My Dubai Review – Part 1

EN │ It has been a while when I was first visiting Dubai with Johannes. Because of him, as Dubai is one of his favorite cities, I also needed to see that beauty in the desert. First I didn´t know what to expect and actually it was never on my travel radar. Now it is one of my favorite cities too, I´ve ever visited so far. What amazed me and why you should visit the middle east I will tell you in this blog post. I’ve been thinking a lot how to write about my Dubai travel blog post and it took me a couple of months but finally I found some time to do that. Since we saw so many beautiful things on this trip and I really want so share my experience with you, I have decited to split the blog posts. So, let´s start and enjoy!

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DUBAI

Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. The country has become symbolic for its man-made islands, largest shopping malls in the world and sky-rise buildings such as the Burj Khalifa and Mall of Emirates.

Dubai is really  a beautiful city. At a glance, it’s quite easy to forget that this place is actually a desert that has been reclaimed and built over – waterfalls, green grass everywhere… just amazing!  The main city is extremely modern, but there are still areas where you can appreciate the “old Dubai”.

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To really see and feel the city I recommend you to rent a car so you can be flexible. Car rental and gas is very cheap in Dubai. I couldn´t believe it when Johannes told me about the prices until we´re the first time at the gas station. I think it was about 0,50 Dollar for ¼ Gallon. It can´t be cheaper, or what do you think? We were a lot driving around and just looking at how unique the buildings here are. It felt a little bit like you’re driving in circles. It’s very easy to drive in Dubai, everything is very close, so you can get very fast from one place to another.

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A lot of people (like my parents) seem to have the misconception that all women in Dubai have to be all covered up. But since Dubai is an open and global city, they have embraced the more modern way of living. Roughly speaking you can wear anything you want, but of course, there are still some places that will require you to dress appropriately, which is normal, isn´t it? The other thing I really liked about Dubai is the language, everyone is speaking English which makes the communication much more easier.

ACCOMODATION

We were staying at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Placed on the famous Sheikh Zayed Road, minutes’ drive from Dubai Mall – to me it´s one of the most perfect city hotels. The hotel is an eye-catching steel-and-glass high-rise harbor and one of the top-ranked business hotels in the Middle East. The whole lux starts already in the lobby, beautiful flowers everywhere, everything is so clean and fresh although the temperature outside was near 40 degrees. Gliding up in an panoramic lift to our 40th floor room I was breathtaking by the view. The room was very luxurious with gold details but still very modern and chic.

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WHAT TO DO IN THE MALLS

Dubai is really a shopping heaven itself but the malls here offer enjoyment beyond simply the pleasure of shopping. I have heard that the sale prices are very intense but unfortunately there wasn´t sale season when we were there, that didn´t stop me from buying shoes and believe me you have never seen such a shoeheaven like in the Mall of the Emirates. I´m sure you understand in which situation I was put in.

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Every mall in Dubai has his own attraction – The Mall of the Emirates has the Ski Dubai. I was very excited to see this, because there was a lot in the media about the opening and it´s really an amazing place. You only have to think about – Snow in the desert! How crazy is that! Well, I guess it is also a lot of fun to ski there, but for me real snow is real snow, so I was more focused on the architecture of the mall, which is very beautiful and unique. I have never been in a mall before where every single corner smells so fresh and clean, like you are in some spa or something. I guess the smell I will always remember.

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The other mall that we´ve visited was the Dubai Mall. This mall, like the Mall of the Emirates has also its own attractions – a giant aquarium in the middle and the Dancing fountains in front of the mall and Burj Khalifa. The dancing fountain show is something that you shouldn´t miss when you are here. The performances are completely free and can be seen from various locations. We were having dinner in one of the restaurants outside with first row seating, while enjoying the show. Please, don´t ask me what we were eating, because I just can´t remember.

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You can see one of the Michael Jackson Thriller – performance on my youtube channel.

Dancing fountain – Michael Jackson

THE FAMOUS BURJ KHALIFA

Not only that it´s currently the tallest building in the world it is really an architectural masterpiece. Of course we needed to see the building and the famous view from the two observation decks called At the Top on the 124th and the 148th Floor. You’ll first walk past multimedia exhibits chronicling the construction of the Burj Khalifa before squeezing into a lift that whisks you to the 124th floor (452m) at a speed of 10m per second. I think it didn´t last a minute when we already arrived At the Top. The view is breathtaking, I just couldn´t stop looking around. Depending on the weather conditions you can also see The Palm and The World from there. The prices are between 35 and 40 Dollar, but note that the prices are going up during prime hours (around sunset). Although, for us it was an experience worth the money.

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DUBAI MARINA WALK

Dubai Marina is an amazing district in Dubai and most luxurious man-made bay in the world! Also it is like a small city inside Dubai with a lot of skyscrapers and unique towers. But above that it is a top place in Dubai where people want to rent an apartment. If we´re ever moving to the UAE than I want to live there. The district is very close to the beaches, there is everything you need, supermarkets, restaurants, parks, very close to down town Dubai – just perfect. The whole district reminds me of London, since there are a lot of supermarkets and shops from the UK.  Johannes and I were going for a walk there and we´re in love with this place. I can only recommend to visit.

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THE SOUKS

Dubai is known for really cheap gold — but you’ll have to haggle for it. Whether or not you’re ready to buy, a stroll through the dazzling Gold Souk is a must. It´s placed on the Baniyas Road in Deira so the best way to go there is with a cab or driving by your own. But note that there are no parking places or it was only a problem for us finding one. The stores offer really everything from gold to platinum, diamonds and occasionally silver. I have never seen so many gold and diamonds in one place. The interesting thing is that the prices are not by the design only by the weight. If you are good at gold prices than you can buy good gold for low price. We were not that prepared so it was a little bit tricky for me buying gold there. I felt it very interesting just to walk throw the streets and see all those shiny things.

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Near the Gold Souk is also a Spice Souk – for those who love spices from the middle east. Above the whole luxury this is more like the “old Dubai”- very traditional, there are no skyscrapers and beautiful Hotels, the streets are also not that clean like in down town Dubai. Still I find it very interesting to see the traditional arabian way of living.

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At the beginning I was talking about renting a car when you are in Dubai, so the reason why is because it would be a shame not to visit the desert and have that magical experience I had when I first saw the desert.  I was never before in a desert so I was very excited about our trip. After a few days in Dubai we decided to drive to Abu Dhabi. What we saw there and what we experienced i will tell you in the next blog post.

I hope you liked it so far and I´m very excited about your comments.

xx Karolina

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