Follow me around Dubai

I had a poll on Instagram asking if I should blog about the Dubai trip and the response was 91% Yes against 9% No so, here goes the Dubai post. This was our second trip to Dubai and time is never really enough to say that you have seen it all! The country is so vibrant that makes you keep going back for more!

We were on a 4 days trip this time and traveled with two of our friends. We had a great time and we felt like we were back to college days.

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Day 1 – Dubai Dolphinarium and Desert Safari

We took an early morning flight from Kuwait to Dubai and reached around 6 am local time. We had booked our airbnb in Al-Jeddaf area. It is close to the airport and is well connected to the metro and local buses.

The apartment complex had a small coffee shop on the ground floor that served really good sandwiches, toasts and one number Karak Chai! It was so handy to have a place like that downstairs.

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Club Sandwich and Karak Chai

There are two Dolphinariums in Dubai – one at the Palm Atlantis and one at the Dubai Creek Park. We went to the one at the Creek Park and had bought our tickets online for the Seal and Dolphin Show. However, we had to buy separate entry tickets for the park. Since we were on a Friday which is a weekly holiday in UAE, there was a big queue. It is better to be at the venue at least 30 minutes to your show if you are planning to go on weekends.

The show was more of kids-centric but we were equally excited as it was our first live Dolphin show. The show duration was about 45 minutes. The seals and dolphins are well trained and it was wonderful to see them dancing, jumping and diving!

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We had pre-booked our Desert Safari through a local friend for the evening and we had our guide pick us up from the airbnb apartment. It was a thrilling experience to sit inside the SUV and drift up nad donw the sand dunes. The more you scream, the driver drifts more! Safari is a must in a Dubai trip. We were dropped off at our camp for rest of the evening. The food was very average but on a cold winter night, an open stage with traditional arabic dance shows amidst a crowd of people from around the world was something to experience!

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Desert Safari

Day 2 – Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeriah and Global Village

On the second day, we had booked the At The Top at the Burj Khalifa for watching the sunrise from the 124th floor. We took an Uber to the Burj Khalifa from Al-Jeddaf. Even though it was cold and early in the morning, the place was crowded. Right from the elevator, everything in the Burj Khalifa is a royal man-made wonder!

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Watching Sunrise from the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa

Next on our itinerary was Palm Jumeriah. We took the metro from the Burj Khalifa station and alighted at the Damac station. From Damac, we took a tram to the Dubai Marina station and from there a monorail to the Palm Jumeriah. The daily pass at the metro is valid for the tram whereas for monorail we bought separate tickets at the boarding station. The metro-tram-monorail stations are well connected so that the transit was seamless.

When were still in the awe of the Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeriah gave us another level of surprise. It is an artificial island built on the sea with so many facilities. It hosts a lot of private villas, the famous Atlantis hotel, waterpark, dolphinarium and many food outlets including Michelin Star restaurants. We wandered around the Palm Jumeriah mall, took a short stroll along the beach and started back. We skipped the water park but if you like water parks, adventure rides, you should go for the Aquaventure WaterPark; Can easily spend an entire day and it will definitely worth the time and money.

Next stop – Global Village. Such a huge setup that displays the culture,tradition and crafts of almost all the countries in one place. Live performances, food, shopping, games and rides for kids and adults is a complete package of fun! I loved the African market from where I shopped some cutlery and home decor items. The options to shop and eat are endless that one evening isn’t enough.

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Day 3 – Dragon Mart and New Years Eve

Dragon Mart is the biggest market of all China made products that is spread across 800 hectares!! Electronics, clothing, home decor, cosmetics, cutlery, furniture, gardening items – the Chinese got you covered on all fronts. If you are starting a new coffee shop, restaurant, parlor or a small outlet on a budget you can get your supplies here at a wholesale price.

As it was the 31st and Dubai was getting ready for the New Year celebrations, we decided not to plan much on that day other than Dragon Mart. Reason being the roads get blocked, no taxis and even metro has lesser trains. There was a sea of people gathered to watch the celebrations. There was DJ and the water fountain show throughout the evening to keep people entertained until midnight. The Laser show for New Years was a world record and it was well organized!

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Laser Show at the Burj Khalifa

 

After the New Year celebrations, the biggest task was to get back to the room. We did have a difficult time in finding a taxi to get back to our airbnb. If you are planning to be on the New Years Eve, make sure you take a mat, drinking water, winter clothing because you will have to wait from say 6 in the evening to 12 am in the open air and it gets colder in the evenings.

Day 4 – Spice Souk, Gold Souk and Ice Skating

We started the New Year with a brunch at the MTR Dubai. Having seen so many people rave about their signature dishes on Instagram, it was my list for a longtime now. We ordered almost all their specialties except their Thali lunch and the food is worth all the hype!

From MTR we walked to the Bur Dubai is the old Dubai that has the ancient markets or souks. The place has a charm on its own and it was a break from the sky-high EMAAR and DAMAC properties of the downtown.

You can shop from a lot of varieties of spices, saffron, souvniers, hand crafted cushions, coffee mugs, etc from the Spice souk and you know what to shop from the Gold souk!!

Ferry Ride to Bur Dubai
Crafts for sale in Bur Dubai
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Variety of spices at the Souk
Heaps of Saffron at the Spice Souk
Souks of Dubai

We had sometime in the evening before dinner so went for Ice Skating in the Dubai Mall. I chose to sit out. It was fun watching people fall when kids were skating like pros. Go for it if you like skating or okay with the pain of falling and hurting yourself ! 😀

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Ice skating rink in Dubai Mall

We flew back to Kuwait the next day morning. And that’s about our trip. Hope it was interesting and useful.

Highlights 

  • Most of the tourist attractions in Dubai have their online pre-booking facility from their official websites. The tickets/passes are cheaper and help to skip the queue. There are many deals on the website – https://www.cobone.com/en/deals/dubai
  • Uber and Dubai metro is the easiest mode of transport. We got the daily metro passes for 20 AED each and that is valid on most of the local buses as well.
  • Best time to visit would be October to March as it is hotter and humid for rest of the year.

Dubai has so many places and attractions that we haven’t seen yet but there’s always a next time!

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