One-Day Guide: Dubai

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo by @sir_moon via Unsplash

Dubai One-Day Itinerary

A popular transit city in the UAE, Dubai is conveniently located for travelers who are looking to cut costs on flights to the other side of the world. If you have flown with Emirates, you will be more than cognizant of this. More than being a common location for OFWs looking to build their lives, the country is booming with accessible tourist spots perfect for a day’s worth trip.

Dubai Street View
Dubai Street View

On my last trip, I happened to have an emergency day-long layover in Dubai that was unanticipated. I took the opportunity to explore the city alone; to my surprise, it was a smooth-sailing adventure with no hiccups along the way.

One-Day Guide: Dubai by @darceybeau via Unsplash
One-Day Guide: Dubai by @darceybeau via Unsplash

Transportation

Before anything else, it is imperative for you to be aware of the transportation system in Dubai. The great thing about the country is the fact that the metro will take you almost anywhere you’d like within the city! It is accessible, cheap, and easy to navigate.

Dubai Metro
Dubai Metro

If you’re going to be using the metro for an entire day, hopping in and out of it would be as easy as getting a day pass. You can also use the day pass for the trams and busses. Currently, this is priced at 20 AED or approximately P275. Once you have purchased the day pass, you may avail of its validity until the end of the day, midnight, of its purchase.

Please do note that this is for the Standard Class; if you’re looking into traveling at Gold Class, expect the price to be doubled. However, the recommendation would be to avail of the Standard Class since it is not only cheaper, but there’s not much of a significant difference between both if you’re just a regular person casually traveling.

You can buy the day pass—or really, any other Nol Card—directly at the metro stations. There are booths there for purchase. If you would like to avoid person-to-person interactions, there are also machines to purchase them from. Be sure to prepare the payment in cash.

If you do not intend to use the metro or if you’re looking into making short interval trips between your metro rides, Careem is the most popular taxi booking service application in Dubai. Much like Grab, this will take you from point A to B as swiftly as possible. It’s fairly easy to navigate as well since the application is quite similar to what you would see in most transportation mobile applications in the market. The prices are fairly affordable, especially if you are traveling with a group of people.

Quick Places to Visit

Stroll around the Dubai Mall and Fountains

Dubai Mall is considered as the largest mall establishment globally. Once you step outside of the Dubai Mall station at the metro, it takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes of walking until you actually reach the mall itself. While it can be a long walk, it surely is worth the effort, especially because of the view you get to experience while you go through the tunnel-like façade of the entryway. You can enjoy the view of high-rise buildings as you are leisurely walking (or standing on the walking escalator).

Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall

It is easy to spend a couple of hours inside the mall itself. The number of shops inside the mall would give you a plethora of options from high-end to street fashion purchases. Once you’re exhausted, a portion of the mall is also dedicated to dining options. One of the great things about Dubai is the diversity of food options that are brought by its even more diverse working population.
If you’re looking to spend a bit of money to see insane wildlife, there is a large viewing aquarium inside the mall.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo by @sir_moon via Unsplash
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo by @sir_moon via Unsplash

While you are able to see it from afar, you can also enter the 10-million liter indoor tank. The prices to enter will vary depending on what experience you want to encounter, however, expect to pay an average of 230 AED or approximately P3,200.

Dubai Aquarium
Dubai Aquarium

The fountains are located a little outside of the actual mall but still within the Dubai Mall Complex. You can locate them close to the Burj Khalifa visitors’ entrance point, which is connected to the establishment itself. It’s best to visit the fountains during their daily shows that start roughly around 6 pm until 11 pm. There are also a few daytime shows, however, the nighttime shows are much more sought after due to the elaborate lighting used.

Burj Khalifa

When you think about Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is almost always on top of peoples’ lists—for good reason, of course. This staggering architectural piece has a total height of 2, 722 feet, making it the tallest building in the world. Ever since its opening in 2010, it has enticed significant attention from travelers all over because of its remarkable recognition as a skyscraper. The building itself houses some of the most expensive apartments in Dubai; there is also a hotel inside of it.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

If you want to reach the top, you can purchase tickets for the observation deck ranging from roughly 150 AED to 370 AED or approximately P2000 to P5000. The actual price depends on what time slot you choose.

If you are coming from your hotel to the Burj Khalifa, transportation is relatively easy. Simply take the metro and alight at the Burj Khalifa Station. If you are already inside the Dubai Mall, the entrance to the viewing deck is located inside of it already. If you want to get closer to the establishment itself, it will take a lot longer—you can either book a taxi from Careem or take a walk for this.

Additional Areas to Visit: Souks and the Dubai Creek

If you manage to have excess time in the morning, there is also the option of visiting the souks. This is simply a term for traditional Arabic markets in Dubai. You can find them close to the Dubai Creek, which makes it easier to squeeze in the itinerary. There is a wide array of souks available to stroll around in; there are textiles, gold jewelers, spices, perfumes, and more. This will be an exquisite experience for anyone who’s looking for a more cultural exposure when they’re in Dubai as it is located in the older parts of the city.

Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek

From here on, it would be easy to walk to the Dubai Creek where you can surely take numerous strikingly blue photos overlooking the skyline and waterways of the city.

Author’s Notes

Even if you’re traveling solo, Dubai is guaranteed to be a laidback city to navigate in because of how accessible the locations of (most) tourist spots are. To add to that, if you do happen to get lost, the innumerable Filipinos everywhere will certainly lend a helping hand.

The number of stunning skyscrapers alongside the exquisite look of the city will surely pique your interest if you’re looking for a more urban experience in your next long layover!

Dubai Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best Boutique hotels and Dubai affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

Want more updates about new tourist attractions and Best Boutique Hotels in Dubai, UAE? Please follow #TeamOutofTown, on Facebook, and TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest for more travel ideas.

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