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Things to do on 17 Hour Dubai Stopover

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jmalonzies

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Hi all

My first time stopping over at Dubai Airport and I'm really quite excited. I arrive at Dubai at 2:30 in the arvo and and leave at 7 the next morning. Emirates has kindly enough provided me with accomodation during the stopover, but what I really want to do is explore Dubai as much as I can during the stopover.

Does anyone who's had experience with Dubai have any suggestions/recommendations as to what I could do on my stopover? I'm mindful that I arrive in the arvo and it will take a while to even be able to leave the airport. Are any tours still operating at that time of day for example? I'll be there on a Sunday.

Thanks!
 

markis10

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There are a stack of tours, look at doing dinner in the desert and sunrise up at the Burj Kalifa for a start.
 

JB83

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Don't worry about being there on a Sunday arvo, cause over there Sunday is the start of the working week. There are plenty of tours you can do, one that springs to mind is Big Bus Tours, I havent done it myself yet. Other than that, if you are looking for a good way to see the new Dubai, I would recommend the Dubai Mall. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai Aquarium and the Dubai Fountain are all together in and around the mall, it filled up my day last time I was there.
 

get me outta here

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There are many of the old original historical bits of Dubai easy to get to in a few hours on a on the south side of the creek including the old buildings, and the ride across the creek on the Abra. I found all of that much more interesting than tall buildings and shopping malls available in any big city. Although the Dubai Malls are the most over the top.

In the heritage Bastakiya area, there are the restored old wind tower buildings, lots of cafes and restaurants on the creek front.
 

james1

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There are a stack of tours, look at doing dinner in the desert and sunrise up at the Burj Kalifa for a start.
Go online and book the Kalifa early. Seems to sell out well in advance and 'walk up' tix are quite expensive - I learnt this the hard way! :(
 

jmalonzies

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Thank you everyone for all the suggestions.

Don't worry about being there on a Sunday arvo, cause over there Sunday is the start of the working week. There are plenty of tours you can do, one that springs to mind is Big Bus Tours, I havent done it myself yet. Other than that, if you are looking for a good way to see the new Dubai, I would recommend the Dubai Mall. The Burj Khalifa, Dubai Aquarium and the Dubai Fountain are all together in and around the mall, it filled up my day last time I was there.
In your opinion, is it more worthwhile going on a Big Bus Tour (flight arrives at 14:30, probably an hour to clear customs) or just to travel myself to the Dubai Mall and focus my time on that and miss a few of the attractions available for the tour?

I'm just worried about the feasibility of sightseeing with my time constraints.

There are many of the old original historical bits of Dubai easy to get to in a few hours on a on the south side of the creek including the old buildings, and the ride across the creek on the Abra. I found all of that much more interesting than tall buildings and shopping malls available in any big city. Although the Dubai Malls are the most over the top.

In the heritage Bastakiya area, there are the restored old wind tower buildings, lots of cafes and restaurants on the creek front.
I'd actually love to see some of the older buildings and mosques. But again, I worry about the time constraints. There wouldn't be any within reasonable travel from the Dubai Mall would there?
 

JohnPhelan

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Thank you everyone for all the suggestions.



In your opinion, is it more worthwhile going on a Big Bus Tour (flight arrives at 14:30, probably an hour to clear customs) or just to travel myself to the Dubai Mall and focus my time on that and miss a few of the attractions available for the tour?

I'm just worried about the feasibility of sightseeing with my time constraints.



I'd actually love to see some of the older buildings and mosques. But again, I worry about the time constraints. There wouldn't be any within reasonable travel from the Dubai Mall would there?
I did the Big Bus tour a few months back. It's useful for an orientation, but is really quite s....l....o....w......... You don't have the time to waste.

You should get out of the airport quite quickly - DXB is generally efficient. Depending on where you're staying, the metro (underground in the old part of town, elevated in the rest) may be the fastest way of getting around. If you're not near a station, then use a taxi - they are cheap.

In the afternoon, you're really got two choices - either follow the suggestion from Markis and do the "dinner in the dunes" in a Bedouin tent (after some 4WD dune bashing!), etc or walk around the old town (both sides of Dubai Creek) and visit mosques, souks, etc and then do the Burj observation deck into the evening. You won't have time to do both options.

The next morning, with a 7am departure, you're really not going to have time to do anything other than get to the airport (except maybe if it's a 5am sunrise when you are there??), so it's really just the late afternoon and evening that you have. A shame, because you can easily fill 3 or 4 days in DXB.
 
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get me outta here

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Ok so you land at 1430 was it? I'd say do the heritage walk and abra for say 2 hours which is plenty as it really isn't far, followed by a quick Dubian coffee on the waterfront at the creek. Then off to the Mall for another hour or so, unless you start actually shopping and not just marvelling wryly at the wondrous things in there. It's pretty much what I did so I'd say that it would fit in just fine. Remember, the Malls close pretty late. The Metro between the Mall and the Bastakiya will only take approx 15 mins and as it's all windows so gives you a tour in itself.

The morning before you go, have a quick walk around outside just to experience the early morning temps and light to wake you up.

I'd actually love to see some of the older buildings and mosques. But again, I worry about the time constraints. There wouldn't be any within reasonable travel from the Dubai Mall would there?
 

get me outta here

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PS, these people took their time, but you can get a feel for it in considerably less:

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/forums/middle-east/United Arab Emirates/old-dubai-bastakiya?page=1


Ok so you land at 1430 was it? I'd say do the heritage walk and abra for say 2 hours which is plenty as it really isn't far, followed by a quick Dubian coffee on the waterfront at the creek. Then off to the Mall for another hour or so, unless you start actually shopping and not just marvelling wryly at the wondrous things in there. It's pretty much what I did so I'd say that it would fit in just fine. Remember, the Malls close pretty late. The Metro between the Mall and the Bastakiya will only take approx 15 mins and as it's all windows so gives you a tour in itself.

The morning before you go, have a quick walk around outside just to experience the early morning temps and light to wake you up.
 

RooFlyer

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<snip>

I'd actually love to see some of the older buildings and mosques. But again, I worry about the time constraints. There wouldn't be any within reasonable travel from the Dubai Mall would there?
The Dubai metro is (very) modern, clean and efficient and using it you can do most of the 'must sees', as well as get some walking in, better than riding a bus IMHO. Day pass about $5.

The Red line goes from the airport through to the Mall and changing onto the green line, you get to Deira

View attachment 33713


Red line to Union Square, change then get off at Al Ras station (Deira area) get off and see the Gold Souq, Spice Souq and the other souqs! Jump on an abra (traditional boat) to cross 'The Creek' and there you have the old Dubai Fort / Dubai Museum. Then get back on the Red line to Dubai Mall station (also called Burj Khalifa station), and all its attractions. Sunset / night at the Burj Khalifa is great too.

Red line straight back to the airport (assume that's the area where you are staying).

Most of the metro is elevated, so you get great views from it too. try to get a seat at the front - its driverless, so you can look straight out the front. Some pics from Dubai and metro here
 
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