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Two-Day Journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi: An Itinerary

Embarking on a two-day journey from the bustling metropolis of Dubai to Abu Dhabi offers you an exquisite blend of modern marvels and cultural treasures. Starting in Dubai, with its iconic skyline dominated by the Burj Khalifa and luxurious shopping experiences at the Dubai Mall, the trip sets the stage for a diverse adventure.

Dubai to Abu Dhabi

As you traverse the scenic route along the Arabian Gulf coast, the stark desert landscapes juxtapose against the turquoise waters, leading you towards the opulent heritage and contemporary grandeur of Abu Dhabi.

This journey promises an enriching exploration of the UAE’s two most vibrant cities, each with its unique charm and attractions.

Day 01 Itinerary

The first day will be in Dubai which is an exhilarating experience with a mix of modern attractions and cultural highlights. Here’s a suggested itinerary to make the most of one day in Dubai.


Burj Khalifa.

  1. Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall
    • Burj Khalifa: Start your day early by visiting the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Aim for the “At the Top” observation deck on the 148th floor for a stunning view of the city.
    • The Dubai Mall: After enjoying the view, explore The Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Besides shopping, check out attractions like the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.


  1. Dubai Fountain
    • Located right outside The Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain offers spectacular water shows. Try to catch a morning show before you leave the area.
  2. Dubai Opera House
    • A short walk from the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Opera House is an architectural marvel. If you’re interested in culture, check out any morning or early afternoon performances or tours available.


  1. Lunch at Souk Al Bahar
    • Head to Souk Al Bahar, a modern marketplace near The Dubai Mall. Enjoy a meal with views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. There are numerous dining options ranging from traditional Emirati cuisine to international dishes.


  1. Dubai Creek and Al Fahidi Historic District
    • Dubai Creek: Take a traditional abra (water taxi) ride across Dubai Creek for a taste of old Dubai.
    • Al Fahidi Historic District: Explore this historic neighbourhood to see restored buildings, art galleries, and museums like the Dubai Museum housed in Al Fahidi Fort.
  2. Gold and Spice Souks
    • Visit the traditional markets on the Deira side of Dubai Creek. The Gold Souk offers a glittering array of jewellery, while the Spice Souk is an aromatic experience with spices from all over the world.

Late Afternoon

  1. Jumeirah Mosque
    • Visit Jumeirah Mosque, one of the few mosques in Dubai open to non-Muslim visitors. Guided tours are available that provide insights into Islamic culture and traditions.


  1. Jumeirah Beach and Burj Al Arab
    • Relax at Jumeirah Beach, and take in the views of the iconic Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.


  1. Dinner at Madinat Jumeirah
    • Head to the Madinat Jumeirah complex, which offers a variety of dining options along its picturesque waterways. It’s a beautiful spot for an evening meal with views of the Burj Al Arab.


  1. Dubai Marina and Ain Dubai
    • Finish your day with a visit to Dubai Marina, where you can take a stroll along the marina walk, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, or take a boat cruise.
    • If time permits, visit Ain Dubai, the world’s largest observation wheel, located on Bluewaters Island. It offers stunning views of the city skyline, especially at night.

Optional Late-Night Activity

  1. Desert Safari
    • If you prefer a more adventurous end to your day, book a late afternoon desert safari that includes dune bashing, camel riding, and a BBQ dinner in a traditional Bedouin camp.

This itinerary offers a mix of the ultra-modern and traditional aspects of Dubai, giving you a taste of what makes this city so unique.

If you haven’t booked a hotel yet and want a good mid-range one to stay at then end your day by staying at the Al Khaleej Hotel Dubai. Renowned for its outstanding service, this hotel is a top choice for travellers seeking quality and relaxation.

Otherwise, another good option is the Zagy Hotel which has spacious rooms at a decent price.

Day 02 Itinerary

Get a rental car or catch a taxi or bus and hit the highway towards Abu Dhabi where you can explore parts of the city in one day which allows you to experience the rich culture, stunning architecture, and modern attractions of the UAE’s capital.


  1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
    • Start your day with a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world. Its stunning architecture, intricate details, and serene atmosphere make it a must-see.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.


  1. Qasr Al Watan (Presidential Palace)
    • Head to Qasr Al Watan, the Presidential Palace. This majestic building offers insights into the UAE’s heritage and governance. The architecture and gardens are breathtaking, and the exhibits provide cultural and historical knowledge.


  1. Lunch at Emirates Palace
    • Treat yourself to a luxurious lunch at the Emirates Palace Hotel. The hotel is an architectural marvel, and you can experience its opulent surroundings while dining at one of its world-class restaurants.


  1. Louvre Abu Dhabi
    • Visit the Louvre Abu Dhabi, an impressive art and civilization museum. Its unique design by Jean Nouvel and its extensive collection of artworks from around the world make it a cultural highlight.
  2. Corniche and Corniche Beach
    • Take a stroll along the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The well-maintained waterfront offers picturesque views of the Arabian Gulf, and you can relax on Corniche Beach or enjoy a coffee at one of the cafes along the promenade.

Late Afternoon

  1. Heritage Village
    • Explore the Heritage Village, a reconstructed Emirati village that provides a glimpse into the traditional desert way of life. You can see traditional crafts, visit a small museum, and enjoy the views of the city skyline.
  2. Qasr Al Hosn
    • Visit Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi. It has been beautifully restored and now houses a museum that tells the story of the city’s history and culture.

Heritage Village.


  1. Yas Island
    • Head to Yas Island, where you can find a range of attractions. Depending on your interests, you can:
      • Ferrari World: Experience thrilling rides, including the world’s fastest roller coaster.
      • Yas Marina Circuit: If you’re a motorsport fan, consider a tour of the Formula 1 circuit.
      • Yas Mall: Enjoy some shopping or dining in this expansive mall.


  1. Dinner at Yas Marina
    • Dine at one of the many restaurants at Yas Marina. The marina offers beautiful views, especially at sunset, and a variety of cuisines to choose from.


  1. Observation Deck at 300
    • End your day with a visit to the Observation Deck at 300, located on the 74th floor of the Etihad Towers. Enjoy panoramic views of the city while sipping on a beverage from the café.

At the end of the day head to Al Seef Resort & Spa to treat yourself and relax.

This itinerary provides a blend of cultural, historical, and modern attractions, giving you a well-rounded experience of Abu Dhabi in just one day.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Concluding your two-day journey from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, you’ll find yourself reflecting on the seamless blend of tradition and modernity that characterizes the UAE.

As you depart Abu Dhabi, having experienced the serene beauty of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the cultural richness of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the thrilling adventures on Yas Island, a profound appreciation for the region’s rapid development and deep-rooted heritage is sure to linger.

This journey not only connects two of the Middle East’s most dynamic cities but also provides a memorable tapestry of experiences that highlight the UAE’s unique allure.

For more on the UAE have a look at 10 hidden gems in Dubai to explore.

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