With 24 hours in Dubai, I decided to divide my day between the old and the new Dubai. It definitely took a toll on the legs, especially after a long haul flight on a jump seat but so incredibly worth it. There’s plenty to wrap your head around in Dubai even within a short time frame, here is just an example of what I did with my 24 hour Stopover in Dubai.
Spend the morning checking out the worlds tallest building and its surroundings
Most of Dubai’s main attractions are centred in the downtown neighbourhood. The Burj Khalifa left me completely mesmerised, at how incredibly it was. It is one thing to read about how tall it is, but to be physically standing underneath made me feel so small and proving nothing is impossible.
Burj Khalifa is a definite must see in Dubai, this building has to be one of the most important things to see in modern day architecture but its surroundings do not disappoint either. This area is also home to the worlds largest shopping centre and the worlds largest choreographed fountain, do we see a theme going here? Let’s just say go big or go home in this city.
Get lost in the worlds biggest shopping centre
Dubai Mall is literally insane, a clear example of mass consumption at it’s finest. The Shopping centre’s size can’t be described with words, I wondered for at least a couple of hours and I believe I barely touched the surface. This is with me not even going in any stores. You can find anything from independent boutiques, to luxury fashion, tech, sportswear, British retailers you name it, they have it.
Afternoon: Visit Atlantis the Palm, Jumeirah Beach and Burj Al Arab
Take a walk along Kite Beach to capture the impressive Burj Al Arab. Dubai’s most iconic hotel. Another great photo opportunity is to head into The Jumeirah Beach hotel and enjoy a drink and stroll along their private beach and take some photos. There’s no hotel quite as beautiful as Atlantis the Palm. The Palm is just a quick train ride away from the mainland, the train station is located within an abandoned car park which is the funniest thing I´ve seen for such a busy city.
There is definitely more to Dubai than meets the eye and my favourite part can be found in the old town of Dubai (Deira)
Explore the Souks
A simple metro ride to Al Ras Station and you can take a walk through Dubai’s Gold Souk and catch a sense of the city’s golden trade. Dubai is one of the largest retail gold markets in the world. You can then follow the narrow alleyways towards the spice souk. Where you can find huge amounts of spices and herbs filling the streets with luxurious smells of cinnamon and curry powders.
I then hopped on an Abra (A small boat to cross the creek) worth a few cents. Which you pay the man on board to reach the over side of the creek. A beautiful and unique way to feel this part of the city and embrace it’s culture. It was quite busy as night began to fall with workers returning home across the creek.
After arriving in the city with no sleep and hungry after the flight, first stop was breakfast of course! Just outside our hotel was located the Sum of Us an Australian style café, serving up some great breakfast, brunch and lunch options. They also do some excellent coffee, which has to be once of my favourite to date. This may be because it included coconut ice cream in the coffee. They also have a full counter full of homemade cakes and pastries, catering for food intolerance’s and vegans. Highly recommend if staying near the world trade centre.
What I had to drink: An affogato (Coconut vanilla ice cream and espresso)
What I had to eat: Acai bowl (Acai sorbet, dragon fruit, banana, strawberry, coconut chia, mirzam chocolate)
Dinner at Bayt Al Wakeel.
As locations go, this restaurant has some beating. Sitting right on the edge of the creek round the corner from the textile Souks. This was a fantastic location to end a great day. A picture perfect view of Dubai across the water with lights twinkling in the water, with great food options to choose from. The staff were extremely friendly as I explained my intolerance to dairy. I enjoyed a fantastic mixed grilled fish biryani.
Where I stayed: Sheraton Gran Hotel, World Trade Centre
My thoughts on Dubai: Studying a degree in graphic design, modern arts and incredibly architecture has always appealed to me. Therefore from this perspective Dubai’s architecture was mesmerising to see. But for many other reasons I found it hard to fall in love with the city. I did leave in awe with it’s incredible architecture and infrastructures that carve Dubai’s skyline, but I have found myself in a conflicted relationship with the city, as I feel it has lost a sense of its identity with modern day tourism, and out of control hen parties.