Dubai is a major stopover destination for international flights connecting the northern and southern hemisphere, and can make for an enjoyable layover to break up the journey. So if you’re here for a long layover – where to go in Dubai and what to do? In Dubai they say anything is possible, so as a visitor you’re spoiled for choice in terms of the wide array of experiences on offer!
To make things easier for you we’ve put together a bunch of activities that are sure to keep you entertained and make the best of what the city has to offer!
Where to go in Dubai for action and adventure
Fly the XLine in Dubai Marina: Soar on the world’s longest urban zipline with XLine Dubai Marina , you can reach speeds of up to 80 km/hr! This is one of the city’s newest attractions so why not give it a try? If you’re looking for where to go in Dubai for a night out the Dubai Marina is also a great spot to grab a drink and take in the lights.
Explore the shore at Kite Beach: Kite beach is a popular spot with tourists and locals alike, you can even see the Burj Al Arab as you walk along the shore. The area boasts an extensive coastal walkway with cafes and loungers along the beachfront. You can rent a paddleboard, take a kitesurfing lesson, or watch skaters do tricks on the ramps in the skate park.
Walk the trails at Hatta Dam: If you’re visiting Dubai in winter use the cooler weather to your advance and explore the trails of Hatta. The Hatta Dam is a popular destination with locals, and you can even kayak the dam making this one of the ultimate Dubai things to do for active types.
Make a splash at Aquaventure at Atlantis: There are some amazing water parks around Dubai,and one of the most exhilarating is Aquaventure at Atlantis. There are plenty of rides and slides to explore including the heart-stopping ‘Leap of Faith’, which features a near vertical drop after which you shoot through a tank filled with stingrays and sharks.
Soar high above Dubai on a seaplane tour: Embrace your spirit of adventure and soar high above Dubai on one of our breath-taking scenic flights. There’s nothing like the sensation of taking off from the water, plus you get to take in all of Dubai’s iconic landmarks – the Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, Burj Khalifa – you’ll see it all! This is a fantastic option if you want to see all of the sights and experiencing the magic of seaplane flight.
Where to go in Dubai for rest and relaxation
Talise Spa – Burj Al Arab: Located within the gorgeous Burj Al Arab Hotel which is famously known as ‘the only 7-star hotel in the world’ the award-winning Talise Spa is the perfect space to unwind in unrivalled surrounds. The spa selects skincare ranges such as Aromatherapy Associates and La Prairie to ensure not only a relaxing, but effective spa experience. Take a dip in the ‘aqua retreat’ post-treatment featuring an infinity pool, steam rooms and plunge pools. Did we mention the views from the spa are also incredibly insta-worthy?
Saray Spa – JW Marriot Marquis Hotel: The beautiful Saray Spa regularly scoops awards and is well loved by both ladies and gentlemen with excellent facilities for all. All the products used are exclusively available at the JW Marriot Marquis making the treatments one of a kind. The spa is spread over the entire third floor of the hotel and alongside individual treatment rooms boasts jacuzzis, steam and spa rooms, couple’s VIP suites and calming dead sea floation spa. You’ll be sure to walk out relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated.
Nikki Beach Club: If you’d like a little boogie with your beach day head to Nikki Beach for a day relaxing on the loungers while listening to nice beats. The resort is famous worldwide for cool pool parties, and makes for a glamorous location to lounge for the day. If you just want to relax the spa certainly delivers with gorgeous ESPA products.
Where to go in Dubai for sightseeing
Burj Khalifa: Standing at an astounding 831m high, a trip to the tallest tower in the world is a must for a layover! It holds several world records, and a Burj Khalifa tour is the only way to explore this fascinating structure. See the city from the world’s highest observation deck and ride on an elevator with the world’s longest travel distance. The striking design is inspired by the hymenocallis desert flower, and with both the Dubai Mall and Fountains at its feet, the tower is a great base from which to explore Downtown Dubai and makes for a great afternoon – just be sure to book in advance to avoid queues.
Dubai Creek: Explore the very beginnings of the city in its historic heart – Dubai Creek. Discover Dubai’s past and take in the historic heart of the city on foot and by boat. Feast your senses in the city’s glorious spice and gold souks, enjoy a traditional Abra boat ride and explore Dubai’s past in local museums. If you’re here to shop, be prepared to barter!
Seawings offer an intimate heritage tour with expert guides, finishing with a full traditional Arabic meal in Dubai’s oldest neighbourhood. The beauty of this tour is that it is dedicated to your group only, making this one of the most intimate heritage tours in Dubai. Find out more here.
Dubai Frame: The Dubai Frame is perfectly perched between Dubai’s historic centre and modern Downtown heart and offers visitors unique views. The frame was designed so that as you look through it you see Dubai’s futuristic cityscape or historic heart centred around Dubai Creek perfectly framed - giving you the sense that the city of Dubai itself is an icon. Visitors to the frame can also learn more about the city of Dubai in the colourful exhibition space at the base. It’s hard to miss the mesmerising gold cladding and unique design – and it’s even more incredible when you see it from the sky on one of our Seawings scenic flights! Find out more about how to get there here.
Where to go in Dubai for art and culture
Etihad Museum: While the Etihad Museum is still relatively new, their exhibits provide deep insights into the history of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Located at the same place where the UAE was founded in 1971, the museum shares the story of the unification of the various Emirates as well as offering a window into understanding the people and culture. There’s a wide range of short documentaries to complement the exhibits, and the museum in itself is a beautiful building to visit. Wander through the halls, view the collection and get to know Dubai, the surrounding Emirates, its leaders and its people.
Dubai Design District: This urban centre is a hive of design studios and publishing houses with interesting public artworks dotted around the precinct. It makes for an interesting day of shopping, and if you like your street style you’ll be sure to notice the well-dressed locals. Lighthouse Café is a popular haunt that doubles as a gallery-styled shop. There are regular exhibitions and events that make this one of the most stylish design hubs in the region.
Alserkal Avenue: While this spot is a little off the beaten track, when there’s a festival or event on it’s well worth a visit. The area is dotted with art galleries complete with a small filmhouse – Cinema Akil – specialising in arthouse and independent films. There are regular gallery tours and workshops on the weekends too – check the website for the full calendar of events.
Dubai Opera: The striking Opera building overlooking the famous Dubai Fountains has a full programme of shows ranging from Russian ballet to classical concerts from renowned European orchestras and contemporary pop performances. Just note for a short time of the year there are no shows during the summer Ramadan period. Check out their website for the full performance schedule.
Book in for your Seawings scenic flight today!
Our Seawings scenic flights are the perfect way to take in all of the sights to really maximise your layover, and great if you need a day out to adjust to the local timezone. We can even help arrange pick up and drop off so that you don’t need to worry about a thing or where to go in Dubai. Get in touch with our team today!