29 JULY – 02 AUGUST 2016:
Dubai has never been on my bucket list of countries to visit. However my Mum and I were due to attend a wedding in the Seychelles and had booked our travel with Emirates, which required us to take a flight from London to Dubai and then a connecting flight from Dubai to Seychelles.
Instead of just spending 2 hours in Dubai airport, we decided to lengthen our stay and use the opportunity to spend a few days exploring Dubai. What many people don’t realise is that it doesn’t usually increase the flight cost – at least not in my experience! Therefore it’s a cost effective way to visit another country as part of your trip. Whenever I go to Philippines, I always fly with Singapore Airlines so I can stop in Singapore on the way. Whether I stop there for 1 hour or stay a whole week, the cost is the same, and I love Singapore so why not!
Anyway, back to Dubai….
Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On man-made islands just offshore is Atlantis, the Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks.
August is considered one of the two hottest months in Dubai, and temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius are considered normal. We experienced between 41 – 44 degrees each day, only lowering to around 37 degrees at night. I had hoped to get a bit of a sun tan but no such luck. It’s frankly too hot to be outside so people tend to stay in air conditioned buildings as much as possible. The humidity levels were extreme so it’s not very pleasant to be outdoors when you can’t even breathe!
Female Dress Code
- No tight-fitting or transparent garments in public
- No low-cut dresses
- Try and avoid sleeveless garments – a bit hard when it’s so hot most of the time
- No dresses or skirts above the knee
- If you’re visiting a mosque, take a scarf
- Leggings are not pants unless you’re wearing a tunic to cover your butt
- Swimmers are fine at hotel pools and private beaches, but try to stick to a one piece
Male Dress Code
- No shorts
- No singlets or shirts unbuttoned to show chests
- Anything more than a kiss on the cheek of your partner is inappropriate. A British couple spent a month in jail for kissing in public
- Don’t hold hands or hug in public
- Don’t even think about taking beers to drink on the beach!
- If a Muslim is praying, don’t walk in front of him or stare
- During Ramadan, the holy month of fasting for Muslims, there is a festival which takes place. Guests and tourists are also expected to abstain from alcohol, dancing, chewing gum, smoking and singing in public places during the day. This is obligatory according to Dubai law
Majestic Hotel Tower Dubai, is a 4 star Central Dubai Hotel located in Bur Dubai on the western side of the Dubai Creek.
We stayed at the Majestic hotel which was perfect for our needs, although a balcony would have made our stay more enjoyable! The hotel had a good choice of restaurants, including a Filipino one so we felt right at home! In fact, Dubai seemed to have tons of Filipino workers in the hotels and shops. The staff at the hotel were fantastic and all seemed to speak English well.
The hotel is located next door to a supermarket which was very convenient and meant we could save a little money on food as hotel restaurants are always quite expensive.
The Dubai Mall is a shopping mall in Dubai and the largest mall in the world by total area. Along with West Edmonton Mall in Canada, it’s the eighteenth largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area.
The Dubai Mall is huge and we got lost many times. They have a good variety of shops ranging from supermarkets to high street brands, and also texpensive designer shops that I can’t affird to set foot in to.
We had a lovely lunch at a Lebanese restaurant called Times of Arabia. They provide entertainment whilst you dine such as arabic dancing. Somehow we ended up being part of the show as they kept dancing around us. It was fun and embarassing at the same time!
We booked two cruises with Tour Dubai – one around the Marina and one at Dubai Creek – we thoroughly enjoyed both cruises and they were very reasonably priced!
Daily Indian Dinner Cruise – Dubai Creek
Tour Dubai introduce to you a new memorable cruising experience that you can cherish. Come to relish the taste of Indian Delicacies sailing in the cradle of Khor Dubai-the Dubai Creek. We have handpicked the traditional taste of Indian food which will savour your taste buds.
- Red Carpet Welcome
- Fresh Towels, Arabic Dates and Coffee upon Arrival
- Welcome Drink (non-alcoholic)
- Two hours cruising inclusive of a sumptuous Indian Buffet accompanied by a selection of soft beverages
- Background music (Popular Hindi/English/Arabic Songs) while having dinner
- Return transfers from/to any hotel/apartment in Dubai
- And lots more!!
Price: AED 150 Per Adult, AED 75 Per Child (without transfers) / AED 175 Per Adult, AED 100 Per Child (with transfers)
Daily Sight Seeing Tour – Dubai Marina
Climb aboard on one of our Dhow’s for a one-hour cruise and view the fascinating skyline and scenery of New Dubai. Our Marina Cruise tour operates 8 times a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year where our guests can savour the tour of the canal city along the Persian Gulf Shoreline.
The Tour Dubai Marina Cruise offers the most prominent sights of sky scrapers and surrounding residences around the Marina, this includes the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, the Dubai Marina Mall, a conglomerate of five-star hotels, and other fascinating architectures. You can enjoy the breath taking sights with our soft and melodious background music (Arabic/English).
Price: AED 65 Per Adult, AED 55 Per Child (without transfers)
A Few Dubai Facts
- The crime rate in Dubai is so low, the law is very strict. The crime rate is virtually 0% across Dubai so it’s considered one of the safest cities on earth.
- There are many opportunities to become rich and wealthy in Dubai. The residents of Dubai are not supposed to pay their personal income tax. So the income tax is totally 0%. They can earn a lot and save it!
- Sales of oil constitute only 6% of Dubai’s economy.The local economy is mainly based on real estate and tourism.
I’m sure there’s much more to do in Dubai but with only a few days there and the soaring heat we were a little restricted. I would definitely recommended taking both an evening cruise around Dubai Creek which is magical due to all of the city lights, and also a day time cruise of the Marina as you can see some fascinating architecture and some of the world’s greatest skyscrapers.