Dubai: A city full of wonders!
Although Dubai had been one of my second home before I settled here in Europe, still, this City never cease to amaze me. It was a lovely time with my family with our Oma Helga (grandma) where we experienced so many different things. I was just blown away by how many activities there were for all age groups, making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
When we landed in Dubai, I could not hold back my excitement upon seeing this gorgeous city again. A lot of things changed after I left this city last 2015. Dubai is lavishly beautiful city, but you don’t really understand it until you see it in person.
Saying there is a lot to do in Dubai feels like an understatement. During my time there, I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface of 25% of what there is to do. I’m going to share with you all some of my favorite parts of our family’s Dubai trip, and hopefully (one day) can post another Dubai blog! Maybe I should use this as an excuse to go again? Not sure how my husband would feel about it though…
WHERE WE STAYED
Although there are many things to experience in Dubai, having a nice hotel does not hurt! We stayed at the wonderful Jumeirah Creekside Hotel. This luxury hotel not only has comfortable accommodations, but also includes a multitude of indoor restaurants and cafes to eat from. These eateries have cuisines from all over the globe and for all dietary restrictions. One of these restaurants is even on the rooftop, so you get to enjoy the nice warm weather and a great view with your meal. This trip involves a lot of walking, so you may not need to use their world-class gym. However, you may want to indulge in their spa services to get some relaxation after a long day.
WHAT DID WE GET UP TO IN DUBAI?
One of the most interesting places we explored was the Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall. This aquarium includes a 10-million-liter tank and over 140 species of marine life. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there seeing all of the aquatic life swimming around me in the tunnel-like aquarium. It was like walking through the ocean! Although I didn’t do all of the Aquarium’s experience additions, there are so many ways you can turn this trip to the aquarium into memories that will last forever.
Some additions you can add are: ray encounters, conversations with shark trainers, snorkeling cage, and a shark walker. Below I have put a brief description of each of these activities.
Ray encounters: Meet stingrays in a safe environment and spend time feeding them. It’s a great way for kids to learn about rays up close while under the supervision of professionals.
Shark trainers: Professional shark trainers will sit with you and your family to teach you all about sharks. From their environment to breeding patterns, everything is covered! After learning about sharks, you can assist the trainers by getting into the water with them and help train the Bamboo and Leopard sharks.
Snorkeling cage: This is great for those who don’t have scuba diving experience, but want to try something similar. You get to jump into the giant 10-million-liter tank and swim with all the marine life it holds. There are two options for this experience – you can either jump straight in, or dive into a secure cage. Depends on what you feel comfortable with.
Shark walker: Do you love sharks so much you want to be among them? This is the perfect experience for you! For an additional charge of AED 620, you get to walk among them…well, they swim, you walk. You will be given an oxygenated helmet so that you can breathe underwater and “walk” with the sharks while in the safety of a cage.
DUBAI DANCING FOUNTAIN
I never thought I would say that going to a fountain would be one of my favorite things to see on holiday, but Dubai has proved me wrong. This incredible water show is over 900-feet long and fires water 50 stories high! This show may happen every 30 minutes, but I can definitely say that I don’t think you can get tired of watching it. I personally didn’t!
The Dancing Fountain is located next to the Dubai mall, so it is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping. You can sit by the fountain and watch the incredible show. However, if you want to get a better view of the water show, you can book a ticket for the Dubai Fountain Lake Ride which gives you “front row seats” to this spectacle. I did not do this personally and felt I had a great view, but if you want more out of this experience then this could be an option!
DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN
When the weather begins to cool down in Dubai, the Dubai Miracle Garden opens for business. With over 150 million flowers, this is the LARGEST natural flower garden in. the. WORLD. Pretty surprising for a desert, right? This garden is only possible with its careful re-use of wastewater – so it’s not hurting the environment by existing (which is always nice).
There are a multitude of pretty sceneries in the Miracle Garden, but my favorite would have to be the Umbrella Tunnel. This tunnel’s ceiling is made from colorful upside-down umbrellas, with green plants hanging between each section. It is the perfect place for pictures and picnics! With social distancing regulations, you may feel more comfortable eating outside, this is the best place for that. At the Miracle Garden, there are chairs and tables set up everywhere for you to enjoy a lovely meal or tea.
Another spectacular attraction is that of the true to size model of their Airbus A380 plane, covered in flowers and plants. This structure is so big it takes 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants to cover all of it! It is a must see for anyone who comes to visit this garden.
Atlantis is famous in most countries as a beach resort destination. However, it is so much more than that. It is a wonderful place with the largest aquarium in the region, the world’s largest water park, AND celebrity chef owned restaurants. No matter where you go in Atlantis, you will find many activities that will entertain you or your family.
My favorite part was probably the water park – it was perfect for the hot weather! Yes, even the winters are still hot there. The water park has 79 slides, so that everyone can enjoy the rides regardless of their fear tolerance. After going on a thrill-seeking high, I wanted to relax a bit with my family. There are many bars and restaurants to enjoy while there, but if you are with kids I would recommend the Wave House as it has activities for all ages.
DUBAI GOLD SOUK
This golden maze is a must-go spot regardless of if you plan on buying jewelry. The wild collection of walkways filled to the brim with jewelry merchants feels quite surreal. I don’t think I have ever seen so much gold in one place – if only I had the money to buy a lot of it! One thing I found interesting were the hours of these souks. Though many sites say the souk is opened from 10 AM to 10 PM, most shops are closed between 1 PM and 4 PM. Be mindful of what time you go and always make sure to barter if you do decide to buy some jewelry.
Dubai has a multitude of strict regulations on the stores in the gold souk, so don’t worry too much about the authenticity of the gold when buying from stores. Here is a great article on how best buy jewelry here if that is your plan.
Some of you may know Dubai Creek by its name, Khor Dubai, but whichever name you call it, it is such a fantastic breather from the day. This natural creek is the perfect way to take a minute, sit down, and take a breath of fresh air. I loved Dubai, but after going and seeing so many sites, it was nice to have a minute to stop and enjoy nature for a bit.
After relaxing, I was pleased to find that there were a multitude of local restaurants close by so I could also try the local cuisine. Dubai may have award-winning restaurants, but I think it is important to try the food of the locals as well.
At the Dubai Creek, there is a unique…building (not sure if it’s considered a building) called the Dubai Frame at Zabeel Park. It looks like a GIANT picture frame, but it actually features one of the best views of the city. You can ride up the elevator to get to the top of the Frame, and walk along the sky glass bridge where you can see both “old” and “new” Dubai. Be warned though, this bridge is transparent below, so if you are scared of heights this may not be for you.
Along the Creek there are also many other souks selling spices, textiles, and even gold. Dubai has such beautiful textiles and powerful spices. I think it is important to visit these souks and support the local business owners – you should still haggle though!
One of my final stops in Dubai was the special event: Global Village. This wondrous event happens during the cooler months of the year. This year it is being held from October 26th to April 10th. The Global Village is pretty true to its name, housing a variety of spectacles that showcase the cultures of 80 different countries. There was so much to see that I really felt like I was walking around the world. That being said…make sure to wear comfortable shoes, or you’ll end up with swollen feet!
The amazing cultural showcases aren’t the only thing to appreciate at Global Village though. With all these different countries showing the best part of their cultures, you know that there is going to be some delicious food to eat. In the center, my family and I enjoyed wonderful dishes from all over the world in one shared space. It definitely is heaven for foodies like me!
Visiting Dubai again was such a memorable and fun trip. I really hope to go again and see what else is out there! When you have the opportunity to go, definitely take it. Let me know in the comments where in Dubai I missed out on, I will add it to my list for next time!
Thank you for reading and hope you all have a wonderful day!
If you like this article, please check out more of my Travel adventures HERE.