Dubai had always been on my bucket list as it was so intriguing to me. The mix of so many western cultures in the heart of the Middle East, modern and chic with the ties to tradition. I was so excited when I was invited by the Dubai Tourism to spend a week discovering all that Dubai has to offer from sites, to tastes, history to nightlife. Dubai has it all and it’s all 5 star!
First of all, getting there is already a luxurious adventure. Emirates is THE airline for travelers heading to Dubai, offering non-stop flights from points all over the globe. I was lucky enough to fly non-stop from Los Angeles in the most 5-star of ways, business class. However, it’s basically first class as their first class is a private room!
The service is impeccable and the food, delicious. But being able to fully lie down in your own bed and watch movies in the coziness of your own pod is second to none! Plus you can hang out at the bar, if you so choose!
I was excited to spend a full week on Jumeirah Beach. Having access to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the famous Burj Al Arab and the beautiful Madinat. The rooms all have beach views with wonderfully large suite living space (or shall I say “sweet” living). Boasting several restaurants and bars, gorgeous pools, spa, shopping as well as access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark, there is something for everyone.
One of our first stops, and rightfully so, was the Burj Khalifa. For now, the tallest building in the world, it is a sight to behold, inside and out. Entry is through the Dubai Mall, also quite impressive. With 360 views of Dubai from sea to desert, it’s an incredible feat in human engineering as well as a really cool attraction for all ages.
The desert heat can get to you, especially in the summer months so it’s always a fun idea to head over to Ski Dubai at Mall of Emirates. A full ski slope, inside a mall, this is also an astounding thing to see in person. You can see the enclosed slope from the freeway but inside, it is a veritable winter wonderland. Whether you ski, snowboard or snow tube, you can do it here. Rentals and snowsuits are included and you can enjoy the snowy park for as long as you like.
While I love the modern part of Dubai, I was itching to learn about it’s history. Old Dubai is the hub for all things Dubai history from the historic buildings and museums to various souks (open air shopping bazaars). In Bastakiya, a replica of what the old settlement looked like, we were treated to a wonderful cultural presentation and tour. A really great way to get to know the country and its people.
Dubai is well known for its seaside real estate. From the famous World and Palm man-made islands to miles of clear coastline, it’s no wonder so many vacation here. Kite Beach is one of those lovely beaches and has so much to offer. Incredible shipping container eateries, fun obstacle courses and activities for all ages – there is so much more to Dubai beaches than just sand and surf. And Kite Beach in particular is where you can kite surf and fly kites, helping pepper the sky with all sorts of beautiful colors.
You can’t and shouldn’t miss a trip into the desert when in Dubai. I was lucky enough to enjoy a fun-filled evening with Platinum Heritage Safari, the coolest way to get a taste of desert life. Riding in vintage Land Rovers, you get to chase the sunset, and possibly wildlife, as you race over sand dunes. The safari takes you to a lovely camp where a feast and cultural entertainment is lined up for the evening as well as camel rides and henna body painting!
Okay, so where do the hipsters hang out? The Al Serkal District! What was once a warehouse district is now a cool art scene. From galleries to chic dining and shopping, this is where you can get a dose of cool, before the rest of the city does!