Hi Im on my way to DXB right now for a 3.5 hr layover before heading to London. My partner hasn't been to Dubai yet so wondering if 3.5 hrs is enough time for a flying visit to Dubai to take pictures and tour some of the buildings by car? How much is a cab to Dubai city centre?
A cab to Dubai centre would be about 50 AED from airport and about 25 AED to get back (25 AED surcharge to get cab from airport) whether you have time will depend on immigration queue which can take anything from 5 mins to about an hour depending on what has arrived just before you.
If after immigration if you still have 3 hours free then go for it, taxi will take about 10 mins to get to area worth photographing Burj Khalifa and around the crowne plaza on Sheik Zayed Road.
Hop back in a taxi, security getting out of DXB is relatively efficient.
Should you wish to improve your Dubai immigration experience and plan on visiting again, an e-gate card would be a good investment, 200 AED and will get you through immigration in seconds. However noting your feelings regarding Dubai you may not find this necessary.
Well we landed in DXB on time and decided to leave the airport... No issues with immigration and the queue was very short. We were able to enjoy a quick trip out but the only problem was it was before sunrise and very foggy. I thought the Burj al Arab and kalifa would have been lit up like last time I went but they turned the lights off (well minimised the lighting) on the buildings. Too bad, would have made for some great pics even in the fog. We made it back to DXB with plenty of time to spare.