Everyone knows that when you come to Dubai there’s lots to see and even more to do, but some people are looking for things to do that are a little more off the beaten track. With holidays fast approaching and plenty of visitors on the horizon here are a few ways to spend 48 hours in Dubai that the tour companies wont show you.

Day 1

7:00am

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Land at Dubai Airport and hop on the Dubai Metro to Noor Bank Metro Station. Cross over Sheikh Zayed Road and hail a cab, ask the driver to take you to Kite Beach.


8:00am

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Take a stroll along the beach to the SALT food truck and enjoy their breakfast offerings on the sand. Spend a little time enjoying the ambiance of the early morning beach goers and kite surfers.


9:00am

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Head back to the metro station and ride it to the Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa station, from here take a walk down Emaar Boulevard where you can see the magnificent Dubai Opera, The Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountains – enjoy a different view of them from the Burj Park and avoid the crowds outside the mall.


11:00am

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Hail a cab and head to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, spend a hour or two strolling around the lake and take some time to stop at the view points and see the flamingos and cranes nesting.


12:00pm

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Call a cab to pick you up and direct him towards Al Fahidi Historical District. Once there find your way through the winding back roads to the Coffee Museum and take a look around, sampling the different coffees.


1:00pm

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Enjoy a lunch at Local House Restaurant where you can try a camel burger – if you’re feeling adventurous.


2:00pm

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Take a walk down to Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood where you can visit a variety of museums including the Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum, the Camel Museum, Horse MuseumJuma and Obaid Bin Thani HouseSheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House and the Coin Museum. From here a short wander through the souq and along the creek offers the perfect opportunity to pick up a few souvenirs.


6:00pm

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As the evening draws, rush hour will start. Take a little while to enjoy a coffee or tea at Creekside Cafe while the madness calms.


7:00pm

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Depending on the time of year, head down the creek for the sunset, take an abra (a small boat used to cross from one side to the other) and travel over to the Deira side, here you can wander the gold and spice souqs.


8:00pm

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Jump back on the abra and head back to the Bur Dubai side, hail a cab and head to Special Ustad Kebab for a delicious Iranian dinner at one of the city’s oldest surviving eateries.


9:00pm

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After dinner jump on the metro and head to the Emirates Towers Metro Station and cross over the road, head up to the Level 43 Sky Lounge in the Four Points Sheraton for stunning views and delicious cocktails. Take in the Dubai skyline and views of the Burj Khalifa.


Day 2 

1:00am – 3:00am

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Once your night draws to a close be sure to head to Al Reef Lebanese Bakery in Jumeriah and get a cheese manakish – it’s standard Dubai practice.


9:00am

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Jump on the metro and head down to Dubai Marina, make your way to the Address Dubai Marina where you will find Bistro Des Arts, the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast and a stunning view of the water.


10:00am

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Head over to Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz – most taxi drivers will know where it is – and take a stroll through the warehouses that are home to some of the city’s quirky galleries. Exhibitions change regularly but there are also quaint creative spaces where you can grab a coffee, like A4 Space, and catch up on a little reading or work you might have.


12:00pm

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While you wander the galleries stop for lunch at Hapi, a simple spot for great food cooked to order. Don’t forget to grab a cup of their famed bone broth while you’re there!


1:00pm

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After lunch hop in a cab and head up to the Dubai Butterfly Garden where you can wander around and enjoy a little bit of nature no matter the weather.


3:00pm

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For some more nature experiences get a cab down to City Walk and visit The Green Planet. This indoor ecosystem is home to sloths and various other animals as well as a whole host of exotic foliage.


5:00pm

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From CityWalk head to the Dubai Canal and grab the RTA Water Ferry to Al Jaddaf.


6:00pm

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Make your way to Dubai Festival City for some dinner where you can enjoy traditional Emirati food at Al Fanar, or a whole host of other cuisines in one of the many newly opened restaurants. If you’re a collector of badges or T-shirts Festival City is also home to Dubai’s Hard Rock Cafe.


8:00pm

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From the mall you are not far from the airport, so when it’s time to make your way back you won’t be far off.


21 thoughts on “What to do with 48 hours in Dubai [Guide]

  1. This is awesome. Your pictures are stunning! Thanks for the itinerary too, I’m so pumped to visit before we head back to the states! Are there any places that you visited, such as a restaurant, with exceptionally cute decor that stood out to you? I’d like to branch out into writing about interiors I encounter when I travel.

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    1. I’ve lived in Dubai for 25 years so there are a few I know of!

      – 7Elephants is a bar in DIFC is new and has pretty funky interiors (I’ve got a post going up tomorrow about it if you want to have a read!)
      – Seven Sands at The Beach JBR is funky and done up so the ground floor is reminiscent of old Dubai and the upstairs is more modern. The seven sands is in reference to the seven different sands of the seven emirates.
      – Fish at The Westin is a stunning beach front restaurant and it is beautifully designed.
      – Thong Thai at the JW Marquis is gorgeous but it’s hard to get photos cause it’s dark and all lit with red lights but it is gorgeous.
      – Compitor 102 on Jumeirah Beach Road is a cute cafe type place that serves vegan food.
      – The Brass in City Walk is quite cute too but I haven’t been yet, just seen the photos.
      – Special Ostadi is a bit rough around the edges but filled with so much history it’s worth a visit and a write up plus the family who own it are amazing

      – there is also Level Kids in City Walk which is a store but it’s huge and the interior is very cool, loads of stunning bits.
      – D3 is mostly offices but it’s the design district and you’ll often find lots of funky installations about.

      If I think of any more I’ll let you know for sure!

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      1. Wow, I really didn’t expect such an in depth response. Thank you so much for taking the time to write these all out for me! I hope to check them out very soon and would love to keep in touch with you. Definitely let me know in the future if you’re ever interested in guest posting for my blog!

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      2. I love sharing great places to go in the city, I have all this knowledge – why not use it! We should definitely keep in touch and if you do come out to Dubai I can show you around; and a guest blog sounds lovely, we should sort something out 🙂

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  2. Awesome pics and tips! I spent a week in Dubai a couple years ago, and LOVED it. I would add having a drink at Atmosphere in the Burj Khalifa – truly stunning views! I know that’s such a cliché tourist stop though 🙂

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    1. Yeah I was trying to avoid the obvious things to do cause everyone does the same things when they come here and very few venture off the beaten track…but a trip up the Burj is always stunning – took me years to do it and when I did I kicked myself for waiting so long! Have yet to go to atmosphere though, it’s on my list of to do at some point before I eventually leave! 🤣

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  3. You really packed a lot of awesome things into your trip. Dubai is on my must visit list and will definitely save this for when I finally get to plan my trip.

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    1. I wanted to send people off the beaten track a bit and away from so much of the shiny shiny and see the city in a different way – plus we have so much amazing food here that isn’t crazy expensive like a lot of people assume! 🙂

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  4. This is exactly what I was looking for! My husband and I are wanting to take a trip to Egypt to visit his family, and we’re hoping to spend 48 hours in Dubai on the way there! Thanks so much for sharing this, I think it is going to come in handy!

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