Photo Credit: PULLKAT
Stop-overs have their pros and they have their cons. On the one hand, you get to see another destination on your way to the final one you’re planning on visiting, but on the other hand you’re tired, you’re grouchy, and you would much rather just get to where you’re going already!
You have to turn your thoughts to the positive however, and for anyone who finds themselves with a long stop-over in Dubai, you’re in luck.
Many people dream of visiting Dubai, but aren’t too sure of what to expect. Because of this, a stop-over allows you time to see what you think, a sampler kind of break, try before you buy. Dubai is a city jam-packed with activities and sights to see, and if you have a stop-over here then you should certainly get out and explore what you can, with the time you have, before deciding whether you want to come back for a longer holiday in the city itself.
Obviously if you have nights to stay over, or even just a few hours, you need to book one of the Dubai hotels such as Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai. Now, you’re not going to struggle, and some of them are seriously glittering. Dubai doesn’t do anything by halves, and when it comes to hotels, you can expect some very luxurious options, including spas to relax away those long-haul aches and pains. Probably the most famous hotel in Dubai is Atlantis, The Palm Hotel. Now, this is glittering and it is very luxurious indeed, but you will also need to pay the price tag to go alongside it.
The major positive is that Dubai International Airport is only around three miles outside of the city centre, so a taxi takes you straight to the heart of things, pretty quickly. The airport itself has plenty to enjoy, so if you’re only on a quick stop-over, you’re unlikely to be bored, with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and Zen gardens, to name just a few amenities you can enjoy.
For the longer stop-overs however, getting out and seeing the city is a must, and a hop on and off bus tour is probably the quickest way to tick a few boxes. You’ll find different routes on offer, including one route which will take you through Dubai Creek, Al Fahidi Fort, and the Dubai Museum, and another which covers the more modern sights, such as the top-class hotels and major shopping malls. The choice is really yours, however if we’re talking about shopping, then you shouldn’t miss the Mall of the Emirates. This is shopping heaven, and you will find pretty much everything you could ever want in this big-hitter of a mall, including a cinema if you’re wanting to waste a little time and catch a movie.
You can’t visit Dubai and not head to a souk. This is a traditional market, usually loud, bustling, and very colourful, and will show you a little of the culture of the Middle East. You can haggle and explore to your heart’s content, usually down narrow alleyways that promise mystery and intrigue. Keep your bag close by in these narrow streets, as like anywhere in the world, pick-pockets are rife. Hand-made goods are especially good to buy in the souks, as something a little different to take back home, as well as jewellery, with the famous Gold Souk a must visit. You will find countless jewellery shops down this walkway, situated in Deira, near to the Al Ras Metro Station.
If you prefer to get active during your stop-over, then Dubai is home to an indoor ski resort, where you can rent equipment and shoop-shoop your way down an indoor slope. Alternatively, head into the desert on safari, and enjoy a camel ride, or a spot of dune driving in a 4X4 vehicle, also known as dune bashing, if you want to get down with adrenaline. Be aware that you shouldn’t ever visit the desert unless you’re on a guided tour, but you will find countless excursions around the city for this type of activity, so you won’t struggle. Sunsets in the desert are simply breath-taking, so make sure you tick this box on your stop-over visit.
If you want to get rid of any travel aches and pains before you board your next flight to your onwards direction then you won’t struggle to find a day spa, usually in the larger hotels. You can have treatments, massages, and swim to your heart’s content. Packages are available, including dinner and drinks, so shop around and see where you can find the best deal. If you are staying in one of the larger, more luxurious hotels, such as Atlantis, then you may find you get a discount as a resident, so always ask, just to be on the safe side!
Photo Credit: Steffen Ramsaier
Night-life in Dubai is varied and colourful, with bars, clubs, and restaurants to enjoy. You might not want to party the night away if you have a short stop-over, and in that case there are lounge bars where you can enjoy a cocktail or two, but if you do want to head to a club then you have many options, including Zinc Nightclub, and The Music Room, to name just two options available to you.
There is so much to see and do in Dubai that a stop-over is obviously not going to show you everything on offer, but it will certainly give you a taster, so you can decide whether or not to head back. The mysterious souks will entice you, and the glittering, sometimes money-mad splendour is certainly spell-binding to say the least.