You can see quite a bit during your stopover in Dubai especially with Uber being so easily accessible. Here are a few of my favorite places that I highly recommend you visit especially if your trip is short. The below list is definitely do-able in just a few days however there is so much more to see and do in Dubai and in it’s neighboring Emirate’s.
The Madinat Jumeirah
You must not miss The Madinat Jumeirah; a magical Arabian oasis with waterway veins, incredible architecture, and unbeatable views of the Burj al Arab. Built to resemble a Sheikh’s summer home, The Madinat Jumeirah is the crown jewel of accommodation in Dubai. This resort town is open to the public and is well worth the visit – it is the largest resort in the Dubai Emirate and its surrounded by beautiful gardens, waterways, intricately crafted houses, a souk, and many restaurants. I recommend taking an “abra” (or boat) tour around the property because it is truly exquisite. It’s about 30 minutes away by car from Downtown Dubai and it is walking distance from the Burj Al Arab.
The Burj Al Arab
The best place to see the Burj Al Arab is definitely from the Madinat Jumeirah. Although extremely pricey, having afternoon tea there is a once in a lifetime experience. After all, it is the only 7-star hotel in the world. Unfortunately without a reservation you can’t get closer than this to the property. If you really want to splurge, check out Al Mahara, the underwater restaurant at the Burj Al Arab. I had the opportunity to go there the first time I came to Dubai and wrote about my experience here.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden with over 109 million flowers planted. Think of it as the botanical garden on steroids. It’s quite a unique place and if you enjoy nature and beautiful flowers then it is certainly worth the visit.
The Burj Khalifa & The Dubai Mall
If you stay at The Shangri-La Dubai, you will be lucky enough to wake up to beautiful views of the Burj Khalifa every day. Currently it is the tallest building in the world and it is absolutely unreal. The observation deck is definitely worth the visit at least once in your life – I went there and wrote about my experience here. Outside stands The Dubai Fountain which shoots water 500 feet into the air and dances to popular songs during it’s solo every night. Even if you don’t get a chance to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa – watching the fountains is a must. You can also snatch this Instagramable cotton candy at Candylicious, located inside the Dubai Mall.
The Dubai Desert
The Desert Safari tour is one of the top activities to do in The Emirates. While there are multiple options available, including an overnight tour, if you are on a short trip in Dubai, I suggest doing a morning half day tour which is typically about 4 hours long. There are a multitude of activities that you do during the tour including dune bashing, sand surfing, ATV rides, camel rides and more!
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque, or The Grand Mosque remains the number one place that I believe everyone should see at least once in their life. In my opinion, I would make the day trip out here before doing anything else in The Emirates. The beauty of the Grand Mosque is unparalleled with and I’ve never seen anything like it.
The Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
If you take a day trip out to Abu Dhabi, take a peek at The Emirates Palace, another one of my favorites that I wrote about here. Just when you think you saw it all, you come here and realize that your tour of jaw dropping architecture is, in fact, nowhere near over. A little bit of gold shavings on your morning coffee can’t hurt either.