With plenty to do in 48 hours, Dubai is a great stopover location for all budgets. Whether you are looking to explore with minimal spending, or want to treat yourself to some of the finer things in life, below is a one-day itinerary to give you a small taste of the best the city has to offer.
Save: While there are a plethora of small Indian cafeterias dotted around the city, for a cheap and cheerful, simple breakfast that will only set you back Sh326-Sh489(AED10-15) head to Raju Omelet.
Spend: Al Quoz haunt Tom & Serg has become something of a breakfast institution, with its ever-changing menu of healthy and wholesome dishes with a unique twist – offering up everything from smashed avocado on toast to Vietnamese breakfast baos.
Splurge: With its beautiful light interiors, the rotation of fresh and flakey items churned out of their in-house bakery, and selection of high-quality, beautifully-presented breakfast items, starting your day at La Serre will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to a sun-drenched Paris in the summertime.
Save: Take a little tour of the Dubai Creek via an Abra Crossing, where you can ride in a traditional boat that glides across the water for a mere Sh32 (AED1). Once you’re done, head to the souks in the Al Fahidi and take your time perusing the colourful offerings, or even snap up a bargain.
Spend: Check out The Dubai Frame, Dubai’s jaw-dropping new landmark that offers stunning views of both old and new Dubai in a building boasting spectacular architecture. It only costs Sh1,630 (AED50) to enter for adults (and Sh652 (AED20) per child from 3-12 years old, while children under three and the elderly enter for free).
Splurge: Make sure you’re in full holiday relaxation mode, by treating yourself to a massage at one of the city’s many spas! From the Hammam Experience at Talise Spa at Zabeel Saray on the Palm Jumeirah, to the rose petal-infused massages at the Saray Spa at the JW Marriott, there’s plenty to choose from.
Save: It may be simply named, but whether you’re on a tight budget or you just want to grab a quick bite from somewhere that’s on the go, why not pick up a shawarma from one of the many Eat & Drink Restaurant outlets around town? The restaurant has been in the city for decades and is a familiar sight to many residents – even better, a tasty shawarma will only set you back Sh163 (AED5.)
Spend: With an idyllic atmosphere, the Arabian Tea House is a hidden gem of the Al Fahidi district, offering food at a reasonable price and an excellent tea selection.
Splurge: One of the most iconic restaurants in town, At.Mosphere at the Burj Khalifa also offers one of the city’s most stunning – and highest – views. While it’s great for dinner, why not consider it for a luxurious lunch?
Save: Brush up on your history and knowledge of local culture by exploring what the Al Fahidi Historical District has to offer. There is plenty to see, learn and do at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, with the Coffee Museum and the Dubai Museum just down the road.
Spend: Beat the afternoon heat by heading to the new VR Park at The Dubai Mall, where you can enjoy 18 virtual reality experiences at different thrill levels. Each costs AED15-45.
Splurge: Head to one of the UAE’s amazing amusement parks, such as IMG Worlds of Adventure, or Dubai Parks and Resorts featuring Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland (or why not visit all three of the last ones with a Dubai Parks and Resorts multi-pass!). Here, you’ll be transported into a fantasy land of fun and entertainment for the entire family.