Dubai Travel Diaries
May 28th 2017
Hi Guys & Dolls..
So I’m not long home from Dubai. All I can say is I’m still dreaming about it. It was like no other place I’ve visited before. At a glance, it’s quite easy to forget that this place is actually a desert that has been reclaimed and built over, with some of the most amazing buildings & structures (an architects dream)
Ive always longed to travel to Dubai, but never had any certain plans made. Until a last minute opportunity arose to travel there for a week, so I went with very little time to research & plan what I wanted to do, but I have to say it was such an amazing week.
There’s so much to do in Dubai, whether you’re looking for a break in the sun or an adventure filled holiday – it’s got it all. I don’t think you can see everything in one week, but we did our best!
I got asked so many questions about what to do & where to go over there that I decided to write a little blog post.
Dubai is extremely hot.
We visited in mid April & it was close to 40 degrees. They recommend to visit Dubai November- April after that it reaches mid 50s in the summer time.
The local currency (AED) works out at €1 = 4 AED
Taxis are extremely cheap out there, you can pick up taxis almost anywhere. They can be a little scarce when they have their prayer time, so just be aware of this if your under any time constraints (i.e- getting to the airport etc). Be aware of the Lexus cars, they just look like nicer taxis but can cost a significant amount more.
So its a little culture shock to any Irish visitors, as there is no alcohol served in restaurants with meals & also no Off-licenses. So if you fancy a drink in your hotel room before going out, I would suggest picking up some Duty Free before you depart.
I was so surprised about the clothing over there, this was something I was a little nervous about before I left. Dubai is such a multi-cultural city, Most of the women living there are covered head to toe in burqas but all of the other tourists were wearing normal holiday clothes. You do have to cover up a little when entering the Malls & if your planning on visiting a Mosque then you must cover yourself from head to toe.
Where we stayed
As I mentioned before I only booked my trip two weeks before I departed, so accommodation was quite limited & expensive as it was easter holidays.
We stayed in the gorgeous 5 Star Steigenberger hotel in the Business bay, which was close to the Dubai Mall & the Burj Khalifa. Most hotels offer to book breakfast upon arrival, we didn’t go for this option as it was working out around €25 p.p. Neither of us were big on breakfast so we picked up some fruit & pastries in the local shop next door.
We ended up getting taxis everywhere, it would take us roughly 30 minutes in a taxi to get to the Jumeriah beach or Dubai Marina area. If I was to go visit again I would most definitely stay by the Jumeriah beach area as your a lot closer to most activities bars & restaurants.
What we did
I never realised how much there was to do in Dubai, I thought I was going on a nice chilled out holiday but to my surprise I was very wrong. We balanced out some chill time along with some adventures & partying.
- The Dubai Fountain show
This literally took my breathe away. These are situated next to the Dubai Mall & the Burj Khalifa.
Zero Gravity Beach club
We loved Zero Gravity so much we went there twice. We went there the first time on Tuesday which was Ladies day. There was free entry for the girls (Sorry boys!) You do have to pay for drinks inside there which can be a little on the pricey side. The sun beds are on a first come first serve basis, so I would suggest arriving early to get a sun bed. Zero Gravity is such a great daytime pool party with great music & a fab atmosphere. We then returned on the Saturday, we weren’t aware they had a Saturday brunch going on. We paid roughly 150 AED which worked out at around €37. There was a lunchtime buffet with an amazing selection of food, they also had a huge sweets & ice cream section (My favourite) followed by an array on drinks stations. All the food and drink was included in your entry fee until 4pm. The Saturday was actually an even better day out then Ladies day on the Tuesday. Zero Gravity is a must!
- Boat Trip
We booked a boat trip leaving from the Dubai Marina, it took us right out to the Palm and we got a gorgeous view of the Atlantis Hotel & the Burj Al Arab. This was an amazing little excursion. We got taken by speedboat out to these places & had such fun, it was a great way to see the Palm, the Marina & Dubai’s Skyline.
- Desert Safari
Thursday we took off on a Desert Safari, by far my favourite day. We got collected in a 4×4 Jeep and took off to catch the sunset. We were on the road 30 minutes when we first stopped. We had the opportunity to go quad biking in the sand dunes so of course I jumped at the opportunity & had the best time. Our driver then took us through the desert & sand dunes to watch the sunset, which was mind blowing definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Would recommend booking with the Company Desert Safari Dubai.
- Miracle Gardens
Dubai Miracle Gardens is a flower garden located in the district of Dubailand, Dubai. The garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden featuring over 109 million flowers planted & it is the most colourful & creative display ever. We visited the Miracle gardens on the Sunday & I think it was probably the hottest day, it was tough walking around in that heat but it was definitely worth it. I think it cost roughly €10 each on entry. This is definitely a must to go visit.
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sunday afternoon we departed for Abu Dhabi to visit the Grand Mosque. We decided to take a taxi there as it was the easiest mode of transport. It was 1.5 hour trip each way, which cost roughly €50……as there was 5 of us in the taxi it was extremely economical. It took us the full day to go there & back but was definitely well worth the journey. We arrived around 5pm which was just before sunset which was absolutely stunning. On arrival they scan you & your bags for dangerous goods & they provide you with full gowns which cover you from head to toe . You can either cover yourself with wraps & long clothes or avail of the gowns they provide. There was no entry fee into visit the mosque, so if you fancy a day trip to Abu Dhabi I would suggest definitely making a pitstop it the grand mosque.
We booked in for Brunch at Saffron in the Atlantis Palm. I never experienced anything like it, there was culinary delights from every corner of the globe. There was a vast selection of Beverages also, I was absolutely blown away by the set up there. Again it was a huge buffet with all you can eat & Drink. I think we paid approx. €150 but it was well worth the experience. You have to prebook this in advance so I would highly recommend doing that, also the style at the brunch I was not prepared for……Dress to impress!
What we did didn’t do
- Sky Dive
I was a little apprehensive when I first heard of the Sky dive, but looking at videos & hearing that its one of the best sky dives in the world…… I definitely do regret not booking this ahead of time.
- Cove Beach
Another hidden gem that we didn’t get time to visit, Ive heard great reports on Cove Beach in particular on Wednesdays when they have Ladies Day.
- Indoor Skiing
They have amazing indoor Ski slopes inside the Emirates Mall, would definitely be worth checking out.
These are the traditional markets in Dubai, where you can pick up Gold pieces, spices & local merchandise.
Where we ate
I was so impressed with the food in Dubai, as Im a little fussy I was a little concerned but I ate in some gorgeous restaurants.
- Pier 7
Absolutely amazing! I would highly recommend Pier 7 for drinks & dinner. It is situated in the middle of Dubai Marina, the views are sensational. We reserved a table on the 3rd floor in Cargo restaurant, the food was to die for. Make sure to reserve a table ahead of time & ask for a table on the balcony. http://cargo-dubai.com
- Barasti Beach Bar
We never actually ended up eating here, but the food looked delicious. It is a great little spot close by to Dubai Marina & Zero Gravity. If your looking for a nice chilled out evening spot with some live music you’ll love it.
- Social House
We ate here on the first night, Social House is situated right by the Dubai Fountains. We got a fab table on the balcony so we were able to watch the fountains while we were having our dinner. We didn’t reserve a table even though it was quite busy, but we got a table straight away & the food was divine with a great variety on the menu.
The worlds tallest restaurant Atmosphere is in the the Burj Khalifa building, which is the worlds tallest building. We went up there late in the evening and made our way to the 122nd floor, we sat in the restaurant which is absolutely divine. There is a minimum spend to sit by the window but can be spent on food or drink so isn’t too bad. Definitely worth splashing out to get a complete view of Dubai.
So this is my first ever blog piece, so I hope you all enjoyed it & it was some help to anyone planning a trip to Dubai. I have to say I absolutely loved my trip there, I ended up spending a week there & it was the perfect amount of time.
Thanks for reading!