I had the good fortune of making a stopover in Dubai on my flight from New Delhi (DEL) to New York City (JFK). Emirates offers a service called Dubai Connect for economy passengers who have a layover lasting between 8-24 hours. I intentionally chose an Emirates flight with a long connection because Dubai Connect provides a complementary transit to an Emirates hotel, a hotel room and buffet meals during your stay. With a 12-hour layover in my itinerary (2 pm to 2 am), I was happy to enjoy all of these perks while getting my first taste of Dubai.

(As an aside, leaving the airport wasn’t as efficient as I hoped it would be. I spent nearly 90 minutes in line for immigration, and for one-third of that time, no one was moving through the line. Factor in a long wait if you decide on this option.)

Once I arrived at the Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, I signed up for a 5-9 pm bus tour through an agency in the lobby called Sun Tours. For $30, it was a convenient way to cover a lot of ground during my short stay! Our tour guide gave commentary about the various skyscrapers as we traveled to Jumeirah Beach to catch the sunset and to Atlantis, The Palm on Palm Islands (sometimes called an Eighth Wonder of the World). Our next stop was at Dubai Mall to watch the dancing Dubai Fountain performance at the foot of Burj Khalifa. We ended our evening shopping at the Dubai Gold Souk. I found a lovely gold ring at Al Shahid Jewellers LLC. Not a bad perk for an economy class ticket!

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