Dubai is recognized for its ambition to be larger than life at anything they do, world’s tallest building, the world’s largest mall, luxury hotels or indoor ski slope is few to be named. Known for its tourism, luxury shopping and lively nightlife, most of us want to visit Dubai once in lifetime to experience the Arabian hospitality.
Dubai is one of my favorite holiday destinations, and normally I suggest spending around 4 days to enjoy best of Dubai, but what if you are transiting through and have only 24 hours?
Here is my personal 24-hour guide to draw the most out of the short Dubai trip: –
1. Burj Khalifa: While is Dubai, you must plan to go at the top of Burj Khalifa, world tallest building to enjoy panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai skyline. Burj Khalifa “At the Top” experience takes approximately 2 hours. To beat the queues, you can reserve the tickets in advance or opt for VIP tickets.
2. Shopping: Dubai is full of mega malls (like the Mall of Emirates, Dubai Mall, Daira City Centre, Ibn-Batuta Mall), which provide an excellent shopping experience. I recommend Dubai mall, which is awarded as worlds biggest shopping mall and entertainment center. The mall is so massive that on average it takes around 3-4 hours to walk through all areas. Various local and international brands offering ultimate luxury shopping experience, food courts, restaurants, cinema, ice skating rink, fish aquarium with scuba diving facilities would keep you entertained for hours.
No visit to Dubai is complete without visiting Gold Souk. Amazing and unique gold, silver and diamond jewellery designs will definitely dazzle you.
3. Dubai Musical Fountain: A musical fountain (Designed and choreographed by the same team who designed famous Bellagio Fountains, Las Vegas) show runs every 30 minutes at Burj Khalifa Lake, situated outside the Dubai mall. Musical fountain show starts around afternoon and runs till late night. The fountain can be viewed from anywhere around the lake, but if you want to experience the thrill of being close to water shooting jets, you can pay and enjoy Fountain Lake Rides and view the fountains from the lake itself.
5. Dhow Ride at Dubai Creek: Another way to experience the Dubai Skyline is from Dubai creek. Throughout the day various options are available such as 2-hour creek cruise, Lunch or Dinner Dhow Cruise and so on. If you are pressed with time, creek taxi can be used to hold the small trip along the creek to enjoy the glimmering skyline of Dubai.
4. Dine out: From fine dining to street food, Dubai offers wonderful choices of restaurants. Strolling through the Dubai Mall, you will come across amazing places to awake your taste buds such as best cupcakes, the best gelato, best sharwama or best steakhouse. Likewise, Medina Jumeirah, Souk Al Bahar and various hotels offer top end restaurants from chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Gary Rhodes and Vineet Bhatia. On the other hand various roadside restaurants and cafe’s offer pocket friendly Arabic, Indian subcontinent cuisines.
5. Dubai Architect: Various iconic buildings such as Burj Al Arab, Palm Atlantis, Cayan Tower, Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Marina Bay skyline showcase the creativity and amazing architect of Dubai.
6. Hop-on Hop-off Bus: This is ultimate; bus covers all the major attractions (listed above) and more. Depending on current deals, the bus ticket comes with many offers included, such as entry to Dubai Museum, Dhow Cruise etc.
TIP: Be sensitive to local culture while in Dubai.