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6 Things to do near Dubai airport

Our list of time-critical Dubai stopover attractions pack a cultural punch

In a city brimming with both the old and the new, there's more than just one way to spend a stopover in Dubai. With Dubai International Airport (DXB) located only minutes from Old Dubai and within easy reach of Downtown Dubai and Alserkal Avenue, some of the most authentic experiences can be found in less than 30 minutes. Here’s what you can do with less than 24 hours in Dubai. 

1

Alserkal Avenue

Duration: 2 hours

Alserkal Avenue

Duration: 2 hours

View contemporary Middle Eastern art

Now home to an Instagram-worthy Rem Koolhas-designed project space (from world-famous Dutch architects OMA), Dubai's Alserkal art district in urban enclave Al Quoz is carving out some serious cultural cred. Immerse yourself in art from the region – there are more than 94 spaces to choose from, including the cutting-edge Syrian-owned Ayyam Gallery. 

Contact Details
    Street 8, Al Quoz 1
   +971 50 556 9797 

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2

Ravi Restaurant

Duration: 1 hour

Ravi Restaurant

Duration: 1 hour

Grab a hearty, affordable meal at Ravi 

Ask any Dubai resident where to find the best value meal in the city and it's likely they'll point to Ravi. The unassuming street-style Pakistani eatery in Dubai's bustling Satwa area is an institution, so much so that it once featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. Crowd-pleasers such as creamy chicken mughlai, mutton chops and paratha are served from 5am until late.
Contact Details
    2nd December Street, Satwa
   +971 4 331 5353 
3

Burj Khalifa

Duration: 1.5 hours

Burj Khalifa

Duration: 1.5 hours

Stare up in awe at the world’s tallest tower

You don't necessarily need to ride to the top to get a feel for Burj Khalifa's imposing presence, but those who do will walk away with more than just a spectacular view. The tower’s observation deck, At The Top, not only provides panoramic vistas of Dubai from 125 and 148 floors up, but also a lesson on how the world's tallest building came to be. If you have extra time, grab a bite to eat at one of the many options within Souk Al Bahar and enjoy The Dubai Fountain show up close. 
Contact Details
    1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai
    +971 4 888 8888  

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4

Spice Souk

Duration: 1 hour

Spice Souk

Duration: 1 hour

Buy spices at a traditional souk

Located approximately 10 minutes from Dubai International Airport, Deira's Spice Souk is one of the oldest markets in Dubai. Weave your way through traditional architecture and aromatic passageways to find an Arabian spice market, filled with overflowing bags of dried rose buds, cinnamon, saffron and more. Interacting with the vendors is part of the fun and bartering is expected. If you cross the main road to the south, you’ll even get a glimpse of the heart of the city’s trade, Dubai Creek.
Contact Details
    Adjacent to Dubai Gold Souk, Deira
5

2nd December St

Duration: 1 hour

2nd December St

Duration: 1 hour

Check out quirky and creative street art

In recent years, Dubai's street art scene has exploded and there's no better place to capture it on camera than 2nd December Street. Here, local and world-famous street artists are putting their own stamp on the city, transforming the sides of buildings into giant murals with local themes such as falcons and Emirati children at play. Stroll along to take in the colourful creations and don’t forget to savour some unconventional street food bites at the many nearby eateries.
Contact Details
    2nd December Street

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6

Abra ride

Duration: 2 hours

Abra ride

Duration: 2 hours

Sail across the Creek in a traditional wooden boat

Wander the streets of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, complete with wind towers, galleries, museums and a fort dating back to the 1800s, to get a feel for the Dubai of old. Then, take an abra water taxi (traditional Arabian boat) across Dubai Creek, the city's former fishing and pearl-diving hub, for just AED1 (less than US$0.30) each way for a true Dubai experience. 
Contact Details
     Dubai Creek, between Deira and Bur Dubai