ASIA MIDDLE EAST UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

One Day In Dubai: The Perfect Itinerary!

I recently had a 12 hour stop-over in Dubai on my way back to Australia to surprise my family. As always, I think that long stop-overs are the perfect excuse to get out of the airport and explore a new city and so I made no exception when it came to my wait in Dubai.
Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, is known for its modern architecture, luxury shopping and immaculate hotels. Dubai also has a thing for having the biggest and best attractions in the world, from the second largest mall, the worlds tallest building, the worlds best hotel (the Burj Al Arab) and the worlds biggest diamond ring…. to name a few. Whilst you could easily spend a few days wining and dining in the luxury that is Dubai you can also tick off many of the main attractions in only a few hours, making Dubai the perfect spot to explore during a long stop-over.

 

THE PERFECT ONE DAY ITINERARY FOR DUBAI…

 

SOUKS

You can’t visit Dubai without visiting the traditional Souks. Stepping into the narrow alleyways of the Souks is like stepping into the Dubai of the past, before the skyscrapers and tourism boom changed it forever. The two Souks I recommend visiting the most are the Spice and Gold Souks.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

As Dubai is one of the most luxurious and expensive cities in the world it is no surprise that Gold and Dubai go hand in hand. The Gold Souk is like nowhere else, with the windows of the stalls filled with the most extravagant and expensive gold in all of the world, including the worlds biggest ring (verified by Guinness World Records)- though no one would ever actually be able to wear it, it’s huge.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

The passageways of the Spice Souks are lined with mounds of herbs and spices outside every stall. The air is filled with the aroma of cinnamon, turmeric and nutmeg. Spend some time walking around and smelling the products and watching the light spill in from the rafters.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

Don’t forget to barter for a better price, especially if paying cash.
Both of these Souks are located in Deira. The closest metro station is Al Ras, less than 400 metres away.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

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DUBAI CREEK & MOSQUE

The Dubai Creek is directly out the front of the Souks, so you can’t miss it. It is a gorgeous little spot to take some photos and admire the city. I recommend catching a ‘Abra’  (a long-boat), across the creek to the other side to explore some laneways, do some shopping and visit a Mosque.
We visited the Sheikh Mohammed Mosque, which was small but beautiful. However, don’t make the mistakes we did. We walked into and explored the male side of the mosque accidentally. In our defence there was absolutely no signs stating this fact and no indication that we couldn’t go in… until we walked around the other side of the mosque and noticed the sign saying ‘woman entrance.’ At least no one saw us and we didn’t get in trouble…

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

MIRACLE GARDEN

Being a hot and dry desert, the middle east is one of the hardest places to grow plants and flowers in the world, which is why the Dubai Miracle Garden is so impressive. Filled with 100 million blooming and colourful flowers it truly is a ‘miracle.’ The flowers have been designed into extravagant sculptures and pieces of art.
You will either have to catch a bus or taxi to get here and it’s quite a distance from the airport so if you’re short on time you may have to give this a skip…
ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

VISIT A ROOFTOP BAR

On the way back from the Miracle Gardens stop at the ‘Level 43 Rooftop Sky Lounge,’ at the 4 Points by Sheraton Hotel. Boasting an incredible view of the Dubai skyline it is the perfect place to eat some reasonably priced food, drink a cocktail and watch the sunset over the city and the sea. It’s so good even a tourism board were filming from there!

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

 You May Also Like: How To Visit The Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi!

 

DUBAI MALL

The Dubai mall is the largest mall in all of Dubai with over 1000 stores across 4 levels. Apparently it is the second largest mall in the world (on total area) after the West Edmonton Mall in Canada. I have also been to the Edmonton Mall and I am surprised by this figure as I felt like the Dubai Mall was much larger (though as my boyfriend likes to point out, when I visited the Edmonton Mall I had a sprained ankle and got pushed around in a wheelchair by my caring boyfriend all day long, so I may be forgetting just how big it is haha).
You will find almost every store you can imagine in this complex and could easily spend a whole day here if you wished. Besides the shopping the mall is also home to an indoor Theme Park, an Aquarium and an Ice Rink.
The closest metro station is the Burj Khalifa Metro Station.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

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DUBAI FOUNTAINS

The Dubai Fountain is the worlds largest choreographed fountain system. The jets of water reach as high as 140 metres, which is the equivalent of a 45 story building. There is a ‘show’ every thirty minutes between 6pm and 11pm, with a different song and different design each time. I wasn’t expecting too much from this and so almost skipped it in order to get back to the airport in time but it was actually really cool and I’m glad I stayed behind twenty extra minutes to watch the five-minute masterpiece (for the record I still made my fight, I’m just super cautious and always get to the airport with hours to spare).
The fountains are right outside the Dubai Mall and featured in the Burj Lake, right in front of the Burj Khalifa.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

BURJ KHALIFA

The Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest building, standing at over 828 metres high. Tickets to visit the observation deck vary in price from $50 AUD to $130 AUD. I skipped the visit this time as I was short on both time and cash but I enjoyed photographing it from the fountains. It truly is a gorgeous and impressive building.

ONE DAY IN DUBAI, THE PERFECT ITINERARY OF NOT TO MISS PLACES! www.sevencontinentssasha.com

 

 

Related Post: San Francisco in a Day

 

I loved exploring the best that Dubai has to offer over my twelve-hour stopover and am looking forward to exploring even more of it in the future! If you are ever lucky enough to have a long stopover in Dubai be sure to leave the airport and make the most of the opportunity to explore this luxurious and unique Middle-Eastern city by following the itinerary above!

 

 

Over to you. Which of the above places would you want to visit the most?
Or what places should have I visited as well/instead?
Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply Joey 01/06/2017 at 5:28 am

    Thanks for your blog. My daughter is booking a return trip from London, after I saw your travel, I told her to take the 23 hours layover in Dubai from 0805 to next day 0800. She was excited, I’m sure she will love the layover.

    • Reply Seven Continents Sasha 05/06/2017 at 2:09 pm

      Oh that is so exciting!!!!! I hope she loves it, please do let me know how it goes. I will be doing a long layover there again later this year, it’s a great opportunity to see the sights!
      Sasha

  • Reply MJ Shah 23/01/2017 at 12:26 pm

    Congratulations for always evolving and inspiring others.
    I look up to you as a woman of substance. Congratulations for admirable strength <3

  • Reply treinamento bing ads express 13/01/2017 at 11:39 am

    Me and my lovely wife are going to see Dubai next month, this article came in good time, it helped us a lot, thank you.

  • Reply Traveoport 12/01/2017 at 6:51 am

    Dubai is another paradise on earth. I love to visit there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. Very informative and very good pictures.

  • Reply Eat Drink Stay Dubai 26/10/2016 at 8:52 am

    Nice article Sasha, though it’s a shame you couldn’t get to see Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, but save that for next time 🙂

    That’s the thing with Dubai, there’s always something left for next time!

    Thanks for sharing your experience,

    Cheers, take care and have a lovely day

  • Reply Dobler 18/10/2016 at 4:56 pm

    Great article and very good even this route, I’ll leave it all written down here for my next trip I want to know Dubai 🙂

  • Reply Vanessa 05/10/2016 at 8:34 am

    Like you I have found a flight with a 12 hour stop over so I was wondering what was possible to see and do in Dubai during that amount of time. This post is ideal, so thanks for writing it! It has raised a few questions though which I would appreciate it if you could answer:
    How long did you spend in each place?
    Was it easy to get around and when you leave the airport what do you look for?
    Train, bus, taxi? What time did you get back in advance of your flight?
    Was there any traffic to account for in getting back to the airport?
    Was there a place to store hand luggage at the airport?
    How much did the day cost you in AED and did you just change currency at the airport?
    All this would be helpful to know how much to budget for to leave the airport and look around. It its an expensive day then it might not be worth it for us.

    Thanks again, this post is fantastic!

    • Reply Seven Continents Sasha 19/10/2016 at 12:18 pm

      Hey Vanessa, I did everything in this list so you could have time to do all of them.
      You can catch a train around the city from the airport really cheap. The only place you can’t go by train is the Miracle Gardens. I caught a taxi there, which was quite expensive, and out of all of them the place I would skip if you are short on time and money.
      I always get back 3 hours before an international flight. The security line was huge there too so definitely don’t risk it by giving yourself less time.
      I withdrew the equivalent of $100 for the day and spent almost all of it, but would have spent far less without the taxi.
      I only travel with carry on luggage so I just took my bags with me as I did sightseeing. I imagine they would have a place you could store your bags though, yes.
      Hope this helps.
      Sasha

  • Reply Tim 08/09/2016 at 5:02 am

    I’m going to be in Amman in November for 8 days. I’m wanting to jump over to Dubai for a day while I’m “in the area”. Was all of this really done in 12 hours?! Looks like a lot.

    • Reply Seven Continents Sasha 08/09/2016 at 6:32 pm

      Hey Tim, it really was. It was a big day and I was exhausted but it is totally doable to see all of this in a day. My flight landed at 9am and I flew out at 11pm the same day.
      Thanks for reading, I hope you found this helpful?
      Sasha

  • Reply Saul Tarasoff 19/04/2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Sasha,

    I came across this travel articles on your blog and I really like it. Are your travel articles available for download on iTunes so I can carry them with me on my iPhone?

    Best regards,
    Saul

  • Reply Sophie 10/04/2016 at 2:54 pm

    Sounds awesome! I cannot wait to go there some day 🙂

    http://www.travelmatters.co/

  • Reply Amy 04/04/2016 at 12:54 pm

    Oooh I love the look of the Miracle Garden! It’s gorgeous. Dubai is definitely a city I can’t wait to explore!

    • Reply Seven Continents Sasha 04/04/2016 at 1:02 pm

      It’s really pretty. The designs are incredible! You’d love it, there is lots to see!

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