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How to spend 48 hours in Dubai


If you are doing a long haul flight & want to get a feel for life in the sandpit, here’s my top tips for what you should do in Dubai with 48 hours! 


You may have heard a million & one positives & negatives about Dubai & they are likely all true, but I have lived here for almost two years & it’s a unique experience. Dubai is a super huge bustling metropolis, think NYC but hotter, however thankfully there is heaps of choice when it comes to getting around!





It seems there is a ratio of 3 taxis to 1 human ;) They run 24 hours, but the surcharge skyrockets to double or triple at times which can be an unfortunate surprise after a late night.  


Hop on - Hop off tour

245 AED = 50 EURO for a 48 hour pass. They run between 10am & 5.30pm



The metro runs 67kms, straight down the centre of Dubai. Tickets are reasonable & vary depending on time on board, but just pick up a NOL card from any vendor to save at least 25% off the fare (we like a saving, especially in a city like Dubai). They run between 5am & 1am.  


There are a handful of non-negotiable hotspots but I’m sure that they were already on your list! 

Burj Khalifa, Kite beach & the Deira spice souk to name just a couple.



Welcome to the land of the sauna.

*Side note: You can choose your accommodation by what you are hoping to find nearby. My suggestions below:

  • If you are looking to stay in a location that is popping at the seams with European travellers, head for the DUBAI MARINA. 

  • If you are looking to save money & stay somewhere that is authentically Dubai, you should look for something around DEIRA or AL FAHIDI area.  

  • If you want to wake up with a view of the ocean, look at The PALM JUMEIRAH, LA MER or KITE BEACH area. 

  • If you want a view of the tallest building in the world, pop yourself in a highrise in the DOWNTOWN or DIFC area (You will pay accordingly). 

Once you are refuelled & rehydrated it’s time to bank up some steps on the fitbit & start exploring. Choose one end of Dubai to start at & work in a logical order going either up or down the coastline of the crystal clear Arabian Gulf. 


  1. JBR ‘The Walk’ - there is a lot of beautiful graffiti, you can also pay to access the pool at one of the many hotels along that stretch of the beach 

  2. JBR beach - there are very few places where you can swim in front of the newest landmark in Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel & ride a camel on the sand for 50 AED. 

  3. Kite beach - you can try your hand at beach volleyball & make some new friends. 

  4. La Mer - this is my personal favourite spot for graffiti, it was designed by LIMAH. It’s picture perfect for instagram backdrops & so clever with the way it's been designed. You can choose to stop here for sunset & dinner or  

  5. Head over to downtown, there are over 120 restaurants in the Dubai mall & next door souk, there is also the famous choreographed water fountain which runs every 30 minutes from 6pm-12am. Now would be a great opportunity to go to the top of the Burj, 124 floors up!

    Even if you are a little afraid of heights you should be fine. The person I went with was terrified of heights & kept it together up there. It’s going to cost about 300-600 AED & takes approximately 90minutes or so. If you want to head out for the night, head to downtown/business bay area or financial center, both have amazing choices in bars.


I personally am a wide believer that I have never regretted watching the sunrise so 

  1. I would say to watch the sunrise come up over the beach with a refreshing early morning swim, take it or leave it no hate. 

  2. Pop in a taxi or metro & make your way to business bay, it’s a lovely area to go for a walk along the water & there are plenty of cafes along the way as well. 

  3. City walk - another lively area with street art, cafes & shops. 

  4. ‘The Frame’ in Zabeel park, has its own world record & shows a really unique view of both glitzy glam Dubai & a more traditional pre khalifa city. Tickets will set you back just 50 AED. There are some galleries at the top & it makes for some unique photo opportunities as well.

  5. The Spice souk. There is also a gold souk basically next door, so two birds with one stone. The spice souk is such an assault of the senses in the best possible way, it smells great, everyone calls you Shakira trying to sell you the same product in 9 stalls, you can barter, it's loud.

    I used to be quite nervous going there because it was overwhelming with all of the people vying for your attention but if you go there with confidence it’s a really fun experience.

  6. Al Fahidi fort, SUCH a gorgeous historical area that in my opinion shouldn’t be missed. Even better, you get to take an Abra (a traditional Arabic transport boat) across the river for 1 AED to get there! It's a bit of a walk down river after you get off the boat but well worthwhile. Once you get there take your time to slowly explore & soak in the atmosphere 

I truly hope that you enjoy your time in Dubai & have a wonderful experience albeit short & jam packed.

If you are looking for even more options for your time in Dubai, you can purchase my Wandering UAE guide, offering 25+ highlights, restaurants, bars and photo destinations to make all of your followers jealous for only £10 by clicking the link here.

How to get around

Day One 

From JBR to the city 

Day Two : Good morning Sunshine! 

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