I have 9 hours layover in Dubai. What do I do? First, travel light. When people talk about traveling light, most of the time they mean traveling with just a carry-on. In some cases, it isn’t practical for everyone. I travel light meaning I travel with international size carry-on along with my purse/tote. So, I can easier carry it on the plane if needed. However, with any layovers I have and I have intentions of leaving the airport, I check in my carry-on leaving me with just my purse/tote. I do not have to worry about the airport having a luggage locker as I prepare to exit the airport.
Typically, I research my destination and have a rough idea in mind of what I want to do. This time around I wanted to gave dinner or a drink at Skyview Bar in Burj Al Arab or at one of the restaurants in the Burj Khalifa. After passing through immigration and custom (it was a breeze– little to no waiting time), I proceeded to one of the hotel kiosks (instead of information desk) and ask for basic information like what’s there to do, how to use the metro, etc. I met David (for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the hotel he works for but I know he was wearing white and light blue colored uniform). He answered my questions and gave me a lot of suggestions. I asked a personel from a hotel kiosk instead because these are not the types of questions they are typically asked therefore they will gave a more personal and opinionated answer than generic answers from an information desk. He pointed me to the metro to take Jebel Ali and stopping at Burj Khalifa. It is approximately 25-30 minutes from the airport.
Ok, do note Burj Khalifa stop is not only for Burj Khalifa but also the world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall. There, I became sucked into retail but I survived with no purchases. No, I am joking. Physical shopping malls make me feel some type of way therefore this wasn’t a big deal to me (I am a firm online shopper). However, I was awed by the underwater zoo and the massive indoor aquarium.
Although I am a sucker for aquamarine, this did not sustain my appetite. I hit up lovely Tinder for some local interaction and I came across Stephen, who is a resident of UAE for the last 4 years, spending majority of his stay in Abu Dhabi. There’s nothing like having a local show you around the city. He or she will show both tourist and local attractions. We stopped by the Dubai Marina for dinner, drove through Palm Jumeirah to residential areas and lastly bid my farewell to him and this lovely city at 1am, just in time to head back to the airport for my 4:20 am flight to Male, Maldives.
All-in-all, go with the flow. You should try to avoid over planning but do have rough idea. It would suck to miss your flight and have to pay whatever outrageous fees airlines charge nowadays.
Lastly, I used Uber Dubai to get back to the airport. I generally use Uber, granted it is available in that city, as another way to interact with locals. I suggest using Tinder whenever you travel, especially as a solo traveler, BUT use with caution, common sense and state your intention in your short bio.
Here’s my Tinder Profile:
Stay tuned for posts of Maldives!