Dubai: A Travel Guide

Unless you’ve lived under a rock, the last week, you will know that I travelled to Dubai and Abu Dhabi. You know this, because I am that annoying person who documents their whole experience on social media. So much so, my followers and friends may have been with me due tot the sheer amount of content captured whilst away. I have visited Dubai and you’ll find those pictures in my archive. I thought, this time round I’d produce you a travel guide if you are contemplating a trip to Dubai.

Two years ago was my first trip to Dubai and in the lead up to my travels, a fair amount of family and friends were commenting on our choice of holiday location. Nanna Jan, pointing to you here! Jan asked ‘why you going there, nothing to do‘. To some Dubai, is just a City in the desert and yes this is the basis of the location but this can be applied to others such as Vegas if you want to get nit picky. I found, that unlike other places to visit, Dubai offers everything you want from a holiday just multiplied by a thousand. If you want, Sun, Heat, Good Food, Attractions and Experiences, Dubai should be on your radar for your holidays. I wanted to bring to your attention, the best of the bunch when it comes to things to do. In fear that, you missed some of the pictures from last time or even this time round. Good job, if you did!

  • Burj Khalifa: This is one that if you’ve done your homework you’ll know plenty about- this is the tallest building in the word and features a fabulous observation deck meaning you can capture and see Dubai at some height. A true spectacle. For this, I advise trying to book through Groupon, offers are always floating around meaning you’ll always find a great and reasonably priced rate. Our deal included afternoon tea at one of the restaurants and this was an experience with the view of Dubai as we ate lunch.
  • Abu Dhabi: Although, not Dubai, this is definitely a trip I’d recommend if you’re wanting to get lots into your time in the UAE. As the capital of the UAE, you’ll find lots of attractions. We combined Abu Dhabi with our holiday this time around, as we never got round to it two years prior. This was one of my highlights for sure, the visit to the Grand Mosque being the highlight of this trip. I found this to be just a vision of beauty, the vast gold on the walls, the diamonds and just attention to detail was astonishing. We visited during Ramadan, the period of fast for Muslims around the world, I think visiting at this time was a real experience. If you want, a vision of beauty for your eyes and your camera, the Grand Mosque is one to visit. One recommendation, dress accordingly. In all places of worship, covering you head, arms and legs is required for women. Although my legs were covered, my wrists were not so as you’ll see int these images, I required the traditional dress to ensure I was obeying with etiquette of the mosque.
  • Shopping Malls: Unlike malls in the UK, Dubai and the UAE, have taken Westfields for example and put a rocket up it’s back side and created something incredible. In the Dubai Mall for example, you’ll find your favourites like Sephora (personal fave), Topshop and River Island but along the strip will see Versace, Gucci and Ralph Lauren also on the same strip. Two ends of the pricing spectrum. But shopping isn’t the only activity, also expect to see an Aquarium, a Ski Slope, an Ice Rink and a Dinosaur skeleton- I mean it, all in one Dubai Mall.
  • Speed Boat: Many of the peak tourist attractions, you’ll notice are situated on the Palm- attractions like the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis; both of which are hotels too. You could go via a tour bus but if you fancy an adrenaline rush and a refreshing hour opt for the Speedboat tour. A tour that will take you around the palm and stop near enough to the exhibits for some fabulous photos- fab enough to be your new cover photos on Facebook.

Dubai is the perfect location for your holidays should you wish to just relax or soak up the rays, since the weather is hot all year round. However, do bear in mind these suggestions that I imagine your travel agent may not be inclined to mention if they fancy their commission. If you want to visit, I’d suggest opting between October-June. These are hot periods but are not the unbearable months such as August. With my love of talking to people, I got chatting to a few locals in shops and at our hotels who have said that August they’d not recommend to anyone due to the heat. The humidity and heat combined, make for an unbearable month which sees schools closed and locals heading off on their holidays too. Although, you’ll get a cheaper rate at this time of year, the actual holiday experience may not be the same you’d get visiting in October. I’m not the best holiday agent with my advice to avoid during August, but because I love it so much I want everyone to experience what I do, and during August, you’ll see nothing more than the air conditioning. Good air-con, however.

Anyone who hears of my travels to Dubai will without question, ask what the dress code is like and whether it is as strict as they think it is. Well, look, if you want to walk around with just a bikini top on and hot pants, you’ve come to the wrong holiday go to Marbs or Magaluf. Dubai, think of what you’d wear if you went away with family. I found, that the dress code that is heard of, with covering knees and shoulders to be only the case when visiting the Old Dubai and occasionally the malls. Wear what you would on your holidays, but think of the area you are in and respect their culture and customs. It honestly is not like you think, if someone has told you, you’ll get a dirty look for wearing shorts or a skirt, then they’re paranoid. In all honesty, I saw plenty of women wearing shirts, blouses and above the knee shorts/skirts with no problems.

On our first trip out to what I describe as the classy Vegas, we stayed at the Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel which was on the Marina meaning you were slap bang in the middle of getting in and around the city. I found, on our first visit that being in the centre of the City was easier for tours and arranging tours with operators. You were also only 10 minutes away from the malls on the metro. So, if you’re venturing to Dubai for the first time, think of your location being practicable should you wish to visit some of the above attractions. It’s all well and good being in the middle of no where, but if you actually want to see attractions- think of whether that location will get on your tits, trying to arrange pick ups, drop offs and visiting attractions. This time around, we stayed on the Palm and at the Sofitel. I absolutely loved this hotel, I found the staff, location and hospitality to be truly outstanding. Overlooking the Atlantis hotel, was a great view each morning and was great to be a little further out of the main hub of the city. A private beach meant relaxing was a real treat and felt like you were on holiday- also made a change from your standard swimming pool. My advice, should you wish to be on a tourist holiday then definitely opt for hotels situated on the Marina or the Jumeriah beach but if you’re opting for a relax with the occasional shopping trip or whatever, then slide in on the palm. Wherever you stay, you’ll be treated like a Queen and find yourself feeling very relaxed.

I’ll stop rambling as I appear to have broken my own record for most amount of words written on one topics; this is not a sponsored post neither am I affiliated with any hotel chain, airline or Dubai travel rep operator. (she wishes) Instead, I just hope everyone experiences what I do when and if they visit the place.

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