6 Awesome Things to Do on a Layover in Dubai
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Dubai International Airport saw 83.6 million passengers in 2016. Named the busiest airport in the world, DXB sends passengers to 260 destinations across six continents. You shouldn’t be surprised if your flight to Europe, the U.S., or any number of other destinations sends you through this United Arab Emirates hub.
For many, a layover in Dubai means hours spent trying to nap in uncomfortable airport chairs eating fast food. But to those who are in the know, it’s an opportunity to explore one of the world’s most modern cities without making it your final destination. These eight awesome things to do on a stopover in Dubai will introduce you to the city and make you want to come back for more.
1. The Dubai Museum
Arguably the best place to grab a snapshot of Dubai and United Arab Emirates history, the Dubai Museum walks you through the area’s transformation from a minute Bedouin village to one of the world’s great entertainment and business hubs.
2. The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is just a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport, making it an ideal destination for anyone with four to eight hours to spend in the city. You can now say you’ve visited the tallest building in the world, but don’t forget to book a time slot to visit the observation deck before hopping in a cab.
3. The Dubai Mall
You’ve probably heard of the extravagance of Dubai’s malls, and if you have a little extra time, this one is located steps from the Burj Khalifa. Conquer the world’s tallest building and the world’s largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination on a single stopover.
4. The Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque is one of Dubai’s most iconic sites, and it sits high on travellers’ bucket lists. Easily reached from the airport by Metro or taxi, this massive place of worship can hold 1,200 people at once. Only Muslims are allowed inside, but it’s a sight to behold (and snap photos of) from outside too.
5. Shop the Souks
While many think Dubai’s urban sprawl has depleted its culture, you can still find the days of the ancient village life in its souks, or markets. The markets sell traditional items like spices and textiles, but you’ll probably fill your backpack with other souvenirs too. Come ready to haggle for a fair price.
6. Pamper Yourself Inside the Airport
You’ll want roughly eight hours of layover time to pass through customs and immigration and still have time to see a site or two. For some, that means several hours spent inside the airport, but there’s arguably no better airport in the world for a layover than DXB. Emirates Terminal 3 is home to three Timeless Spas as well as two indoor zen gardens, found at gates B7 and 27. Passing through in the middle of the night? The airport’s duty free shops are open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This place definitely understands jet lag.