24 hours is all you have in Dubai? Not a problem, here is a short guide to quick sightseeing.
We all know by now, this city is not only the fancy buildings straight from the science-fiction movies, beautiful golf courses and castles built of sand (which actuallly is quite abundant). But is there really anything here to do besides staring at the sometimes-barely-visible, skyscrapers?
Well, I have some good news. There's plenty.
Bad luck, you only have one day, but let me try to squeeze the top attractions, so when you leave the city behind, you will feel both: the satisfaction of being able to experience the city's vibe and desire to come back to know it better.
SEE The City of Life - Dubai's first hit movie, directed by Emirati, Ali Mustafa, controversially depicts life in the city.
READ Dubai by Jim Krane. An exciting story of how the once Bedouin village turned into a glittering metropolis today.
TRY Arabic mezze, a selection of small dishes. The most famous are: hummus - a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas; tabbouleh - finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, spring onion with lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings; muhammara - a hot pepper dip with ground walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.
FIVE THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI:
1. Visit Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, enter the panoramic terrace on its 124th floor or aim higher and step out onto the world's highest observation deck on 148th floor (www.burjkhalifa.ae).
2. For your Afternoon Tea experience you can go to the House of Arab, until recently the main icon of Dubai, the one and only Burj Al Arab. This sail-shaped hotel, is still the tallest and one of the most expensive hotels in the world.
3. If you' re hungry for some culture, go to Al Fahidi Historic District, previously known as Bastakiya, one of the city's most picturesque heritage cites, restored with art galleries, museums and nice cafeterias. While there you may join a daily tour organized by The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
4. To have a better understanding of the city's structure take a Dubai Ferry from Dubai Marina all the way to Al Ghubaiba in Old Town. This almost two hours journey will take you from the luxurious neighborhood with tall and shiny skyscrapers to the Dubai from the past, filled in with the traditional architecture and busy city's vibe.
5. And once you're already there, you should sink into the narrow streets of the old city near Deira and Bur Dubai. Apart from the eternal traffic jams, this part of Dubai also has a lot to offer. Starting with the Gold Souk and its tones of gold at shop windows, through alleys of spices, cashmere, mesmerizing textures, all the way to the fresh catch of a day at the fish market.