48 Hours in Dubai

Dubai is best known for being a global aviation transit hub for national carrier Emirates. Many travelers do not get the chance to experience the modern architecture juxtaposed with the traditional and conservative culture that Dubai was built upon. The growing trend amongst travelers these days is that they prefer to spend a day or two whilst stopping over before continuing onwards to their final destination in order to see and expeirence more. I’ve created a guide of how you can explore the best of Dubai in 48 hours to have a mix of adventure, relaxation and sightseeing into the schedule. This is for those who want to have a taste of Dubai during their journey to an onward country but would like longer than a day in the city to see and do more.

This itinerary will work best if you plan to land into Dubai in the early morning. Please note these are sample times for the itinerary and you may choose to follow it up to your own discretion in order to fit all the attractions and activities in the time that you have in the city.

10:00AMBurj Khalifa (At the Top)

Standing at 829.8m tall (2,722ft), the most famous attraction in Dubai is going to the top of the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa attraction is called At the Top, which hosts two-stories of floor to ceiling glass windows on the 124th and 125th floors of the mega-skyscraper. A café and gift shop sprawl across the center of these two floors which also include an outdoor observation deck on the top floor. To get to the top, you will embark on the fastest elevator in the world taking you from the 1st floor to the 124th floor in just one minute, whilst enjoying a short presentation of the past, present and future of the Burj Khalifa.

Looking down from the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa takes your breath away as you witness how small we are in comparison to the wonders of the world. Look out for ‘Palm Island’ and also ‘The World’ islands by the coastline which you might be able to see on a clearer day.

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Address: 1 Emaar Boulevard Downtown Dubai United Arab Emirates

Tickets for ‘At the Top’ is best booked online in advance to avoid disappointment especially if you want to go during the golden hour. Tickets are also limited for each time slot.

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12:00PM – Lunch (Free & Easy)

Having a free and easy lunch is a great idea. It will give you a few good hours to walk around and marvel at the modern and sleek architecture that the city is also known for. Just below the Burj Khalifa is the largest shopping mall in the world, the ‘Dubai Mall’ spanning a whopping 13,000,000 square feet! Take a stroll in the mall to escape the heat and shop around or head outdoors and take memorable pictures at the Dubai Fountain. Just beside the fountain lies many alfresco restaurants with great closeup views of the Burj Khalifa and the city skyline.

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4:00PM: Red Dunes Desert Safari and Dinner

What better way to see the country’s picturesque dunes and the crimson sunset than to take a safari out to the red dunes in a 4X4 Jeep. With this safari activity, the event organizers will provide a driver to pick you up and drop you off back at your hotel at the end of the night.

Photo taken from Shutterstock.

For those who don’t know, a 4X4 jeep is a land rover vehicle that traverse the dunes with engine power provided to all 4 wheels of the vehicle. This makes scaling the side of dunes and sliding around on the sand safer and more controllable for the driver. Do note that this activity is not for the faint-hearted, the ill, the injured, and the elderly as the motion in the car can be quite violent.

This excursion also allows you to try camel back riding with a guide and sledding down the side of the dunes before stopping at an outdoor traditional camp to feast on an authentic Arabic cuisine of kebabs, aromatic rice, meats and vegetables. It is common for this dinner to seat up to a hundred if not more diners, who have come from similar tours out in the red dunes. This tour typically lasts from 7-8 hours getting back to the hotel at around 11pm.

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10:00AM (Day 2) – Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis the Palm Dubai located on the Palm Jumeirah is the second iteration of the original Atlantis Water Park Resort in The Bahamas. What differs is that Atlantis Dubai has two sections. The first is the older underwater themed resort and waterpark which similarly resembles the exterior of an Arabian palace. The second extension is-Atlantis the Royal, a 5-star modern luxury hotel. This new hotel is linked to the waterpark and guests that stay at either hotel can access the water park for free.

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Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark is one of the biggest in the world with over 105 different waterslides. The waterpark also offers various passes including the underwater aquarium and dolphin encounters if you wish to do and see more within the day.

Address: Crescent Road, Atlantis Dubai, The Palm, Dubai

What makes this attraction a great place is that there is so much to do, even if you are not a fan of waterparks and swimming. The new extension has brought with it many new restaurants by word renowned chefs, an underwater aquarium, and Skyblaze Fountain amongst many wellness programs that is also up for offer.

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18:30PM – Cocktails at Burj Al Arab

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could sip a cocktail in hand watching the crimson sunset across the horizon as you look down from the top of the Burj Al Arab?

I think this is definitely an experience that many would die for. Skyview Lounge located on the 27th floor in the 7-star hotel is the perfect place that does just that. Providing expansive sea views and the wider city skyline that opens out to the Persian Gulf, the bar is managed by a Michelin star chef providing aperitivos, canapes and two alcoholic beverages during the evening for a price. Do note that there is an age requirement of 16 and above to visit, and a minimum spend of 200 AED per person if you wish to order as you go.

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Price: 490 AED ($177.33 SGD/$133.41 USD) per person for 2 alcoholic beverages and some light bites

Address: Jumeirah St, Dubai 74147 United Arab Emirates

Dubai Explorer Pass By Go City

If you are interested in exploring more attractions, Dubai Explorer Pass by Go City is the way to go! With this pass, you can have free access to many different attractions in and around Dubai for a fee of $185.57 SGD per child and $227.74 SGD per adult. This pass also covers some of the attraction listed in this article such as the Burj Khalifa At the Top, Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner and Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. Customize your package to have 3, 4, 5 or 7 different attractions.

You can find more information about the Dubai Explorer Pass by Go City here:

 Dubai Explorer Pass by Go City® !

Let us know what you would include to make your 48 hours in Dubai the perfect stopover for you!

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