12 hours in Dubai on a layover without breaking the bank

Stop Four: Burjaman to Dubai Marina

Transport: Walk (20 mins) to Burjaman Station > Dubai Marina (Red Line then Tram: 50 Mins)

After a stroll through the residential area, broken by shops, I hopped back on the metro bound for the more modern and well-represented side of modern Dubai. For most, this is likely the area you’ll concentrate on during your Dubai stopover, although I really think digging into the culture and heritage of the city is a must.

Straight away when coming into Dubai Marina the differences are stark, this is a much wealthier residential area, and here you’ll find the JBR beach where you can grab a fancy lunch in the sun or get your feet in the sand.

Close by is the Palm Jumeirah, the famous fanned out artificial archipelago, where you can snap some photos from the outside – even though it’s an expensive place to stay, entrance to the area is free, though it’s not possible to enter by foot so would need to take a taxi or buy a monorail ticket. I skipped it, to save on time, as personally, it wasn’t of immense interest. There are plenty of other malls and walks around the area.

Stop Five: Burj Al Arab and Beach (Palm Jumeirah)

Transport: Dubai Marina (No 8 Bus: 30 Mins) > Burj Al Arab (I suggest skipping Palm Jumeirah, but you could switch up your route to include this)

Instead of visiting Palm Jumeirah, I jumped a bus up to the Burj Al Arab, the sail-shaped hotel which is known for its opulence, beauty and high-flying clientele.

On the beach looking out on the Burj Al Arab you can snap some photos of the famous hotel, grab a bite, and enjoy a bit of beach time. The hotel is connected to the mainland by a bridge to the artificial island, but it is a private hotel, so the only way to get in if you aren’t staying there is to make a restaurant reservation.

Dubai Stopover Guide

Taking a boat tour under the Burj Khalifa

Stop Six: Mall of the Emirates to Dubai Mall

Transport: From Burj Al Arab (No 81 Bus 81: 7 Mins) to Mall of the Emirates Metro > Dubai Mall (Red Line: 15 Mins)

If shopping is on your agenda during your Dubai stopover, you are spoilt for options. Nearby to the Burj Al Arab is the Mall of the Emirates, a large shopping centre, although I just used here as a point to rejoin the metro and head over to the Dubai Mall.

The Dubai Mall is another huge shopping centre, with a whole range of shops and dining options, from budget chain restaurants inside to the more expensive dining options outside around the pools, which is where you’ll be paying a premium for the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.



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