Dubai Transit Vacation

Dubai Transit Vacation

A city that has risen out of the sand to become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. With its stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels, and world-class shopping, Dubai has something for everyone. In this article, we explore why a quick 48 hour transit visa makes Dubai a great stopover vacation destination.

As a frequent traveler I have flown with Emirates on many occasions. With such a large fleet of A380’s and Boeing 777’s going to virtually every destination in the world it’s kind of hard not to fly Emirates. It’s also one of my top airlines to fly with! So if you are going via Dubai, plan your trip to spend two days in Dubai on the FREE Transit Visa.

Why Dubai is a Good Tourist Destination.

  • World-Class Attractions: it’s home to some of the world’s most impressive and unique attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Miracle Garden. These attractions offer visitors a one-of-a-kind experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
  • Luxurious Accommodation: there is no shortage of luxurious hotels and resorts that offer top-notch amenities and service. From the iconic Burj Al Arab to the ultra-modern Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai has a range of accommodations to suit every budget and taste.
  • Beautiful Beaches: Dubai is located on the shores of the Persian Gulf and boasts miles of pristine beaches. The warm, clear waters are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, and many of the beaches are equipped with top-notch facilities such as showers, changing rooms, and restaurants.
  • Rich Culture and History: Despite its modern and cosmopolitan vibe, Dubai has a rich history and culture that can be seen in its traditional architecture, museums, and cultural events. Visitors can explore the Dubai Museum, the Dubai Creek, and the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood to learn about the city’s fascinating past.
  • Shopping: Dubai is a shopper’s paradise, with some of the largest and most luxurious shopping malls in the world. From the Dubai Mall, which features over 1,200 stores, to the Mall of the Emirates, which is home to the famous Ski Dubai indoor ski slope, visitors can indulge in some serious retail therapy.

Top 10 Tourist Attractions.

  • Burj Khalifa: Standing at 828 meters tall, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and a must-visit attraction in Dubai. Visitors can take an elevator to the observation deck on the 124th floor for stunning views of the city.
  • Dubai Mall: The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping center’s in the world, with over 1,200 shops, an indoor aquarium, an ice skating rink, a cinema, and more.
  • Palm Jumeirah: This man-made island is shaped like a palm tree and is home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious resorts, such as Atlantis, The Palm.
  • Dubai Miracle Garden: This beautiful garden features over 45 million flowers arranged in stunning displays, including a replica of the Burj Khalifa made entirely out of flowers.
  • Dubai Fountain: Located at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system and puts on a spectacular show every night.
  • Dubai Museum: Housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, which was built in the 18th century, the museum provides a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the city.
  • Dubai Marina: This picturesque waterfront development is home to a range of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options, as well as some of the city’s most impressive skyscrapers.
  • Ski Dubai: Located in the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski slope that offers visitors the chance to ski, snowboard, or simply play in the snow.
  • Dubai Creek: The Dubai Creek is a natural harbor that divides the city into two parts: Deira and Bur Dubai. Visitors can take a traditional boat ride, or abra, across the creek to explore the historic neighborhoods and markets.
  • Jumeirah Beach: This beautiful beach offers soft white sand, clear blue water, and views of the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel. Visitors can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing.

There really is a lot to cram into 48 hours, so maybe a day tour to see the best of Dubai. My favorite was the “Dessert Safari” this included dune bashing in a 4×4, camel rides, a traditional dinner in a Bedouin camp completed with a belly dance performance. If I had to choose three words to describe Dubai, it would be: Luxurious, cosmopolitan, and innovative. They really know how to host guests and the level of service is top notch.

Top Excursions in Dubai

Eating Out.

Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, and its culinary scene reflects this diversity. Traditional dining in Dubai is an experience not to be missed, as it offers visitors the chance to savor the rich flavors of the local cuisine.
One of the most popular traditional dishes in Dubai is shawarma, which is made with marinated meat (usually chicken or lamb) that is roasted on a spit and then sliced and wrapped in a warm flatbread. I lived on shawarmas while working in Dubia in my 20’s. They cost (in those days) two Dirhams and were made in seconds, served with pickles and black tea.
Another must-try dish is machboos, a spicy rice dish made with meat (usually chicken or lamb), onions, and a blend of aromatic spices. 
In addition to traditional cuisine, Dubai is home to some of the best restaurants in the world.
Here are some of the top restaurants to eat at in Dubai:

  • Zuma: This Japanese restaurant is located in the Dubai International Financial Center and offers a modern twist on traditional Japanese cuisine.
  • Nobu: Located in the Atlantis, The Palm, Nobu is a world-renowned Japanese restaurant that offers a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors.
  • La Petite Maison: This French restaurant is located in the Dubai International Financial Center and serves traditional French cuisine in a chic and stylish setting.
  • Pierchic: This seafood restaurant is located on a pier in the Arabian Gulf and offers stunning views of the Dubai skyline.
  • Al Hadheerah: This traditional Arabian restaurant is located in the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa and offers a range of dishes inspired by Bedouin and Arabian cuisine.
  • Tomo: Located in the Raffles Hotel, Tomo is a Japanese restaurant that offers authentic Japanese dishes, including sushi, sashimi, and tempura.
  • Rang Mahal: This Indian restaurant is located in the JW Marriott Marquis and serves contemporary Indian cuisine in a stylish and modern setting.
  • Eauzone: Located in the One&Only Royal Mirage, Eauzone is a beachfront restaurant that offers a fusion of Asian and Mediterranean flavors.
  • Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara: This seafood restaurant is located in the Burj Al Arab and offers a fine dining experience with a focus on fresh seafood.
  • Atmosphere: Located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, Atmosphere is the world’s highest restaurant and offers stunning views of the city along with a menu of international cuisine.

Dubai on a budget.

Dubai may have a reputation for being an expensive city, but there are still plenty of budget-friendly options for tourists who want to experience the city without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas:

  • Visit the public beaches: Dubai has several beautiful beaches that are free to access, such as Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, and Sunset Beach. Public beaches are not the best, but check them out anyway, if they don’t offer what you are looking for then head for the private beaches and pay a small access fee.
  • Explore the parks: there are many parks and green spaces that are open to the public, such as Zabeel Park, Creek Park, and Al Barsha Park. These parks offer a great opportunity to enjoy a picnic, go for a walk, or just relax and enjoy the scenery.
  • Visit the Dubai Museum: located in the historic Al Fahidi Fort and offers a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. Admission is only 3 AED (less than $1), making it a great budget-friendly activity.
  • Shop at the souks: Dubai is famous for its traditional markets, or souks, where visitors can bargain for spices, textiles, and other souvenirs. Prices can be very reasonable, and visitors can get a taste of local culture while shopping. There are two major souks..the “Spice Souk” and the “Gold Souk”.
  • Take a walk along the Dubai Creek: This historic waterway has been used for trade for centuries. Visitors can take a stroll along the waterfront and watch the traditional boats (abras), that still ferry passengers across the creek.
  • Enjoy street food: Dubai has a thriving street food scene, with vendors selling everything from shawarmas and falafel to sweets and juices. This is a great way to try local cuisine without spending too much money.

Respecting Traditional Customs.

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that welcomes millions of tourists every year. While known for its modern and liberal outlook, it is important for tourists to respect the traditional customs and values of the local culture. 
One of the most important aspects of respecting traditional customs is dressing appropriately. In public places, both men and women should avoid wearing revealing or provocative clothing. Women should also cover their heads and shoulders when visiting mosques or other religious sites. In addition, it is important to avoid public displays of affection, as this is considered inappropriate in the local culture.

Safety is a top priority. The city has a low crime rate, but tourists should still take precautions such as not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables and avoiding walking alone in isolated areas at night. It is also important to follow local laws and regulations, such as not consuming alcohol in public places or driving under the influence.

Drinking in public is illegal, Dubai is a Muslim country and alcohol consumption is only allowed on “international ground” in licensed bars and restaurants in hotels and other designated areas. Tourists are advised to drink responsibly and avoid excessive alcohol consumption

Dubai is a city that is both modern and traditional, luxurious and welcoming, and always pushing the boundaries of what is possible. With its stunning architecture, beautiful beaches, and world-class attractions, Dubai is a city that is designed to impress.
So if you considering a quick stop over en-route to your final destination, see our Travel Resources page to help plan an unforgettable experience.

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