What is the best way to see Dubai in one day?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Paul Brady

Seeing Dubai in one day is like taking a simultaneous trip through history and the future. Forbes Travel Guide’s editors suggest starting with an early wake-up call, indulging in the big breakfast spread at your hotel then hitting the old quarters of the city before the heat gets too fierce. A short abra (water bus) ride across the Creek is a photo-friendly reminder of Dubai’s port history; the souks of Deira and Al-Ras will just be getting started for the day during your visit, making this a good time for more relaxed browsing.
Hop on the spotless metro back toward the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), one notable home to the city’s blooming arts scene and a number of worthwhile galleries. From there, look for a late lunch in the now-trendy Marina district or at the Mall of the Emirates, where high-quality options abound, including an outpost of New York cult favorite Shake Shack. The mall is also home to Ski Dubai, the irresistibly over-the-top indoor ski slope. (If you don’t want to ski, there’s an adorable penguin program that’s very kid-friendly.)
In the evening, freshen up from a hot day and have a drink at your hotel bar before visiting Ravi’s, a famed Pakistani joint in the Satwa neighborhood – your cabbie will most certainly know it. For a nightcap, reserve a table at At.mosphere, the 123rd-floor bar at the Burj Khalifa, and watch the city twinkle below.

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