Flying Emirates allowed us to stop in Dubai on the way home for a few days out to check out this interesting city. The first thing that hit me on arrival was how immaculately clean the airport was, let alone the city. We arrived at the Hilton Jumeriah beach around 3am in the morning, due to a delayed flight of 3 hours sitting on Rome’s tarmac! I couldn’t get over families eating dinner out so late in restaurants?! The heat and hive of activity was like a mini Vegas on steroids without the drinking, gambling and horrendous fashion of course!
Our first day we just got to sleep in and enjoy a nice breakfast, and go for a walk to a mall around the corner. It was pretty hot but great to get a feel for the place. I then got to lie by the pool for a few hours. I ventured to the beach and it was boiling! The pool was like bath water and noisy and full of loud Northern English and French families, plus so many beautiful women fully clothed, posing for photos in the pool. It was fab people watching.
We then took off on our desert safari tour which I had read was a MUST. Our driver was really late and many things on the tour were cancelled, due to the heat e.g. belly dancing, camel ride amongst a few other things. I didn’t care as I was so tired. I’d already zonked out in reception. Our 4wd then broke down at the rest stop shop. Oh well, what to do when that happens? Go shopping of course. My husband bought me this gorgeous pink Indian tunic while we waited.
We then swapped vehicles and headed to the desert for dune bashing. I’m not sure why I didn’t think what this entailed in advance but sitting in the back was a bad idea. I felt sick so we stopped and hubby kindly swapped places with me in the front. It had started off fun until I was dry-reaching until we got to the main stop. The good from the bad was catching the most stunning sunset, and probably had one of the best photos ever taken of us together in the desert. I expected the sand to burn our feet, but it was so soothing. We didn’t do sand boarding and just watched a few that gave it a go. I then continued to dry-reach again after a few minutes and just kept sipping on my water. Ugh.
We arrived at the Bedouin camp with a zillion others to have our meal seated on the ground. Our tour passengers were so very quiet and not overly chatty. I’d probably ruined their fun being (almost) sick. Doh. Anyway our food was surprisingly delicious and I think I ate more than the others, to their dismay. I must have been dehydrated and/or hungry in advance, even though we were drinking lots of water, but I felt great afterwards.
The next morning we had a half day city tour which was great. I really liked the mosque and history museum and our wee boat ride to the spice and souk market. No gold was purchased but hubby bought socks?! I know, right?!. We got to see the Burj hotel from afar and had great commentary from our tour guide who was Croatian.
We got dropped off at the Dubai Mall, the second to largest mall in the world to Alberta’s, Canada. Boy they know how to do things well here. There was an ice skating rink and an aquarium and the shops, cafes and restaurants are to die for. There were so many of my favourite London and American shops in there and they have plans are to expand further. I bought a cute top and a pair of sneakers on sale.
We took the metro back, which was about 10 minutes walk from the hotel and we got to check out the Jumeriah boardwalk. To get there from the mall, I think we walked 2 km but in air con, so it was fine. It was so clean and easy to use.
Dubai has zero crime, no homeless, no graffiti and is spotless. You can only drink in hotels and it’s a crime to be drunk or affectionate in public. They won’t tolerate anyone who doesn’t want to work to contribute to the economy so that says it all. They have zero tolerance for poverty or unemployment.
Could I live and work there? Despite liking most of the above things, no. Maybe if I was younger, as it’s a great opportunity to earn the big bucks for a couple of years.. perhaps. I love the heat but not intense humidity and it offers everything but didn’t really have a heart, is expensive and it’s quite sterile. Would I visit again? Most definitely and I highly recommend it. I’d love to go to Abu Dhabi next time.
This now finishes my overseas trip and my final blog post. I hope you enjoyed the journey with me since June 2014. You can follow me on Instagram, and I will gladly continue to share food and travel tips to keep inspiring you. A huge Thank you to you all for your support.