Frequent travelers are likely to find themselves having a stopover in Dubai at some point (especially if you fly Emirates).
I always recommend doing a stopover to break up the long journey from the UK/Europe to Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific. Doing that distance without a stopover doesn’t bear thinking about for me.
1. Avoid summer.
From May to October in Dubai the average high temperature is over 35 celcius and temperatures in the mid 40s are possible (Dubai climate). Especially if you have children, this is the wrong time to go.
2. Choose a hotel with a great swimming pool.
Your money isn’t going to go far in Dubai so my general recommendation is to get a nice hotel and hole up. Take advantage of the weather and choose a hotel that has a really nice pool. Dubai does luxury well – take advantage of this!
For the most part, the nicer beaches in Dubai aren’t public so this is another reason to get a hotel that has the sort of pool you’ll want to plop yourself next to and not move.
3. Skip the malls.
Dubai’s shopping malls are very hyped but they are nothing special. Skip them and enjoy spending your day relaxing. Do you find going to the mall relaxing at home? If you’re from the UK, you don’t need to go the mall in Dubai just to see an M&S!
4. Plan your meals.
If you are going to venture out from your hotel, then food is a good reason to do it. For vegetarians, Indian restaurants are likely to be your beast bet in Dubai. See Happy Cow for the most up to date listings for Dubai vegetarian food.
If you’re not vegetarian, then consider checking out Anthony Bourdain’s Dubai episode (It’s on youtube).
5. Manage your hydration.
Hot weather and long flights are a recipe for dehydration. Prepare for your arrival into Dubai by making sure you arrive from your flight hydrated. Don’t be shy with asking the flight attendants for extra water if they’re not doing frequent water service around your cabin.
6. Venture out in the evening to see the Dubai fountain.
The Dubai fountain is is a water/fountain show choreographed to music and is a fun things to do on a warm night.
7. Indulge your inner child.
Dubai has some fun stuff to do for kids, including several waterparks, a children’s museum, and even a manmade indoor ski facility. Going to these types of attractions is a great way to live like a local.