How to best spend a 24 hour layover in Dubai

Hi everyone!

I’m Chels the author of a wandering redhead, I’m an Australian living in Dubai and below is the best use of time for a 24 hour layover in the sandpit! 

Dubai is huge, but thankfully it’s incredibly easy to get around.

You can hire a car or a driver but it’s just as easy to get around via public transit.

There are some major hotspots I suggest you don’t miss: Burj Khalifa, La Mer, Deira souks & kite beach.  

Let’s assume for the point of this that you land at 10am! 


Drop your things at the hotel/hostel I suggest choosing somewhere in the area that you want to spend the most time! A good suggestion is the Bollywood Beach Hostel, its affordable, in a great area of Dubai and has free Wi-Fi. 


Head for lunch at WOFL, it is situated on the walk at JBR which is conveniently close to the above hostel


Head for La Mer, it’s a beautiful area has a great atmosphere and has a lot of clever graffiti art on the buildings. Take your time, have a swim, enjoy the people watching and grab a cocktail at one of the bars along the beach. 


Make your way back towards the city for sunset, head to the Dubai mall if you would like to do some shopping, there is also a souk called Souk Al Bahar which is perfect for small keepsakes or abaya’s!

There is a water and light show, it goes every 30 minutes between 6pm and 11pm. You can get a ride on the lake on an Abra (small boat) for the closest possible experience on the water. Prices are 65AED for the experience. 


Take a walk around Burj park, it’s really lovely once the sun has set and you can walk the long way to my dinner suggestion after the water show! There is a delicious dinner stop called Vietnamese Foodies


You can head to the Treehouse, a jaw-dropping terrace bar with a full view of the Burj Khalifa for a taste of the nightlife scene in Dubai or wander around city walk for something more casual. 


Head to Kite Beach, I know it’s early, but this place is beautiful when it’s on the quieter side. My suggestion is to start at Kite Beach and walk towards the Jumeirah mosque.

There are a lot of picturesque cafes along the way to choose from. 


You really should see the souks that are at Deira!

There is a gold souk, a spice souk, a textile souk and the best traditional Arabic foods, definitely worth the trip (it’s also closer to the airport than the hostel). 

I hope you have the best time in Dubai! If you come for more than 24 hours, do let me know via inbox maybe we can catch up. 

Sending cyber hugs,



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