ST3 117 VISITDUBAI Q222 Article Burj, Missy E

How to make the most of 48 hours in Dubai….

There’s nowhere on earth like Dubai. It’s an oasis of gravity-defying skyscrapers, designer shopping malls, the world’s most hospitable hotels and adventure sports to pump your adrenaline to the max (dune bashing, anyone?). This culturally rich city is a year-round destination that’s worth much more time than a transit stopover allows.

Spend 48 hours in Dubai for an introduction to the city’s highlights, from admiring its golden dunes from a vintage 4×4 to swimming in the highest infinity pool on the planet.

Day one


Be up before the crack of dawn so you don’t miss the most enchanting time of day: sunrise. Opt for Platinum Heritage’s hot air balloon package and you’ll be collected from your hotel and whisked 45 minutes into the desert, for an unforgettable, break-of-dawn hot air balloon ride over the golden-hued sand dunes.

The experience continues with a desert drive on vintage Land Rovers, rolling up and down the dunes until you reach a Bedouin desert camp. Here, you’ll sit down for a gourmet breakfast, before having a short camel ride and then heading back to the city.

Back in Dubai, it’s time to dabble in the world-class shopping. Here, shopping is a leisure activity rather than a necessity. Malls are as decadent as palaces and you’ll find haute couture sits alongside ancient jewellery and spice souqs. The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping centre, covering the same surface area as 200 football pitches.

You could spend days here – but a few hours is just enough to browse the designer shops, take a photo of the towering indoor waterfall and have a bite to eat at one of the hundreds of food outlets. Book ahead for steamed dumplings and bao buns at the ultra-popular Din Tai Fung, or try traditional Emirati cuisine (chebab pancakes or khameer flatbreads with date syrup and cheese) at Logma.


Don a wetsuit and spend your afternoon having an experience to tell the grandkids about. Dubai is home to the world’s deepest swimming pool, which opened in 2021 and is 60m (200 ft) in depth. Called Deep Dive Dubai, it’s designed for thrillseekers to either practise or learn scuba diving from scratch, exploring its 14 million litres of balmy, 30-degree-Celcius freshwater, which is filled with surprising items at every turn: a ruined city here, a sunken car there.

Experienced divers can experiment with freediving, more nervous swimmers can snorkel, and anybody who is not keen to get in the water can watch their pals through the large viewing windows.

After an active day, it’s time to revel in luxury at one of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks: Burj Al Arab. This ultra-luxe hotel was built to resemble the sails of a traditional dhow ship, and is revered for its exquisite private beach and for being the world’s fifth-tallest hotel.

You can take a 90-minute tour of the Burj Al Arab, to learn about the building’s architecture, complex construction on an artificial island and to hear about a day in the life of a hotel butler. Round it all off with dinner at one of the hotel’s classy restaurants – such as SAL, an incredible beachfront venue, UMA Lounge for wagyu cheeseburgers, or you can splash out on a four-course dinner at high-end mezze joint Al Iwan.

Day two


Kick off day two with more high-octane thrills, starting with Inflight Dubai. This is the ‘most advanced vertical wind tunnel on the planet’ and it has one function: to simulate a skydive. Arrive first thing so they can perform safety checks, debrief you and set you up with a flight suit, safety goggles and a helmet. Then, after a training session, it’s time to get into the wind tunnel and try it for yourself.

After about an hour learning the ropes, there’s nothing stopping you from doing an actual sky dive* – and there’s no better place for a bird’s eye view than Dubai, with its soaring skyscrapers, clear blue skies and ochre-hued desertscapes.

Premium sky dive packages take place at the Palm Dropzone, over the palm-shaped manmade island, the Palm Jumeirah. Tandem skydives from 4,000m altitude are most popular, and there’s a secondary Desert Dropzone for an alternative view. Whichever you choose, you’ll be in expert hands – the instructors are among the most qualified in the world.

Why come down to earth so soon? Once your feet hit the ground again, head straight to the Burj Khalifa – the world’s highest building, at a spinetingling 828m tall. Up close, you can barely see the spire, which stretches dramatically towards the heavens while dwarfing every other nearby building.

Get another vertigo-inducing view of Dubai from the At the Top SKY observation deck – the world’s highest, which has an outdoor terrace on floor 148. Then, climb even higher to the Lounge, which serves glasses of champagne and trays of canapes for a light lunch at 585m altitude.

*If you choose to experience the amazing Deep Dive Dubai the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) recommends waiting at least 24 hours before going to altitudes above 2438m (8000 feet).


Take your pick of leisure activities and high-energy sports that are available in Dubai. Get out on the Persian Gulf’s turquoise waters for some thrilling watersports, including blow-up banana boat riding, jet skiing, kayaking or kite surfing. More futuristic (and hair-raising) is hooking yourself up to jetpack and shooting into the air on a jet of water. Flyboarding is similar, except you’re standing on a board that floats 15m above the water thanks to jet nozzles underneath.

If you prefer dry land, how about a round of golf? Home to the DP World Tour Championship and the Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai is emerging as a world-leading golf destination. Dubai Creek is an iconic golf destination, with a beginner and a championship course.

Come sundown, there’s only one place to catch the final rays of the setting sun: Aura Skypool. Suspended 200m above street level, this is the highest, 360-degree infinity pool in the world, offering a unique view of all you’ve experienced over the past couple of days: the glittering Persian Gulf, the iconic Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab skyscrapers, and the neatly groomed Palm Jumeirah.

Once you’ve had a cooling dip in the pool, settle in on rattan chairs surrounded by palms and make the most important decision of the day: what to have for dinner. The Pan-Asian menu here flits between truffle and mozzarella flatbreads, Thai watermelon salad with feta cheese, Szechuan pepper squid and wagyu beef sliders. Pair it with a mai thai cocktail to toast the final evening of your Dubai experience.


Until da next Tyme


Sourced from Sky Scanner

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