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What to do in Dubai (flight layover, anyone)?

By , June 21, 2016

Dubai is a place where ATMs dispense gold bars, where people domesticate wild cats instead of dogs. It’s a world of it’s own.

Home of the incredible Palm islands, year-round sunny beaches, and the world’s only 7-star hotel there’s so much to explore that we recommend spending at least a weekend there though even during a layover there is a lot that you can do in just a couple of hours. Let us help you with the options…

Sleep

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab
The world’s only 7-star hotel, Burj Al Arab, sits on a private, artificial island off the shore of Jumeirah beach with a bridge connecting it to inland Dubai. The third tallest hotel in the world, it is designed in the form of a ship’s sail and is an iconic landmark in the ever-changing Dubai skyline. The hotel is a great place for a night’s stay but be aware that its price tag may not be for the budget-conscious.

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The Majestic Tower Hotel

Majestic tower hotel
At The Majestic Tower Hotel, luxury and affordability go hand-in-hand. Its strategic location between the old and new Dubai, along with the airport and the Al Fahidi metro station in the vicinity, makes it one of the most accessible places to stay in Dubai. There are 262 rooms in total, divided into classic, deluxe, family suite and exclusive suite categories. The hotel is also equipped with all the modern amenities and facilities you need and want like a lift… only joking, like an award winning hotel bar; The Music Room.

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The Tamani Marina Hotel

tamani hotel
The Tamani Marina hotel is a 55-storey 5-star hotel located in the district of Marina. The district is home to some of the most beautiful beaches, restaurants and shopping facilities in Dubai. Naturally, you can be sure to always find something to keep you busy at this hotel. The hotel is budget-friendly and is suitable for both families and business people. The rooms are decorated with original Arabic artwork, both modern and classical, and many attractions are within reach of the hotel so visitors, particularly those on a tight schedule, will be able to enjoy at least one memorable account of Dubai before the sun sets and you’re once again airport bound.

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Eat/Drink

360 Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Bar 360 Jumeirah Beach
If you have a night to spare and would like to have some fun, we suggest going to the 360 Jumeirah Beach Hotel, featuring one of the best clubs in the city. For many Emiratis living in the city, this is the go-to place for a party. Alcohol is permitted at the hotel to let you enjoy incredible ocean views while sipping on cocktails. Once you experience it, you’ll be hard-pressed to forget their famous DJ-nights with great live music (you’ll just have to make sure all your long-haul layovers are in Dubai).

The Address Dubai Marina

The Address Marina Dubai
For a more casual evening, we recommend visiting the bar Shades at the posh hotel The Address Dubai Marina (incidentally also connected to a mall – The Dubai Marina Mall). Here, you can binge on Mediterranean food, enjoy peppy music and smoke shisha, all while lying down by the side of an infinity pool overlooking the stars and the famous Dubai skyline.

Weekend Brunch

Park-Hyatt-Dubai-P362-Traiteur-Brunch.masthead-feature-panel-medium.jpg

Brunch at Park Hyatt Dubai’s Traiteur. Photo courtesy of Park Hyatt Dubai

In Dubai, weekends are from Friday–Saturday. If you’re travelling for business, wake up to a Friday work schedule full of meetings that aren’t possible. Throw on your bathrobe, take a long soak in the no-doubt king sized tub, and then head down to brunch – Dubai is certainly a claimant to the champagne brunch throne in our book.

Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay’s Bayside Restaurant and Terrace by the Dubai Canal. With the decor kept to a minimum, accented with only functional lights and lines, all your focus can remain on what’s important; the international smorgasbord of food. Oh, to top it off, you’ll have live jazz music – the best complement for a brunch.

The Al Qasr Hotel has what’s lauded as the best hotel brunch in the city, and it’s extravagant (would you expect anything less?) While, in standard buffet fashion, piling on the food, assembly line style, is the norm, the code of conduct at each of Al Qasar’s three restaurants’ brunch service is different. While we don’t have to tell you, as a gravitational like force should pull you through the motions upon stepping inside the buffet hall, it’s advised you move clockwise, admiring each and every carefully placed morsel, before making the commitment to plating and eating it.

You know the expression “breakfast fit for a king (or queen)”? Well with lobster and sushi it’s a “brunch fit for a foodie” that awaits you at Park Hyatt Dubai’s Traiteur. And, we saved the best thing for last… you can take home a golden souvenir, complements of Traiteur’s al fresco dining – a beautiful, golden tan.

See

The Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah mosque
One of the most beautiful mosques in the world, the Jumeirah mosque, was built very recently (in the 70s) in the traditional Middle Eastern-styled architecture called the Fatimid. It is one of only three mosques in Dubai that non-Muslims are allowed to enter. So, take advantage of the opportunity and be sure to visit the mosque if you are interested in learning about the Islamic culture and tradition. Guided tours are available everyday in the morning but you are free to visit at any time of the day. It is advised to visit the mosque in the evening to experience the spectacular views of white marble against the backdrop of the setting sun. Visitors are encouraged to dress sensibly.

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa
Did you know that people living on the top floors of Burj Khalifa have to wait longer to break their fast during Ramadhan? Standing at 829 metres, the building is so huge that it holds six world records, predominantly for being the world’s tallest building. Naturally, the building’s observation deck provides the best views of the city. You will surely marvel at its size when you see other skyscrapers being dwarfed comparison. Coincidentally, the largest mall in the world, The Dubai mall, sits adjacent to Burj Khalifa ready to satiate the shopper in you.

Bastakia

Bastakia
Do you have fond memories of watching Aladdin while growing up? Have you always admired the street markets and the trading liveliness depicted in the cartoon? Well then, experience the setting come to life at the old-town market of Dubai; the Bastakia. The market, also known as the Gold Souk (the gold market), is tucked into an old fortress and is traversed by narrow lanes where rich textiles and souvenirs, along with spices like cinnamon and cumin, are sold. The exotic fragrances of frankincense and spices are certain to transport you into the world of Agrabah!