Dubai has become a perfect travel stopover. Long flight hours to Asian countries make Dubai a must-see for more than just stretching your legs. If you are going to visit this modern city soon, do not miss all the things to see and do in Dubai for a day or two or if you only go a few hours.
Since you are going to eat an eight-hour layover in Dubai (at least), is it worth leaving the airport? Yes, sure. The typical thing is to go to see the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Even if you have time, you can also stroll through the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk before catching the next flight.
On a flight stopover, will you have time to enjoy Dubai? Sorry, but no. We spent two full days, one on the way out and the other on the way back from the trip to Japan, and even so, the city fell short of us. It is so big and has tremendous dimensions from one place to another. Anyway, to get a general idea of the city, one day may be good.
By the way, did you know that everything in Dubai is “the best”? In this city is:
- The tallest building in the world.
- the largest shopping center in the world.
- the most expensive hotel in the world.
- the largest number of jewels per m2 is here, not in the English Court.
- Does anyone give more?
- Go ahead that the city, a priori, did not attract me at all, and in the end, it ended up taking a piece of my potato. I liked it. Are you coming with me to discover it? In this post, I will tell you the essential plans to see and do in Dubai.
10 essential things to see and do in Dubai
- Visit the Burj Khalifa, the top thing to see in Dubai
The Burj Khalifa to Dubai is like Paris to the Eiffel Tower or Rome to the Colosseum. You can’t put a pin in the city if you haven’t been here (and you know it). Without a doubt, it is the most essential place to see in Dubai.
This 828-meter-tall hunk of a hulk is the tallest building in the world and a must-see for all travelers visiting Dubai.
You can read here everything you have to do to visit the Burj Khalifa. In it, I tell you everything you need to know about the building, a lot of curiosities and a lot of useful information. I advise you to buy your ticket in advance to avoid queues directly here.
- See the Burj Khalifa Fountains Night Show
If you can, try not to miss the spectacle of the fountains at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. The appointment is daily from 6 pm to 11 pm.
By the way, it is practically impossible to take a decent photo of the Burj Khalifa and have it come out in one piece. It is so big that it does not fit in the photo! Well, the important thing is to try, right?
- Take a walk around the Dubai Mall, another place to see in Dubai
Another cool plan to do in Dubai is to take a walk around the Dubai Mall. You have to go through part of this mall to get to the entrance of the Burj Khalifa. It is the largest mall in the world, and also the coldest mall in the world. OMG, how they have the air conditioning! At first, it’s nice to go in, but when you’ve been around for a while you miss a blanket (well, I’m exaggerating a bit anyway). 😉
The mall has thousands of stores (I’m not exaggerating this time). It has a skating rink, a waterfall, an aquarium with sharks, even information booths in case you get lost.
The Dubai Mall is fine to walk around for a while, but it doesn’t go much further (unless you want to wow your shopping, of course).
It also has a lot of restaurants and fast-food chains. If you have little time to get to know Dubai, it is a good option to eat in one of the establishments in this shopping center.
- Take a walk through the “Old Town”
It seems incredible that a city as modern as Dubai has an “old town”, but it does. In the area of the “old town” of Dubai are the souks and markets of the city.
The Gold Souk, I am not very enthusiastic about it. It is still a handful of streets lined with quirky shops and jewelers. On the other hand, the Spice Souk seemed much more authentic to me, with that mixture of smells, colors, and flavors so characteristic of Arab countries.
Both souks are very close to each other, so you can visit both in no time.
A few meters from the Spice Souk is the Dubai Creek, a traditional port area with a lot of movement. Although we did not do it, typical boats frequently depart from here that take a tour of the river for about an hour.
- Enjoy Dubai Marina at night
Without a doubt, Dubai Marina is my favorite place in Dubai. I loved it. It is an area of mega skyscrapers next to the river and the beach. Ideal to get close to here at night. Taking a walk around this area when the city lights come on is just perfect.
A plan that I would have loved to do, and that we did not do due to lack of time, is a cruise through the Dubai Marina with a romantic dinner included. If you don’t want to be left with the desire to do it, you can book this plan directly here .
- See the great hotels in Dubai from the outside: the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis Hotel
Several great hotels deserve a separate mention. One of them is the Burj Al Arab, the most expensive 7-star hotel in the world. The price of one night in this “hut” is just about 1,300 euros. Small change. 😉
Its structure simulates a sailboat. You will see it from different points of the city.
Another great hotel is the Hotel Atlantis. Surely it sounds familiar to you for being built at the end of an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. The resort has all kinds of luxuries, even water parks!
- See the Jumeirah Mosque
The Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque in Dubai that can be visited inside if you are not Muslim If you have already seen other mosques in other countries, I admit that this one is not so impressive. We just see it from the outside.
Remember that if you want to visit the mosque inside you have to be properly dressed for it. And if you are a woman, they also have to cover your hair.