Dubai was a short stopover on our way to USA in 2009. I am not much of a huge mall person so didn’t find the Mall of the Emirates or the Dubai Mall exciting, though there are lots of activities that can be done other than shopping! Check out the websites for all the fun activities you can do.
Besides these one can also visit the Wild Wadi Water Park which is close to the Burj Al Arab.
Most tourists visit the Gold Souk market and give the Spice Souk a miss, but for me the walk in the narrow lanes lined with open and closed-roof stores was very memorable. While in that area, do make it a point to cross the Dubai Creek in a tradition boat (dhow) for 1-2 AED! We did it during day-time but if possible try and do it in the evening when Dubai is all lit up. There are also Dhow Dinner Cruise so don’t forget to check that out…
We visited the Burj Khalifa from outside and didn’t go up-to the observation desk.
We missed the inside tour for non-Muslims (yes! they do) at the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque. Check out more information here.
But the one thing you just cannot afford to miss is a visit to the Arabian desert. You have to go with a tour that organizes 4×4 desert safari typically in the evening with activities like dune dashing, sand boarding, camel rides, belly dancing, barbecue dinner and many more. There are many tour operators and most of them do pick-up/drop-off from hotel. While most go to the dunes to do the adventure activities, we gave that a skip and instead chose to watch the sun go down in the desert. What a beautiful sunset it was. My most cherished memory of Dubai! You may perhaps would also like to do Sunrise Hot Air Balloon ride and catch a breathtaking sunrise over the red-tinged sand dunes as you float above the Arabian Desert.
I have no food memories from this trip except for this dessert (dessert in the desert! ok, bad joke.) that we had at Haagen Dazs.