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Dubai late November. Where to stay and what to do for 2 days

Trying to figure out what area of the city to stay in and what to do. We're coming in on a Tuesday morning and leaving on Thursday afternoon the last week in November.

Any suggestions what part of the city to stay in or specific places to stay or maybe an Airbnb will be greatly appreciated and any activities that are must do's....

Posted by
4126 posts

We took a wonderful 7 Emirates tour. I think they don't offer it anymore, but do offer a 6 Emirates tour.

The old town area by the port is interesting, where there is an old fort and ship. Also, nearby there is the gold suk (market).

Not sure you want to go up to the top of the highest city in the World?

Posted by
3 posts

wow, good choice, sounds very interesting! I was in Dubai myself, and I can say that the city is simply amazing! By the way, if you are interested, I can advise you an excellent service for car rental in this city, called Paddock https://paddockrentacar.com/ . There cars at good prices and always in excellent condition. Personally, my opinion is that a private car in Dubai is a must for freedom of movement, as there are many places to visit.

Posted by
1308 posts

I would allocate 4-6 hours for Global Village, which will be open by then, and you should do it in the evening. Probably the most interesting and best done "tourist site" I have ever seen. It is also the cheapest, I think it was $4.

To describe it, it would be pretty much the biggest "event" you have ever seen in New York or Chicago (Taste of Chicago or a festival) and then like multiply that several times over. There are sections for 90 countries all with their own set of shops, food stalls, entertainment etc ranging from Turkey to Bahrain to Bosnia to Germany to India to the US to Iran to China and everyone in between... And then they have a stunt show, a circus, an amusement park and a main stage with different concerts. To us the highlight were dozens of countries have little mini performances once or twice an hour, and every one of them we saw (at least 15) were very high-quality singing/dancing you would simply not see visiting those places. And great people watching. Most places in Dubai the expats far outnumber the locals, this was probably 80% local, 20% expat. I looked for videos on line, there aren't any good ones that capture it.

We stayed in the Rove near Deira city - great location, near one of the airports (there are multiples, so make sure you know), easy metro access, less than $90 a night for a room. There were also some good restaurants near there.

Posted by
330 posts

Thanks for the insight.

I'm wondering how the recent Iran attacks are going to impact things like security. We are actually coming in for a cruise and it seems like it could be a little concerning if things escalate between now and then.

Posted by
4684 posts

We spent three nights in Dubai on the way to an East Africa safari in August. You will have much cooler weather than we did. But we were underwhelmed by Dubai (2013.) A building that is 50 years old is, in Dubai, "historic." It's annoying to get around, despite the air-conditioned subway, and even the city history museum had poor government investment in something important. The overwhelming aspects of the city we saw were 1)Luxury shopping 2)POST-bubble EMPTY real estate development. While we had a nice view of the "old" docks and feluccas from our hotel window, this was one of the least interesting "glamorous" places we have ever visited. Even free airport limos from Emirates Business Class did not give us a feeling of Global Prosperity.

Why would you want to stay in an AirBnB in Dubai? I don't even want to stay in one in Paris.

Posted by
1308 posts

I wouldn't worry about security. If there is an actual conflict, which hopefully there won't be, your cruise will not be running anyway, so that would solve the dilemma for you. But in terms of security on the ground in Dubai in terms of ongoing tensions (and past performance is not indicative of future results blah blah blah), Dubai is and always has been very safe, and is a very controlled place to put it politely.

Definitely don't go anywhere old ... Dubai is not a destination for history or museums really, it's a great place to parachute in for a few days, have some great meals, see some over the top stuff, maybe use as a base for other travels (Abu Dhabi, Oman etc), and move on.

In terms of the metro comment - Middle Eastern countries are car countries. It would be absurd to forgo a car in Houston or Dallas and then complain about public transport, same here. Get a car or (probably even better) use uber.

Posted by
14 posts

Hi Vick - We are going to spend a couple days in Dubai next summer, as a layover during a long journey. It would be helpful to hear what you ended up doing and any recommendations you have, based on your visit there. Thanks!

Posted by
330 posts

Hi, we stayed at the Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach. Very nice place.

The concierge arranged tickets for us to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa. This was a skip the line one and took us to the highest observation deck you can get to. It was 3 floors including an out door deck. Included champagne. Worth the extra price if you are going to bother going up. We went up around 4 or 430 and stayed until the sun went down so we're able to see the best of both. No time limit on this one.

Walked around the area before going up.

We visited the UAE Mall which was neat but just another mall.

I recommend going dune bashing. Was alot of fun. We actually did that from Abu Dhabi but can do from Dubai also.

In Dubai we didn't do a lot but what we did do was fun. I would probably go back to Dubai but wouldn't necessarily need to.

Abu Dhabi had a lot to do as well. Probably need to see the Ferrari world. keep in mind that is a pretty good distance outside of the city but HOP on Hop off bus takes you there. You just have to get on a different bus

the hop on Hop off was pretty slow but you got to see most of the city.

I do recommend going to see the big mosque in Abu Dhabi It was very impressive

Posted by
3925 posts

I didn't like Dubai at all. I found it exceedingly superficial, the roads and the driving was amongst the most dangerous I've ever experienced. The attitude towards women was shocking and suffocating. The food was mediocre. The much vaunted malls were.....just malls. Nothing of any interest there.

I'm not impressed by big shiny things nor by ostentatious displays of wealth nor am I happy with such blatant inequalities between Emiratis and the immigrant labour population.

Nothing about Dubai would ever make me return.

Posted by
330 posts

I don't disagree with you there on much of that. My wife felt very uncomfortable in most of the Muslim countries. She has blond hair and is very curvy. She doesn't dress flashy or provocative at all but felt very uncomfortable with the stares from Muslim men in all the countries. She doesn't want to go back to any Muslim countries.

Things like making her cover her hair and all of her skin going into mosques was very demeaning as well. Religion of peace... my butt.

Posted by
3925 posts

Things like making her cover her hair and all of her skin going into mosques was very demeaning as well. Religion of peace... my butt.

Yet I was in Malaysia over a week ago, predominantly Muslim but secular in nature. It was interesting to observe the seamless and happy coexistence of all religions and cultures, a vastly significant difference to that of Dubai and infinitely more enjoyable.