Dubai is very large city with a lot of things to see and do. That being said, it was really hard for me to narrow down what I wanted to put on my itinerary. The most lucrative thing for those who want to move around and have viable transportation, is to get a Hop on Hop off ticket with Big Bus Tours. Having a 48 hour ticket was my saving grace in managing this bustling city.
The pass has 3 major line tours: City, beach and Marina. In addition, there is a Palm Island Drive that will take you around the Palm Jumeirah, A Flamingo Lagoon Discovery Tour, a Sharjah Tour, and a Desert Sunset Tour. These last 4 items are good for 14 days from the date of your ticket purchase. So even if you cannot get to them on the days your ticket is good for, you still have time. There is over 60 stops in total, so you will have to pick what is most important for you to see off the bus, or you can just ride the bus without getting off and see from the window or open viewing area.
Bonus: The buses have free bottled water and wifi!
My favorites of the Red Line City Tour:
This mall isn’t nearly to scale the size of the Dubai Mall, but there is ample shopping and an excellent Turkish restaurant called Bosporus. It reminded me of how much I loved visiting Turkey and how much I love Turkish food. Very delicious and I would recommend it.
There is also a stain glass ceiling and an artistic sphere in the middle of the mall that are cool to look at.
The second largest mall in the world is a must see during your stay in Dubai. Over 1,200 shops, an aquarium, ice rink, and access to the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa.
There is a grand waterfall that can be seen from all the floors in the mall.
In the area known as “The Village” there is a ceiling of umbrellas!
I did go to the top of the Burj Khalifa and looked down, 148 floors to the bottom. There is nothing quite like this experience. If you find yourself here, you just have to see it for yourself. I was scared to death to go to the top but once I got up there I went right outside. Unforgettable experience.
The Aquarium is intense! Not only is it massive in size but it has a lot of cool things you can do there. You can feed the stingrays, cage swim with sharks, take a boat over top, and so much more! There are a lot of fish to see.
I spent a lot of time walking around this mall. There is a lot of neat things to see. You could probably spend half a day here walking around and eating.
After leaving this stop you will have many chances to grab photos of the Burj Khalifa when passing.
Bonus! You receive free entry into this museum with your tour ticket.
Built in 1787, it was designed to be a fort of defense, then later on used as a place to store artillery, and then prisoners. It was then opened in 1971 as a museum.
I felt like this stop was “original Dubai.” You over the last 2 decades or so Dubai has become this powerhouse city of skyscrapers and unbelievable things. This area still felt to be what Dubai was before the boom.
Tip: The street food we had in the souk was amazing!
If you want to smell great spices and have friendly conversations, this is your stop! I even dubbed us the SPICE GIRLS! That went over with a laugh.
Riding the Abra across the creek was a highlight for me during this trip. It costs 1 dirham to cross the creek and there are souks on both sides. You will see boats and birds everywhere. It takes less than 5 minutes to cross but it is very exciting.
From here you will see a lot of boats and birds. It is beautiful though. The day we were here it was about to storm and it sure came down.
My Favorites of the Green Line Beach Tour:
Burj Al Arab
The 7 star resort that is shaped like a sailboat and on its own private man made island. It is visually pleasing to the eyes that such a thing could exist. Lined in Luxury, if you can’t afford to stay here while visiting, be sure to check out their restaurants or sky bar.
Atlantis the Palm
The famous Atlantis resort sits at the middle of the Palm Island crescent and can be seen from both the water and the road. If you purchase a 48 hour ticket you will get free admission to the chambers aquarium in Atlantis.
Aquaventure is an excellent water park for all ages to enjoy. It is dubbed the #1 water park in Europe AND the Middle East. Stop off for a few hours or spend the day!
My Favorites from Blue Line Marina Tour:
This area is really pretty and the stroll is nice. There are restaurants, shopping, and even boat tours.
If you like boats, or should I say yachts, then come here. They are everywhere!
This area in the marina is considered the tallest residential block in the world. Some of them unfinished .. one of them is mind bending as it twists into the air.
Desert Sunset Safari Tour:
This is a free tour with the hop on hop off ticket and one that should not be missed. This is your chance to come out to the desert without having to pay for another tour. Coming out here I only had one must do item on my list. I wanted to get a selfie with a camel .. Because Americans are weird like that. I tried and tried but he was having a bad day.
During the tour they were offering free henna. It’s beautiful what she drew on my hand and still vibrant several days later.
There is no view quite like the sun setting with the camels in front. These animals are so majestic.
There are so many more stops on this tour that I was not able to get to. When I go back to Dubai I will definitely take this hop on hop off tour again with Big Bus and get to the other stops!
Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I was hosted as a guest by Big Bus Tours – but was not and will not be paid for my opinions.