Friday, 28 October 2016

Luxury in 48 Hours: Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

I've been flying between London and Australia with Emirates for the past eight years, each time transiting through Dubai airport, but never actually leaving the airport. Some years I would transit through that airport four times in a year, and yet Dubai still remained a mystery to me.

Finally I took the plunge and decided to have an extended stopover on my way back to Aus, and I'm so glad I waited. I had possibly the best Dubai experience any visitor could ever have...and I'm about to tell you all how to have the same, in just 48 hours on a weekend. Perfect if you don't have 7 nights to stopover like I did!

View of Dubai Marina skyline from One & Only The Palm 101 Bar at night

If  like me you're flying Emirates Business Class, make sure you book your complimentary Chauffeur in advance to save on trying to get a taxi at the airport. If not, you can always arrange a transfer through the hotel, or just head outside and get an official taxi that is beige with a coloured roof (usually red or green). 

Check in at: Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach

What to pack:

It's important to remember that Dubai is a Muslim country and therefore your clothing should be respectful and adhere to the rules. Many places such as shopping malls and mosques require you to have your knees and shoulders covered, but bars, beach clubs, and restaurants don't tend to have dress codes. If your clothing is very short or revealing however, especially in public areas and hotels, you will draw unwanted attention to yourself so I suggest just making sure you're covered to a certain extent. You'll also feel far more comfortable! Click on the images below to go to the product page and purchase or view similar styles of clothing.

Drop your bags in your room, get showered, and head out as soon as you arrive. This is Dubai and there's no time for sleeping. It's the bigger and better version of Vegas (but classier and with less gambling...). I highly recommend staying at the Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach. It has everything; luxurious rooms, top service, and the best location right in the middle of everything.

Day 1

9am: Dubai Mall

Head to Dubai Mall for a morning of shopping and sightseeing at the World's Largest Shopping Mall! Be respectful and cover your shoulders, chest, and knees, and as soon as you enter go and snap a selfie with the fish and sharks swimming in the humongous aquarium right in the middle of the mall. Grab a map from an info point, and after doing a spot of shopping and having a Parisian hot chocolate at Angelina's (and yep, it tastes exactly the same as the Paris one!), go and check out the waterfall with the diving men, and the Burj Khalifa outside.

48 Hours in Dubai Dubai Mall Aquarium
Dubai Mall Aquarium
48 Hours in Dubai - Dubai Mall Waterfall
48 Hours in Dubai Burj Khalifa

Both of your nights in Dubai are #GoHardOrGoHome situations, let's be honest here. Now the next 12 hours of your life are going to be a whirlwind of cocktails, taxis, pools, beaches, and pure indulgence, before you have a few hours sleep and do it all again tomorrow.

12noon: Zero Gravity Beach Club

Depending on what day of the week you're in Dubai head to Zero Gravity Beach Club in Dubai Marina for a few hours. This place is awesome. So, so awesome. Make sure you get changed at the hotel before you get a taxi down there as there's no need to cover up for the beach club - wear your most plunging one-piece and those Prada shades, put on those strappy wedges and a cute cover-up. Towels are provided, and you can opt to get a sunbed on the beach or a large sun lounger for a group of people by the pool. There's also free wifi, and a DJ playing all day and night!

I had so much fun at Zero Gravity I actually went two days in a row. The first day we got sunbeds on the beach, which was nice. But the second day we went hard, and had a large sun lounger by the pool with magnums of Vodka and non-stop food being delivered to us. The benefits of having an expat friend in Dubs who knows all the best places in the City!

48 Hours in Dubai Zero Gravity Dubai Marina

Zero Gravity is pretty epic; there's the outdoor pool, the beach, and pumping music all day long. Think Ibiza in Dubai. Also the food there is decent - I loved the sushi and sashimi platter! 

3:30pm: Drinks And Swim at Shades

Head across to Shades at The Address hotel in Dubai Marina. It's just a 5min taxi ride from Zero Gravity, and is the perfect place for a swim and a cocktail before you go back to the hotel and get changed for dinner. Sadly we didn't go during the day so couldn't get any decent photos, but make sure you get a snap in that infinity pool! I also highly recommend the Strawberry Daiquiris. 

48 Hours in Dubai Shades at The Address Dubai

After your swim and daiquiri head back up to Four Seasons to quickly get showered and glammed up for the next part. 

6:30pm: Head to Zuma for dinner

I struggled to decide whether to recommend Hakkasan or Zuma in this post, but ultimately I think Zuma has a better atmosphere if you want to party, while Hakkasan is great if you plan on going to bed after dinner as it's super relaxed. For this itinerary we're partying, hard, so you're gonna need that party atmosphere that Zuma has. Also the food is really incredible.

48 Hours in Dubai Zuma Japanese Restaurant
48 Hours in Dubai Zuma Japanese Restaurant

I recommend the Wagyu Beef and the Thinly Sliced Seabass with Yuzu. The California Rolls are pretty delish too! Aim to leave Zuma by 8:30pm to get up to the first bar in time for....

9pm: One & Only Bar Crawl

The One & Only bars were two of my absolute favourites from my 7 night trip to Dubai, they're glamorous, trendy, and serve delicious cocktails. End the night in Mahiki, you'll thank me later.

9pm: Start by going to Jetty Lounge at One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai. A gorgeous and glamorous bar right on the beach, this is the perfect place for a cocktail or two to get your bar crawl started. 

Jetty Lounge at One & Only Royal Mirage Dubai
48 Hours in Dubai - Jetty Lounge at One & Only Royal Mirage

10pm: Get the boat across to 101 Bar One & Only The Palm Dubai. Not only will you get an incredible view over the city from here, but you literally feel as though you're in another world. This was my all-time favourite bar in Dubai (I tested out 11 of them), so don't miss it! 

Luxury in 48 Hours in Dubai - One & Only 101 Bar

11:30pm: Head to Mahiki at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. I promise you won't regret it. Dress to impress, and make sure there are more girls than guys in your group or an equal mix so you have no issues getting in. If you have the cash to splash, get a table and make the most of the epic cocktail list. The Dubai Mahiki is better than the London one, and has some really awesome DJs, so get dancing and have the time of your life! We eventually stumbled out around 3am just before it closed - on your way out make sure you get a photo on the swing...

Mahiki Dubai Cocktails
48 Hours in Dubai - Mahiki Dubai Swing

Day 2

10am: Morning at Four Seasons

You're gonna need the daytime to recover from the day before, and to prepare yourself for the night ahead. Spend the morning feasting on the Four Seasons buffet breakfast, and then get a taxi to Madinat Jumeirah for this beaut view of the Burj Al Arab...

48 Hours in Dubai Madinat Jumeirah Burj al Arab View

12:30pm: Chill out time at Sofitel The Palm

You can't go to Dubai without spending an afternoon on The Palm. It feels so far from the hustle and bustle of Dubai, and feels super relaxing compared to the main 'City' parts of Dubai. Book a day pass (250AED which includes a 160AED food and drinks voucher) at least 24 hours in advance and get a taxi over (remember to take your passport or Emirates ID), and spend the afternoon lounging around the pools and beach at the Sofitel hotel. Choose one of the restaurants to have lunch at, or order food to be brought to your sunbed! Cocktails wise you should try the 'Coconut Rum Freezy', whether you're hungover or not.

I'll have a full review of Sofitel The Palm's day pass experience very soon, but personally I always love experiencing other hotels to have a nose around and experience a different type of hotel.

Around 4ish head back to Four Seasons and get showered and changed ready for a very special dinner...

6pm: Dubai Fountain & Dinner at At.Mosphere at Burj Khalifa

Check the times online before you go as they change every so often. But try and time your dinner at Burj about 20mins after the Dubai Fountain time. Book dinner in advance and time it so you catch the sunset at the highest restaurant and bar in the World! You can either eat in the main restaurant or the lounge at At.Mosphere - we ate in the lounge and loved it!

The food was delicious (make sure you get the Wagyu Beef Sliders and Lobster tacos), and the view was just insane. Gohei used to be one of the top Chefs at Gordon Ramsey's Maze restaurants, and even he was impressed with the food, so it must have been good ;) haha. I'll have a full review on here in the next couple of weeks as it was awesome!

Luxury in 48 Hours in Dubai - Dubai Fountains

10pm: Four Seasons Bar crawl 

Now, for your final night we're going to stay close to home. Start at Mercury Lounge at the Four Seasons and stare in awe at the Burj Khalifa where you've just eaten dinner. After one or two of their delicious cocktails, stumble across the road to Coya for a Pisco Sour or three in their bar.

Midnight: Head to Provocateur at Four Seasons Resort Jumeirah Beach, this is an awesome club that I absolutely loved! If you're a guest of the hotel just tell them on the door and you shouldn't have any issues getting in. Also it means you're just steps away from resting your sleepy head on your bed before your flight the next day.

Day 3

If you have any time left before your flight, spend a lazy morning at the Four Seasons. Make the most of their epic breakfast buffet, chill out by their beautiful swimming pool, and relax before your next plane journey. Maybe even squeeze in lunch at Sea Fu if you have time!

48 Hours in Dubai: Four Seasons Jumeirah Beach Swimming Pool

Phew, give yourself a high five, you've just completed an epic 48 hours in Dubai!

If you have more than 48 hours, head to Zaya Nurai for a day trip (I'll be posting about this very soon), and visit Deira for the historical side of Dubai. You could also take a helicopter ride over the city, and a do a day trip out into the desert. If you're a fan of water parks, head to Atlantis Hotel or the Wild Wadi Waterpark at Jumeirah Beach. And on my list for next time I visit? The 360 bar!

Check out my vlog below, and make sure you subscribe! :)


*Pin For Later* The best tips for the ultimate luxury 48 hours in Dubai! Take a look to find out the best hotels, restaurants, beach clubs, bars, and nightclubs!



  1. Dubai is massively on my list for a stopover stay one day.

  2. Taste of France28/10/2016, 10:28

    I was pleasantly surprised by Dubai. Some very pretty architecture. Fabulous food. I stayed at the Atlantis on the Palm--very nice.

  3. I have been in Dubai this summer, this is too hot.
    Dubai is a place of luxury, money and artificial things.
    It is a place you should be there once, for me i will never live there.

  4. You covered quite a lot in 48 hours, very productive! I've only been twice, and for all the flak that Dubai gets (superficial, artificial, etc), I think everyone has to experience this stunning city.

  5. Ah no, I was there for 7 nights ;) but half the time was spent doing things I haven't included in this, I just whittled it down to my favourite things to do in Dubai :) I did however try 11 bars and clubs in 4 nights, so this itinerary is definitely doable!

    Totally agree though, I absolutely loved it and thought it was beautiful!

    C x

  6. Summer was probably the wrong time to go as even the locals and expats barely leave their homes during summer as it's too hot. I went in October and it was 37 degrees most days, but I loved it and would love to go back!

    C x

  7. I've never really considered going to Dubai, mainly because I'm convinced I'd do something wrong and end up getting arrested! But you've really sold it to me, the food and architecture look incredible xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

  8. I love Dubai, have been there many times and I always love to return. Great suggestions!

  9. Reading all about your party antics have made me equal parts jealous and exhausted - so impressed at how you really made the most of your stopover!

  10. Great post! Fingers crossed that I'll get a chance to experience this one day (:
    Camilla |

  11. Logan Heniry26/04/2017, 13:08

    Loving your photos, dear! Starting to miss Dubai just by looking at them! Hope you had a wonderful time there!

  12. Dubai is definitely on my list of places to travel to -- every time I see pictures of the city or read blog posts about it, it moves up a little higher on the list.

    Looks like you had a great time! x



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