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Short breaks in Dubai – souqs, heritage and resorts in two days

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A Dubai short break promises so much more than sand, sea and shopping. Book a Dubai hotel and experience the best of the city with this two-day itinerary.

Dubai short break day one, morning

Begin your Dubai short break by exploring the historic Bastakiya area of Bur Dubai. A wander through the quiet back streets takes you past traditional mud-walled houses topped with wind towers built to catch the cooling sea breeze. Drop in to the Majlis Gallery to explore the courtyard architecture and browse local sculptures and paintings. Make your way north to the Dubai Museum to see dioramas of Dubai’s old pearling village in Al-Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai.

Start: Bastakiya. Nearest taxi Al-Musallah Road

Afternoon

See modern art at the XVA Gallery and stay on for a lunch of refreshing salad and iced drinks in the courtyard café. The call to prayer from the Grand Mosque fills the air as you walk through Bur Dubai Souq. It’s a good place to pick up sequinned curly-toed slippers and other Dubai souvenirs. The riverside promenade leads to Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, a nineteenth-century courtyard building, where a photographic display charts Dubai’s history.

Start: Bastakiya. Nearest taxi Al-Musallah Road

Evening

Hire an abra boat to glide down Dubai Creek in the cool of the early evening. Ask to be dropped off on the Deira side of the creek, then feast your eyes on enough gold to sink a ship at the Gold Souq. Flag a taxi and drive to the Boardwalk restaurant in south Deira for alfresco dining overlooking Dubai Creek.

Start: Dubai Creek. Nearest abra station Bur Dubai 

Dubai short break day two, morning

Spend the second morning of your short break in Dubai at the beach in Jumeirah. Swim from the Open Beach, or use the facilities at a beach resort. At weekends, Tuesdays and Thursdays, take a guided tour of Jumeirah Mosque. Dress conservatively. 

Start: Jumeirah Beach. Nearest taxi Jumeirah Road 

Afternoon

Jump in a taxi and head along Sheikh Zayed Road to Mall of the Emirates for lunch at Emporio Armani Caffè . Do the rounds of the boutiques, and see who’s on the slopes of Ski Dubai, then catch a taxi to tour the air-conditioned souqs at Madinat Jumeirah. Linger into the late afternoon with drinks at a bar overlooking the resort’s Venetian-style canals. 

Start: Mall of the Emirates. Nearest taxi Sheikh Zayed Road 

Evening

Take a taxi to Dubai Marina, the world’s largest artificial harbour. This mini city of glistening towers is a residential, hotel and entertainment hubs next to Palm Jumeirah in New Dubai. Stroll over to the Royal Mirage to dine on fine Moroccan fare at Tagine for a romantically lit, authentic taste of the kasbah in Dubai. 

Start: Dubai Marina. Nearest taxi Sheikh Zayed Road