It’s the city where all that glitters is probably gold; where spas, fast cars, and shopping till you drop go hand-in-hand with luxury dining, beach lounging and fun in the desert sun. Stopping over? There are plenty of things to do in Dubai and a day or two is plenty of time to do just a few. Here’s what you simply can’t miss.
Visit Dubai in style…
Getting around Dubai
The Metro is your best bet for getting around Dubai. It’s fast, cheap and reliable, and it sure beats sitting in traffic in a taxicab. It’s driverless, fully automated and like most things in Dubai, air-conditioned for your comfort. Alternatively, taxis are abundant and if you can’t stand the heat en route to a Metro station, they’ll collect you outside any hotel or mall and save you from becoming a sweaty mess.
Day One in Dubai
AM: Breakfast or brunch like a star
Rise and shine early and head for your first slice of indulgence. They’ve cracked it at Eggspectation down at JBR, with a giant menu of egg dishes. Next up, one of the best things to do in Dubai: beat the crowds and take one of the world’s fastest elevators all the way up to the 124th floor of the famous Burj Khalifa skyscraper. It’s only when you’re getting those falcon’s-eye views of Dubai that you can see just how far this crazy city has expanded, in the middle of a desert.
Or get over to The Dubai Fountain Show and Lake Ride. The small boat ride gets you as close to the leaping fountains as you can get without being in the water. There’s over 6000 lights and 25 colored projectors. In fact, the whole show turns the water feature by Dubai Mall into a spectacular event that even Katy Perry couldn’t dream of for a music video.
If it’s Friday, cancel everything else. For a feast like no other, the Big Friday Brunch held weekly at Al Qasr hotel in Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai should be your top pick! It takes 130 chefs 48 hours to prepare this belly-bustiing spread of scrumptiousness. There’s meat, seafood, cheese, jellybeans, sushi (whatever you can imagine is probably there) plus 35 live cooking stations and over 280 international dishes on the buffet tables. Wear loose pants.
PM: Sharks, spas, and sunset
It’s time for adventure at the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis on The Palm. Dive or snorkel among the remains of the lost city of Atlantis and meet the 65.000 marine animals that call the ancient ruins their home. Real daredevils can opt for the predator dive: hand-feed the 14 different species of sharks and rays swimming among the artifacts.
Day Two in Dubai
Afterward, relax on the beach with views of the Dubai skyline, hit the spa (they have 27 treatment rooms), then glam up and watch the sun go down with a cocktail and dinner at Vu’s on the 50th floor of the Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Ah, bliss.
AM: Shop till you drop (with a twist)
You can’t come to the tax-free haven of Dubai without shopping, so get up early for a stroll around the souks in Bur Dubai (smell that spice!), then re-pack your wallet for a whizz about the Emirates Mall while it’s quiet.
How about combining your shopping mall activities with a bit of ice-skating at the Olympic sized ice-rink in the Dubai Mall? You might ache a bit afterward, or just be laden down with shopping bags. If so, schedule lunch at one of the many restaurants around the Dubai Fountains – designed by the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Vegas to shoot water up to 500 feet into the air.
PM: Flights of 5-star fancy
A Desert safari might be just what you need to remind you that a stopover in the Middle East isn’t all about extravagance. Take an exhilarating afternoon drive out into the dunes on a bumpy buggy, or even more extravagantly, take a Helicopter tour over Dubai! The views as the sun sets over the city are spectacular and even those humongous skyscrapers look tiny from above. Now that’s how you do Dubai!