This week, the UAE Cabinet gave a green light for drafting a general policy to grant entry visas to transit passengers, keen to explore the country’s landmarks and tourist attractions.
Passengers across airports in the UAE will be able to obtain entry visas. The new policy aims to enhance transit visa procedures to enable stopover passengers enjoy a day out in the country.
If you are in Dubai for a short layover, here are the places you must visit:
1. Head to Dubai Mall
It might sound obvious, but heading to Dubai Mall would be a wise decision. Home to countless international brands, you could engage yourself in a plethora of activities: skating at the Dubai ice rink, playing with the penguins, clicking pictures with the iconic Burj Khalifa, watching the world famous Dancing Fountain and checking out some colourful marine life at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
If you are tired with all the walking at Dubai Mall and are among the few who can’t get sleep on the airplane, get a power nap at the sleeping pods in the mall.
Located on the lower ground level of the mall, it could cost you as little as Dh40 for an hour of sleep.
Time from Airport: 14 minutes.
2. Soak in the old world charm
Interested in knowing what Dubai looked like decades ago? Head to Dubai Creek and The Al Fahidi Historic district to visit the museums and galleries and also take a ride in the traditional abras (boats) to beat the traffic.
Time from Airport: 19 minutes.
3. Peep into the future
If you want to beat the heat, you could also walk through history at Dubai Frame at Zabeel Park. The architectural landmark showcases Dubai though the years, also giving you a glimpse into what the future will look like.
Time from Airport: 21 minutes
4. Hitting the waves
If you are a beach bum, you might want to spend some time reading a book or sunbathing tuned to the soothing sound of the waves.
Dubai has plenty of beaches, most with free access and a few with a small fee. Tourist-friendly, most of these beaches have a community vibe and numerous options to shop and grab a bite. Choose from our list – The Beach at JBR, Burj Beach, Kite Beach, Mamzar Beach Park, Ghantoot Beach or Jebel Ali Beach.
If you a swimsuit handy, go ahead and take a dip. But don’t forget to follow the local rules.
Time from Airport: Approximately 20-30 minutes
5. Nature watch
If you want to spend a day in the confines of nature without burning a hole in your pocket, head to the Dubai Safari. Home to more than 2,500 species of animals in the UAE, it is a treat if you love animals. Tickets are priced at Dh50 for adults.
Time from Airport: 22 minutes.
6. Visit the Marina
If the weather is just perfect, you should plan an evening by Dubai Marina. With tall buildings, including the twisted ‘Cayan Tower’, you can stroll along the Dubai Marina Board, walk or take a traditional dhow and explore the area through the waterways.
If you are a beach-lover, head to The Walk at JBR to admire the sunset, the biggest Ferris wheel – Ain Dubai, and indulge in the endless options of restaurants and shopping.
Time from Airport: 27 minutes.
7. Fill your shopping bags
It isn’t uncommon for international tourists to come to Dubai and indulge in some retail therapy. Depending on your schedule, you can check out any of the numerous shopping malls in Dubai. Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, Marina Mall, Mirdiff City Centre, Mercato Mall – the list doesn’t end there.
Time from Airport: Under 30 minutes.
8. Starry solitude in desert!
When was the last time you spent some quiet time under the stars? A desert safari in Dubai is one of the adventures you can try if you have the evening by your side. You can enjoy some sand dune bashing in the 4X4 vehicles, click pictures with the camels and even camp out in the desert.
Time from Airport: Approximately an hour to the nearest desert.
Source Credit: Khaleej Times