FeatureImage.PlacesLikeDubai

10 places like Dubai worthy of an extended stopover

Add an extra day or two between flights to check out these hot stopover locations.

Long journey ahead? You could do the hard slog and catch a couple of zzzs at the airport in between flights, or you could strategically extend that layover a day or two to break up the journey and tick another city off your list.

If you’re liking the sound of opting for an extended stopover to discover somewhere new, these are the places like Dubai that are worth swinging by and checking out.


AbuDhabi.PlacesLikeDubai

Abu Dhabi

Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is a centre of commerce and industry that features a skyline of incredible modern architecture.

The capital of the United Arab Emirates is a luxurious getaway of high-rise, domed mosques and exquisite palaces. Browse its extensive and expensive mall offerings, take a relaxing dip in its cool waters or catch your breath as you gaze upon its desert expanse.

  • Don’t miss: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi Corniche and Jebel Hafeet.

Check the price of flights to Abu Dhabi


Muscat.PlacesLikeDubai

Muscat

Oman’s port-side town brims with majestic wonders and startling colour.

Muscat feels like Dubai did before it was developed. The essence of the city is tradition, and it boasts few high-rise buildings, but entrances with its sandy beaches and whitewashed mosques. Like Dubai it features high-end waterfront restaurants, hotels and malls, fit for the rich and famous.

  • Don’t miss: Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Al Alam Palace and Royal Opera House

Check the price of flights to Muscat


Doha.PlacesLikeDubai

Doha

Stroll along the waterfront and shop the street markets on a relaxing layover in the Persian Gulf.

You could spend your layover blitzing through another city, but if you’d prefer to use it as a wind-down before you return to reality, Doha offers a laidback transit stop. Its highlights include museums, a seaside promenade, parks and luxury islands.

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here:
  • Don’t miss: The Pearl-Qatar, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Kingdom of Aladdin and Doha Corniche.

Check the price of flights to Doha


Istanbul.PlacesLikeDubai

Istanbul

Where Europe and Asia meet lies Turkey’s buzzing big city.

From the moment you step foot in this chaotic city, you’ll be enraptured by its colourful market bazaars, ornately adorned mosques and winding laneways. Similar to Dubai, Istanbul is a city that never sleeps, and you’ll find there’s no shortage of activities and late-night food outlets whenever you choose to play.

  • Don’t miss: Taksim Square, Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Misir Carsisi Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower, Topkapi Palace and Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Check the price of flights to Istanbul


Singapore.PlacesLikeDubai

Singapore

Traditional temples meet modern skyscrapers in the beautiful nation of Singapore.

Singapore is an enviable stopover point, and that’s not just because it has one of the best layover airports in the world. The city is easily accessed by public transport from the airport, is highly walkable and offers a unique cityscape of gardens, high-rise, temples, luxury condos and hawker food stalls.

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here: Singapore Airlines.
  • Don’t miss: Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa Island, Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Singapore Flyer.

Check the price of flights to Singapore


Bangkok.PlacesLikeDubai

Bangkok

Not for the short layover, Bangkok is for those who really want a city break in between destinations.

Thailand’s glorious capital is a chaotic city of temples, rivers and shopping malls. Take the time to cruise down the river, eat from hawker stalls, scale its numerous temples and shop at the night markets which line the pavements and wheedle their way into every space imaginable.

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here: Thai Airways.
  • Don’t miss: Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Sanctuary of Truth, Grand Palace and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market.

Check the price of flights to Bangkok


Beirut.PlacesLikeDubai

Beirut

Lebanon’s capital is a bustling metropolis of Arabesque mosques and fashionable high streets.

Once known as the Paris of the Middle East, these days Beirut is less romantic and more good chaotic fun. Like Dubai it feels both European and Middle Eastern, and a modern landscape and rich art scene thrive among ancient ruins and religious traditions.

  • Don’t miss: Jeita Grotto, Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, Archaeological Museum of the University of Beirut and Rene Moawad Garden

Check the price of flights to Beirut


HongKong.PlacesLikeDubai

Hong Kong

This island city is a melting pot of culture, shopping and nightlife. Got a red-eye stopover? Hong Kong will still be open.

Hong Kong is the kind of stopover that you can make enroute to other Asian destinations or on the way to places such as London or Rome. This territory is so tiny that it can be covered in a few hours – though it really is worth a longer visit!

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here: Cathay Pacific.
  • Don’t miss: Victoria Peak, Hong Kong DIsneyland, Lantau Island, Repulse Bay and Tian Tan Buddha.

Check the price of flights to Hong Kong


Seoul.PlacesLikeDubai

Seoul

For somewhere a little left of centre, make Seoul your stopover of choice.

The capital of South Korea is impossible not to fall in love with. Bursting with excitement, Seoul’s futuristic landscape comprises shopping malls, rooftop parks, restaurants and clubs that never seem to close.

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here: Korean Air.
  • Don’t miss: Jogye Temple, Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbok Palace, Changdeok Palace and N Seoul Tower.

Check the price of flights to Seoul


Beijing.PlacesLikeDubai

Beijing

China’s 72-hour visa-free transit policy means anyone flying from one of 51 countries can stop in Beijing and tour the city for three days without having to apply for a visa.

Australia, naturally, is one of those 51 countries. So why not take advantage of this policy if you’re landing in this metropolis anyway? In three days you can cover the main sights including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Mao Zedong’s mausoleum and, if you play your cards rights, even the Great Wall.

  • Airlines that offer stopovers here: Air China.
  • Don’t miss: The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

Check the price of flights to Beijing


Which airlines offer stopovers for flights exiting Australia?

Use our table of popular airlines and destinations to help you decide who to fly with and where to make that ultimate stopover.

DestinationAirlinePossible stopover options
Europe, North AmericaAir ChinaShanghai, Beijing
North AmericaAir New ZealandAuckland
AsiaAirAsiaKuala Lumpur
North AmericaAmerican AirlinesLos Angeles
EuropeAsiana AirlinesSeoul
EuropeBritish AirwaysSingapore
EuropeCathay PacificHong Kong
Europe, North AmericaChina SouthernGuangzhou, Beijing, Wuhan
EuropeEmiratesDubai, Bangkok
Europe, North America, South America, AfricaEtihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi, Sao Paulo (flights to South America), Nairobi (flights to Africa)
Europe, North America, AsiaGaruda IndonesiaJakarta, Bali
North AmericaHawaiian AirlinesHonolulu
EuropeJapan AirlinesTokyo
AsiaJet AirwaysSingapore, Mumbai
EuropeKorean AirSeoul
South AmericaLATAMSantiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Lima, Sao Paulo
EuropeMalaysia AirlinesKuala Lumpur
North AmericaPhilippine AirlinesManila
EuropeQantasSingapore
Europe, AfricaAbu Dhabi, Doha
Europe, AsiaSingapore AirlinesSingapore
AfricaSouth African AirwaysJohannesburg
EuropeThai AirwaysBangkok
AfricaTurkish AirlinesIstanbul, Singapore
North AmericaUnited AirlinesLos Angeles
EuropeVirgin AtlanticHong Kong
North AmericaVirgin AustraliaLos Angeles

Best flight deals with stopover airlines

Fly to Auckland from Sydney for $225 each way.

Fly to Auckland from Sydney for just $225 each way.

Free stopover hotel stay + transit visa

Have an extensive layover in Doha? Fly Qatar and receive a 2hr 45 minute tour of the city. This deal is strictly on a first come, first served basis and has limited departure times.

Free coach transfer with Etihad tickets

Take a free luxury coach transfer to Dubai or Al Ain in United Arab Emirates, available with your Etihad ticket.

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal or cheap flight available, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too.

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