Dubai International Airport and check into your chosen accommodation. Opt for a centrally located hotel or an apartment near Downtown Dubai to stay close to major attractions.


Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa: Start your Dubai itinerary with a visit to the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers globally. Enjoy a mix of luxury shopping, dining, and entertainment. Don't miss the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo inside the mall. Later, head to the adjacent Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Book your tickets in advance to visit the observation deck around sunset for breathtaking views of the city.


Fountain Show and Dinner: As night falls, watch the spectacular Dubai Fountain show, with jets of water choreographed to music. Enjoy dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants overlooking the fountain.

Day 2: Dubai City Tour


Old Dubai and Dubai Museum: Begin your day with a Dubai city tour starting in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. This area gives you a glimpse into the Dubai of yesteryears. Visit the Dubai Museum to understand the city's rapid transformation from a humble fishing village to a global metropolis.


Dubai Creek and Souks: Take an abra (traditional boat) ride across Dubai Creek to the Deira district. Explore the gold, spice, and textile souks, which are perfect for picking up souvenirs and experiencing the bustling local commerce.


Dinner Cruise: Conclude your day with a dinner cruise on a traditional dhow. Enjoy a buffet dinner while cruising along the beautifully illuminated Dubai Marina, providing a different perspective of the city’s skyline.

Day 3: Adventure and Leisure


Desert Safari: No Dubai itinerary is complete without a desert safari. Experience dune bashing, camel rides, and a glimpse of desert life. The safari often ends with a dinner under the stars, featuring live entertainment.

Afternoon and Evening

Leisure Time: After returning to the city, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Relax at your hotel or visit one of Dubai's beaches like Jumeirah Beach Park.

Day 4: Dubai Sightseeing and Self-Guided Tour


Palm Jumeirah and Aquaventure Waterpark: Spend the morning exploring the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Visit the Aquaventure Waterpark for some fun in the sun.


Dubai Self-Guided Tour: Use the afternoon for a Dubai self-guided tour around the newer parts of the city like the Dubai Marina. Walk along the Marina Walk, explore modern cafes, and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere.


Shopping and Dining at The Walk and JBR: End the day at The Walk and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), known for their vibrant nightlife, shopping, and dining options.

Day 6: Abu Dhabi Cultural Tour


Louvre Abu Dhabi: Spend your morning at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a museum that bridges the gap between Eastern and Western art.


Qasr Al Hosn: Visit Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi, which has been beautifully preserved and turned into a museum.


Yas Island: Conclude your day at Yas Island. Enjoy the numerous entertainment options available, including Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World, or a casual evening at Yas Marina.

Day 7: Departure


Last-minute Shopping: Use your last morning for any last-minute shopping or sightseeing in Abu Dhabi.


Departure: Check out from your hotel and make your way to the airport for your departure flight, marking the end of a memorable UAE tour.

Here are additional tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience while following a one-week itinerary in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These suggestions are designed to enhance your trip, save you time, and help you navigate these vibrant cities with ease.

1. Transportation Tips

Rent a Car: For flexibility in your itinerary, consider renting a car. Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are well-connected by highways, and having your own vehicle can be convenient, especially for traveling between the two cities.

Use Public Transport: Both cities have efficient public transport systems. Dubai’s metro is a cost-effective way to travel around the city. In Abu Dhabi, while the bus system is extensive, taxis are also quite affordable and widely available.

Navigating Rush Hour: Try to avoid traveling during peak hours (7-9 AM and 5-7 PM) on weekdays to escape the traffic congestion common in both cities.

2. Booking and Reservations

Advance Bookings: For attractions that require entry tickets, such as Burj Khalifa, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, or theme parks on Yas Island, book your tickets in advance online to secure better time slots and often better prices.

Dining Reservations: Popular restaurants, especially those offering fine dining in prime locations like the Dubai Marina or the Corniche in Abu Dhabi, often require reservations. Book in advance to secure a spot, particularly for dinner.

3. Cultural Considerations

Dress Code: When packing, remember that both Dubai and Abu Dhabi are part of a Muslim-majority country. Dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques or traditional neighborhoods. Carrying a scarf or shawl is useful for quickly adapting to modesty requirements.

Ramadan: If you are visiting during Ramadan, be aware of special considerations such as restricted eating and drinking in public during daylight hours. Many restaurants are closed during the day but come alive after sunset with Iftar meals.

4. Health and Safety

Stay Hydrated: The UAE can be extremely hot, particularly from May to September, with temperatures soaring above 40°C (104°F). Drink plenty of water and use sunscreen liberally.

Travel Insurance: Always travel with insurance that covers health emergencies, especially in foreign countries where healthcare costs can be high.

5. Maximizing Experiences

Free Attractions: Incorporate free attractions into your Dubai itinerary. For instance, the Dubai Fountain show, walking around the Marina, or exploring the souks in Deira doesn’t cost anything but offers rich experiences.

Cultural Sites: In Abu Dhabi, besides the modern attractions, make time to visit historical sites like the Heritage Village, which provides insights into the traditional Bedouin lifestyle.

6. Technology and Connectivity

Local SIM Card: Purchase a local SIM card for easy access to maps, ride-hailing apps, and restaurant reviews. This is particularly handy for a Dubai self-guided tour.

Apps to Download: Download useful apps such as the RTA Dubai app for public transportation timings, The Entertainer for discounts on dining and attractions, and Zomato for restaurant reviews and bookings.

7. Budgeting and Expenses

Budget for Tolls: If you’re driving, be prepared to pay for tolls (Salik in Dubai) which are charged automatically at various points on main highways.

Visitor Passes: Consider purchasing tourist passes like the Dubai Pass or the Abu Dhabi Pass, which offer discounted entry to several attractions for a bundled price.

This one-week Dubai itinerary is designed to offer a blend of cultural experiences, adventure, leisure, and extensive Dubai sightseeing, ensuring that visitors get a comprehensive experience of both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Whether you’re exploring with a Dubai city tour or setting out on a Dubai self-guided tour, each day promises unique encounters and unforgettable memories in the heart of the UAE.

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