A Travellerspoint blog

United Arab Emirates

Dubai

Despite going with work for a few days last December, this was my first visit to Dubai and to any part of the Middle East, so I was really looking forward to this trip. It had been arranged for my friend Jess’ hen do due to her twin sister, Gemma, living in Dubai, so we had a jam-packed week, which was great as we got so much done in such a short amount of time!

Our first morning after arriving late the night before we woke to glorious weather – ideal when we had left a miserable, cold UK behind! We made breakfast and enjoyed this on the balcony before going for a stroll around the Dubai Marina (we stayed at Lotus Apartments - http://www.lotushoteldubai.com/ - which overlooked the Marina). We managed to get an hour or so in by the pool before we had to get ready to go out for a meal. We went to a place called Pier 7 – a building along the Marina with 7 different bars and restaurants in it. We went to a restaurant within Pier 7 calls Asia Asia. It was some of the best food I have ever had. We ordered a selection of different things between a few of us (actually, we ordered far too much but hey ho) and it was just divine. On a Tuesday night in Dubai it is Ladies’ Night, so all women get 3 free drinks in each place (7x3=21…21 free drinks!) which is just great. We stayed at Pier 7 until we were out and then went on to a club on the Palm called Mahiki. This was a really cool, underground club with a tropical/Hawaiian theme and thanks to Gemma we had more free drinks.

The next morning we headed down to the beach front to have breakfast at a lovely place called Pots, Pans and Boards - http://potspansandboards.ae/ - it was so nice to be able to sit outside and have breakfast! Following this, we headed back and got ready as at 1pm we were getting picked up to go on a Desert Safari. This involved us getting picked up in 2 massive 4x4s and driving out to the desert. Once we got there we went Dune Bashing, which was absolutely brilliant! Dune bashing means driving at increasing and decreasing speeds over sand dunes. As the surface of the sand keeps shifting, it takes a special skill and a special type of car to navigate the terrain. Due to the nature of the desert, we did not know what was coming next, be it a fall or a swift left, it was great fun.

After the Dune Bashing you get dropped off at a complex in the middle of the desert and spend the rest of the day here. There are all sorts of activities you can do including camel rides, henna tattoos, shishas, sand surfing and so on. The trip itself is cheap but they do push you for extras when you are there so if going it is definitely best to take some extra money – you will need more than you think! In the evening you get a BBQ and traditional dancing shows, which included belly dancing and knife throwing. It was a great day and really fun to be out in the middle of nowhere experiencing traditional things.

The next morning a few of us headed to the Dubai Mall as we were going up the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. We had pre-booked our tickets for this (I 100% recommend you do this as the slots do sell out) which meant we could walk straight through and up we went. I think my ears popped twice if not more on the way up and once you left the lift you see why – it was so high! I have been up some tall buildings in my time, but this was something else. It was great to be able to see so much as it was a clear day – we could even see The World islands that are currently being created.

Following this, we went to the Marina and got on a yacht that we had rented for the afternoon. I was expecting something small and average but no – it was a 22-man yacht, massive! We had a driver and 2 men serving us drink and cooking us food on a BBQ whilst we got drunk and danced around. At one point I was sitting on the front of the yacht sipping prosecco, I felt like a Kardashian! This was a great experience and we got to see so many good sights of Dubai from a new angle. It was definitely my favorite part of the holiday. After the yacht, we had a quick turn around and went to a club called SoHo Gardens which was very cool – they even had a pool!

On the Friday we went to brunch at the Atlantis. The Atlantis is a world-famous hotel which is just huge and very impressive to look at. Inside, it is just as impressive and I was really glad we got to see some of it. I had heard a lot about these brunches in Dubai before so was keen to go. Basically, you pay a set price (which is not cheap, close to £100) and then you get unlimited food and drink for about 4 hours. The food is out of this world, with so much to chose from, from sushi to a Sunday dinner! The drinks options are amazing too – you can pick up a watermelon full of cocktail or go to the rum bar for a Mojito, the options really are endless. There are games too and you can even get set up at an easel and create a masterpiece. It was such a fun day, but it ruined me for the evening and I definitely did not make it out!

On the Saturday we finally had some chill time so headed to the beach for the day. You had to pay to have a bed on the beach but it was so worth it. We spent a good few hours here, including having lunch at one of the beach-front restaurants, and could get served drinks without moving from your sunbed – perfect. Following this, we went for a meal at a restaurant called Serafina - http://serafinadubai.com/ - the best part being the fact that we were overlooking the fountains in front of the Burj Khalifa. Every half an hour they did a show including lighting up the Burj which was really great to see. After this we went to a club called Urban which was out in the middle of nowhere and had great views of the city. Again, it was Ladies’ Night so between 11 and 1 drinks were free and it is safe to say we took full advantage of this!

Sunday was our last day in Dubai. It was one of those days where we were not flying until midnight so we paid to keep on our room for a little longer and went by the pool for the first half of the day. We got showered and ready, checked out, then walked along the beach front where we went for a meal at a restaurant called PF Changs - https://www.pfchangs.com/ - this restaurant is known for its Dynamo Prawns so we had to try them and they were amazing! After taking our time we eventually headed to the airport and back home.

Since being back people have asked me a lot about how strict Dubai is and what it is like drinking out there and I always say it is not as bad as you think! As long as you are not drunk and disorderly on the street you will be fine – just a bit of common sense and respect and I am sure there will be no issues. Dubai was a great experience and I really hope I get to see some more of the Middle East in the future.

Posted by LaurenF3 12:12 Archived in United Arab Emirates Tagged desert sun dubai heat Comments (0)

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