Dubai: As the world's busiest airport, Dubai International might be a sight in itself, but there's a whole world of wonder waiting outside its doors. There's plenty to see in just two days, depending on your interests, the time of year and what part of the city you're visiting.
Downtown Dubai for Iconic Sights
From a ByKy bicycle ride to enjoy the glossy skyline and glistening lakes to sampling modern Arabic bites at Zahr El-Laymoun in Souk Al Bahar, this place is known for being the centre of luxury living and lifestyle in Dubai. One can also stroll over to The Dubai Mall to get a glimpse of the sharks and schools of fish inside Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo or gaze up at the majestic Burj Khalifa.
Downtown Dubai is just over 15 minutes away from Dubai International Airport via taxi. Take the metro to The Dubai Mall station for a scenic route.
Old Dubai to explore rich history
Get a taste of Old Dubai with a quick stop the city’s heritage district. Head straight from the airport to wander around Dubai's oldest and most historic area, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Visit the Dubai Museum before refuelling at courtyard-style XVA Café inside the XVA Art Hotel in the gallery hub. Then, for a true Dubai experience, Ride an abra (water taxi) across the Creek for just AED1. Next, pick up some vacuum-sealed packs of premium saffron at the Spice Souk and be mesmerised by the jewels at the Gold Souk
15 minutes from Dubai International Airport via taxi. Metro to Al Fahidi.
Kite Beach to Relax and Recharge by the seaside
Get your dose of ‘vitamin sea’ at one of Dubai’s most visited beaches and the waterside attractions that surround it. Kite Beach in Jumeirah 3 is popular with fitness fans, with a 14-km running track and a range of watersports, including stand-up paddleboarding and kitesurfing. The shallows are both warm and inviting, with the calm and lifeguard-patrolled waters of the Arabian Gulf making for safe and family-friendly swimming. For lunch, you can snack on cheeseburgers at Emirati-owned food truck-turned beach shack, Salt, and admire views of Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab hotel across the sands.
City Walk to shop the latest styles
City walk has emerged as one-stop lifestyle district that covers everything from dining and shopping, to family-friendly activities and the swish La Villa Hotel and Suites. An ideal stop no matter the weather, City Walk is split between stylish outdoors boulevards, Euro-style pedestrian walkways complete with urban artworks, and intuitive indoors (and air-conditioned) spaces. A year-round calendar of exciting events, pop-ups and installations means there’s always something on. Those looking for entertainment can choose between strolling through the world’s largest public bio-dome, Green Planet, makings the little ones smile at Mattel Play! Town, and keeping the big kids happy at gaming paradise Hub Zero. Shopping options will keep visitors in vogue, with international and local fashion and beauty brands all setting up shop. Level Kids in particular is worth a look for those who have a fashionable mini-me.
Twenty minutes via taxi from Dubai International Airport
Madinat Jumeirah for the ultimate one-day vacay
Styled after a traditional souk, this Arabian complex is linked by impressive waterways, and is on every visitor’s must-list. Watch the abras cut through the calm waters of the Madinat Jumeirah ’s canals from te al fresco terrace or pop by one of the many foodie favourites. Drink in the stunning views of the Burj Al Arab (especially at sunset in the winters). While there’s a handful of Jumeirah properties to choose from, beachside resort Mina A’Salam offers the type of space you never want to leave, overlooking the iconic Burj Al Arab and dazzling Arabian Gulf. But free entry to the adjacent Wild Wadi Waterpark and easy access to Jumeirah, home to some of the city's best beaches, will certainly pry you away.
Thirty minutes via taxi from Dubai International Airport