If you’re flying long haul and needing to transfer flights in Dubai, then having a 24hr stop-over in Dubai is a great option. On Boxing Day this year, my husband and I headed off on our honeymoon to the Maldives. We knew that we’d really need a break after the Christmas mayhem and as neither of us had visited Dubai before, a 24hr stop-over in Dubai seemed like a great idea! We wanted to arrive in the Maldives feeling relaxed and as I was 4 months pregnant at the time (we booked the honeymoon before we found out!) and so breaking up the journey was really appealing ; )
A 24hr stop-over in Dubai was one of the highlights of our honeymoon – here’s what we managed to fit in…
Being totally honest, neither of us have ever really been drawn to Dubai. A city in the desert, Vegas on steroids – we’ve heard many a description of Dubai! It isn’t somewhere where we’d have gone out of our way to visit. But our Emirates flight stopped in Dubai – the choice was to have an 8 hour stop-over or 22 hours to be exact! We went for a longer stay so that we could rest up in a hotel and not have to rush to see some of the sights. We stayed at the fabulous Nassima Royal Hotel (click the link to see my review) and crashed out for a few hours as we’d landed so early in the morning!
As the husband is an architect, we couldn’t visit Dubai and not experience the Burj Khalifa! It is the world’s tallest building after all… We booked tickets for 2pm to give us enough time to rest up at the hotel first and get there without rushing. The Nassima Royal Hotel is in an ideal central location, not too far from the airport but near enough the main sights too. We jumped into a cab from the hotel and 10 minutes later we were strolling through Dubai Mall to the entrance of the Burj Khalifa…
We visited the Burj Khalifa on a Monday and although there were some queues, we were ushered through fast track as they spotted my baby bump : ) As soon as you get through the entrance, the whole journey to the top is an experience. My husband is a bit of a lift geek and seems to know far too much about them – but he was in his element! The Burj Khalifa has the world’s third fastest lift taking under a minute to go up to the 124th floor. The lift was super smooth and I barely noticed we were moving at all!
The views are simply incredible and give you a real sense of Dubai’s layout. You can see views of the sea to the desert and everything in between. You can also see just how much construction is still taking place. We spent a good hour just gazing out at the views and taking advantage of the photo opportunities too!
We saw quite a few ‘instagram husbands’ patiently taking snap after snap as their partners posed away. So for once we decided to join them rather than try and beat them! I’m really glad that we took the time to take some photos now as it’s a really nice reminder of the start of our honeymoon and my little bump too! I don’t normally post many photos of us on here, but I may start doing it more if it goes down well ; ) We spent another 30 minutes or so taking a look at the story of how they built the Burj Khalifa and looking at all the models. Needless to say the architect was impressed… and I was hungry!
There are two observation decks at the Burj Khalifa, At the Top Sky and At The Top. One is just over 20 floors higher than the other (and quite a bit more expensive). After trawling various websites, I found that the best offers were directly through the Burj Khalifa website. The deal that we went for included a three course lunch (and a drink) at the Armani Deli – it worked out cheaper than a ticket to At the Top Sky so a no brainer (to a pregnant woman anyway!). The Armani Deli is located as you walk out of the Burj Khalifa exit so ideal if you don’t have loads of time to spare. We chose to sit outdoors overlooking the Dubai mall lake, the weather in December is just perfect for this.
Our lunch was really delicious and the service was impeccable. Even my Cambridge Satchel got a seat! Highly recommend this offer if you are visiting the Burj Khalifa – and a great way to experience the Dubai Mall fountains in comfort too! Unfortunately we missed the famous fountain show. We would have had to hang around for another hour and I was seriously flagging. Our flight out of Dubai was at 4am too and I was desperate to lie down and rest and so we headed back to the hotel.
It can be so easy to try and pack in loads into such a short stay to the point where it ends up a really stressful and rushed experience. Less is more in Dubai for sure so take your time and enjoy the moments!