On my way back from Thailand to Milan we had almost 12hours stopover in Dubai.
Considering that for Italians no visa is required we decided to have a look around. Please be aware that it takes time to do the immigration control on the way out and on the way back in therefore from the 12hours stopover we had – the actual time we had to stroll around was 6hours. So we decided to visit the 2 of the most popular places in Dubai.
Airport Luggage Storage
If you have hand luggage that you do not need during your visit in Dubai you can leave it in the lost/left baggage (which you can find on the way out of the airport). It costs 30AED (around 7€ actual currency) for 12hours.
Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa & other Sights
How to get there from the airport
We took the train from the Terminal 2 to Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. After 12 stops on the red line (UAE Exchange direction -it takes around 20minutes) we arrived at the train station of the Dubai Mall. Please consider that it is a long way from the train station to the actual entrance of the Mall. (you do not have the get out therefore do not worry if it´s hot – I should also say if it´s raining but this does definitely not happen that often in Dubai). Please consider that the train ticket costs 8AED (around 2€) and that a daily ticket costs 22AED (around 5€) so if you think to make at least 2 stops you are probably better of taking the daily ticket.
General Info/opening hours Dubai Mall
Please be aware that the toilets in the mall open at 8am and that only some bars open at 8am.
The shops and the Foodcourt open at 10am and close at 2am.. You have free wifi in the mall and over 1300 stores
The courtesy policy of the Dubai Mall says that shoulders and knees should be covered, that there should be no displays of affection. No smoking, pets, mini segways, skateboarding etc are allowed.
The Dubai Mall is also famous for being the gateway of the Burj Khalifa which with over 828m is the tallest free standing structure in the world, highest occupied floor in the world, highest outdoor observation deck in the world, elevator with the longest travel distance in the world and highest service elevator in the world.
Now at this point I would love to tell you that the view from the top is gorgeous but I can´t because I decided not to visit it because in my opinion it is far too expensive. The tickets, which I suggest buying online, cost 135AED (around 32€) for panoramic views from levels 124 and 125 and 370AED (around 87€) for panoramic views from levels 124, 125 and 148.
Dubai Mall other sights
In the Dubai Mall you do also find the Dubai Ice Rink, the Aquarium (here you can do the glass-bottom rides and Shark dives) and the Underwater Zoo.
Dubai Fountain Show
If you happen to be there from 1pm to 2pm and from 6pm to 11:30pm you should have a look at the Dubai Fountain show which starts every 30minutes and lasts 3-5minutes. There are different places from where you can look at the show – the cafés of the Waterfront Promenade are a good place. Other than that you can watch them from the top of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk (puts you only 9m away from the fountains and the ticket costs 20AED around 5€) or you can take the Dubai Fountain Lake Ride which can be only done from 5:45pm to 10:45pm (the ticket costs 68.28AED around 16€).
If you are a shopping freak you can definitely decide to spend your entire time at the Dubai Mall.
How to get there from the Dubai Mall
If you prefer to visit more like we did you can proceed to the Atlantis. From the Dubai Mall you get on the red line and continue for 8 stops till you get to DAMAC PROPERTIES. From here you have to get on the orange line (Al Sufouh direction) for 4 stops till you get to Palm Jumeirah. From here you need to walk 5minutes and after walking through a parking space you get to the Palm Monorail which connects the Gateway station to the Atlantis. The return fare costs 30AED (around 7€).
Sights & what to do
Once we got there we had a look at the Ambassador Lagoon the largest open air aquarium in the Middle East and Africa in which you can even dive, feed sharks and rays and snorkel. There are other attractions such as the Marine Park where you have the possibility to have fun with the dolphins and sea lions or the Aquaventure Waterpark.
There are over 20restaurants and there is a spa and fitness center. We spent around 30minutes in there – to be honest with you I have to admit that if you do not have at least 2 hours there is not much to do other than to walk around the Entrance area.
It took us around 40minutes to get back to the airport where after collecting our hand luggage we got back into the gate.
It was 2pm so we decided to eat something – well it was not a real good idea because for 2 hamburgers, 2 fries, and 2 bottles of water we paid 180AED ( around €42). So I do suggest eating while you are in the Dubai Mall – I reckon that you should be able to find something cheaper there.