Dubai: is it worth leaving the airport?.
On our way to Bangkok we had a tranfer at Dubai. We could choose: or a two hour stop over, or an eight hour stop over. Both Johan and I never had been in Dubai before, so we choose for the eight hour linger in Dubai.
We checked on the internet if you could leave the airport and how far the city centre was. Should we take the metro, a taxi or should we book a touristic bus ride on these double decker busses? We choose the last option. Already on Madrid airport we checked the rates Citysightseeing Dubai was asking. For a 24 hours “hop on – hop off” ride they charged 240 AED per person, which is around 60 euros. With this ticket you did not have to pay an entrance fee at the Dhow cruise boat, the Abra water taxi, all kind of museums and included an audio commentary in 12 languages. When we bought our tickets we got also a free entrance for the Dubai Aquarium, which was normally only offered at the 48 hour ride.
We stopped at two shopping malls: The Dubai Mall for a coffee and a visit at the aquarium and at the end at The Mall of the Emirates.
We definitely wanted to have a little peek at the beach to see The Palm, an island built in the sea by Dutch engineers.
On our way to the Atlantis Hotel, where you can swim with dolphins, we got stuck in traffic because of a car which was on fire.
So driving back from The Palm we really had to hurry to the airport. We hopped off at the Emirates mall and got on the metro, which was going much faster than the tour bus. When we wanted to pick up our backpack which we had left at the luggage drop off, there was a big line. Finally when we went through customs we were exactly on time. All the gates of the flights leaving before our flight were already closed. At least, we thought! On a sign was written that going to our gate would take 19 minutes.
“What … 19 minutes?? How is that possible? We should run!!” I shouted to Johan.
The reason was: we had to take a train bringing us to the gate. So running faster would not help. But we made it just in time!
Would we do the longer stop over again?
Dubai is a beautiful city in the middle of the desert with a great skyline. But we would not book an eight hour stop over again. We have seen all those beautiful buildings now and this holiday we could not do any shopping, because we are traveling light with a backpack. Or we should stay one night there to see the city by night.
But the Citysightseeing of Dnata is worth it’s money if you can visit all the attractions. So with a hotel night in Dubai we would book it again.