10 Things to do on a layover at Dubai Airport
- Eat. With dozens of dining options, you’ll undoubtedly find something yummy to eat.
- Relax in an airport lounge.
- Go sightseeing.
- Freshen up with a shower.
- Unwind at the spa.
- Relax or work out at the Health Club.
- Stop by the indoor gardens.
Where to do 8 hour layover in Dubai?
- 8-Hour Layover In Dubai. In addition to the Burj Khalifa and Jumeirah beach, you can stop at the souks (bazaars) in Deira district on the way back to the airport. The most popular part is the Gold Souk, a covered part of the bazaar with shops selling gold jewellery at a reasonable price, if compared with other places.
Can I leave the Dubai airport during a layover?
Can I leave the airport during a layover in Dubai? The short answer is yes, but there are a few catches, and it will all depend on how long you have between flights. If you’re just transiting through Dubai airport, you don’t need a visa. But, travellers from the majority of countries will need one to leave the airport.
Can I explore Dubai airport during layover?
Can You Visit Dubai During a 4-Hour Stopover? This is something I was asked in the past and the answer is no, you can’t. Dubai International Airport (DXB) is a huge place and it will take you long to get out of the plane, go through immigration and leave the airport.
What can you do in Dubai for a 8 hour layover?
How To Spend An 8-Hour Layover in Dubai
- Go To The Dubai Mall.
- Visit The Burj Khalifa.
- Go Souk Seeing.
- Head Back To The Airport.
What can I do for a 10 hour layover in Dubai?
10 Hour Layover In Dubai
- Burj Khalifa: At the Top (Level 124 & 125) Headout Price: Book Now.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo Tickets. Headout Price: Book Now.
- Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo + Burj Khalifa Combo. Headout Price: Book Now.
- Dubai Fountain Show & Traditional Abra Lake Ride. Headout Price: Book Now.
What can I do with a 12 hour layover in Dubai?
Here’s how to spend a 12 hour layover in Dubai
- Dubai Mall.
- Dubai Aquarium.
- Dubai Ice Rink.
- The Gold Souk in Dubai Mall.
- Galeries Lafayette.
- Sega Republic.
- The Dubai Fountains.
- Things to do:
Can I sleep at Dubai airport?
Whether you have an overnight stopover, or just a few hours to refresh and relax, you’ll be able to get plenty of undisturbed shut eye in Dubai International. From comfortable cabins to five-star suites, there’s a sleep option to suit your timings and budget. 6
Can I transit through Dubai airport Covid?
All passengers transiting through Dubai from the specified countries must present a valid negative COVID ‑19 RT‑PCR test certificate that is issued within 72 hours from the time the sample was collected, issued from an approved health service provider, with a QR code.
Do Emirates put you up in a hotel?
We’ll provide you with a complimentary hotel stay so you can enjoy some down time before your next flight.
What can I do on a 20 hour layover in Dubai?
Leave your taxi and go inside the hotel to have a look and take some photos. Pick another taxi and go to Mall of the Emirates just to have a look at the Ski Dubai (Something you will not see anywhere else). Pick another taxi from there to Dubai Mall. Spend some time over there.
Does Emirates offer free hotel?
We’ll provide you with a complimentary hotel stay so you can enjoy some down time before your next flight. You may need to show a credit card at check‑in just to secure any extras like mini‑bar snacks, spa treatments or dining expenses that aren’t included in the Dubai Connect service.
Can you see Burj Khalifa from airport?
It is not possible not to see it. It does not matter where you are in Dubai, you are always able to see the Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower), of course depending on weather conditions. Burj Khalifa is located next to the Dubai Mall and it’s in the middle of Downtown Dubai, the Centre of now.
Is a Dubai stopover worth it?
Now that you know that Dubai stopover is well worth it and you won’t get bored in the city, you need a place to stay for 1 or 2 nights. Below is a small selection of Dubai hotels that are well located for a short stopover in Dubai.
What can you do in Dubai for 14 hours?
Layover Guide: 14 Hours in Dubai
- Dubai Mall. At over 12 million square feet, the Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world (it is Dubai after all, where everything is bigger and better).
- At the Top: Burj Khalifa.
- Dubai Marina.
- Burj Al Arab.
- WAFI Mall.
Dubai Stopover: What to See & Do in 6 Hours, 1, or 2 Days (+Planning Tips)
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Dubai stopover suggestions –overview
- Layover in Dubai for 6-12 hours
- One-day stopover in Dubai
- Two-day stopover in Dubai
- Where to stay during a layover in Dubai
Short layover in Dubai – see the best in just a few hours
For those of you who have at least 6 hours to spare during a layover in Dubai and want to make the most of your time, I have two recommendations based on our personal experience and the locations we considered to be the most worthwhile to visit in the city. Just bear in mind that immigration might take a lengthy time in Dubai, so plan ahead of time!
OPTION 1: Visit Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa
The Dubai Mall is one of the greatest places to visit in Dubai if you just have a limited amount of time to see everything. If you arrive by plane, you may take a cab or the metro to your destination – further information on public transportation in Dubai can be found here. A private airport shuttle, on the other hand, might save you both time and money if you schedule it in advance. Neither alternative is too expensive, but the metro, particularly during rush hour, may be the fastest option.
It is possible that booking a private transfer will be the least stressful choice.
Try to witness the (free) music and light performance at the Dubai Fountains. Showtimes: 1 PM and 1:30 PM daily, except for major holidays (except Fridays). between 1:30 and 2 p.m. (Fridays only). Evening performances are broadcast everyday between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., every half hour. The show itself is completely free, but you may also choose to take a traditional boat trip on Burj Lake in addition to it. Due to the fact that it is one of the most popular tourist sites in Dubai, it is necessary to get your tickets in advance.
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, is equally breathtaking from the ground level as it is from the pinnacle of the edifice. If you have the opportunity, I recommend that you climb to the observation deck for spectacular views over Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The At the Top event is extremely popular and frequently sold out, so if you want to participate, you should get your Burj Khalifa tickets well in advance. View of the Dubai Fountain Show from the top of the Burj Khalifa.
The Dubai Aquarium is housed within the Dubai Mall complex. From the mall itself, you can view the large aquarium that is on display (no need to purchase a ticket). In the event that you decide to pay a visit to the aquarium itself, plan on spending at least an hour there. It is recommended that you buy your tickets in advance for Dubai Aquarium, just as you would for most other sites in Dubai. The ticket wait at Dubai Aquarium can get exceptionally long at certain times of the day. Furthermore, if you book in advance, the price is less expensive.
TIP: If you want to visit many sites, purchasing a combination ticket is frequently the most cost-effective option. You may purchase a combo ticket for the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Aquarium from this page. Dubai Aquarium is a marine aquarium located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world, with over 100 stores. Even if you were to spend a week there, you would not see all. After seeing the fountains, the Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Aquarium, you may want to go shopping or tour the rest of the city, depending on how long your Dubai layover is and how much time you have left after seeing them. The spectacular waterfall located within the mall should not be missed. An ice rink, dinosaur museum, cinemas, a kids’ playground called KidZania, games and attractions from SEGA Republic, and the Emirates A380 Experience are just a few of the attractions.
OPTION 2: Join an organized Dubai layover sightseeing tour
If you have a stopover in Dubai between 5 and 9 hours, booking this highly-rated private Dubai layover sightseeing tour is definitely the finest thing you can do. This customized trip with airport transfers takes you to some of Dubai’s most iconic attractions, including the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al-Arab hotel. It also includes a ticket to the Burj Khalifa, which is already included. You won’t have to worry about any practical matters since your guide will pick you up from the airport and take you on a tour of the finest of the Emirate in a short period of time, saving you time and money.
One thing to keep in mind: the trip concludes in the Dubai Mall, where you may take part in the Burj Khalifa experience, so you’ll have to arrange your own transportation back to the airport.
This trip will pick you up and leave you off at Dubai International Airport, as well as take you to some of the most renowned destinations in the country.
The Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach are two of the most famous attractions in Dubai.
One full day stopover in Dubai
In order to maximize your time in Dubai, you should plan to spend at least one night or one full day there. You may combine your visit to the Dubai Mall with a brief tour of the city. Every single one of the top things to do in and around the Dubai Mall has previously been covered in detail. A half-day is sufficient time to see the main attractions. In addition to that, I recommend taking advantage of one of the short excursions that will show you a little more of Dubai in a short amount of time.
Take a look at this!
Best half-day tours for your Dubai stopover
On your Dubai stopover, you should take advantage of some of the greatest short tours the city has to offer:
- Dubai’s past and future are intertwined. You will see some of Dubai’s most renowned attractions, such as the Blue Mosque, Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Atlantis the Palm, and the water taxi on Dubai Creek. You will also visit the famed traditional marketplaces of the Spice Souq and Deira Gold Souq. A visit to the Dubai Frame, a new icon in the city, is also included in the itinerary.
- Dubai Marina is a waterfront development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Several businesses provide Marina dinner cruises with traditional Tanouri dance performances, and they are all essentially the same in terms of quality and service. We chose the Alexandra Dhow Cruise since it was the greatest value-for-money trip available, especially for families with children, and we were not disappointed. If you’re looking for something a little less ‘conventional,’ this sunset dinner cruise has received rave reviews. Even if you don’t go on the cruise, you should visit Dubai Marina, which is a must. The atmosphere is especially active in the evenings.
- The Dubai Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour allows you to view the city’s greatest sites at your own speed, while also saving money. If you have a whole day to spare on your Dubai layover, this is a fantastic alternative. This is the most highly recommended hop-on hop-off tour in Dubai.
- Tour through the desert in the morning. In case you just have a morning in Dubai and want to see the desert, theSunrise Camel Trek with Breakfast is a fantastic alternative.
Views of Dubai Marina on a dinner cruise
Two-day Dubai stopover
In the event that you have two days on your Dubai layover, you should spend one of those days viewing the finest of the city’s attractions, which are listed above.
I propose that you spend your second day participating in one of the activities listed below, which will help to make your brief vacation to Dubai even more memorable. Take a look at this!
Spend a day at the water park in Dubai
Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park and Wild Wadi Water Park are two of Dubai’s most popular water parks, according to the Dubai Tourism Board. Because we just went to Aquaventure at Atlantis, I can’t compare the two, but it was fantastic all the way around. TIP: If you reserve your tickets for the Dubai water parks in advance, you will save a significant amount of money (20-40 percent).
Take a day tour to Abu Dhabi
If you would prefer to go sightseeing rather than dune bashing or swimming, and you want to make the most of your brief layover in Dubai, you might want to take this highly-rated full-day excursion to Abu Dhabi. It’s an excellent method to explore the most of Abu Dhabi in a short amount of time.
Go on a Dubai desert safari
There are a plethora of firms that conduct desert trips in Dubai. Here are two of the most attractive alternatives I could find. We combined the first one with the previously stated city trip to make a full day of it. Dubai Desert Safari is 1.444 miles long. This 4- to 7-hour trip provides a brief introduction to everything Emirati, including dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding (for no more than 5 minutes), and a BBQ dinner. 2.Sunset Camel Trek with ShowsBBQ in the evening. This trip is a little longer and a little more opulent than the last one.
Safari in the desert by 4WD
Where to stay on your Dubai stopover
As soon as you realize that a layover in Dubai is well worth it and that you will not be bored in the city, you will need a place to stay for one or two nights. The hotels listed below are a tiny selection of those in Dubai that are conveniently positioned for a brief visit in the city. TIP: I strongly advise you to spend at least one night in Dubai rather than merely passing through on your way to another destination. Because of the high volume of people passing through immigration, it will be quite stressful if you just have a few of hours between flights.
While staying near the airport or the Dubai Mall is preferable for a single night or two, it is recommended that you stay near the airport or the Dubai Mall, since this is one section of the city that you should not skip during a brief layover in the UAE.
Good price-quality hotels at Dubai Airport:
- Hotels in Dubai include the Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport, Le Méridien Dubai HotelConference Center, Al Bustan Rotana – Dubai, and Al Bustan Rotana – Abu Dhabi.
Good price-quality hotels close to Dubai Mall:
- Sofitel Dubai Downtown (conveniently located near the Dubai Mall metro station)
- Steigenberger Hotel – Business Bay
- Sofitel Dubai Downtown (conveniently located near the Dubai Mall metro station).
Luxury hotels close to Dubai Mall:
- It is possible to book rooms with views of the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Fountain at the Palace Downtown Dubai. The location is the Dubai Mall Hotel (rooms with views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain are available)
- The address is The Armani Hotel Dubai (located within the Burj Khalifa structure and offering spectacular views of the Dubai fountain)
As a result, here is our guidance to a brief layover in Dubai. I hope you were able to get some inspiration for the greatest activities to do during a stopover or a brief layover in Dubai. There is simply so much to see and do in the city that it is impossible to recommend a single layover plan that is suitable for everyone. Any of the possibilities listed above, however, will be a fantastic decision for your Dubai layover, in my opinion. Take pleasure in your journey! ALSO WORTH READING: Choosing the Right Clothes for Dubai Additional recommendations for visiting Dubai include: How Expensive Is Dubai on a Budget?
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Stopover in Dubai and enjoy the glitz and glam of the city
Here is our advice to getting about during a brief layover in Dubai. It is my goal that you have gotten some inspiration for the greatest things to do during a stopover in Dubai or a brief layover in the city. As a result of the abundance of things to see and do in the city, it is impossible to recommend a single stopover itinerary that is suitable for everyone. Any of the possibilities listed above, though, will be a fantastic option for your Dubai layover, in my opinion. Have a pleasant journey!
Additional recommendations for visiting Dubai include the following.
Dubai Travel Guide – How to Get Around Transportation through public means Visiting Dubai with children: The Top Things to Do in Dubai for Families Things to Do in Dubai for Free or at a Low Cost: The Best Free and Low-Cost Activities in Dubai Facts about Dubai that are noteworthy: We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which you can read about here.
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Can I leave the airport during a layover in Dubai?
It is possible, but there are some restrictions, and it will all depend on how much time you have between flights. The simple answer is yes, but there are some restrictions. Consider the following scenario: if you just have a few hours between flights, it isn’t worth it to leave the airport. There are a variety of activities available at the Dubai International Airport to keep you engaged. If, on the other hand, you have a layover in Dubai, you are free to leave the airport as long as you have the proper documentation and visa.
However, travelers from the vast majority of nations will require one in order to exit the airport.
If you’re flying with Emirates or Etihad, which you almost certainly will be if you’re stopping in Dubai, you may obtain a visa through the airline’s travel department.
If you’d like to have everything planned for you rather than doing it yourself, you can even pre-book a custom-designed Dubai layover tour in advance. Take a look at every reason why you should consciously arrange yourself a stopover in Dubai and add an extra mini-holiday to the beginning or finish of the main event now that we’ve covered the basics. Start thinking about what you’re going to do in Dubai during your stopover right away.
1. Flights via Dubai: the perfect stopover location, wherever you’re going
When traveling, Jet Lag may be debilitating, but a well-timed aircraft layover at one of the world’s best stopover towns can be lifesaving. Remember that Dubai is just 4 hours behind Australasia and East Asia, 4 hours ahead of Europe, and 8 hours behind the United States in terms of time.
As a result, you may begin adjusting while you’re still on the road. In addition, airfares with a layover in Dubai are generally rather affordable, especially if you are travelling with Emirates Airlines. Because this is their hub, you will not be charged a surcharge for extended layovers.
2. Stopover in Dubai, and you might just be in town for a big event
There’s always something intriguing going on in Dubai, but the year 2021 is going to be particularly noteworthy, so if you’re planning a trip to the city around this period, you’ll want to keep this in mind. Expo 2020 will take place in Shanghai from October 2021 to March 2022, and more than 190 nations have confirmed their attendance. As far as we can tell from the sneak peaks that we’ve been getting, it’s going to be spectacular. Aside from the Expo, throughout the beautiful winter months, the city hosts a slew of major festivals, ranging from cinema to literature to jazz, all of which are free to attend.
3. What to see in Dubai if you’re on the quest for history
If you’re looking for a dose of history or culture during your stay in Dubai, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to do so. Traditional souks, where you may haggle over textiles and spices, can still be found in some parts of the world. Visit the Al Shindagha Museum to have a better understanding of how this city evolved into the futuristic environment that it is today.
4. Dubai airport to the Burj Khalifa: see the world’s t allest building
Take advantage of your layover in Dubai to see the world’s tallest structure and cross it off your bucket list. The Burj Khalifa, which stands at an astonishing 828 meters tall and is an awe-inspiring sight, is only a 15-minute cab trip or half-hour journey away from the airport via public transportation from the airport.
5. Shopaholics spending 1 day in Dubai can enjoy the ultimate retail therapy
TheDubai Mall is the second-largest shopping mall in the world, which is sure to pique the interest of any fashionista who plans to pay it a visit. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to pass the time between flights, look no further than shopping malls.
6. Activities around Dubai: discover the desert
Regardless of where you’ve come from or where you’re going, the deserts of Dubai will almost definitely provide a stark contrast to your surroundings. Spend one of your nights in Dubai among the sand dunes if you have a lengthy layover in Dubai and book a flight with a long layover in Dubai. Discover what life was like for the people who lived in this severely gorgeous region, yet with a splash of luxury tossed in for good measure.
Where to stay on a Dubai stopover
In virtually every case, the deserts of Dubai will provide an astounding contrast to whatever you’ve come from or where you’re going. Spend one of your evenings in Dubai among the sand dunes if you have a lengthy layover in Dubai and plan a flight with a long stay there. Investigate the way of life for the people who formerly lived in this starkly gorgeous region, which also has a splash of luxury.
Relax and enjoy your long layover in Dubai
The deserts of Dubai will almost probably offer a stark contrast to wherever you’ve come from or where you’re headed. If you have a long layover in Dubai, why not spend one of your nights there among the sand dunes? Discover what life was like for the people who lived in this starkly gorgeous environment, but with a splash of luxury tossed in for good measure.
- Relax on the greatest beaches in Dubai
- Find out what to do in Sharjah
- And learn everything you need to know about the Dubai Expo 2020.
How to Rock a 24-Hour Layover in Dubai – Never Ending Footsteps
I had no intention of traveling to Dubai. However, after I unintentionally cancelled my trip from Cape Town to Lisbon, the cheapest alternative route carried me via the United Arab Emirates, and it would cost me nothing more to spend an extra 24 hours in the city. I couldn’t imagine turning down such an opportunity. So, with less than a day’s notice, I found myself unexpectedly in Dubai, having no idea what to do or where to go. I managed to pull off one of my most effective layovers to date, and I was able to pack a significant amount of activity into my limited time there.
I was able to take a quick tour of the desert and roam through the souks of Old Dubai, as well as gaze at stuff I couldn’t buy back in the United States. Here’s how to make the most of your 24-hour stopover in Dubai.
First Up: Hit the Sand
The Arabian Peninsula is known for its sand, and as a lover of all things desert, I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with my stay in Dubai until I found a way to get out and explore it. Fortunately, I did just that. Finding a tour was not a problem because I wasn’t the only one with this fixation, and there were hundreds of options to pick from! There were a plethora of options, but just one that worked for me. The fact that I didn’t want to spend my whole day in the desert eliminated any options that didn’t leave in the morning, as the afternoon trips frequently extended far into the evening, if not overnight.
- I booked it immediately.
- that had excellent ratings, didn’t penalize lone travellers with an annoying single person extra, and would allow me to have a taste of the desert without taking up the most of my day.
- However, as was typically the case, the desert was well worth the trip.
- We only had three hours to see as much of the desert as we possibly could, so we were out on the sand and running from one thing to the next from the time we arrived.
- Because it cost an additional $20, the vast majority of individuals, including myself, chose not to participate.
- My attention was drawn away from the desert and towards our driver when I heard a hissing sound.
- Which, to my astonishment and disgust, turns out to be just as brutal as it appears on the surface.
If you do, take a triple dosage of dramamine before you get on the bus because your stomach is going to feel this ride.
Until you know it, you’ll be spinning in circles, twisting and turning, before you’ll catch some air and smash into a second dune.
No matter how much my stomach churned throughout my time on the dunes, I never felt in any danger.
He’d shown us a video of himself driving a car on its right side while riding on two wheels while we were in the automobile.
And then I cracked a grin.
The driver took out a pair of sand boards for anyone who wanted to give it a shot, and one of the older women instantly went down the slide halfway.
I swear I thought she’d broken her neck when she swerved out of control and into the trees.
After a little less terrifying trip back to base, camel riding was the last item remaining on our desert to-do list before heading home.
I’ve rode a camel in the Sahara Desert before, and I know how unpleasant it is to ride on one for an extended period of time.
In the event that you just have a limited amount of time in Dubai, my trip seemed to be the ideal approach to get a brief taste of what life is like in the desert without devoting too much of your important travel time to it.
For a total of $47 (which included transportation, a drink, dune bashing, sandboarding, and an ATV ride; the camel ride is an additional cost), I was able to spend three hours out on the sand, and it was just what I had been hoping for.
Time to Explore the Souks
After returning to my accommodation, I had a little nap to get rid of any leftover motion sickness, and then went exploring through the souks of Old Dubai to see the less glittery side of the city. My hotel was within walking distance of the marketplaces and mosques, which made it really convenient to move about this section of the city. I had only seen souks in Marrakech and Muscat before this trip, and my experience in Dubai was a breath of fresh air in compared to prior experiences. Each item in Dubai has its own souk, whether it’s gold, perfume, spices, or textiles, and as a result, these well-organized markets were everything from perplexing.
- In contrast to the touts in Morocco, who would lunge out at me every few seconds, the touts in Dubai didn’t even bother to holler at me.
- With my pricey cameras draped over my shoulder, I never felt in any danger of being robbed while walking about town.
- While all of this contributed to a lot more delightful buying experience, I must say that it resulted in a less fascinating trip experience as a result of it.
- Speaking of spices, the spice souk in Dubai was without a doubt my favorite, which isn’t a huge surprise considering how much I like it.
- I used to like inhaling their aromas and planned which recipes I’d include them into.
- One of the most memorable experiences was visiting the perfume souk, which was brimming with Arabian fragrances, incense, and an incredible amount of frankincense.
- In the case of the gold one, it just looked like a series of garish jewelry stores.
Head to Burj Khalifa for Sunset
If you want to see the most of Dubai, you should take a ride up the world’s highest structure, the Burj Khalifa, to the observation deck. Moreover, I recommend that you indulge yourself because tickets are not affordable. I spent 205 AED (55 USD) to visit the 125th floor, which was rated as the best value choice by reviewers. You can pay even more to get much higher (500 AED/135 USD! ), but I’m of the opinion that once you’re that high up, it doesn’t make that much of a difference to the views whether you’re on the 125th or the 148th level of the observation deck.
- When is the best time of day to visit?
- My long-held desire has always been to photograph the elusive Dubai fog at sunrise, but due to my early morning arrival and departure, this was not feasible, so I had to make do with images of the sunset instead.
- made it a little better, y’know?
- I realize this seems absurd, but you must allow yourself a significant amount of time to locate the entrance to At the Top, since Dubai Mall is an aggravating maze, and you will become disoriented if you don’t plan ahead.
- It was almost as if it had occurred to me.
- You’ll go in that way for quite some time without seeing another sign until you reach a fork in the road.
- Afterwards, you’re just like, “Oh my gosh, it looks like I just paid $55 to run around a shopping mall.” It took me thirty minutes to get to Dubai Mall before my boarding time, and I ended up checking in ten minutes late after dashing through the mall for a total of 40 minutes.
The views of Dubai are more than worth the trouble of stumbling about a shopping mall in quest of the entrance, which is not easy to find.
When I was 18 years old, I traveled to New York City for the first time, and one of my first visits was the Top of the Rock, which is now known as the Empire State Building.
And while it happened more than a decade ago and has never happened again, every time I dare the climb to the top of a large structure, a small part of me worries that I will lose my mind once I reach the top of the skyscraper.
The bulk of Dubai was visible from where I was standing, despite the haze and clouds that were there.
Hanging out at the top of the Burj Khalifa was one of the least vertigo-inducing locations I’ve ever visited, and I believe that a significant part of that is due to the fact that we were so far up on the building.
), and being at the top of the Burj Khalifa felt a little bit like being at the top of the Empire State Building.
Given that grey skies were the overriding theme of my day in Dubai, I skipped out on what would most likely be a dull sunset and hurried off to the next site on my itinerary after an hour of staring out at the scenery.
Checking Out the World’s Largest Choreographed Fountain
Much though seeing the Burj Khalifa is one of Dubai’s most popular attractions and activities, I was delighted to hear that something even better was practically just next door. The Dubai water show is the largest choreographed fountain performance in the world, and it runs every half hour after 6 p.m. till the early hours of the morning. Arabian music echoes across the lake, as dazzling lights illuminate the fountains and water sprays as high as 500 feet into the air. The entire experience is breathtaking.
- The only drawback is that it isn’t free.
- Just as I was getting into the performance and was ready to go for my camera, it came to an abrupt halt.
- It just takes ten minutes to finish.
- It wasn’t long before I returned to my hotel since, not only had I come on an overnight trip, but I was also departing on an early morning flight that would have me getting up at four o’clock in the morning.
My First Impressions of Dubai
For a variety of reasons — including immigrants forced into slavery, laws that penalize women for being raped, and regulations that may result in the death sentence if you’re LGBT — Dubai had never piqued my interest, and I knew I’d never make a serious attempt to visit there in the future. If I were to advocate boycotting countries because of their questionable ethics, I would argue that once you go down that road, you’ll discover that there are virtually no countries you can visit, including most likely your own.
- So, how did I find Dubai?
- My preference for glamorous, contemporary, glittering cities has waned in recent years; as a result, the absurd levels of excess richness and commercialization made me feel more uncomfortable than anything else.
- It introduced me to a side of Dubai that was different from the skyscrapers and glitz, and it left me wanting to learn more about this area of the city.
- There were wet and dripping sand dunes all around me, and the sky was continuously grey, and I know everything would have looked better against a beautiful blue sky.
- I stayed at a wonderful hotel in Old Dubai that was only a few minutes’ walk from the souks and had a staff that was kind and inviting.
- And, on Booking, the lowest-priced hotels are often rated 3 out of 10.
Because that’s the only reason I can see myself having to travel to Dubai in the foreseeable future. It’s not a destination I’d go out of my way to see, but if I had a stopover in the city and had the option, I’d take advantage of the opportunity to visit the spice souk.
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During your stay in Dubai, do you have enough time to venture beyond the airport? With this list of 18 activities to do during your Dubai layover, you can decide whether or not the city is for you before you continue on to your next destination.
1 – Feel on top of the world in Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa, which stands over 828 meters (2,716.5 ft) tall and has more than 160 storeys, is the world’s tallest structure and a must-see attraction in Dubai. On the 124th, 125th, and 148th floors, you may take use of the fast elevators and take in the views from the observation decks. The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. We understand that every minute matters when you are waiting between flights, which is why we recommend purchasing skip-the-line tickets. In addition, audio tours are available for purchase at the admission desk for a fee of 25 AED (7 USD |
You may take advantage of guided tours to avoid the crowds and learn more about the city and its stupefying marvel of architecture before you go exploring by yourself.
1–2 hours is the approximate time required.
2 – Get the best shopping experience in Dubai Mall
On your way back from the Burj Khalifa, don’t forget to stop at the Dubai Mall! In addition to over 1,200 retail establishments and hundreds of food and beverage outlets, the world’s biggest shopping mall is home to the World Trade Center. Dubai Mall provides a one-of-a-kind shopping experience. Proceed a bite to eat at Aubaine, then take to the ground floor to pilot a virtual Emirates A380 in the ultra-modern flight simulator before walking to Fashion Avenue to see the newest collections from the world’s most prestigious designers at affordable prices.
In addition, the Dubai Mall offers something for everyone, including the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (5th on this list), the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, the Kidzania children’s entertainment complex, and a vast cinema complex.
Shopping trips with a fashion expert are available, and they may last as little as 3 hours or as long as you want them to last.
Driving time is 14 – 28 minutes |
3 – Strike gold at the Gold and Spice Souks
The Gold Souk is one of the Emirate’s oldest traditional markets, having been established in the 16th century. Given that it is renowned for its genuine gold jewelry stores, strolling around the market could scarcely be more pleasant on the eyes. The market offers a wide variety of original items, making it an excellent location to purchase mementos, regardless of whether they are shiny or not. The Gold SoukIt is less than a 5-minute walk from the Gold Souk. The ancient Spice Souk in the heart of the old town has been in operation for more than 50 years.
Make sure you don’t miss out on this opportunity! By automobile, it takes 14-35 minutes; by public transportation, it takes 24-38 minutes. How to travel to the location
4 – Get the best shots at Dubai Frame
Zabeel Park is home to this remarkable building constructed by Mexican architect Fernando Doris, which rises 150 meters (490 feet) over the surrounding landscape. The strategically located landmark catches the city’s imposing skyline in all its glory. Its upper level serves as an observation deck, from where you can obtain one of the greatest views of both the ancient and new parts of Dubai. Dubai FrameAt the bottom of the Frame, you’ll find a museum that will tell you everything about Dubai’s unique history as well as its vision for the future.
Driving time is 10–20 minutes, and public transportation takes 33 minutes.
5 – Be amazed by the Dubai AquariumUnderwater Zoo
Located inside within the Dubai Mall, you will be able to observe over 140 different species, including 300 different sharks and rays. With its 48-meter length, the tunnel provides an incredible view of the many species that live in the aquarium. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are two of the most popular attractions in the city. As you go through the Underwater Zoo’s Rainforest, Rocky Shore, and Living Ocean settings, you’ll come face to face with frightening Piranhas, fun Otters, a Humboldt Penguin colony, and other sea creatures.
By automobile, it takes between 16 and 28 minutes.
Tickets for the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
6 – The Museum of Illusions will blow your mind
Take some time to relax from your previous flight and have some fun at the Museum of Illusion, where you may engage with the different exhibits that will deceive your senses in surprising ways. The Museum of Illusions is a place where you can see things that aren’t there. Because the lineups for this famous attraction are frequently rather long, we recommend that you get your tickets in advance using Tourscanner. Approximately 12–30 minutes by automobile, or 30–38 minutes by public transportation 1–2 hours is the approximate time required.
7 – Helicopter flightswill take your breath away
Dubai is a metropolis that deserves to be seen from above. Take in the city’s magnificent monuments, including the world-famous Palm Jumeirah, in one fell swoop from the air. You should choose this option if you are limited on time but yet want to see everything. Helicopter trips are available. Dubai has a variety of helicopter tours available, so check out Tourscanner right away to find the ideal match for you! By driving, it takes between 20 and 38 minutes (to the Dubai Police Academy) the duration is between 12 and 40 minutes
8 – Boat tours: a must do
If you want to get a bird’s eye view of Dubai, fly over it. Take in the city’s magnificent monuments, including the world-famous Palm Jumeirah, in one fell swoop. You should choose this option if you have limited time but yet want to see everything.
Flights in a helicopter For the greatest helicopter tours in Dubai, check out Tourscanner right now to find the ideal suit for your needs! Traveling by automobile will take between 20 and 38 minutes (to the Dubai Police Academy) 12 – 40 minutes in duration.
9 – Take it all in on a city tour
During your stopover in Dubai, do you want to explore as much as you possibly can? Discover the city’s most important sites, atmospheric souks, and more. There are other tour options available, including a hop-on-hop-off bus trip and the peculiar Wonderbus, which travels between land and water. Additionally, you might choose for a more private vehicle trip or even a walking tour and allow yourself to be chauffeured about this magnificent city. A guided walking tour through the treasures of Old Dubai, learning about the local cuisine, or taking in the contemporary side of the city and its spectacular architecture are all highly recommended.
Time required: 1.5 – 10 hours
10 – Get a taste of paradise on JBR beach
There are a variety of water activities and camel rides available along the beach, or you can simply lie down and relax on the beautiful golden sands of JBR beach before your next flight out. JBR Beach is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. On your way to a seaside meal at one of the numerous restaurants on JBR beach, there is a strong possibility that you will come across some live entertainment. 28-45 minutes by vehicle / 1 hour and 15 minutes by public transportation
11 – Eat some finger-licking food at the Burj al Arab
In addition to being a must-see sight of the city, the Burj al Arab is home to some of the city’s most acclaimed culinary establishments. Observation deck of the Burj al Arab Depending on the time of day, you may drink tea at the Jumeirah, sip cocktails at the appropriately titled Skyview Bar, or sample some of Dubai’s greatest seafood at Nathan Outlaw’s aquarium restaurant. Tea hour at the Burj al Arab’s Jumeirah hotel Make a reservation for your Dubai stopover lunch with Tourscanner right away!
12 – Unwind before your flight at Burj Khalifa’s Burj Club Spa
Additionally, in addition to serving as a must-see landmark in Dubai, the Burj al Arab is house to some of the city’s most acclaimed culinary establishments. Observation deck of the Burj al Arab. Whatever the time of day, you may drink tea at the Jumeirah, sip cocktails at the appropriately called Skyview Bar, or sample some of Dubai’s greatest seafood at Nathan Outlaw’s aquarium restaurant. Jumeirah in the Burj al Arab is having a tea hour. Visit Tourscanner to book your Dubai stopover lunch right away!
12 – Add a Safari on your Dubai layover bucket list
Desert safaris are one of the most popular things to do in Dubai, and with good reason: they are breathtakingly beautiful. Discover why sandboarding is an indispensable aspect of your journey during your stopover in Dubai by taking a thrilling drive through the desert in a jeep or quad bike and crossing it off your bucket list while you are in Dubai. In Dubai, you may go on a desert safari. The many different combinations of exciting desert activities and amazing meals are available on our website, and they are more affordable than you may expect!
13 – Spend a day out of time on a camel safari
A camel ride might be included in your adrenaline-pumping desert safari adventure. However, if you are looking to spend a day out of time on the back of one of these magnificent beasts, there are a variety of options available. Trekking with camels over the desert in Dubai After a delicious breakfast, embark on a morning camel trek across the dunes, or take in a breathtaking sunset over the sand dunes before heading to supper and maybe some live entertainment in the evening.
You may choose your wonderful adventure right now on Tourscanner, and then sit back and enjoy the trip!
14 – Go on a day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai
If you want to learn a little more about the United Arab Emirates during your stopover, consider taking a day excursion from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, the contemporary and cosmopolitan capital of the Emirates. A visit to the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, one of the world’s most remarkable structures, will provide you with a better understanding of Abu Dhabi’s religion and customs. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. You may then visit the magnificent Louvre Abu Dhabi, where you should be sure to obtain skip-the line admission tickets as well as possibly a guided tour!
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, as well as Yas Waterworld, where you can cool down with a huge splash and relax on a beautiful sandy beach.
Tourscanner can help you arrange your day trip to Abu Dhabi.
15 – Discover Hatta on a day trip from Dubai
For a day trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city, travel to Hatta, a rocky mountain town 90 minutes by car from Dubai. Hatta Heritage Village is a historical site in Hatta, India. After getting lost in the captivating nature and photographing the dream-like Hatta Green Lake on a mountain safari, visit the Hatta Heritage Village, which depicts life in ancient times, and then return to your hotel. Visit renovated cottages on your route to the Hatta Fort and learn about the history of its residents while on your way to the Hatta Fort Here’s where you can find the best day tours to Hatta.
16 – Spend a fun-filled dayin a theme park
A variety of theme parks are available for visitors to enjoy, whether they are with their families or with their friends. Motiongate Dubai is home to 27 themed rides from companies such as Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, and Dreamworks Animation. Motion Gate is a theme park in California. Prepare to spend the day in your swimwear at one of Dubai’s several waterparks, which include the LEGOLAND Waterpark. Bollywood Parks, the world’s first Bollywood-themed theme park, is a fantastic place to spend the day.
17 – Get your adrenaline pumping
Dubai is a popular destination for thrill seekers. Start with the Jebel Jais zip line, which is the world’s longest of its type, stretching for a massive 2832 meters (9291 feet) in length. With speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, it will transport you from the summit of Jabel Jais mountain, which is also the highest point in the UAE, to the surface of the earth (93 mph). Kitesurfing in Dubai is a popular sport. Adventure the rush of excitement while participating in a tandem skydiving experience; an indoor skydiving experience is also offered at a reasonable fee.
For watersports enthusiasts and novices alike, Dubai is a haven of activities ranging from jet skis to flyboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding, windsurfing, surfing, and stand up paddle boarding, among others. During your stopover in Dubai, you may indulge in a variety of enticing activities.
18 – Sit back and enjoy the La Perle by Dragoneshow
If you have a late-night or early-morning flight out of Dubai, Dubai’s first permanent exhibition can be the last stop on your stopover in the city. Dragone’s La Perle is a work of art. Featuring a cast of 65 performers from 23 different nations, the production is directed by Franco Dragone, who has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil on several projects. Enjoy the light show, acrobatics, acting, aerial tricks, and underwater acts, among many other things. Seats are limited. By automobile, it takes between 14 and 18 minutes.
Emirates Dubai Connect
In the event that you are traveling via Dubai Connect, please make certain that you have all of the entrance and regulatory documentation required by your destination (such as valid negative COVID-19 tests) with you at all times during your voyage. In order to travel to the UAE with a Dubai Connect Package if you are traveling from one of the restricted countries (Bangladesh; India; Nigeria; Pakistan; Sri Lanka; South Africa; Uganda; Vietnam; Zambia) and have booked a Dubai Connect Package, you must comply with the requirements of your final destination as well as the UAE entry and regulatory requirements.
If you are obliged to remain somewhere other than the airport during your transit period, you have the following alternatives available to you:
- If you are eligible for a Dubai Connect package, you must reserve the service at least 24 hours before your scheduled flight. It is possible to stay in a hotel or with family and friends if you do not qualify for Dubai Connect. If you are qualified for visa on arrival or have a pre-approved visa to enter Dubai, you can do so at your own expense or in a hotel or with family and friends. Unless you can produce proof of your ability to leave the airport for a transit lasting more than 10 hours, you will be refused boarding at the point of departure.
Any adjustments to our services at this time will always be made with your comfort and safety as our top priorities, regardless of the circumstances.
For the first time ever, Dubai International Airport handled an astounding 83.6 million passengers in 2016. Many of these passengers were transit travelers taking use of Dubai’s strategic location as a link between Africa, Asia, and Europe, according to the statistics. Some layovers are brief events, with passengers hurrying from one gate to the next as they pass through. Passengers that stop over in Dubai may, on sometimes, have the opportunity to spend a bit more time in the city. We’ve put up a guide on how to make the most of a brief stopover in Dubai, which you can find here.
Things to know before leaving the airport during a short Dubai layover:
Visas Before you make the decision to leave the airport, you should find out what your visa status will be before you depart. VISAs on arrival are available to inhabitants of 48 countries, including Australia, Canada. the United Kingdom. the United States, and Germany. This will allow them to quickly exit the airport while on a stopover in one of these countries. Additionally, Indian passport holders who have a valid American visa or Green Card are eligible for a visa on arrival in the United States.
- If you’re travelling with Emirates, you should also check into their Dubai Connect Program, which assists customers who have lengthy layovers in Dubai in finding accommodations.
- Instead of lugging your luggage around the city, you might consider putting it in short-term storage while you are away.
- The short-term storage facility is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Transport The Dubai International Airport is conveniently placed near the city, allowing travelers who are on a stopover in Dubai to get out of the airport as fast as possible.
- Both of these terminals are connected to the Dubai Metro Red Line, which runs through the city.
- Please keep in mind that when traveling by Dubai Metro, there are some limits on what you may bring with you.
- You also have the option of taking a cab to your destination.
The taxi service at Dubai International Airport is quite well managed, with a fleet of cabs available around the clock. There is an AED 25 flag charge for taxis departing from the airport, as well as an AED 1.96 per kilometer traveled charge for each kilometer driven.
Things to do when visiting Dubai for one day
We’ve put up a concise one-day itinerary for travellers who are only in Dubai for a single day. We’ve selected the attractions listed below based on their popularity as well as their relative accessibility to San Francisco International Airport. You may need to make changes to the itinerary below depending on the duration of your stopover as well as the day and time of your arrival (for instance, some attractions in the Historical district run on reduced hours on Fridays). Located in the Al Fahidi Historical District In Dubai, we propose that you visit the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood, which is located in the city’s old quarter.
In order to reach Union Station using the Metro from Dubai International Airport, you must first switch to the Green Line at Union Station.
This neighborhood contains a large number of tiny museums, many of which are either free or have a very cheap admission cost.
We also propose that you pay a visit to the Dubai Museum.
The admission charge is merely AED 3, and it offers a fascinating glimpse into the way of life in the region prior to the discovery of petroleum.
Souks (traditional markets) in Dubai After you’ve finished exploring the Dubai Museum, you may head over to the Souqs.
After that, you may take the Dubai Abra over the Creek to your destination (water taxi).
On the Deira side, you will find yourself in the Spice Market, where you can get a variety of delicacies at unbelievable prices, like saffron, vanilla, and Zaatar, among others.
If you continue on your journey, you will come upon the glistening Dubai Gold Souk.
If you’re in the market for a new trinket, here is a great place to browse.
During our Old Dubai Tour, we will tour you through the many marketplaces in the area and even take you inside some of the stores to demonstrate the wide range of things available.
Dubai’s downtown area When you’re through shopping, make your way to Downtown Dubai, where you’ll find the world-famous Dubai Mall.
Aside from that, it features a fantastic selection of different cuisines, with both upscale restaurants and street food booths to choose from.
A good example is the Dubai Aquarium, which is located on many levels of the Dubai Mall and is home to 140 different kinds of sea life.
The Burj Khalifa’s entrance is located on the Lower Ground Level, which you may reach after finishing your shopping at Dubai Mall.
Keep in mind that tickets sell out quickly, and that, unless you purchase an instant entrance ticket, all tickets have a limited entry period.
The majority of visitors spend around 1 hour at the top of the Burj Khalifa.
The Dubai Fountain offers a stunning choreographed performance that plays every 30 minutes in the evenings from 6:00pm to 11:00pm.
It also hosts a few afternoon concerts at 1:00pm and 1:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays (except on Fridays, when the afternoon shows are at 1:30pm and 2:00pm).
From there, you may take a short walk over the boardwalk to Souk Al Bahar, a fashionable shopping and dining destination. Alternatively, you may stroll down the promenade and take in the public art on exhibit there.
With so much to see and do during a stopover in Dubai, it might be tough to choose just a few fast highlights from the multitude of options available. Nonetheless, we believe that the one-day schedule outlined above is an excellent choice for travelers who want to make the most of their time in Dubai. If you have any concerns about how to prepare for your impending stopover, please leave a remark and we will respond as soon as possible.