The Hot List: Stopover Guide
While there are plenty of attractions to warrant a long holiday in Dubai, our emirate is still a great place for a stopover. Here’s a quick guide on things to do, whether you’re here for four hours or staying overnight.
Our top five activities for seeing Dubai on a deadline
Whether you’re in Dubai for four hours or 24, there’s plenty of ways to get a taste of what the city has to offer.
While Dubai has more than enough attractions to warrant a whole fortnight’s holiday, even on a short stopover it is possible to get a taste of the place. Whether you’re just passing through between flights or spending the night in the city, here’s what you can see and do.
Less than four hours
Dubai International Airport
You probably won’t have time to leave the airport and get back in time to connect, but Dubai International is actually a pretty good place to pass the time. Take a dip in the on-site swimming pool, relax in the indoor Zen garden or, experience the pure luxury of the business class lounges. You can read more about things to do to pass your layover time here.
Between four and eight hours
Sightsee in Downtown
Time will be tight, so it’s important to get your priorities right! Luckily, a visit to Downtown will ensure you tick of a few sights in one go. First, take a 25-minute taxi ride to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Book a timeslot in advance and head up to the observation deck on Level 124 to see one of the most breathtaking views anywhere in Dubai. And right next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall, which has everything from an ice rink and Vegas-style fountains to an ancient dinosaur fossil and a giant aquarium.
Between eight and 15 hours
Squeeze in some shopping in the souks
After the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, next on the hit list should be a taste of old Dubai in the form of the traditional souks. With gold, spices, textiles and fish all available in the winding alleyways, they are the ideal place to pick up a souvenir.
And for an added dose of culture, take a traditional abra ride across the Creek for a bargain price of just AED1. All of this is just 20 minutes or so from the airport, so that leaves maximum time to take in the rich Arabian atmosphere.
Le Méridien Dubai
While an awful lot of Dubai can be discovered in a day, the best stopovers always incorporate an overnight stay in one of the luxurious five-star hotels that Dubai is famous for.
Ideally located just a five-minute taxi ride from the airport and home to some 18 lounges and restaurants in the impressive Méridien Village, Le Méridien Dubai is the perfect place for weary travellers to rest their heads.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing