acceptactivity-wordmarkGroupGroupGroup 2arrow-down-2arrow-downarrow-right-2arrow-rightarrowarrowsbadge-bgig icon copyig iconbellbeta-textboltbook_emptybook_iconburger-menu-whiteburger-menucamera-altcameraCarousel ControlCarousel Controlcc-aecc-mccc-viGroupcheck-diamondcheck-starcheck-tagcheckcheckmark-blackGroup 2chevroncircle-checkcircleicon/18/icon-duplicateclose-2closecomment-newcommentconfetticongrats-glassescopycreditdeletedenydiscover-plusdiscovered-gatedotdotdotdotted-imagedown-caretDuplicateeat-icon-fulleat-iconemailendorse-iconextra-iconfacebookfilterFilter2foldergemglobeheartSliceSlicehero-line-lefthero-line-mobile-bottomhero-line-mobile-tophero-line-righthero-lineicon-starigininfo-iconinstagramlarge-arrowletter-altletterlinklinkedin-altlist-iconlist-pluslistsGroup 7locklogo_exsitelogo-main-betalogo-mainProperty 1=Most Lovedloved-gatemadebyarticleGroupmask-altmaskmember-iconmenu-iconmessage-altmessagesubtract daysminusmob-cameramost-lovednav-line-mobilenav-linenew-iconnew-mapnew-reviewsnew-sharenew-submitnew-wordmarkpenperson-altperson-circlepersonphonepipin-emptypinPage 1plan-iconplay-icon-fullplay-iconplus-2AdditionplusDeletereturnreview-addreview-checkreviewAdd to Listsaved-gatesearch-newsearchsharesleep-icon-fullsleep-iconsmilesolo-checkstar-blackstarSliceSliceSliceSliceSlicesteps-linesubmit-iconsuggest-a-spottestimonialstiktoktipstop-liststrashGroup 3Fill 5 Copy 2User iconGroup 5verified-badgex1
Destinations
Destinations Join The Club

Travel Journal Blog posts from our community

Browse:

Get Inspired

Why Dubai Should Be Your Next Stop-Over Destination

uploaded_file

by Amanda Squeo Well Traveled Insider Well Traveled Insider
7 months ago

A few years ago, I was searching high and low for my honeymoon destination. We thought staying in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives would make an epic honeymoon, but we love ourselves an adventure, and it can be hard for us to sit still for too long. Once we noticed that our flight connected through an exciting city like Dubai, we realized we could have the best of both worlds AND break up our long trip to the Maldives. It wasn't very long until our honeymoon was booked, and I was planning out how to make the most of our short time in Dubai. 

If reading isn't your thing, check out my List here

Dubai Stay #1

Our trip was broken up so that we were visited Dubai before and after the Maldives. So, we spent 3 nights in Dubai before heading to the Maldives and 1- night after. It was a 14-hour flight from JFK to Dubai, and I could go on forever about how amazing our flight was with Emirates, but, I'll have to save that for another Travel Journal. I was determined to make the most of our stay, so, that's exactly what we did!

DAY 1 

9 AM Check-in to the Taj Dubai

We opted for this hotel due to its location, but also because they had rooms with spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa for a pretty decent price. 

0

Sleep

Taj Dubai

Average Nightly Rate

Starting at $200+
$$$$
Rooftop Pool Time
Details
0

Play

Burj Khalifa

Typical price per person

$50-100
$$$$
Feeling Bougie Central Location
Details
The view from our room at the Taj Dubai

10 AM Visit To The Dubai Mall

For a small fee, we checked in early, but once we heard the hotel had a complimentary shuttle to The Dubai Mall , decided to hop on. That may sound crazy after a 14-hour flight, but remember, we had a lot to do in a little time! We didn't plan on shopping considering we just spent too much on a wedding (and now this honeymoon), so for anyone not interested in shopping, please know you can still enjoy yourself here.

0

Play

The Dubai Mall

Typical price per person

$0-25
$$$$
Family Friendly Good for Groups
Details

Here's what we did: 

  • Window Shopping: Imagine all the best designer things ready for your viewing (and purchasing if you wish).
  • Food: This may sound silly, but when we passed by the food court and saw it had a Wendy's, we had to try it and see the difference from the American Wendy's. Don't worry, if trying American fast food in other countries isn't your scene, there are plenty of other options!
  • Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: My husband loves marine life, and it's one of the coolest things in the Dubai Mall for all ages. Also, if I am being honest, I really, really wanted this photo below.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at the Dubai Mall

6 PM Dinner At At.Mosphere Lounge at The Burj Khalifa

After the mall, we decided to head back to the room to relax a little bit because we had our first dinner alone (since getting married) to look forward to and we did not want to be too tired to enjoy it. Plus, we wanted to look our best since it was taking place in a restaurant located in the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa

0

Eat

At.mosphere Dubai

Typical price per person

$100+
$$$$
Feeling Bougie Date Night
Details

I discovered this restaurant when exploring the best ways to enjoy the views of the city from this building. The most popular way to do this is by buying a ticket to At The Top, which gives you access to levels 124 & 125, depending on the ticket you buy. When I was about to purchase our tickets, I imagined us in a crowded area with a bunch of people, taking a few photos, and that being the end of our experience. It didn't sound too appealing, and I figured there had to be another way. When I priced out a VIP ticket that included a skip-the-line and more private experience, it was SO expensive.

0

Play

At The Top, Burj Khalifa

Typical price per person

$25-50
$$$$
Central Location Scenic Views
Details

This led me to find the At.Mosphere Restaurant which was just a few levels lower but with a view just as spectacular. It even looked over the Dubai Fountain (and during specific times, the Dubai Fountain Show), which was another Dubai bucket-list item of ours. 

View of the City From At.Mosphere Lounge

The restaurant is split into two sections: the main dining room and the lounge. We opted for the lounge because the menu was more our style and included a cheeseburger coated in a "gold dust," so of course my husband needed to have it. The service was amazing and the manager came over to us while we were waiting for our food to give us a tour, which was super nice. 

If you come here, there are a few musts:

  • Book ahead of time! Reserve your table months in advance if you can. It's not impossible to come here, but it just takes planning sometimes.
  • Your dinner is timed, so I knew I had to plan it carefully. I decided that booking around sunset would be the most memorable way to experience the city's stunning views. Not only is it romantic, but you get to see the city in different lights. When we booked the dinner, we asked when they thought sunset would be, and it worked out perfectly.
  • To eat by the window, you have to spend a minimum. Sure, dinner wasn't inexpensive, but when you compare it to the cost of a VIP ticket for At The Top and the fact that it included food, it's well worth it. It is still one of the most memorable nights of my life.

DAY 2

11 AM Bus Tour of the City

To no surprise, we got a little bored at the pool (I told you we don't like to sit still for long!) and didn't plan this day out because we figured we would "wing" it. Well, this was a mistake because the only thing available was to take a bus tour of the city, which was very much against what we would usually do. The Dubai heat had us MELTING every time we got off the bus, and the only fun thing we saw was a distant view of the Burj Al Arab. Learn from us by planning better and DO NOT take the bus tour. 

0

Sleep

Burj Al Arab

Average Nightly Rate

Starting at $1000+
$$$$
Feeling Bougie Pool Time
Details

3 PM XLINE DUBAI: A zip-line over the Dubai Marina

Even though we consider the above a learning lesson, it did free up our time to see if the XLINE had any openings. This was on our Dubai To-Do list, and we thought we would do it on our return from the Maldives. It's a good thing we changed our minds because we would've never been able to fit this experience in on our last day.

0

Play

XLine Dubai

Typical price per person

$50-100
$$$$
Scenic Views Learn Something New
Details
0

Play

Dubai Marina Mall

Typical price per person

$25-50
$$$$
Waterfront Dining Central Location
Details

This experience starts at the Dubai Marina Mall, where you leave all your belongings at a kiosk in the mall before heading to the building where you zip-line. I really thought I was going to chicken out, but I didn't, and it was one of the coolest experiences. 

XLine: A Zipline experience over the Dubai Marina

9 PM Dinner at Billionaire Dubai

Billionaire Dubai is a luxury dining and theater experience that is right next to our hotel. During our meal, we experienced a show filled with entertainers like dancers and acrobats. The food was delicious, and the service was some of the best we've ever had. 

0

Play

Billionaire Dubai

Typical price per person

$100+
$$$$
Vegetarian Friendly Live Music
Details

We were too tired to stay, but we noticed a DJ playing music in the lounge area to keep the party going. If this isn't your scene, there are several famous restaurants from around the world that you can experience right here in Dubai instead.

DAY 3 

10 AM Pool Time

After getting some much-needed sleep, we decided to relax before our excursion later and headed up to the rooftop pool, where we enjoyed swimming and drinks to beat the desert heat.

Being that August is extremely hot, it's actually Dubai's off-season. Because of that, there are many things you can't do that I would've done. 

If you're going to Dubai at a different time, here is what I would have done instead: 

  • Visit the Dubai Miracle Garden. This is on my bucket list and I will go back for it one day.
  • Take a hot air balloon during sunrise.
  • Visit one of the many Dubai beach clubs.
  • Take day trip or even stay at Atlantis.
  • Skydive over the Palm Islands
0

Play

Dubai Miracle Garden

Typical price per person

$25-50
$$$$
Scenic Views Family Friendly
Details
0

Play

Skydive Dubai

Typical price per person

$100+
$$$$
Scenic Views Ocean Views
Details
0

Sleep

Atlantis, The Palm

Average Nightly Rate

Starting at $300+
$$$$
Fine Dining Wellness
Details

4 PM Desert Safari with Platinum Heritage

It wouldn't be a proper trip to Dubai without visiting the desert, and what better way than doing so in a 1950s Land Rover? 

Platinum Heritage Desert Safari

What our Safari Included:

  • Hotel pick-up
  • Head scarf to keep the hot sun off you
  • An escorted ride in a vintage land-rover
  • Falconry show
  • Sunset desert views and photo-ops
  • A visit to a Bedouin camp with entertainment, hookah, traditional food and camel-riding. (I do not advise doing this as they truly didn't appear happy.)
  • Henna tattoo artist
0

Play

Platinum Heritage Desert camp

Typical price per person

$100+
$$$$
Sustainable Choice Getting Outdoors
Details

10 PM Treehouse Dubai

Before heading to Dubai, I saw that our hotel had a really cool rooftop club/restaurant so I wanted to check it out. It turns out the rooftop is enclosed during the summer season, and events aren't held until it cools down a bit. Nonetheless, we ended up getting some drinks and enjoying the ambiance. Besides, we had an early flight to the Maldives in the morning! 

0

Play

Treehouse

Typical price per person

$25-50
$$$$
Rooftop Vegetarian Friendly
Details

I plan to write a Travel Journal on our experience to the Maldives, so for now, let's fast forward to our return to Dubai.

DUBAI STAY #2

The Last Day

1 PM Check-in to the Address Dubai Marina.

After the Maldives, we took a 4-hour flight back to Dubai before taking our 12-hour flight home the next day. We decided to stay here because it was a different area to explore, it was attached to the Dubai Marina Mall (where XLine is), and they have one of the coolest infinity pools I've ever seen! 

0

Sleep

Address Dubai Marina

Average Nightly Rate

Starting at $200+
$$$$
Central Location Scenic Views
Details

2 PM Lunch at SALT

Since we got back to Dubai late in the afternoon and our flight home was early the next morning, we had little time to do much of anything, so we kept the rest of the day simple. We ate lunch at SALT, which at the time had a food truck in the middle of the Dubai Marina area. I first discovered them on Instagram when they first got started, and their eatery changed locations every day. You'd have to find their location on Instagram each day or by chance. 

0

Eat

SALT Dubai Marina

Typical price per person

$0-25
$$$$
Quick Bite Grab & Go
Details

Once I knew they had a location at the Dubai Marina, I knew we had to try it. They serve cheeseburgers, fried chicken sandwiches, French fries, and a variety of dipping sauces, but I am not kidding when I say I'd visit Dubai again just to eat here once more in my lifetime.

3 PM Address Dubai Marina Infinity Pool

We decided to take advantage of their infinity pool. It is not only huge, but it makes you feel like you're part of the skyscrapers around you. 

Infinity Pool at the Address Dubai Marina

7 PM Dubai Marina Mall

Once it got dark, we decided to check out the Dubai Marina Mall, which was fun but not nearly as cool as the Dubai Mall. We ended the night by picking up milkshakes from SALT and going to bed early to catch our flight back home.

0

Play

Dubai Marina Mall

Typical price per person

$25-50
$$$$
Waterfront Dining Central Location
Details

Dubai is for everyone. It's a perfect destination for couples, families of all ages, friends, and even a solo trip. Beyond the things we did, there is something for everyone. It's also a place that is forever changing and innovating, so you can go back over and over again and find something completely new to experience. I know I'll be back one day.

If I've convinced you to make Dubai your next long-haul stop over destination, here are some exciting destinations that have direct flights out of DXB to consider: 

  • Singapore
  • Amman, Jordan
  • Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Mauritius
  • Jaipur, India
  • The Seychelles
  • The Maldives

Members, be sure to check out my full trip itinerary here

 

Planning your trip to Dubai? Message me with any questions you may have!

Happy Travels!

uploaded_file

Amanda Squeo

Lover of aesthetically pleasing hotels, dining with a view & a good glass of wine. āœØ I've worked in travel and tourism for over 10 years and when I'm not working or traveling, Iā€™m being a homebody with my family. šŸ‘Øā€šŸ‘©ā€šŸ‘§ šŸ¾

View All Posts

Join Our Community to See More

The content you're trying to view is for members eyes only. Please log in or apply for membership to view more. Questions? Check out our FAQ page .

Join The Club