Nestled along the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is one of those cities where culture and modernization meet. To many, it serves as a welcome escape from their busy lives. It is also home of some bucket list-worthy destinations where you can have fun activities with your friends and family.
In fact, you can have an unforgettable experience in this one-of-a-kind city even if you only have 48 hours to spare. Surprised? Don’t be, for this city houses many hidden gems that can go beyond the normal standards of rest and relaxation and can be relished even in a two-day vacation.
What to Do and Where to Do It
Because there are dozens of things you can do and places you can go to in this Middle Eastern city, choosing a few to fit your 48-hour timeline can be challenging. To help you out, here are four activities that you shouldn’t forget to try in Dubai:
1. Relish good food
Dubai is home to Emirati cuisine which is why the city is lauded as one of the most popular meat lovers’ paradise in the MENA region.
Aside from the world-famous shawarma, many restaurants and food shops in Dubai also offer the mouth-watering meat-based dish that snatched the Guinness World Book of Record for being the biggest food a person can eat around the world—the stuffed camel.
This unique dish, which is served only during a special Dubai occasion such as specific Bedouin ceremonies, can have a wide variety of fillings, including fish, chicken, eggs, and sheep mixed with different spices.
2. Enjoy the sights
Dubai is also popular for the jaw-dropping sunrise and sunsets in the desert. However, there are much more you can see in this 60-kilometer stretch of a city—from musical dancing fountains to the world’s highest skyscrapers. You can also visit the Dubai Museum where you can witness the rich culture of this diverse community unfold before your very eyes.
3. Do some outdoor activities
Since it is situated in a sandy desert terrain, camel riding is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words “outdoor activities in Dubai.”
However, there lots more activities you can try that don’t require getting sand in your eyes and shoes while still enjoying the iconic scenery the city is known for. Among the activities that are highly recommended are strolling through the Dubai Creek and the rare practice shooting experience offered by the JA Shooting Club.
4. Enjoy the malls (even if you don’t shop)
Aside from being the epicenter of tourism in the UAE, Dubai is also known for its luxurious shopping districts, especially The Dubai Mall. Of course, if you’re not one to splurge your fortune in high-end shopping districts, you can always try in-mall activities like indoor skiing at the Mall of the Emirates, and a meet-and-greet with penguins and other water-bound creatures.
3 Tips to Maximize Your Visit to Dubai
1. Be mindful of social mores
One of the most important rules when visiting Dubai is to always be mindful of their rules. While it is okay to wear a bikini when swimming at the beach with your special someone, you should remember to never be too showy when in Dubai. To be more specific, never ever kiss in public as it is considered taboo in the city.
2. Choose the least hot time to visit
Since Dubai has a very hot climate, you can enjoy it most if you time your visit during the less warm months of November until March. If not, be prepared for the extreme heat and humidity, and don’t forget to pack your sunscreen.
3. Get the ultimate relaxing vacation by staying at a spa hotel
Nothing says “relaxing” better than a trip to the spa—and no spa is better than one that is readily available with just a single call to the receptionist. If you are after rest and stress-relief, you should book your 48-hour stay at a spa hotel in Dubai.
Before You Go…
Dubai is a great stopover and a go-to destination for people who have only two days to spare. A relaxing vacation need not be lengthy—well, at least, not if you know where to go, what to do, and how to do it best.
Thomas Grundner is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for JA Resorts & Hotels. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the hospitality and leisure industry – across international markets including Germany, Egypt and Spain. Grundner oversees all sales, marketing and revenue efforts as the company continues to build on its key growth and development strategies and further cultivates its unique blend of “Heartfelt Hospitality” and “Casual Luxury.”