Dubai, or not Dubai? The Stopover Question!

When travelling from Australia or eastern Asia to Europe, there are number of possible airlines and routes to get you there, and one of the most popular, usually flying Emirates, is to go via Dubai. Emirates connects a large number of European cities to a large number of Asian/Australian towns. And I always hear people wondering if they should take in a stopover in Dubai. So I thought I would share my thoughts.

Firstly, you’ll need to ask yourself a number of questions. Or perhaps I should ask you for the purpose of this post making sense. Lol. For example – Do you like shopping?? Not necessarily actually buying things, but window shopping ad exploring malls? Because then, Dubai is probably a place you’re going to LOVE. The malls are huge, and the prices, well, they’re not dirt cheap but I guess there are savings to be had if you can find them.

Ice Sculpture in Ski Dubai.

An Aquarium in a Dubai Mall.

Ski Dubai. Yep, inside a mall!

Even if you’re not a fan of shopping, you may enjoy exploring the malls as they are a kind of tourist attraction in themselves. For example one mall has an aquarium inside, another has ice rinks. But the crowning glory of all the malls has to be in the Mall of the Emirates, and that is Ski Dubai. An actual hill covered in snow, with chair lifts, an ice bar, and plenty of downhill skiing. All this in the middle of the desert!

There are even chairlifts in Ski Dubai!

Dubai Metro.

And yes – Dubai is stiflingly hot! You can expect very high humidity mixed with 35-42 plus degrees pretty much all year. So ask yourself – do you like the heat? Well, you can survive if you don’t. Because so much of the city is indoors with the air conditioners working overtime to keep everyone nice and frosty.

Do you like water parks? Because when I think of Dubai, I can’t help but think of the Wild Wadi Waterpark, which let me tell you is pretty bloody awesome! Surf a continuous wave, take time in the sun, swim in a choice of pools, or if you’re like me – spend hours and hours doing the water slide circuit. There is a circuit basically around the park that when you get to the bottom actually moves you upwards. So really you can just keep circling the park until you’re done. And THIS is what I would personally return to Dubai for.

The waterways of Dubai.

But there is another side to Dubai. You can take boats on the water and see a little of the city. I cant claim to visiting the business centre as such, it didn’t really spark an interest to me, but it might to someone else! And there is an interesting museum to tour through as well.

Burj-Al-Arab, one of Dubai’s most distinctive buildings.

Dubai getting built – and the Burj Khalifa on the left.

Jumeirah Building Dubai

And then you can marvel at the architecture – buildings such as the sail-like Burj Al-Arab and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, two of the incredible array of skyscrapers and the like that make part of the Dubai Skyline. Another reason you might like Dubai.

From the East of Australia, Dubai makes a pretty good point to fly to Europe from, as it’s around 14 hours from say Melbourne to Dubai, you’ve covered 2/3 of the journey with the first leg of your flight. Fly on to Europe, depending on your ultimate destination, and the second flight may only be around 6 hours – give or take an hour or two. To get the long flight out of the way first, then have 2-3 nights in Dubai, and then move on to Europe works really well I think.

Dubai airport, 6am before the madness

So, an interesting and unique place with a bunch of different things to see and do is Dubai! I think it makes a pretty good stopover personally. Maybe I’ll return next time I go to Europe. Then again, I’ve never been to Qatar! Thanks for reading, and May the Journey Never End!

3 comments

  • Not my cup of tea (can women wear bikinis at the water park?) but you are right: to me, Dubai = enormous malls.
    Imagine how expensive it must be to create that mini-winter experience at the ski place!!!

    • yes there are restrictions on what women can wear, bikinis are out! I think much of the middle east is so very different from a female perspective. its very different as a stopover compared to the Asian options.

  • I also agree, Andrew! Dubai is a great stopover place and I loved my trip there. What’s best is that there is something for everybody there!

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