While it’s been around for years, AI (artificial intelligence ) has been a huge, and controversial talking point in 2023. With the launch of ChatGPT – a free, easy-to-use service, many more are experimenting with the technology and finding it useful to plan holiday itineraries and even suggest hotels to stay at. We put the technology to the test by asking about the perfect ChatGPT Dubai itinerary, such as where to stay, what to do and where to eat. Here’s what it said.
Near+Far interviews ChatGBT
N+F: Tell us about the best hotels in Dubai
ChatGPT: The “best” hotel can vary depending on personal preferences, such as location, amenities, style, and budget. However, Dubai is known for its luxurious and extravagant hotels. Some of the top Dubai hotels that were well-regarded up to 2021 include:
- Burj Al Arab: Often considered one of the most iconic and luxurious hotels in the world, it’s known for its sail-like design and opulent accommodations.
- Jumeirah Al Qasr: A stunning hotel within the Madinat Jumeirah complex, offering a mix of traditional Arabian architecture and modern luxury.
- Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach: Known for its impeccable service and beachfront location, this hotel offers a relaxing and upscale experience.
- One&Only The Palm: Situated on the Palm Jumeirah, this hotel is known for its exclusivity and private beach.
- Armani Hotel Dubai: Located in the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, this hotel offers luxury and sophistication with its contemporary design.
- Atlantis, The Palm: A massive resort with a waterpark, aquarium, and numerous dining and entertainment options.
- Ritz-Carlton Dubai: Known for its elegant design, beautiful beachfront, and top-notch service.
- Palazzo Versace Dubai: Combines the extravagance of Versace with luxurious accommodations
N+F: Plan me the perfect Dubai itinerary
ChatGPT: As of my last update in September 2021, please verify the details and opening hours before your trip, as things may have changed. Here’s a four-day itinerary for Dubai:
Day 1: Exploring Old Dubai
- Visit the Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort to learn about the city’s history and culture.
- Wander around the historic district of Al Fahidi (formerly known as Bastakiya), known for its traditional wind-tower architecture and art galleries.
- Cross the Dubai Creek in an abra (traditional boat) to the Deira Souks, including the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk, for a unique shopping experience.
- Explore the Textile Souk to shop for fabrics and textiles.
- Head to Dubai Creek Harbour to enjoy stunning views of the city’s skyline and the iconic Dubai Frame.
- Dine at a local restaurant along the creek, enjoying traditional Emirati cuisine.
Day 2: Modern Dubai
- Visit the world-famous Burj Khalifa and enjoy breathtaking views from the observation decks.
- Explore the adjacent Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment complexes.
- Have lunch at a restaurant overlooking the dancing Dubai Fountain show.
- Visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo located within Dubai Mall.
- Enjoy an evening desert safari with activities like dune bashing, camel riding, and a barbecue dinner under the stars.
Day 3: Coastal Attractions
- Spend your morning at Jumeirah Beach, relaxing by the water or participating in water sports.
- Visit the Jumeirah Mosque, one of the few mosques in Dubai open to non-Muslim visitors.
- Have lunch at a beachfront restaurant along The Walk at JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residences).
- Explore the Dubai Marina area, known for its modern architecture and vibrant atmosphere.
- Take a stroll along the Palm Jumeirah boardwalk, or consider a visit to the Aquaventure Waterpark if you’re interested in water attractions.
Day 4: Cultural and Entertainment Highlights
- Visit the Dubai Opera if there’s a show or performance that interests you.
- Explore the Dubai Design District (d3), a creative hub showcasing art, fashion, and design.
- Enjoy shopping and lunch at the upscale Mall of the Emirates.
- If you’re interested in skiing, check out the indoor Ski Dubai slope within the mall.
- Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Global Village, especially if your visit coincides with its operational season (usually October to April). It offers a variety of international pavilions, entertainment, and food stalls.
Remember that Dubai is a dynamic city with many attractions, so feel free to customize this itinerary based on your interests. Also, be mindful of the weather conditions, especially during the hotter months, and plan indoor activities accordingly.
N+F: How would you spend 24 hours in Dubai?
- Breakfast at Tom & Serg: Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Tom&Serg, a popular café known for its specialty coffee and creative breakfast dishes.
- Burj Khalifa: Head to the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Visit the observation decks for breathtaking views of the city. It’s recommended to book your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
Late Morning: 3. Dubai Mall: Explore the Dubai Mall, one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment complexes. Even if you’re not a big shopper, the mall offers attractions like the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, as well as the mesmerizing Dubai Fountain show outside.
Lunch: 4. Lunch at Dubai Mall: Enjoy lunch at one of the many dining options within the Dubai Mall, overlooking the Dubai Fountain for a captivating view.
Afternoon: 5. Old Dubai: Take a taxi or the Dubai Metro to the historic Al Fahidi District (Bastakiya). Explore the Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort to learn about the city’s history. Then, wander through the charming alleyways and art galleries in the district.
- Dubai Creek: Cross the Dubai Creek on an abra (traditional boat) to the Deira side. Explore the Deira Souks, including the Spice Souk and Gold Souk, for a unique shopping experience.
Evening: 7. Jumeirah Beach: Head to Jumeirah Beach to relax and unwind. Enjoy the view of the sunset and the iconic Burj Al Arab in the distance.
- Dinner at Pierchic: For an unforgettable dining experience, have dinner at Pierchic, an overwater restaurant known for its seafood and romantic ambiance. Make sure to book a reservation in advance.
Night: 9. Dubai Marina Walk: Take a stroll along the Dubai Marina Walk and enjoy the dazzling lights of the skyscrapers reflected on the water.
- Skyline Views at Palm Jumeirah: End your day by driving or taking a taxi to the Palm Jumeirah boardwalk. Admire the stunning skyline views of Dubai and capture some memorable photos.
N+F: What are the best restaurants in Dubai?
ChatGPT: Fine Dining:
- Pierchic: A romantic overwater restaurant known for its seafood and stunning views.
- Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara: Offers a luxurious seafood dining experience within the Burj Al Arab.
- Zuma: A contemporary Japanese izakaya-style restaurant offering high-quality dishes and an energetic atmosphere.
- Pai Thai: Serves authentic Thai cuisine in a beautiful waterfront setting.
- LPM Restaurant and Bar: Offers Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on fresh ingredients and vibrant flavours.
Middle Eastern Cuisine:
- Al Nafoorah: Known for its Lebanese dishes, mezze, and traditional ambience.
- Babel: Offers Lebanese cuisine with a modern twist and stunning views of the city.
- Pierchic: Also known for its international seafood offerings.
- Nobu: Combines Japanese and Peruvian flavours, located in the luxurious Atlantis, The Palm.
- Coya: Offers contemporary Peruvian cuisine with a lively atmosphere.
- Rüya: Showcases modern Turkish dishes in an upscale setting.
- Tom & Serg: A popular cafe known for its speciality coffee and creative breakfast and lunch menus.
- Café Bateel: Offers Mediterranean-inspired cuisine with a focus on wholesome ingredients.
- Jones the Grocer: A cafe and gourmet food store offering a range of dishes from breakfast to dinner.
- Clinton St. Baking Company: Known for its delicious comfort food and famous pancakes.
Street Food and Local Flavors:
- Al Harees at Al Fanar Restaurant & Café: Offers traditional Emirati dishes, including the hearty Al Harees.
- Ravi Restaurant: A local favourite for Pakistani and North Indian cuisine.
What we found
Despite launching in late 2022, and coming to prominence in 2023, ChatGPT consistently reminded us that its Dubai knowledge hasn’t been updated since September 2021 – making it quite outdated. Because of this, new hotels, restaurants and attractions weren’t mentioned, and there’s the risk other suggested itineraries include venues that have closed. Overall, we were quite impressed, and, as Middle East luxury travel experts, agree with many of its recommendations, such as breakfast and cafe choices, and thought its 24-hour and four-day itineraries traversed the city well, and included many must-see spots. Dubai hotel choices, its itineraries and some of its restaurant ideas. That being said, while ChatGPT is great for ideas, do your own research, read reviews, see what works for you and check on openings and closures before following its advice.