Top 10 Things to do in Dubai During a Layover (Part II)

Dubai International Airport, image courtesy of  their Facebook page

Dubai International Airport, image courtesy of their Facebook page

10. Enjoy Airport Amenities.

Work out at the Dubai International Hotel right in the airport, in its gym or swimming pool. A Jacuzzi, sauna and showers are also available for transit passengers for a small fee. Otherwise, wander the Zen Gardens for some time to connect with nature. If the loungers around the airport prove to be too hard to sleep on, an alternative to a hotel room would be the SnoozeCubes for AED75 or US$21, where you’ll get a room, decorated with murals of tropical greenery and intensely blue skies, free music and WIFI. A range of food and beverage options and shops are also great places to pass the time.

SkyDive Dubai

SkyDive Dubai – image courtesy of Daniel Hernan-Perez Aguilera


9. Embark on a High Flying Adventure

See Dubai from up high on a 12 or 22min helicopter adventure with Heli Dubai. This will cost about US$162 for departures from the Dubai Festival City and it’ll soar around the country, giving you amazing views of the beaches, the city and a closer look at famous monuments. Alternatively, if you want to splurge, go skydiving. If you’re going this route, we suggest you take the 1,999AED package (about US$162) with a video and digital images to commemorate the jump. Be sure to dress appropriately in pants and at least a short-sleeved t-shirt.

Seafood with Champagne at Park Hyatt Dubai

Seafood with Champagne at Park Hyatt Dubai

8. Have Friday Brunch. 

Brunch here doesn’t necessarily mean Eggs Benedict or pancakes – instead it ranges from Italian, Cuban, Japanese, international and British cuisine. It usually comprises several live cooking stations. The highest rated on TimeOut Dubai is Traiteur at Park Hyatt Dubai with tuna tartare, barbecued lobster, made-to-order crepes and spit roasts. Prices for this start from 465AED or US$127.

7. Eat Like a Local. (Can help me find pictures?)

You could of course splash out and dine in restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs Gary Rhodes and Gordon Ramsay if you wish, but since you’re here for about 13h, you might not have that much dinar to spare. Head to Al Dhiyafah Road, and dine on food from Lebanon, the Indian subcontinent and Iran. This includes the renowned Ravi restaurant serving one of the best curries in the city. Other cheap eats include Dubai Fish Hut restaurant and Table 9, both highly rated on

6. ‘Souk’ Up Dubai’s Culture. (Can help me find pictures?)

For a limited period – the beginning of November to the end of March, try the Creekside Tour offered by the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding. Tour the Bastakiya neighbourhood of the Al Fahidi Historic District, which was where the local traders and pearl divers stayed. Visit one of the oldest markets in  Dubai, the Souq Al Kabeer and then travel across the Creek in a local Abra or Dhow (water taxi). The itinerary will also include a visit to the Gold and Spice Souks. The 150min tour will cost 275AED or about US$74.

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