Six ways to experience Dubai’s magic during your next layover

Dubai is one of the most visited destinations in the world and home to a number of record-breakers, from the world’s tallest tower to the busiest international airport on the planet. There is so much to discover about Dubai, that with even 48 hours, you can have a diverse experience ranging from sightseeing to shopping and culture.

Kenyans who are travelling on Emirates can make the best of a layover by exploring the airline’s hub, Dubai. Here are a few attractions to explore:

1.    Get your culinary fix: Dubai is a multi-cultural city, a fact that is reflected in the culinary offering. From budget-friendly ethnic eats in old Dubai, to Michelin-starred fine dining restaurants such as Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen, Dubai has a foodie experience to suit every traveller and every budget.

2.    Retail therapy at the world’s largest shopping mall: Forgot to buy gifts for your family and friends? The Dubai Mall offers you over 1,300 stores to pick from. The 3.8 million square feet mall also offers an icing rink, aquarium, movie theatre and so much more for you to explore. Be sure to also check out the world’s largest choreographed fountain: The Dubai Fountain. Though best seen at night, this five-minute water spectacle sways in the wind to some eclectic soundtracks.

3.    Go up the Burj Khalifa: Dubai is a city of superlatives and boasts of many ‘firsts’. One of these is Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which you can visit for less than $60. Soaring over the city at an impressive 2,716 feet (828 meters) and boasting 200 stories (160 habitable), the $1.5 billion Burj Khalifa project was unveiled in January 2010.

4.    Cultural tour: Dubai has a rich cultural heritage that blends Bedouin, Arab and Islamic traditions and there is more to experience beyond shopping and impressive skyscrapers. For a quick history lesson, visit the Etihad Museum and Dubai Museum and then head to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for a no-holds-barred Q&A session on Emirati culture. You can also explore the burgeoning contemporary art scene at Alserkal Avenue or catch a performance at the ship-shaped Dubai Opera. Also visit the gold and spice souks and prepare to be enticed by the sweet aroma of spices, or dazzled by an expansive sea of gold jewellery as well as the finest cashmere.

5.    Dubai Marina Cruise: Experience the new Dubai by hopping into a dhow cruise on the world’s largest man-made marina. The cruise takes you through some international landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab and Atlantis the Palm among others. As you return to the Marina, you will get to see magnificently architected residential skyscrapers. 

6.    If you are in Dubai for a few hours and are travelling First and Business Class, you can relax and unwind at the Emirates First Class and Business Class lounges in Dubai, while waiting for your next flight on Emirates’ network. Catch up on news and stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi, explore an array of gourmet dining options and get refreshed at the shower spa, before your next flight.

Emirates deploys two daily flights from Nairobi to Dubai; EK 720, which leaves at 16:35 and EK 722, which departs at 22:45.