I had a long layover in Dubai and wanted to make the most of it. I picked up the Top10 book and scoured over it on my flights to come up with a solid plan. Although I didn't get to do everything I wanted, this book helped to make my incidental stop in the Middle East very productive!
In case you're interested, I arrived late on a Thursday. Got a good night's sleep, had some breakfast in the hotel (the Le Meridien by the airport - so convenient!) and headed off to Dubai Mall for a quick look around - inside and out - and our scheduled tour of Burj Khalifa. After that, I parted ways with my colleague and did some souvenir shopping, followed by a trip to the beach - gorgeous! I stopped for a bit of lunch and to plan the rest of my day, then headed to Old Dubai to catch a river cruise. A great value, and a nice way to relax and take in the cityscape and all of the great ships / yachts parked in the bay. It was actually just me on the cruise I was on, and there was absolutely no wait. I had a late night, so I didn't ask too many questions, but the driver (captain?) was very helpful in answering the few questions I did ask. Then, I did some shopping in Old Dubai (the souks had finally opened by this time) and tried to keep from buying too many pair of those gorgeous shoes. If I thought I could bring them back to the US, I would have picked up a few spices as well. I didn't risk it, but took some gorgeous pictures! I headed back to the hotel to shower and pack my bags, then made one final stop back to Dubai Mall to watch the 7pm fountain display. If you can swing it, definitely go! It was the perfect way to end my trip... and all of these things were hand-picked from the Top10 book. Enjoy your trip!