Dubai & Abu Dhabi # 2: How We Built The Itinerary

The most time consuming yet most enjoyed part of the trip planning is preparing the itinerary.

It is almost impossible and more infeasible to pre-decide the itinerary and strictly follow it for a city like Dubai. One thing we realized that this will be an ongoing activity.

We started to build the tentative itinerary by noting down the list of places to visit and activities to do. A few, as below, were already known for either they are unique to Dubai or Abu Dhabi or are famous among tourists, especially Indian.


Abu Dhabi:

In the second round, we took help from the internet and various Apps. TripAdvisor, LonelyPlanet, Google Trips, Visit Dubai (Official Dubai Tourism App), Go To Dubai App and Visit Abu Dhabi (Official Abu Dhabi Tourism App) to name a few.

Through these, we discovered a few more attractions like…


Abu Dhabi

Malls, souks and water parks were of lowest priority to us. A little bit of further consideration helped us exclude Miracle Garden, Global Village and Legoland.

As we were travelling with a child, we had to omit some other places like Sky View Bar @ Burj Al Arab because of age restriction and Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi as my son wouldn’t qualify for most of the rides because of minimum height requirement.

During these, we also considered visiting Al-Ain city for a day, primarily for Jabel Hafeet. Various considerations were made like, staying there overnight, visiting Al-Ain en route Dubai to Abu Dhabi or vice-versa. Finally, we settled at city tour of Al-Ain from Dubai and even made advanced payment to Rayna Tours accordingly for a half day city tour that included Jabel Hafeet and a museum in Al-Ain.

In the second half of October, we got to know about Dubai Garden Glow and Dinosaur Park. Just by watching the videos of the previous year, my son got super excited and we decided to trade Al-Ain for it.

Following was the tentative itinerary resulted from a thoughtful consideration of our interest and time.

 Day Place
Day 1 – Dubai Arrival at Dubai
Meena Bazaar
Day 2 – Dubai Palm Island, Atlantis the Palm
The Lost Chambers Aquarium
Dubai Garden Glow and Dinosaur Park
Day 3 – Dubai Take Abra ride to Gold Souk + Spice Souk
Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort
Desert Safari
Day 4 – Dubai Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Mall
Burj Khalifa, At The Top observation deck
Dubai Fountain
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Day 5 – Abu Dhabi Observation Deck at 300
Jalboot Tour
TrainYAS at Yas Marina Circuit (if scheduled)
Day 6 – Abu Dhabi Emirates Palace
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Abu Dhabi Marina/Corniche
Marina Eye
Day 7 – Dubai Dubai Marina / Marina Walk
Dhow Cruise
Marina Mall
Day 8 – Dubai Burj Al Arab and nearby beach
Departure from Dubai
Optional Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Louvre Abu Dhabi

We pre-booked some attractions/activities like Desert Safari, Burj Khalifa At The Top observation deck, Dubai Dolphinarium and The Lost Chambers Aquarium. For others, we relied on spot booking to have some flexibility in our itinerary and thankfully it helped.


Day 1. Marhaba Dubai


The Preparations

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