travel

A Guide to Dubai

Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a city you can visit for any type of trip as it can be a cultural trip or a relaxing trip. It is a city which is changing as they continue to build so that they are able to attract more visitors and you are also able to see certain areas become more westernised. 

Things to do

Dubai Mall is more than just a shopping mall as there are various attractions within the mall and around. A mall which is a shopaholics paradise where you are able to find shops such as Bath & Body Works, Sephora, Lefties, Women’ Secret, Zara as well as at least another 1200 stores. As well as shops there are some eateries and drinking places located within the mall including Cheesecake Factory, PF Changs, Wagamama, Starbucks, Laduree, Magnolia Bakery and many more. Within the Dubai Mall you are able to access Burj Khalifa which is one the largest structures in the world, that opened in 2010 after 6 years of construction. Burj Khalifa was built to gain international recognition as well as to divert Dubai from being an oil based city. Visitors are able to go up to levels 124, 125 & 148 where you are able to enjoy views of Dubai. I would recommend booking to go up the Burj Khalifa in advance, ticket prices start at 99 AED. Within the mall you are able to find an aquarium which you are able to pay to enter or you are able to see some of the aquarium from within the mall which has got over 300 sharks as well as a range of species of fish. Outside of the mall there is a lake known as Burj Lake which is man made. This lake has a choreographed fountain show that shows at various times in the afternoon and evening, this was designed by the same company who are responsible for the fountain shows at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.  

Located near the Dubai Mall you are able to find Souk Al Bahar which is a souk blending the classic with contemporary. Within the souk you will find shopping, entertainment and dining as you are to enjoy some food or drinks along the waterfront promenade. The souk can be accessed from the Dubai Mall via bridge across the Burj Lake. The building is built with natural stone corridors, tall archways as well as designed with Arabian decor. 

Dubai Marina is an ideal area to take a trip to for a stroll as your are able to take a walk around the artificial canal as well as exploring the largest manmade marina. Traditional dhow cruises are available from within the marina. 

For a bit of history take a trip to Dubai Museum which can found in the oldest existing building in Dubai which is Al Fahidi Fort. This museum opened in 1971 showcasing local antiques as well as artifacts from Asian and African countries that have been traded. 

For the chance to see Old Dubai take a trip to Dubai Creek where you are able to take a ride in a abra for 1 AED.

For a traditional shopping experience take a trip to the Gold Souk which is a traditional market located in the Deira part of Dubai which features over 300 jewellery traders. Nearby you will also find the Textile Souk where you will find raw silk, cotton and embroided fabrics. As well as being able to find fabrics and cottons you will be able to find buttons, sequins, stones and lace. This is located across from Dubai Creek where you are also able to find the Spice Souk. 

A trip to the 5* resort of Madinat can’t be missed as this is one of the largest resorts in Dubai which is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian town. Within the resort you will find a souk, 3 boutique hotels as well as over 50 restaurants. You are able to explore the resort on a traditional wooden abra. One of the best view points of the Burj Al Arab is from Costa located within the Madinat. 

Burj Al Arab is Dubai’s most iconic hotel which rates at 5* despite most people believing it’s a  7* rating  it’s also one of the tallest hotels in the world. This hotel is located on an artificial island and is designed to resemble the  sail of a ship. 

As you travel around Dubai you will be to see a range of different mosques but one of the main mosques is the Jumeirah mosque which offers tours to non-muslims at certain times. This mosque was built in a traditional style. Another popular mosque is Grand Bur Dubai Majid which is a grand mosque located between the textile souk and Dubai museum. This mosque was originally built in 1900 then demolished and rebuilt in 1960 before further rebuilding work was done in 1998. Non-muslims are also allowed to do tours of the mosque at certain times.

Located within Dubai you are able to find Dubai Miracle Garden which is a flower garden that opened in 2013, this is the largest natural flower garden. This is not open all year round, you are able to visit from November to April. Within the garden you are able to find flower arrangements in the shape of Disney characters, butterfly’s, cars, ballerina’s as well as an Emirates plane. 

Another viewpoint in Dubai is the Dubai Frame which is the largest frame in the world located in Zabeel Park. This is a chance to see the past, present and future of Dubai as you are also able to enjoy views of Dubai from a sky glass bridge which is connected by parallel towers. 

One of the most famous sights in Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah which is a man made island in the shape of a palm tree with luxury hotels on the island including Atlantis Hotel at the top of the palm. There is a monorail that runs down the trunk of the palm which connects to the mainland tram system.

Food

Around Dubai there is a large amount of restaurants to choose from which serve various cuisines. Dubai is well known for having some of the best brunches on a Friday but unfortunately on my trip to Dubai I was not able to experience brunch. 

Pai Thai is a restaurant located within the Madinat which you are able to access via an abra or hotel buggy. This restaurant features a terrace as they serve Thai food including marinated chicken wrapped in pandas leaf as well as noodles and curry. This is the perfect restaurant for a special meal. 

Another restaurant which is perfect for a special meal is Ossiano at Atlantis Hotel. This is a fine dining restaurant which is underwater as you are able to enjoy views of the stingrays, sharks as well as other species of fish in the tank. You are able to choose between having seven or nine courses. 

If you are wishing to visit a restaurant that offers views of Dubai then Al Dawaar in Hyatt Regency which is a revolving restaurant is perfect. This is a buffet style restaurant serving Italian, Indian and Asian food. 

Accommodation

For my stay in Dubai we stayed at JA Oceanview which is located near The Walk. I found that this hotel was perfect as rooms were both bright and spacious, also included a balcony so we were to relax on the balcony during the evening. We were able to enjoy views of the beach as well as the Palm from our balcony. Within the hotel there was a pizza restaurant as well as a buffet restaurant which is where breakfast was served. If you didn’t wish to go to the beach which was nearby you were also able to chill by the pool which we didn’t choose to do due to only being in Dubai for a short time. 

For my stay in Dubai we stayed at JA Oceanview which is located near The Walk. I found that this hotel was perfect as rooms were both bright and spacious, also included a balcony so we were to relax on the balcony during the evening. We were able to enjoy views of the beach as well as the Palm from our balcony. Within the hotel there was a pizza restaurant as well as a buffet restaurant which is where breakfast was served. If you didn’t wish to go to the beach which was nearby you were also able to chill by the pool which we didn’t choose to do due to only being in Dubai for a short time. 

Is Dubai somewhere you have visited before? If so what do you like to do when visiting Dubai?

LauraJane

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