48 hours in dubai: this is what we did (day 1)

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We’ve been back for over a month and it seriously feels like we’ve never been away. How does going back to work do that to us? And we’ve written a few posts about Turkey but still yet to cover another part of that trip; Dubai.

So what is there to do in Dubai? This is what we did in our 2 days stopover.

We arriving late on the Tuesday night (Day 0) and had booked everything with our Emirates flights as part of the “Arabian Adventures” 3-night stopover. It was our last ditch at feeling “away” before we flew back to Sydney.

The package was a VIP welcome before customs (which was really a “hello” and “this is where you go for your hotel transfer”) with a Welcome Package and complimentary transfers to our hotel, Park Regis Kris Kin. We were told to sit and wait for our names to be called…. everybody turning up after us were being transported off but we sat and waited and waited and waited. Finally, we got to our hotel which was amazing and super comfortable (we have reviewed it at Tripadvisor).

After a day of flying from Antalya to Dubai via Istanbul, we were exhausted so were happy to just crash on that first night.

Dubai from the rooftop of our hotel
Dubai from the rooftop of our hotel

Day 1

According to our package, before the pre-arranged (as part of this stopover package) City of Merchants tour, we were meeting a representative at midday at the hotel. This meant our Wednesday morning would not be as productive as we had hoped. So we spent the morning exploring our first mall in Dubai. The walk from the hotel was 5-7 minutes but goodness, the heat was unforgiving and we were relieved to hit the air-conditioning. The mall was filled with luxury brand shops but not with many shoppers. It did get us questioning how there could be so many malls yet not all the malls be busy? We later learned malls were a form of air-conditioned entertainment to escape the searing heat of the desert.

Meeting our representative at noon was extremely pointless because she provided no additional information than what was provided in the Welcome Package – so that was the biggest waste of our time. We were beginning to get a little unimpressed with the service we were getting from the Arabian Adventure representatives.

However, they were able to redeem themselves with the City of Merchants tour. The tour guide whose name escapes us now (dammit!) was extremely entertaining. We also received bottled water every time we climbed back on the coach. They were very conscientious about not letting us dehydrate!

With the half day tour, we got:

(1) a photo stop at the Burj Al Arab: the self-proclaimed “7-star hotel”









(2) a photo stop at the Jumeirah Mosque











(3) to drive past Zabeel Palace because it is the Sheik’s residence, stops for photographs are not permitted

(4) to visit the Bastakiya historical and art district











(5) to visit the Dubai Museum: which we found fascinating. It is a small museum but there is a lot of information to learn about the history of Dubai









(6) to cross the Dubai creek in a traditional abra









(7) to visit the spice and gold souks as our last stop.


We arrived back at our hotel by way after 8 pm and yearning for a nice cool shower before seeking somewhere to eat dinner.

That was 24 hours in Dubai gone. Day 2 was to be spent exploring the modern part of Dubai, so a good night sleep was needed!







5 thoughts on “48 hours in dubai: this is what we did (day 1)

    […] post has taken us much longer to write than we had planned. So recapping, day 1 of our time in Dubai was spent learning about its history and visiting Old Dubai! And now, day 2 […]

    Freya said:
    November 18, 2013 at 3:49 am

    It seems like you still covered a lot with the City of Merchants Tour. I have never been to Dubai. What did you think overall, is it worth a stop?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 18, 2013 at 6:30 am

      Thanks for reading and for stopping by! We did enjoy the City of Merchants tour as we saw lots of the history of Dubai which was really fascinating! We are glad to have experienced Dubai but it is not our cup of tea. We were there for 2 days and 3 nights & felt that was adequate as we also don’t take to heat very well 🙂 – we will share our Day 2 in Dubai soon in a post that is currently still being written 🙂
      And to answer your question: As a stopover, it’s worth a visit if you have the opportunity!

    foreignsanctuary said:
    November 14, 2013 at 1:18 am

    Sounds like a good afternoon exploring Dubai. I would love to have the opportunity to check out the 7 star hotel but it is probably too rich for my blood!!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 14, 2013 at 5:41 am

      Thanks for stopping by our blog! Yea – to ‘check it out’ – you need to have a reservation for accommodation or for the restaurant. It was beyond our budget too 🙂

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