The very first time I travelled to Dubai, I thought I had entered a concrete jungle. All I could see were a bunch high-rise buildings and tons of skyscrapers, especially when you enter the city(Dubai Marina area) coming in from Abu Dhabi.
I was so struck by all of the tall buildings, big yachts, luxury cars, seeing gold here and diamonds there, and of course all of the luxury shops you can imagine right in the middle of a desert. It was clear to me that I had arrived in the Las Vegas of the Middle East(the only thing missing were the casinos – which are obviously not allowed in an Islamic country ).
Although the UAE is an Islamic country with strict laws, the city of Dubai is(besides the modern, yet conservative Abu Dhabi), the most westernized of the emirates. Dubai is very touristy, but then again, you will never become bored(only if you choose to!).
I’ve travelled to Dubai 3 times now and I have to say that it’s still an interesting place where oddly enough I feel very safe. I can walk around with my bag wide open, and no one would even try to steal anything from it(but that’s a story for a different blog post…)
With that being said, a fun week in Dubai can easily look like this:
- Go shopping at the most glitzy and biggest shopping malls of the world including the Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Marina Mall, Dubai Festival City Mall. For those that are not into shopping malls, Dubai also has some lovely souks like the Souk Madinat, Dubai Mall Souk(okay this one is inside the Dubai Mall), Spice Souk, Gold Souk(in the older part of Dubai – Deira).
- Cool down at the Jumeirah Open Beach(JBR) or Jumeirah Beach Park ( which has special access days for ladies and children only!). I believe the last one is closed until October 2016 for some renovations, but if you get a chance to visit Dubai, definitely pay a visit to this lovely beach and clean park.
- Experience the Dubai Marina Walk, which is a 7 km pedestrian trail around the entire Dubai Marina area( You can shop, jog, have lunch, dinner while enjoying a view of the marina full of yachts and high-rises)
- Experience Dubai from either the 125th or the 148th floor of the world’s tallest building: The Burj Khalifa.
- Watch the dancing fountain show at the Dubai fountain(right next to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa). FYI: these dancing fountains look a lot like the one in Vegas at Caesar’s Palace(but then again, it’s been created by the same architect).
- Go for High Tea at the most luxurious hotel in the world: The Burj Al Arab ( or just take a photo in front of it, like I did!! At the Souk Madinat you can have a great view of the Burj Al Arab).
Have you been to Dubai? What are your thoughts about this glitzy, modern, yet Islamic city right in the middle of the desert? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. xo – Jey.