If you are flying Emirates Airlines internationally, odds are you have a layover in Dubai. If you do, I highly suggest taking a few days here. In fact, Emirates Airlines encourages it by allowing you to take a layover at no additional cost.
I am a carry on type of girl. Mainly, because my clothes are the size of doll clothes and I can pack three times as much clothing as the average person. But also, I am extremely impatient and getting in and out of the airport as quickly as possible is very important to me. Emirates Airlines had another thing coming for me, they only allow a 17KG (37 lbs) carry on, so I was forced to check. I was initially anxious/annoyed about this. Would they lose my bag? How long would this take? etc. However, I have to be honest with you, it was heaven not having a bag! And it was also heaven knowing that people weren’t lugging their “carry ons” (aka over sized bags) on the plane and taking forever to sit down. Can you tell I am impatient?
Emirates Airline is wonderful, their staff and service is amazing and the food is so much better than other airlines. They have a great movie selection to keep you busy and entertained. Although coach on Emirates is extremely comfortable, the real treat are for those who book first class. You even have the option to get your own room with a shower if you can spring for it.
Speaking of first class, one trick I’ve used over the years is waiting to book my first class right at the counter before boarding. The seats aren’t going to all be taken and most airlines are usually willing to cut a deal with the wasted inventory, but with Emirates unreal first class, they block this tactic. I’m 4’11” and spending $3,000 for extra leg room is hard to justify.
Now on to Dubai.
Dubai is an amazing city and exceeded every expectation I had. It is over the top and they treat their guests as if they are sultans of their own respective universe.There are a lot of things to check out, The Burj Khalifa, the Gold Souk, indoor skiing, giant aquariums, safari, sky diving, boating and so much more. The architecture is amazing, hotels stunning, wonderful food and people welcoming. Even the Uber’s are great, which brings me to my next point, travel.
Uber’s are the easiest and also happen to be government controlled and subsidized. Dubai being Dubai, they give their driver’s beautiful new Lexus’. Taking Uber’s everywhere is highly recommended. It really added to the comfortability of traveling to the different area’s by feeling safe, not worrying about directions, or being overcharged.
Dubai Train: Absolutely beautiful train and train stations. Inexpensive and an easy way to get to the following spots.
What area to stay in?
- Downtown: Very cool area, right next to the Burj khalifa (the tallest building in the world at 828 meters Almost 1000 feet taller than the freedom tower in NYC) Here you can watch the awesome fountain show! Sounds silly, right? It’s not, the fountains will shoot up, what seems as tall as the buildings, in tune with blaring music from Michael Jackson, Enrique Englasias, and others. Strangely, this is incredible.
- The Palm: This is the man made island that is shaped like a palm tree. It is very cool with ultra lux hotels like the One&Only and Atlantis. Very relaxing and laid back
- The Marina: This is a great place to walk around the board walk, check out the mega yachts and take in the amazing architecture.
We stayed at the luxurious, Palace Downtown, and loved it here. It was a central area with beautiful rooms, service, food and pool. It was a great place to have a home base while checking out this amazing city for two nights. This hotel has some great restaurants and some where you can watch the fountains how. To get to the Marina and the palm was an easy 15 min uber ride.
What to wear?
This is my personal advice, as is this whole blog, but cover up, it is respectful. You will definitely see a lot of people not covered up but the majority of people are dressed more conservatively. Don’t be THAT person.
Burj khalifa is a must, it is the tallest building in the world, of course you have to go! I do have to say its a rip off in terms of how expensive it is. It’s about a $100 per person to go to floor 124 and then $130 per person to go to floor 148. 148th floor is worth the extra cash, its a nicer lounge with much less people in it with stunning views.
We took the time to check out the 7 start hotel, that’s right 7 stars!!! The Burj Al Arab! It was AMAZING. If you are not staying at the luxurious hotel, you will need to make a reservation for tea, drinks or dinner beforehand to be allowed on the property. Most of the seatings require a minimum, which is usually around $200.
Excursion of choice
Desert: My last piece of advice in Dubai is to do this. There are some awesome safari’s which include camel trekking, dune buggies, dinner, sand boarding, land rover cruising, or for the fancy, cruising in Ranger Rover’s and having five course meals served to you. If you haven’t been engulfed by a desert before, it is absolutely beautiful. You are in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a world of gently rolling sand dunes. Almost all of the tours have dinner included. It’s cultiural and you will be under the most starlit sky you have ever seen. We saw belly dancing, ate traditional foods, got a henna tattoo star gazed, and smoked hookah all while meeting interesting people.
If you have the opportunity, go.