This was my big holiday of the year, and the one I’d been counting down the days until ever since I booked it last year. Back mid-June my sister and I flew out to Dubai for five nights, and then travelled onto Mauritius for another five nights before flying home again.
It. Was. Amazing.
Our flight didn’t land until the evening so our first evening in Dubai we didn’t do anything other than eat a quick dinner and crash for twelve hours. After waking up at 3am to get to the airport on time, flying for six hours, and dealing with the time difference when we finally landed we were beyond shattered when we finally arrived at Atlantis, The Palm where we were staying.
There was plenty to do in our hotel so a lot of our time was spent either by the pool or on the beach (when I posted my June and July recap a couple of days ago people wondered how I got so much reading done in those two months, the answer is I spent a lot of time lying on a sun lounger on holiday with nothing else to do other than read). We also spent a day at the waterpark Aquaventure, which was so much fun but left me very sunburnt.
Of course we explored outside of our hotel as well.
Our first stop was the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa is (please correct me if I’m wrong because I’m not too sure about this) the tallest building in the world, and while my sister and I didn’t make it all the way to the top we did go to the 124th floor which took us higher than we’ve ever been before. The views were beyond impressive.
The Dubai Mall is one of the largest malls in the world. It’s very very easy to get lost inside but walking past the shops the Dubai Mall seemed more like a contained city than just a mall; as well as the shops it has its own aquarium you can visit, and waterfalls and fountains you can see.
For food and nightlife two places that were recommended to me was the Dubai City Walk, which is close to the Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Marina, which is close to the Palms. Both were impressive enough in the day, and offered plenty of things to do to make a visit before it got dark worthwhile, but they really came alive during the evening.
Advice (a.k.a. learn from my mistakes)
- Spend time exploring your hotel…Depending on where you stay the hotels in Dubai are pretty much their own city. At the Atlantis where I was staying there were more restaurants me and my sister could eat during our holiday, an aquarium and the waterpark which were both free for guests of the hotel, and plenty of shops and even a mini souk for souvenirs.
- Book ahead for brunch…On Friday’s brunch is a big thing in Dubai, and while you can get some good spots showing up on the day the best places fill up fast.
- Use cabs…Dubai does have a public transport system, there’s a metro line and bus service (I think), but depending on where you want to go it will be quicker, easier, and cooler to just hop in a cab.
This was pretty much the holiday of a lifetime, and now I’ve been to Dubai I can cross it off my list. When me and my sister were in Dubai it was beyond hot (temperatures reached 40 degrees and for two English natives that was nearly too hot to handle) but we had a brilliant time. Dubai is one of those places everyone seems to be talking about and travelling to, and after being there myself I can see why it’s one of those must-see travel destinations.