I love long layovers. Whenever I have the option, I always choose a flight with a stopover for 24-72-hours. First, it provides a rest period for a long trip, and second, you get to explore another city for the price of one. On my way to Cape Town, South Africa I had a 24-hour layover in Dubai. Here is what I did.
First, let me preface this by saying that if you have a friend in the particular layover city then that is the absolute best, and if he is like my friend then you’re in for a pretty fantastic time. I stayed at the Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, a beautiful hotel with fantastic views of the city. I love stunning views. My initial plan was to visit Ski Dubai, located in the mall, however, after a long, no sleep, direct 14-hour flight from Orlando, my body was not having it. I ended up sleeping for about 5 hours and met up with my friend later. This was when the adventure began. I’ve been to Dubai before and loved it. The majestic souks, the desert dunes, the food, abayas, beaches, and camels. I’ve done it all, so I wasn’t pressured to do too many things during this layover.
We started by dining at Atelier M rooftop bar at Pier 7 Dubai Marina; eating, drinking wine and doing shisha (I recommend mixing grape and mint) while overlooking the tranquil marina with picturesque views and spectacular yachts. We stayed up all night (the best time to tour any large town when the roads are empty, and people are asleep allowing you to roam around freely) exploring the city. We then grabbed snacks and Starbucks at a gas station and headed to the beach. There we were greeted by a stranded couple and spent some time helping them free their car stuck in the sand. Afterward, we took some pictures and did some more catching up.
The sunrise met us as we visited the Atlantis and toured the Palm. It was another epic Dubai experience. Finally, I grabbed my bags from my hotel room and made my way to the airport to relax in the lounge before boarding my flight to Cape Town.
I have another 24-hour layover in Dubai heading back to the states, and I want to visit the souks during this time. Hopefully, it happens, and I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.
What do you do on your long layovers?
Until next time,