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Dubai

Money can’t buy happiness, Habibi, come to Dubai.

 

Something about Dubai

 

Dubai is one of seven emirates of UAE. Other Emirates like Abu Dhabi (serves as Capital) and Ras al Khaimah are also the most popular destinations after Dubai in UAE.

The most populous Emirate, Dubai, lies directly within the Arabian Desert and is a hub for service industries like Finance, IT and Real Estate.

Dubai attracts millions of shoppers from around the World and also for its ancient and modern attractions. This fourth most-visited city in the World in terms of international tourists has offers for every age-group.

Whether it’s a 4 day trip or a fortnight one, this city never fails to excite you.

  • Here’s my experience of Dubai.
  • I recommend a minimum of 4 nights in Dubai even if you are running short of time.
  • I was there for 6 nights and found it totally worth it.
  • It is a great family destination; And adventure seeker kids will just love it.

You are never empty handed with almost 70 shopping centers in Dubai including Dubai Mall, one of the Planet’s most visited buildings.

Dubai organises 2 mega events to lure the shoppers, as below –

DSF (Dubai Shopping festival)

Christmas for shopaholics
This month-long event generally is due in January every year. Being held since more than 20 years, this is not just about shopping but also about the rich culture, cuisine, art and music, live performances and sporting events.

 

Global Village

90 countries – 1 platform
I was amazed to see cultures of almost 90 countries in one place. It was like doing a world tour in a day.
This operates for almost over 5 months starting November every year.

 

What else I needed

Food, shopping, fireworks, and variety of live entertainment shows, etc.

 

What fascinated me the most in Dubai

 

Architectural innovation, Lifestyle, Attire, Cuisine and Arabic Music

  • It was a great feeling to be at the World’s highest nightclubs at 144th floor in Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world with 163 floors, again the highest in any building.
    I didn’t opt for the meals on the highest floor in the world, again, at the restaurant which is on the 122nd floor (Dress codes to be strictly observed, whereas shorts are allowed at observation decks).

 

The observation deck

At the Top is at 124th floor is most popular with the crowds compared to the higher observation deck at 148th floor due to the admission ticket cost and also I found not much difference in the views you get from there.

If you wanna feel the luxury like never before, stay at Armani Hotel at Burj Khalifa featuring five restaurants and occupying eleven floors.

  • Dubai Fountain
    This dancing water system is easily visible even from neighboring structures. So I found it better to choose a location in an elevated restaurant to enjoy the synchronised light and sound performance instead of the views from the lake promenade. One can enjoy this 5 minutes performance every 30 minutes in the evening starting at 6 pm.
  • Dubai Mall
    You will be thrilled to know that it attracts more visitors than Niagara Falls or Times Square, NY, annually.

 

If a mall features,

120 cafes and restaurants,
22 entertainment screens,
Olympic-sized ice skating rink,
Park dedicated for Virtual Reality, VR Park,
Over 300 species of aquatic animal, including sharks and ray, in Dubai Aquarium,
Rainforest cafe,
KidZania, Edutainment theme park for kids,

Who would want to get out of here ?

 

Moreover, the Mall is connected with the Dubai Metro network to ease your access to/from any other part of the city.

Compared to Mall of Emirates (MoE), I found Dubai mall is larger, has the Aquarium, underwater Zoo, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains whereas Ski Dubai is in MoE.

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski area where guests are provided with all the gears needed to stay warm even at  sub zero temperatures.
Depending upon your choices, there are a variety of passes available to enjoy the winter sports and snowy fun.

  • Burj Al Arab – Iconic 5 star Hotel

This private resort can only be visited only if you are a guest here or have dining reservations at one of the restaurants. Another way to visit is to spend almost USD 150 for seven course afternoon tea which serves unlimited tea, coffee, sandwiches, pastries, etc.

Guests can also avail facilities of various water related activities like Kayaking, Diving, Deep Sea Fishing, Luxury Yacht Rides, Sailing, Indoor/Outdoor Swimming and many more.

  • Palm Jumeirah – The man-made Island

Visible even from space, this is a site of private hotels and residences well known for its Palm-tree shape within a circle.
I personally found it worth staying at the very famous hotel, Atlantis, the Palm situated here.
Most of the tourists come here for the Lost Chambers Aquarium which is home to 65000 plus marine animals and the Aquaventure Water Park, one of the biggest and finest water parks with lots of slides and zip lines.
Access to both the attractions was complimentary for me like other guests of Atlantis.

  • Dubai Miracle Garden – Get lost in the coloursThis colorful garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden near to Global village.
    I opted to get a combined ticket for the global village and Miracle garden.
    Many Bollywood recent movies have been shot here because of the panoramic view it provides.
    Photos come out to be so colorful that your partner will get tired of clicking your poses every other minute. It is Dubai’s number 1 attraction of recent times.
  • – The Ultimate Arabian Desert Adventure
    Compared to Rajasthan, India, I had more fun in Dubai Premium Desert Camps and also with 4×4 off-roading over sand dunes.
    Dune bashing rides are normally for 20-30 minutes but enough to give you the memories of lifetime.
    You can also go for a unique experience of Sand Skiing and Camel Safari.

    A person’s tongue can give you the taste of his heart, so I personally recommend choosing the best premium desert camp out of lots and enjoy the king-size Arabian life to the fullest in an evening only.
  • Souk – The Bazaars

Wanna see the traditional side of modern Arab culture, out of many markets move into the Spice or Gold Bazaars. These are known as souks. I went to the spice souk by taking a small boat (routine mode of transportation by locals) across the creek. It gives you an amazing view of the city in the evening and an alternate way of commuting.
From the spice souk you can pick numerous daily usable spices such as Turmeric, Chilly, Pepper, Cardamom, Clove, Saffron, etc.
Apart from the above, other souvenirs which could be bought from Dubai are –
Gold Jewelry, Shawls, Rugs and Carpets, Dried Dates, Chocolates made of Camel’s milk, etc.

DCIM110GOPROGOPR2848.JPG

All that glitters is GOLD

With 250 gold retails shops in Deira houses only, Dubai is no doubt called “the city of Gold”.
Due to tax exemptions in UAE, people especially females with ornamental-inclination are the super buyers always.
If you have somehow missed to visit the gold souk and dont wanna go home without it, cheer up, it is also available in the duty free shops at the International airport.

If you seem to be done with Dubai and looking to further, there are two more emirates near to Dubai which you should be visiting.
Both Abu Dhabi (AD) and Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) are approximately 110 kms from Dubai. Both the destinations would not require any other visa formality for entry and stay.

  • RAK – Since it’s not as popular as Dubai or AD, the advantage is that it’s cheaper when compared to both others. I found almost all top international brands of fashion and electronics in the malls and retails stores.

Local souks are the best place for local fabrics, handicrafts and other local products.

RAK is famous for its whitest and roundest pearl in the world. And unlike other cities in UAE with almost zero percent crime rate its gaining the popularity amongst lers rapidly. Apart from sandy beaches, culture and lots of entertainment this city gives you all the advantages as other Emirates as well.

I booked an all-inclusive resort property here and was awestruck by so-called affordable luxury.
Dune bashing and Falcon shows, like in Dubai, were a highlight here. But more importantly, I could do water sports like paddle boating, snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, and many more and that too without leaving my resort for it.
Almost all the resorts provide these activities.

Another unique feature of RAK is its mountain ranges.
I enjoyed a complete day out doing rock climbing and hiking.

Last but not the least, a city tour including the mosque and an abandoned/ghost town.
I would recommend a minimum of 3 days to it the way it is.

  • Abu Dhabi (AD) – Welcome to the richest city in the World

When you are in the World’s richest city, you CANNOT imagine what all it can offer you.
If you are on a day trip to AD, like most people do, you wouldn’t be able to cover more than the architectural epitope – the Grand Mosque and the famous Formula One racing hubs – the Ferrari World including a city tour.

And if you have got more than a day, go for Yas Waterpark, Warner Brothers World, (Yas Island), Island hopping tour or Sunset s (I opted for the boat hopping tour which gives a different angle to see the city).

 

The Grand Mosque

 

It’s World’s most photo-clicked mosque and is completely free to enter the premises along with many guided tours.
The onion-shaped domes, the crystal chandeliers, the hand-woven carpet, the whitest of white marble, the precious stones are the few jaw-dropping things to see in one of the stunning structures.

The Ferrari World

 

This theme park is situated in Yas Island along with Warner Bros. World, which is a recent opening. Come here and find the adventure, thrill and fun for all ages. One of the top things to do in AD.

Apart from the speed-thing, you can have a factory tour, see the car collection of the cars and participate in knowledge game shows as well.

And as I said if you are staying longer, you can go for Kayaking tours, Boat tours, Louvre AD and of course for the views from the highest point in the city, the observation deck of the Etihad Towers Hotel.

One needs to abide by the rules and regulations of Dress codes in UAE. Wearing western attire is not a problem but revealing much of skin is not allowed at most of the public places and this is followed quite strictly. Nightclubs, bars, beeches and waterparks are exceptions. Bikinis are fine around the beaches and pool but something like shorts, vestes or flip flops would be considered as under-dressing in hotels.

  • As I mentioned Dubai has a wide range of parks and beaches and a rich collection of buildings which leaves the visitors keeping their mouth-wide-open.
    Same is with the Dubai International Airport. Though one of the busiest airports of the world, it is a tourist destination in itself.
    The airport is full of popular chains of restaurants and cafes to serve you food and beverages even 24×7.
    Duty Free shopping stores are the place where I could see almost all the passengers to visit at least once and not coming out empty handed.
    There are numerous spas and lounges to comfort yourselves. And if you dont wanna spend much, get into one of the sleeping pods with shower facility to continue watching your dreams.
    Do not forget to visit Zen Garden, if you still have some time left to board your flight.
  • Season to visit

Winters are the best times to visit Dubai. I planned to visit in January as I wanted to see the city go alive with a multinational crowd during DSF.
Temperatures could range over 50 degC during summers, so do not ever think to visit Dubai in summers.

 

 

Final words

 

Here in Dubai, you can find something as World’s tallest or world’s largest, you might fall in love with believe-it-or-not man-made structures, you might find yourself short of words to describe the grandness.
Come back here as many as times you want but be surprised all the time, again and again.

Welcome to the world of Superlatives, Welcome to Dubai !!

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