Dubai is relatively painless to get around if you’re not the one driving. The metro runs up and down the city’s main artery, Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR), and for those places just out of reach of the metro, cabs float around as freely as sand particles. So when you do have an hour or two to spare between meetings, you can check out the top things to do in Dubai with ease.
Just a five-minute drive east, The Gate Village welcomes you with wide walkways, eateries and art galleries. By metro, take the Emirates Towers Station and follow signs for the Dubai International Financial Centre. The Gate Village is adjacent to the DIFC.
Safa Park, north of SZR, offers fabulous green fields to unwind in if you just want to get away from the bustle of the city. Within the grounds (just inside Gate 5, on the park’s south end) you’ll find The Archive, a library and café stocked with Middle Eastern artisan books. As no metro runs directly past the park, a taxi is recommended.
Leave behind Dubai’s arid climate for a bit and try Chill Out. No café in Dubai has their air conditioner cranked lower than this eatery in Times Square Centre on SZR. Everything inside, from the seats to the plates and drinking glasses, is made of ice. But you don’t need to dress for the occasion; Chill Out provides the warm wear to assure you get a bite to eat without the frost biting back. It’s a long walk from the nearest metro station so flag a cab.
While you’re in the area, The Al Fahidi Historic District (formerly Al Bastikiya) takes you back in time as you stroll along narrow walkways where traditional architecture clashes with Dubai’s glitzy, jet-set reputation. Home to several museums, this is a cultural hotspot.
The name “Jumeirah” in Dubai represents opulence and style, but The Jumeirah Mosque, beautiful in its own right, could teach you a thing or two about the religion the city was built on. Take this 75-minute tour in the only Dubai mosque open to non-Muslims. Cameras are welcome, too.
Stretch your legs and go for a stroll on The Walk. This 1.7 km promenade along Jumeirah Beach is lined with shops and cafés, and with a high concentration of tourists from all over the world, The Walk is one of Dubai’s best places to people-watch. If the weather’s right and you’ve got enough time, you can always walk over and dip your toes in the Persian Gulf.
Header photo of the view from Burj Khalifa © Rob Young on Flickr.
Written by Jimmy Dawson
Have you visited Dubai on business? What are your favourite things to do between meetings?