A friend of mine once told me he spent a few hours in Dubai and saw everything. He paid a cab to take him round for the day while he was on a stopover, and he saw everything he wanted to see. 

12 hours in Dubai can be done because I've done it...just not in depth. 

When we flew to Hong Kong and Boracay last year, we stopped in Dubai. Having never been there before, Paddy and I decided we would delay out flight home an extra day and explore the city while we could. We had planned to be there a grand total of 22 hours, but thanks to Air Asia making us miss our flight to Dubai, we ended up there for about 15 hours, including airport time.

It was extremely hot, we were extremely jet lagged and sleep deprived, and yet still extremely eager to explore.

Our trip really was fleeting, and that's not really for everyone. We wanted to pack in as much of the most obvious attractions in the time we had, but also not exhaust ourselves in the little time we had. If you're planning a similar style visit to Dubai, these are the things we got up to:

  • Going to the top of the Burj Khalifa - this is a must do; the views are incredible! And you get to say you've been to the top of the highest building in the world, which is pretty cool. Once you're up there, you can stay as long as you like. We stayed for sunset, which was beauuutiful!
  • Visiting the malls - we went to the Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall. Out of the two, I'd pick Dubai Mall; it's bigger, it's got more there, and it has a bloody huge aquarium in the middle of it which is pretty stunning. I recommend heading outside the mall for the fountain show if you can, it changes each time!
  • The marina - to settle in, we had a wander around the marina. This tends to be where the expats are mainly based, and it really is gorgeous. The views are amazing, the architecture is pretty jaw-dropping, and you're not far from the sea.

If we'd had more time, I would've loved to visit the Miracle Garden, the Palm Jumeriah, and the Al Fahidi historic district, but that's what next time is for!

Check out some of the photos below...

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M x