This is another very highly requested post all about my trip to Dubai. I’m sorry it took so long to get this up, normally I’m way more on the ball when it comes to my travel posts. This was my 5th time to Dubai and every time it just gets better & better. I absolutely love it however it’s definitely for some people & not for others. I had this trip planned to a tee as Sean had never been before, I wanted to make sure he loved it as much as I did. We have already booked another trip to go back this April. This time it’s most definitely for relaxation but I’ve a few little surprises up my sleeve planned that Sean doesn’t know about.
When we landed in Dubai it was straight to the hotel. Our first hotel was near the airport so we just got a taxi there. Taxi’s are so easy to find right outside the terminal. Taxi’s generally are relatively cheap in Dubai and they are all metered too. It’s also very safe so if this is something you might be worried about, don’t be at all. The first hotel we stayed in was the Melia Dubai. The hotel was a boutique hotel which has amazing views of Burj Khalifa and the city (see below). It’s very handy for shopping as it’s a short taxi ride to Dubai Mall & also close to Jumeriah Beach too. This hotel is decorated beautifully and I just love it. I’m dying to stay in the Melia hotel in London, it also looks amazing. We booked a room on the Level Floor which includes a little bit more than just your stay in the hotel. You have your own lounge to relax in that’s only for people on that floor. It’s SO worth it as it includes breakfast, afternoon tea and between 6-9pm drinks/canapés. For the small bit extra you pay guys, I genuinely couldn’t recommend going for the upgrade. This is where we are staying again when we go back in April for 3 of the nights. A lot of people stay in different hotels whilst in Dubai. This time around we will stay 3 nights there and another 3 nights at the new Five Palm Jumeriah.
There is so much to do in Dubai that it’s always good to plan before you go. I’ve been there so many times yet still haven’t done everything. On the first day we arrived early afternoon so we changed and we headed straight for Dubai Mall for a late lunch at the Vogue Cafe. It’s a beautiful cafe with the most delicious food. If I ever owned a cafe, this is how I would want it to look. It’s not the cheapest so just bare that in mind but so worth it as the food is delicious. Afterwards we went shopping and believe me the mall is HUGE. You could walk around it for hours. It’s hand down the most luxurious mall I’ve ever shopped in. Next up was our Shark Safari. This was diving down in a cage full of sharks. They give you a talk before getting suited & booted before the safari. They talk to you about your breathing etc which I was most scared about. I would do a bunny jump tomorrow but there’s something about not having full control over your breathing. It was absolutely surreal being in that cage with all the fish & different shark swimming around us. The cage was open at the top so it actually allowed fish to swim into us which was insane. I most definitely want to do this again in the sea but this was a brilliant experience. We got back to the hotel at about 8pm so it was room service & bed for us as we were so tired.
The next day it was straight up & out as we needed to be at the Jumeriah Mosque early enough. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding organise tours of the Jumeirah Mosque six days a week from Saturday through to Thursday at 10:00am. You don’t need a reservation to attend, but you should arrive at the main entrance to the mosque at 9.45am. The tour, which is as much fact-finding as it is sightseeing, lasts around 75 minutes. Please remember to wear modest dress – however if you need it traditional attire can be borrowed from the mosque. It was so fascinating. I had wanted to go to a visit a mosque for ages & I suppose what better place than Dubai to visit one. It was so beautiful on the outside and impressed even more on the inside. The done an in depth talk inside on Islam and I have to say it was extremely interesting. The tour cost 25 AED per person including water, dates, Arabic coffee, tea, and traditional pastries. Children under 12 are free. After our mosque visit, we headed back to the hotel to chill by the pool for the afternoon. Our hotel had a direct view of the Burj Khalifa which was stunning. As the sun set, the view was just gorgeous. That night we headed out to meet one of Sean’s friends who is a pilot with Emirates. He loves it out there and getting to visit so many different countries with his wife. He lives right in the marina so has beautiful views from every angle. The marina was actually somewhere that I had never been before on other trips to Dubai and it certainly didn’t disappoint. We went to a few different bars, one of them was called Siddharta Lounge. It was absolutely gorgeous with swimming pools, DJ and somewhere I’d highly recommend. There was another bar called Buddha Bar but unfortunately Sean was allowed in because of his tailored shorts. Guys need to have their knees covered in some places at night. I’ll talk more about clothes & what to wear at the end of the post. Anyway there are so many bars & restaurants within the marina, you’ll have your pick of them. Great spot and amazing views.
The next day it was all about relaxing. We just enjoyed staying by the pool, then we went to the spa in the hotel for a massage. The spa at the Melia was gorgeous. Later that day we headed out earlier than other nights. We took a taxi to Dubai Mall and sat watching the fountains. The Dubai fountains are a must when you are here so you have to go. They light up and sometimes they light up the Burj Khalifa too. It’s an experience and one for all the family. There are so many restaurants to enjoy watching the fountains so whether it’s going as a couple or a family you are sorted. For dinner we decided to go to the stunning restaurant, Atmosphere at the top of the Burj Khalfia. WOW! It didn’t disappoint. It is actually the world’s HIGHEST restaurant. The views were stunning and so was the service/food. If I’m honest, I’d probably only go to the bar next time. No particular reason, I just feel it would be the exact same ambience for half the price that’s all.
Day 4 took us to our next hotel. So it was goodbye to the Melia and hello to Atlantis. I’d stayed here before so I knew how insane it was, so I literally couldn’t wait for Sean to see it too. Every cent you spend on this hotel, it’s worth it. Today was Sean’s birthday too so it was extra special. We checked in and had a little walk around the hotel. We were actually supposed to do Saffron Brunch this day but decided against it and go to the water-park instead. I’m such an outdoor person so just fancied this more. Some will laugh but what a day we had. We met the most beautiful couple in the water-park too from Birmingham who we are hoping to meet up with when we go back in April. We went to dinner that night in beautiful Italian in the hotel called Ronda Locatelli and had drinks on the beach that night. It was absolutely gorgeous. Atlantis is lit up so pretty at night so walking along the beach was surreal. Every time I’m there I have to pinch myself just as it’s such an iconic hotel and amazing to get to stay there. I remember seeing it in a Mary Kate & Ashley movie years ago, so I always wanted to visit. It’s just as spectacular as in real life. The views from our room Day & night were just wow! This is a miniature version of the hotel below along with photos of the lobby, views from our room and the hotel at night.
Our second last day was a jam packed one. First it was breakfast in the Imperial Club Lounge. We went for the upgrade to the Imperial Club which included Half Board at Atlantis so breakfast, afternoon Tea & dinner. Well worth it if you don’t plan on leaving the hotel during your time there. As Atlantis is on the Palm personally I just prefer to stay at the hotel, especially if you are paying that money for it too. After breakfast we went to the Lost Chambers which can only be described as hands down the best aquarium in the world. It’s outrageous and so over the top but stunning. I remember on my last trip sitting in front of the big tank for about an hour on my own. It was just beautiful. It’s a must see for anyone. You don’t have to stay in the hotel to visit either. If you have kids, they will adore it too. After this we rambled the hotel (it’s HUGE) and then had a few cocktails before getting changed for our dessert safari. We booked this through Rayna Tours which I highly recommend. It’s a proper Arabian experience and something everyone should do when in Dubai. For €69 per person you get picked up at your hotel in a Land Rover, drove to the desert for dune bashing then you stop for photos and onto the camp. The camp is fully decked out with Arabian style clothes to wear, camel rides, falcons, a shisha bar and a stage. Also included in the price is all food & soft drinks. You can pay extra to go on quad bikes too. They put on a show with belly dancers and fire breathers and after that you are dropped back directly to your hotel. It’s so worth it for the money and you are away from 3-9pm. We got some really cool photos in the dessert which I’ll treasure forever.
When we got back it was a quick change as we had a late dinner booked at Ossiano. OMG I’ve no words. When Sean said he was taking me here I nearly died. It’s the underwater restaurant in Atlantis and let’s just say it’s quite the experience. The romantic had booked us a table right at the window too. He told me to put on a nice dress and he was taking me somewhere nice. It was the sweetest. Now guys this restaurant isn’t bloody cheap! So be warned in advance. It’s also personally not somewhere you’d take the kids, lots of couples. It was hands down one of the most amazing experiences of my life. We sat there for nearly two and half hrs. I watched the sharks, stingrays and schools of fish swim by. It was amazing. If there’s any guys reading this, take your lady here if you want to really treat her. I promise you its an experience both of you will never forget.
Our last day in Dubai was Sean’s personal highlight and another tick on my bucket list. I got Sean a surprise helicopter ride over Dubai for his birthday so he knew nothing about it. When he found out, he couldn’t believe it. Another mind blowing experience together that was insane. The views over the Palm were out of this world. Seeing Atlantis from above, the whole city old & new, the Burj Khalifa & the Dubai Frame was just so cool. We got some amazing videos and photos from the helicopter too. We headed back to the room, checked out and to the airport we went. As part of our Imperial Club Room package, you got a private car to the airport. It was definitely worth it for all the different benefits.
Something a few people asked me to talk about in this post was clothing. Dubai is so Westernised now that clothing really isn’t a massive deal unlike years ago. The only time I ever felt the need to cover up was when I was in the shopping malls however other than that it was fine. In your hotel, on the beach, on the Palm, do not worry about clothing just wear your normal Summer dresses & shorts. When going to the mosque, I wore a shirt and shorts. They give you clothing before entering anyway. As someone who’s been quite a lot, there is no need to worry.
Another really cool thing to do in Dubai is go to Ski Dubai which is an indoor ski slope in the Mall of Emirates. You need to have experience in snowboarding or skiing but it’s so much fun and a bit weird as you are in the dessert. It’s freezing inside just like it would be on the ski slopes but they give you a ski suit so you are fine. I’m going back to Dubai at the end of April and there’s STILL a few things I’ve yet to do.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Zero Gravity Beach Club
Barasti Beach Club
Visiting Abu Dhabi for the day
I also want to go visit a club my friend promotes called Inner City Zoo. It literally looks MENTAL so I’m really looking forward to it. There are sooo many bars & restaurants to see in Dubai, the list is endless. I know people living in Dubai who have yet to go to half of them. As I said Dubai is somewhere you’ll either love or hate. Everything’s over the top, grand, luxurious and fabulous.
I hope the post gave you some insight into things to do in Dubai. I’ll edit the blog post after I come back from Dubai adding in my thoughts on the list above.
Until April Dubai…..
Love Aoibhe xxx
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