With 57 million passengers going through Dubai airport every year, countless people have the opportunity to go for a quick adventure in the famous city in between their flights. Whether you are looking to stroll in a calm soul for a couple of hours, or seeking to delve deeply in the Dubai experience the whole day; the city has something to offer for everyone.
Here are a few suggestions for your next stopover to Dubai:
A stroll in the Old Souk
Location: Bastakiya Street, Bur Dubai
Distance: 15-20 minutes from the airport in a Taxi. Fare: 40-45 AED
Cost: A two hour cruise with dinner starting around 200 AED. Meal in a restaurant: 50-200 AED per person.
The Bastakia quarter is located on Dubai’s Creek, where the city first beganas a small town of pearl traders and fishermen and grew into today’s bustling metropolis. Housing the city’s oldest buildings, including Al Fahidi fort built in 1787, the neighbourhood is the heart of the Dubai’s heritage. The unique mix of traditional Emirati architecture, museums, art galleries, cafes, and spice souks, gives Bastakia a vibrant and lively atmosphere. You can enjoy contemporary art while sipping a cup of local shay, embark on a dinner cruise around the creek on a classic wooden dhow, or dine in one of the many restaurants populating the creek side.
If you are looking for a traditional Arabic experience with a modern twist try the Souk Madinat
Location: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Distance: 25-30 minutes from the airport in a Taxi. Fare: 70-85 AED
Dinner: Starting 80 AED per person
Nestled within the waterways and palm gardens of Madinat Jumeirah Hotel, Souk Madinat is definitely one of the must-see places in Dubai. With over 40 shops, bars, restaurants, talise spa and an amphitheatre, Madinat is a multipurpose venue that offers an authentic recreation of ancient Arabia with a modern twist. Dine in a romantic setting in one of its world-class restaurants, or take a stroll in the souk to discover its hidden treasures of fashion, jewellery, antiques, oils and spices.
A luxurious dinner in Burj Al-Arab
Distance: 25-30 minutes from the airport in a taxi. Fare: 70-85 AED
Dinner: starting 250 AED per person.
This iconic building standing in the middle of the Arabian Gulf like the sail of a dhow is the world’s tallest hotel and the symbol of modern Dubai. The urban myth describes it as a seven stars hotel, with VVIPs arriving via the helipad under the sound of fireworks. You can discover the famous hotel without staying the night by dining in one of its luxurious restaurants. Relax with an afternoon tea at Sahn Eddar , dine on the beach at Majlis Al Bahar or enjoy the view with a drink in hand from the top floor cocktail bar.
Relaxing at the park or beach
Location: Jumeirah Beach Park, Kite Beach, Safa Park.
Distance: 20-25 minutes from the airport in a taxi. Fare: 50-70 AED
Whether you are coming during the hot summer days or in the middle of winter, it’s always beach time in Dubai! Sunny weather all-year round means you can grab your swimsuit whenever you lay foot in Dubai’s airport and enjoy a quick sunny break on the beach. Jumeirah Beach Park is a beach-park hybridwith volleyball courts, picnic tables, and food kiosks. It’s only 20 minutes away from the airport and the entrance fee is just 5 AED.
Kite Beach is also a long stretch of open shore nearby, known by its name for its popularity with the city’s kite-surfers.
Dubai’s largest green space, Safapark is also just 5 minutes away. With three lakes, 200 species of birds, and thousands of trees, the park is the place to refresh and get some rest after a jet lag. The entrance fee is just 3 AED.
A visit to the heart of Dubai
Location: Downtown Dubai.
Distance: 15-25 minutes from the airport in a taxi. Fare: 50 – 70 AED,
Downtown Dubai lives up to its name with the world’s tallest building, BurjKhalifa; the Middle East’s largest shopping mall, Mall Dubai; a host of world-class hotels and restaurants, and the famous Dubai dancing fountain. Going up to the top of BurjKhalifa requires previous reservation, or you can buy a ticket upon arrival at the ground floor of Dubai mall for a much higher fee (400 AED). You can do your last-minute shopping in Dubai Mall, or enjoy a delicious see food meal in the nearby Souk Al-Bahar restaurants with a view on BurjKhalifa, while watching the Dubai fountain moving on the rhythms of international and local music.
A coffee in Dubai’s most famous street
Location: Jumeirah Beach Residence Street, and Dubai Marina.
Distance: 30-45 minutes from the airport in a taxi. Fare: 75-95 AED
They say you never really see the real Dubai without a walk in Jumeirah Beach Residence – JBR Street. Packed with world-class restaurants, high-end retail stores, and luxurious hotels, this is where people from the four corners of the world come to display their new Ferraris, or their pet tiger. Enjoy your coffee on the sidewalk, or pamper yourself in one of the many spas and hotels nearby.
The Marina is also a stone-throw away from JBR. The Marina is famous for its Yacht club and diverse top restaurants. Enjoy a meal on the waterfront or take a tour around the man-made Palm and the marina area in a boat.
Have you had an opportunity to spend a short stopover in Dubai? If so please feel free to share your experiences in the comments below!