Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Dubai 2014 | Desert Safari and the World's Largest Shopping Mall

In our next few days in Dubai we booked a desert safari. We booked through Planet Tours and found it amazing (our driver was Mr Abbas-he was so great and really made the tour special for us). It was such a different experience to everything I have ever done before. We got picked up at our hotel, and luckily we were able to have a 4x4 by ourselves as we were a family of 5 (in a smaller group you may be sharing). We headed out to the desert, and as soon as we got to the edge the tyres were taken down on the car, we then went straight into dune bashing, which is basically a roller coaster on sand. They then found us a great place to take some beautiful sunset desert pictures.

After a little more dune bashing we arrived at a camp in the middle of the desert, where we rode camels and my brother and dad went off on quad bikes around the desert dunes. At the camp we had henna tattoos, ate a BBQ dinner and watched a traditional Arabian dance as well as a belly dancer. I definitely think this is an experience not to be missed if travelling to Dubai. We had read some really negative reviews about the experience with some people talking about how crowded it was, but visiting at this time of year worked really well as there was lots of space and a very chilled atmosphere. 

The next day we headed out to the Dubai Mall in the evening. This was AS level results day so we went to Rainforest Cafe to celebrate my sister's results! We looked round a couple of shops, and walked around to look at the aquarium which is in the middle of the building, and the indoor theme park. At the end of the evening we went to the fountains to see the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world, right at the side of the Dubai Mall) and to watch the fountain show. It was such a crazy experience as it is literally massive, but definitely worth seeing, even though we didn't do any shopping!

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dubai 2014 | Off to UEA

Dubai is a place I have wanted to visit for such a long time so I was very excited when my family decided to book a week there in August. I've never been to the Middle East before so I was really looking forward to a very different kind of holiday (we have spent the last few summers in USA).

We had been given advice to stay at Jumeriah Beach Resort (JBR) area, and we chose apartments at Hilton the Walk. This was a great choice as we were able to have our own space but could still have the facilties at the hotel available. The Hilton apartments were great and we were lucky enough to be upgraded which was amazing. The first evening we settled into our apartment and ordered pizza to the room.

The next morning we headed out to the beach and pool. A lot of resorts have their own beach, so if you are booking a hotel it is a good idea to understand whether it has part of the beach, as using the beach at other hotels can incur a charge. I had been warned how hot Dubai would be, but I literally couldn't believe the heat! It was over 40 degrees everyday, and the sea was over 30 degrees, so like getting in a warm bath! We ate lunch at Wavebreaker, one of the hotels' restaurants, which was really nice but quite expensive. After a morning outside we went for a walk around the shops on The Walk, many of these were not yet open, many are under construction and are opening in September 2014. After our walk we went out for dinner at Frankie's which is Frankie Dettori's restaurant and it has such good food. They were so welcoming and made sure we had a really lovely time.