A Perfect Day in Dubai

A melting pot of cultures and a city of unprecedented proportions, Dubai offers endless superlatives to its visitors. From the tallest building in the world to markets literally filled with gold, here’s how to spend a perfect day exploring a land that takes luxury to soaring new heights.

6:00 AM

The day begins early - before dawn in fact - because you're off to chase the sunrise from a private hot air balloon! Floating 3,000 feet above the desert, you'll watch as the sky becomes awash with brilliantly rich colors, and the sun slowly but surely illuminates the camels and gazelles walking in the dunes below.

8:15 AM

After an invigorating start to the morning, it's back to your hotel for a gourmet breakfast. Located in Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, the Armani Hotel Dubai is a destination in itself: it's the first hotel designed by Giorgio Armani, and is filled with bespoke luxury furnishings and personalized touches from the fashion icon. This one-of-a-kind residence offers sweeping views out across the Arabian Gulf and City of Gold.

9:45 AM

Your next adventure is led by a private guide through Al Fahidi, an historic neighborhood in Old Dubai with much of its original infrastructure intact. You'll meander through twisting alleyways and past old sandstone wind towers, all of which offer an authentic peak into mid-19th century life. It's also home to the renowned Dubai Museum, housed in an imposing fortress dating back to 1787. Afterwards, you'll hop on an "abra" - a traditional wooden boat - to explore both the gold and colorful spice souks on the other side of the creek.


It's time to sit down, relax and enjoy an incredible lunch at ROKA, a restaurant known for its top-notch Japanese cuisine and equally appealing atmosphere. Savor dishes like king crab, black cod and prawn dumplings, followed by desserts like miso cr?me brul?e with pistachio ice cream and roasted figs.

2:00 PM

For some, this will be the right moment to return to the hotel and catch some rest after such an early start to the day - time for the spa, perhaps? But for those eager to see more, the astounding displays at Dubai Miracle Garden won't disappoint. With 150 million flowers in bloom, the gardens hold more than one world record, including the tallest topiary-supported sculpture and largest vertical garden. Your tour will offer a bright and modern contrast to a morning filled with history. Perhaps instead of gardens, however, you're ready to indulge in some retail therapy. If so, you're in luck - The Dubai Mall is just a four-minute walk from the hotel, and is not only one of the biggest shopping destinations in the city, but also the world.

5:30 PM

With its larger-than-life sights and revolutionary approach to luxury, Dubai is guaranteed to inspire awe and delight. Tomorrow will be another fascinating day of adventure.

8 PM

With an unparalleled view of the Dubai Fountain, settle in for aperitivo in the Armani/Lounge before heading to the Michelin-starred restaurant Al Muntaha for dinner. Located in the Burj Al Arab - an architectural masterpiece that's become one of Dubai's most recognizable landmarks - Al Muntaha offers artful cuisine with both French and Italian influences by chef Saverio Sbaragli. From the highest floor of the towering Burj Al Arab, you'll dine on dishes like tagliolini with white truffle and parmesan sauce; milk-fed lamb with concentrated peach and smoked provolone cream; and meringue with eucalyptus confit and lemon sorbet.

There is one more treat to close out the day: A performance at the Dubai Opera. This epicenter of local arts and culture was designed by architect Janus Rostock to resemble a traditional Arab dhow, and is occupied year-round by an impressive calendar of events. With this multi-purpose theater's 2,000 seats and state-of-the-art technology, you're guaranteed to be enthralled by any show you take in.