Here’s what we got up to in Dubai!
A few months ago, I got the opportunity to visit a unique country in the United Arab Emirates called Dubai, along with my family. In this blog, I will be writing about my two-day experience of Dubai and will recommend tourist attractions to check out.
With a British passport, you do not need a visa for Dubai. Once you land in Dubai, you are automatically granted a 30-day tourist visa free of charge.
I booked my flight with Emirates airlines as they were offering a really good deal and I personally wanted to experience flying on the A380 which they use. I heard a lot of positive things about these planes, including quality, seat space and food.
Our flight was from London Gatwick (LGW) to Dubai’s main international airport (DXB). The flight itself was a mid-morning flight at 10am and was expected to arrive in Dubai around 7.30pm. This was perfect as it meant I had enough time to get to the hotel and go out for dinner.
Overall, the flight experience was really good and stress-free. I was pleased with the spacious leg room (being over 6ft tall this was important). The in-flight entertainment system was amazing; we each had a 13.3 inch screen which I believe is the largest out of all the flights I have been on in the past. The entertainment system had lots of movies both Hollywood and Bollywood, dramas, games, news, radios and live TVs.
I was amazed by the in-air WIFI connection which was limited to 20MB if you are not an Emirates Skywards member. The connection was reliable and the speeds were really good, however, this was dependent on where you are flying as there seemed to be no connection over certain countries.
Power point and USB charging
The A380 airline had a power point and USB charging under the inflight entertainment systems which was really handy. I used the USB port to charge my phone and power socket to charge my camera. Both charged without any problems.
City Stay Prime Hotel Apartment, Behind Mall of Emirates, Al Bahwan Tower, Al Barsha, Dubai
Arriving at Dubai airport, we got a taxi to our hotel which was located behind the Mall of Emirates. The journey from airport to the hotel was about 20 minutes. I had pre-booked the taxi online and the hotel through Expedia who was offering good deals at the time.
Above Images are from https://www.booking.com/hotel/ae/city-stay-prime-apartment.html
As the hotel was located behind the Mall of Emirates it was really convenient for us to go shopping and eat out as the hotel itself did not have a restaurant. Nevertheless, the hotel was really clean and had all modern facilities. The rooms were rather large and the beds were comfy. All the rooms were fully air conditioned which was essential as the temperature was very high at that time (around 37° C during the day and 30° C at night!). As this was an apartment, we had a large kitchen area, living room and a balcony in each room.
- Clean and modern
- Reasonable price
- 4 star hotel
- Comfortable Stay
- Nice pool on the roof
- Free WiFi
- 24 Hour Reception
- My Hotel rating –
Day 1 – Visiting the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab, Palm Atlantis, Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains
Premium Ticket – Big Bus Tours – https://www.bigbustours.com/en/dubai/dubai-bus-tours/
I pre-booked tickets for the sightseeing tour bus (see above link for more info) and planned the attractions to visit in advance. This was an excellent way to see the main attractions as the bus included 3 different routes around Dubai including, City Tour (red route), Marina Tour (blue) and Beach Tour (green).
On my first day in Dubai I took the ‘Big Bus Tour’ bus from my nearest stop (Mall of the Emirates. I decided to sit on the top of the double-decker bus as it had an open roof top. Although I was able to capture breathtaking pictures sitting at the top, the only downside was the heat and humidity as the temperature rose to 37° C.
Taking the hop-on hop-off bus allowed us to spend our time at different attractions as it had regular journeys from the pick-up points. We spent the day visiting the Mall of the Emirates, Burj Al Arab/Jumeirah Beach and Palm Atlantis. In the evening, we returned to the Dubai Mall as the entrance to the Burj Khalifa was within the mall.
Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains
The Burj Khalifa is 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) tall and can be seen from almost anywhere around Dubai as it is the tallest building in Dubai (and the world!). It is three times taller than the Eiffel Tower in France. I had the opportunity to visit the Burj Khalifa at levels 124 and 125 and experience the magnificent aerial view of Dubai. I was amazed by the lift speed which took me from the ground floor to the top level 124 in just ONE minute.
We spent the rest of the evening watching the spectacular Dubai Fountain show comprising of water fountains choreographed to music. The first fountain show started at 6pm and was repeated every half hour with each show lasting for about 5 minutes. This was located just outside the Dubai Mall next to the Burj Khalifa. It was the perfect way to spend the evening and I would highly recommend all tourists to see this attraction.
Day 2 – Visiting Gold Souk, Textiles & Spice Souk, Dubai Gurdwara and Marina Boat Cruise.
On the second day, we decided to visit the Deira area of Dubai, which is home to the famous Gold Souk and Textiles & Spice Souk. Although this area can be reached on the tour bus (linked above), we decided to go by car due to changes in plan.
The Textiles Souk is located near the Bur Dubai Abra Station. This is next to the creek from where you can get a 1 Dirham (20p) boat journey across to the Gold Souk. The boats (known as abras) are small motorised water taxis used as shuttles to get people across the creek. As the boats were open, I was able to get a clear view of both sides of the creek. This journey took about 5 minutes each way.
There are many textile shops in the souk and you find yourself surrounded by vendors standing in the walkway offering deals on clothes and textiles. There are many shops selling textiles, ethnic shoes, t-shirts, essences, scarfs traditional clothing and much more!
The Spice souk is located near the Gold Souk. As the name suggests it is a souk where you can find all different types of spices from around the world for sale. The Spice Souk has a similar layout to both the Textiles and Gold Souk. When walking around, you will experience beautiful aromas and amazing colours of the spices.
Across the creek from the Bur Dubai Abra Dock is the Gold Souk where, as you will have guessed from the name, all the gold shops are located. If you are interested in jewellery or are jewellery shopping then this place is a must visit. Walking around the souk you will see gold displays everywhere at the shop fronts. This is truly a unique experience. I would recommend spending around 1-2 hours at each of these three souks.
Guru Nanak Darbar Dubai Gurdwara (Sikh Temple)
I got a chance to visit the Dubai Gurdwara which is located in Jebel Ali, Al Muntazah, Dubai. The Gurdwara is located just outside the main city in the Jebel Ali Village. It is built beautifully and has amazing architecture and decor.
Being Sikh myself, I enjoyed visiting the gurdwara in another country and spending a few hours looking around. All backgrounds and faiths are welcome to visit the gurdwara and can receive a free meal (known as Langar). You can get to the gurdwara by taxi as it is outside the main city or by metro train to the IBN Bututa Metro station and then getting a taxi/Uber to the Gurdwara.
Find out more: http://www.gurudwaradubai.com/
Marina Boat Cruise
Lastly, in the evening of the second day we went on the Marina Boat Cruise which was included in the Premium Big Bus Tour ticket I had purchased. The cruise lasted around 90 minutes and went around the Dubai Marina and creek. We sat on the top deck and admired the views in the perfect warm weather. The views were breathtaking as the boat went past many of Dubai’s grand buildings.
The boarding is located at the Dubai Marina Promenade-West (behind Lotus Marina). On board they offered food, including ice-cream and alcoholic/ non-alcoholic drinks for purchase. We also had access to a fully air-conditioned lower deck and open upper deck of the boat and got a complimentary welcome drink.
Thanks for reading. If you have any feedback please leave it below.
– Kam 🙂
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