What to do on a Long Layover in Dubai, UAE

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As the diary of my trip to Pakistan comes to an end, I wanted to share one last bit of info on the actual traveling part.

When we were booking the trip, we were in search for a long layover in Dubai. We figured we could check out 2 places for the price of one! It was also a plus that my brother in law’s uncle lives there so we saved money on pick up, drop off and accommodations. 🙂Dubai Layover

On the stop to Pakistan, we only had time for one place which was more than enough for that time as we needed sleep more than sight seeing. We had been on a plane for 13 hours and when we landed all we wanted was a bed!

Dubai Mall

After we took a nap, we headed to Dubai Mall which is the largest mall in the world! It’s located next to the tallest building in the world too, Burj Khalifa and there were great views of it from a part of the mall.

We first walked around and had some food from the food court. There are sooooo many choices here and of course we settled on Middle Eastern cuisine.

Hot Dubai Deals

Besides tons of shopping and food, there’s an aquarium that you can go Scuba diving in as well. The kids really enjoyed this part, of course. Especially when the whole Finding Nemo family can be spotted inside it.

My personal favorite part of the mall was this water fountain. Dubai LayoverDubai LayoverIt was so cool, don’t you think?!

Then, finally, before heading back to the airport, we came out to see the Burj Khalifa and the water show that happens at the Waterfront Promenade.Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover

It was a beautiful evening and overall a good stop on our way to our final destination.

Old Dubai

On our way back to America, we were a little more energetic when we stopped in Dubai since we had only been on a plane for 4 hours. So this time, we decided to go to Old Dubai. I had read this was a great place to check out all the souks and take a ride on a dhow (a wooden boat that takes you across the creek). I also figured the kids would enjoy the boat ride and it is only ONE DIRHAM per person!!! Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover

When we got there, the weather was a bit questionable and very unusual for a desert country! It was cloudy and rainy. However this made for a very enjoyable time because it wasn’t super hot and humid as it normally would have been. It didn’t rain much when we were there so we first got on the dhow to go see the Spice Souk. It was a nice time on the dhow and walking around the souk was cool too, just people watching and enjoying the atmosphere overall.Dubai Layover Dubai LayoverDubai Layover Dubai Layover

Then, we grabbed some camel milk ice cream which was not bad at all, and headed back to the other side to explore the Old Souk. Dubai Layover Dubai Layover

I kind of wish I had saved more money to shop here as there was lots of stuff that I would have liked. So many hand crafted things that were just beautiful and very inexpensive!Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover Dubai Layover

After we felt we had enough, we went for dinner and headed back to the airport for the final part of our journey home.


-If you fly Emirates, paid $1,000+ for your ticket, and have a really long layover, you may qualify for a free hotel room! So you should definitely call them and ask so you have a place to rest up and keep your things while you go out exploring. Also, I absolutely loved flying with them! The airlines were so clean and they were very attentive to the kid’s needs!

-We did just these two things on two different days, but if you have a lot of energy and are sans kids, you can probably do both in one day!

-A taxi is relatively cheap, ~35 dirhams ($1=3 dirhams)

-Other places, I would recommend visiting are Grand Mosque (in Abu Dhabi, if you have the stamina to drive another 2ish hours after your airplane ride), Burj al Arab, Medinat Jumeira & Atlantis Hotel.



  1. Looks like we’ve had the same kind of weather, haha! The thought the mall was quite impressive, however the Old Dubai certainly had more charm. I wish I had more time to browse the shops – they look really nice!

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