Whilst Dubai is a great family destination in its own right, it's also a popular stopover on lengthy flights from the UK to Asia and Australia. Compact enough to get a real feel for the emirate in 48 hours, but equally, Dubai's abundant attractions can keep families happy for a week or even two. Try our suggested itineraries for short and long breaks.

1/3  A 48-hour stopover in Dubai

As Dubai Airport is a short cab ride or metro journey from Downtown, it makes sense to break up a long flight with a short stopover in the UAE. To get the most out of the city in 48 hours, book a family hotel (with a pool) in the heart of Downtown Dubai.

Day one

Get your bearings on the city from the 125th floor viewing platform of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on the planet. Book in advance for tickets to the SKYLounge, the world's highest outdoor observation deck on the 148th floor, where you can enjoy a falcon's eye view of the city's major landmarks and out over the vast plains of the Arabian Desert.

Back on earth, enter the Dubai Mall, one of Downtown's premier attractions with over a million square meters of retail, dining and entertainment space. Aside from legendary shopping, kids will love to meet the Dubai Dino in the Souk Dome, or wave at the sharks in the Dubai Aquarium and Underground Zoo. Don't miss the nightly performance of the Dubai Fountains on Burj Khalifa Lake, a dazzling 5-minute water display choreographed to music and a real highlight of a visit to the city.

Day two

Discover a Dubai away from the futuristic skyscrapers and glitzy shopping malls and head to the historic Bastakiya, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Lined with dusty sandstone buildings, ornate mosques and wind towers, it's an atmospheric insight into Dubai's heritage. Explore the ancient artefacts in the Dubai Museum housed in the 17th-century Al Fahidi Fort, visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding or just kick back with a traditional mint tea and date cake at the charming Arabian Tea House.