You have just booked your flight to a far away destination and have a long stopover in Dubai. Just like your final destination you want to make the most of your stay in the city of gold. But with the clock ticking down, 22 hours of valuable time in Dubai will be over fast. What should you do (or not do) during your one day stay in Dubai? My tips might help you to experience the most of the golden city.
Dubai has many different attractions to offer. You need to make a selection of what you like the most. You can go on a safari trip in the morning or evening, a breathtaking trip across the desert. You can delve into the history of Dubai and its culture in Bastaki Quarter and make a ride in a traditional abra, a boat made of wood, on the Dubai Creek. You can book the Big Bus Tour and hop on and off whenever you want. But you can also go shopping, visit the Deira gold Souk, the ultimate destination for gold jewelry lovers, or just relax at the beach. And still there is more.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
What about the Souk Madinat Jumeirah? A vibrant ancient Arabian market which is located next to the world’s most luxurious hotel, the Burj Al Arab. The Souk Madinat Jumeirah offers many authentic shops (e.g. clothes, jewelry and souvenirs), restaurants and bars. The market opens usually at 10 am, but even before you can scroll down the centre and enjoy the Arabic style building. Moreover, you can take a boat tour on the channels inside the souk. You can enjoy nice views on the Burj Al Arab from different angles. If you like to see the inside of the Burj Al Arab, you need to make a reservation in one of the bars or restaurants in the seven stars hotel. Otherwise, it is impossible to get inside. Although the market was a really nice experience, the expensive seven starts hotel did not impress me that much as I thought it would be. It was not that spectacular in my eyes. However, I cannot say anything about the inside, since I have not been there.
Another must see is of course, the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. You can book tickets in advance to make sure you can visit the top during sunrise or sunset. Do not wait too long to book these tickets since tickets during these times of the day are sold out very fast. My boyfriend and I bought two tickets for the top at the price of 125 AED per person. You do not go to the top of the building. For this price you can enjoy the view at floor 124 (452 meters high). For 400 AED per person you can enter the world’s highest observation deck at level 148. We choose to go up shortly after sunset, since all the tickets for sunset were sold out. It was already pretty dark, but still the view was great. However, I think I would prefer the day view in the hope to see the palm tree islands from the top.
Note: if you carry a bag pack with food and / or drinks, give your bag at the counter after checking in to save time at the elevator. You are not allowed to take any foods or drinks with you, even some candies are not allowed. The Burj Khalifa is close to the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping centre of the world, and the Dubai Fountain. The Dubai Mall provides many different kinds of stores (jewelry, shoes, fashion, beauty, gifts, etc), restaurants, an indoor ice rink, cinemas and the largest aquarium of the world. Even if you do not like shopping, it is nice to explore the greatness of the mall.
Every day from 6 pm to 11 pm you can experience a stunning fountain show at the Dubai Fountain. Particularly, during and after sunset the view is enchanting. Each half hour a different show is performed at a particular song, Arabic songs, but also songs of Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. Reserve a table and watch different shows when having dinner and enjoy a romantic evening out with you loved one.
As you can see, Dubai has lots to offer for everyone. If you like shopping, visit the souks and the Dubai Mall, if you like history, visit the Bastaki Quarter. Do you like adventure, take a safari trip. Or is architecture your thing? You will definitely keep your eyes open in Dubai. At the artificial canal area, Dubai Marina, you will be amazed with the many skyscrapers and the views.
Travelling through Dubai is quite cheap. You can take a one day metro ticket for only 14 AED (about 3 EUR!). The card is valid in all zones. The metro is a fast and cheap way to explore the city. There are two metro lines, the red one and the green one. Metro stations at the red line are a.o. the airport terminals 1 and 3, Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina and Mall of the Emirates. The green line brings you to the old part of Dubai, including Bastaki Quarter. The metro does not stop in front of all the sights. You often need to walk about 10 / 15 minutes or even more. You can catch a taxi everywhere, but during low season and bearable weather it might be great to explore the surroundings by having a nice walk.