What to do in Dubai in 48 hours

So you have a quick stopover in the city of Dubai?! Fantastic!! Here’s a few ideas on how to spend your time in this city where anything is possible…

Day one: So you arrive in the city jet lagged and hungry after your flight?! First stop is for breakfast of course! Make your way to JBR walk, by the beach, where you can get pancakes at ihop, eggs at eggspectation or croissants at Paul’s bakery. 

If those don’t tickle your fancy then there are plenty of other cafes and restaurants for you to try out along the walk!

You can then relax on the beach and go for a lovely swim in the beautiful Arabian waters. The warm waters will soothe away any aches and pains from the flight, and the sun shining down on you will instantly make you feel happier! 

Soon it will be time for lunch. Lucky for you there’s plenty of choice around JBR walk, from burgers and cheesecake to sushi and smoothies! While eating, indulge in a spot of people watching – it’s one of my favourite activities at JBR!


Later that evening it’s time to make your way over to the tallest building in the world- the magnificent Burj Khalifa! At over 828 metres high you’re going to get an amazing view! This is located in downtown  Dubai- about half an hour away from JBR walk. 

I recommend getting tickets to go up it for sunset so you see the sun setting over the city- wow (check the sunset time as it varies throughout the year).

You can watch the fountain show from above! It’s quite a spectacular sight. The fountains play every half an hour from 6pm-11.30pm, and each show lasts a few minutes.

Make your way down to see a fountain show from the ground! My favourite is when the fountains dance to the tune of Thriller by Michael Jackson- wow!

After watching a mesmerising fountain show or two, it’s time to get dinner. Souk al Bahar just over the bridge from Dubai Mall has plenty of licensed restaurants if you fancy an alcoholic drink. Loca is a great Mexican restaurant with fab views of the Burj if you get an outside table. There are plenty of choices within walking distance.

Alternatively Dubai Mall has plenty of restaurants, including many fast food outlets. And if you fancy some shopping Dubai Mall has not just shops but a cinema, an aquarium and an ice rink! It’s open until 11pm most weekdays and midnight on weekends. Its a great way to spend some time in the AC especially in the glaring heat of the summer!

You wake up the next day and fancy some culture! You may wish to return to the Burj for some amazing morning photos and for a coffee and breakfast at Dubai Mall, iHop has great pancakes and a great view from above. There’s plenty of restaurants closer to the fountains too. I love sitting and people watching! If you didn’t get up the Burj last night, now is the time to do it (as long as the skies are clear and not too hazy).

Today I suggest you get a feel for the original Dubai. Your main purpose today is to explore Dubai’s historical district- Al Bastakiya. The morning time is lovely and peaceful here. Just have a wander and you will come across museums, tea houses and cafes.

Once you have relaxed and soaked up some of the traditional culture, take an Abra across the creek, making your way to the gold and spice souks! You can pick up some souvenirs here for family, friends or even yourself!

Now you can’t come all the way to Dubai and not see the desert! Make sure you book a desert safari- most hotels will help you, or book before you come. At around 3pm your desert safari company will be ready to pick you up from your hotel or a designated location to take you into the desert! You will be driven in a 4×4 up and down the sand dunes and it will feel like being on a crazy rollercoaster ride!! So much fun! Then you will enjoy the beauty of the desert and the dunes, watching the sunset. In the evening you will watch performances by belly dancers and other entertainers. You may even get to experience a camel ride!

At around 9pm you will be taken back to your hotel ready for a good nights sleep! You will have had a taste of Dubai and be ready to come back for more!!

About The Author

Dubai Dreamer

Hi, I live and work in Dubai. I enjoy getting out and about and seeing what Dubai has to offer, travelling in my holidays and spare time – prepare for blog posts about this, and cooking vegetarian recipes. I am passionate about travel and animals.


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