If you are a traveler, there is a big chance you’ll take Emirates airline to at least one of your travel destinations. This means you are looking at a layover in Dubai. Dubai is a tourist destination that attracts millions of travelers from around the world each year. This means you can make the best of your layover, with the following things to do in Dubai.

The following itinerary of the list of things to do in Dubai is made in a realistic manner. Without exhausting yourself, you can experience both, the luxurious as well as the cultural side of Dubai.

1. Old Town Bastakia

(9AM) Start with the closest to the airport. The cultural side of Dubai. Bastakia town is an accurate reflection of the Emirati culture and architecture. The old town of Bastakia has lots of souvenir shops, art cafes, art galleries, and windy narrow streets through the beautiful sand-walled homes and shops.

How to get there: You can take Dubai Metro to Al Fahidi station, walk 5-8 mins towards Bastakia.
When to visit: Before 1PM or after 4PM

Things to do in Bastakia

Arabian Tea House
Arabian Tea House Bastakia Dubai

Enjoy the Emirati styled breakfast, fresh juices and decor at Arabian Tea House in Old Dubai.

Things to do in Old Dubai

Explore the streets of Bastakia. (11AM) There are a lot of souvenir shops, art cafes, and galleries. This is the place where Dubai started. you can also see the oldest wall of Dubai, preserved here. Be it your layover or a full week Dubai trip, Bastakia is a place you should definitely visit when you are in Dubai. The architecture, windy streets, local Emirati people, it is the core Dubai experience and one of the best places to visit in Dubai. If you are interested in more places to visit in old dubai, you can check out my full blog about it called ‘A glimpse of Old Dubai’

Cafes in Old dubai

(1PM) Old town Dubai is full of secret cafes and restaurants. Stopover at one of these small local cafes and enjoy a fresh juice or afternoon tea while watching the old Dubai creek and Abra’s (boats) crossing the creek. If you have time, feel free to take an Abra (boat) across the creek waters to the busy streets of the Gold Souq.

2. Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

(2PM) Now it’s time to get towards the fancy and modern side of Dubai. Enjoy your afternoon stroll and lunch in Madinat Jumeirah. There are two sides of it, the souq Madinat Jumeirah (a market with local traditional shops and tons of restaurants to choose from) and the private beach and restaurant area behind the hotels. Madinat Jumeirah has some of the best places to have lunch in Dubai. A lot of the restaurants offer the mesmerizing view of Burj al Arab with clear blue waters. You can also take a boat here to different parts of Madinat Jumeirah. Enjoy your lunch with a view and explore the beautiful fully air-conditioned souq (market).

3. Burj Khalifa

Interior of Burj Khalifa – Photo: Mustafa Sheikh

(5PM) Now its time to visit the Guinness world record holder, the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. Yes, I believe that even if you are in Dubai you should try and visit the tallest building in the world. It is an experience, a milestone that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Plan your visit here after 5 and watch the sunset. You can book tickets online or onsite.

Enjoy the breathtaking aerial views of the city from ‘At the top Burj Khalifa’

If you stick by schedule, you should be able to enjoy all these above places which will give you a taste of different experiences Dubai has to offer. From the traditional side to the modern side of Dubai, all covered in less than 12 hours.

Happy traveling to Dubai. If you have any questions, you can ask in comment section below or DM me on my Instagram @mustafa_sheikh

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