Oh, Dubai. We were waiting for you.
This is post 2/3 of my recent trip. (check the Abu Dhabi one here if you haven't already)
We had been waiting to finally see the spectacle that is Dubai. You hear stories about it from people who have traveled there and from friends who work for Emirates and live there. It really isn't real until you get there. Once you arrive into this shiny city, it hits you that you broke as f....
Yeah. Let's just say the wealth is apparent and in your face regularly while in Dubai. Nonetheless, you should see the city at least once in your life.
Friday, Dec 22, 2017
After the little hangover from our final night in Abu Dhabi, we proceeded to catching our bus to Dubai. I would suggest this mode of transportation for anyone going between the two cities as it is cheap and only takes 90 minutes, with shockingly comfy seats.
I said we were waiting to get to Dubai, but what I really meant was we were waiting to get to our hotel in Dubai. If I ever return to Dubai, it will be so that I may stay at the Five Palm Jumeirah again. This is the single most impressive hotel I have ever had the pleasure of staying in. The one in Abu Dhabi was cool and chill, this was a very different beast. The entrance is grandiose, the service is really five star and the pool was so damn sexy! When we arrived the lady at the front desk (shout out to Natasha!) explained all the hotels amenities and how they offer a complimentary shuttle service to both Mall of Emirates and Dubai mall. Furthermore, we got upgraded again! She put us in a partial sea view room for no extra charge. Upon entering our hotel room, let me tell you, love at first sight. The bathroom alone was beautiful with music controls so that you could stream the music from your TV to the bathroom. Also, the toiletries? Oh, Salvatore Ferragamo. Heavenly.
While we were on our trek from the bus station to our hotel we noticed that the 'strict' clothing guidelines all these message boards had warned us about were a bunch of bullshit. So, Sherry and I both threw on some maxi dresses and took an Uber into downtown Dubai to try and find some Pho. Blame Sherry for that idea, she had a craving for Pho and I just like eating and adventure. We got lost for a little while because (as it seemed for the entirety of our trip) people aren't too accurate when giving directions in Abu Dhabi or Dubai. We eventually found the Pho spot and filled our bellies while taking in some of the impressive architecture surrounding us. We hopped in an Uber to go back to our hotel and that is when I noticed another pattern, the Uber cars. It isn't like we were requesting nice cars to drive us around but ONLY nice cars were picking us up. Lexus. Lexus. BMW. Lexus. Lexus. Fine by me.
It was approaching sunset at the hotel so we decided to take a stroll throughout the beautiful property. First we took pictures by where the spa was overlooking our beautiful pool, followed by going to the 'Penthouse Bar' on the 25th floor. If you are someone who lives for a good view, make sure you go to that bar. It opens at 6pm and it is worth every penny you will spend up there on food, shisha or liquor. There is a shallow heated pool, I believe about three different eating areas and a view that one could only dream of. The staff was also really cool and attentive with some of them even assuring me they'd get me to try shisha one day. Good luck. It was a wonderful place to spend the rest of our night just gazing over Dubai.
Saturday, Dec 23, 2017
Naturally, we were up at 6:30am again. Our sleeping was still not ANYWHERE near normal so we figured if we were up we may as well head to the all-you-can-eat breakfast by the pool. This breakfast was different than the one in Abu Dhabi, this was really some fancy shit. There was a man there just baking donuts and fresh croissants. What? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE FOOD? OK. After filling up our bellies we chose our spot for a nice day poolside and went upstairs to throw our bikins on.
Oh, what a pool. The place is lined with palm trees, beach beds everywhere and each one had it's own button so that you could summon the staff to bring you food or drinks without ever having to leave your spot. I was finally in a place that treated me like I thought this whole time in my head I should be treated. There was a lot of construction on their beach unfortunately, but I assume when that is all done the beach would be used a lot as well. We spent about 3-4 hours at the pool but decided to finally leave as there was sadly an abundance of crying children everywhere. Not that I have issues with children existing, but when you are in your tiny bikini just trying to relax poolside in such a sexy atmosphere - it kind of ruins the mood.
I had pre-booked our tickets to go up to the top of the Burj Khalifa a month ahead. Thank goodness I did because as we arrived there all the times said 'unavailable' because it is probably the most famous tourist trap in Dubai. The tallest building in the world. I understand why people go up there, the view was pretty cool (even though the goddamn fog was out again) but do I need to go up there again? Not really. We chose our timing well because we were able to see Dubai in daylight, during the sunset above the clouds and then as night fell. If you do ever go, definitely pay more for the sunset time to visit. When we descended back down the 125 floors we paid $8 to go onto the walkway that was put out at the Dubai Fountain. We could have definitely watched FOR FREE from the sides like everyone else, but, we just had to be extra and stand on a long floating walkway for the duration of the first show. So the fountain has a choreographed water 'dance' every 30 minutes to different music, depending on when you are there, you will likely see something different. It was very quick, beautiful and it was interesting to watch how such a large crowd of people went so silent to witness it. Following that we did quick walk through of Dubai Mall. (Burj, Fountain + Mall are all connected) I'm not a big mall person because the crowds annoy me and as it was Christmas time, the mall was packed! It was cool to see that they had an aquarium inside and all the different stores I had never heard of/the ones I had heard of that I couldn't afford.
Sunday, Dec 24, 2017
There was a genuine sadness when we had to check out of our hotel. How could I leave somewhere so damn luxurious and awesome? Sigh. This hotel was so awesome that we were given the option to leave our bags, use the amenities still and then could shower and get changed in their spa and pick our bags back up later. Stupid fog ruined that whole plan so we went wandering around again. Our flight wasn't until 11pm so we had a lot of time to kill.
First we went to the Burj Al Arab because it looked so cool in pictures. I was not aware that you couldn't actually just walk around the place, it was tight security. So we walked down to the beach by it and admired it from afar. That may have taken a whole 23 minutes of our time that we had to kill. Horrible. Luckily the Mall of Emirates wasn't too far away so we called an Uber and went there to kill the rest of our time before our booked nighttime activity. So when you get to Mall of Emirates, unless you got some SERIOUS money to spend, don't go to the third floor first. Sherry and I looked around hella confused like???? I can't afford this, why did I come here? I seen a children's store for D&G. I didn't even know that was a thing. We went to the lower floors and many stores we could afford appeared. There was one souvenir store that we found and really found some good things in. Camel milk soap, pens, even found a mini-shisha for my boyfriend and bought the charcoal to go with it. Great find.
Now onto our evening activity - Dinner in the Sky Dubai. We had booked the tea time for this because having a view over Dubai marina at sunset sounded like the best option. Sadly, THE GODDAMN FOG was there again. Bane of our existence while in the UAE it seemed. The whole premise is that you will be hoisted 50m in the air while buckled to a seat and enjoy a small spread of treats while your feet dangle and you avoid looking down. I thought it was pretty cool, just wish it wasn't so damn foggy for the sunset and the overall picture taking I wanted to do. I really like that the chairs swiveled and also reclined like 90 degrees so I could test how much I valued my life over and over. We were also treated to a surprise magic show because it was Christmas Eve. Dude wasn't like David Copperfield, but it's the thought that matters right?
Long. Ass. Day.
We went and picked up our bags from the hotel and made our way to the infamous Dubai airport. When people tell you that it's busy - believe them. I had never seen such a busy airport in my life and I feel like being there on Christmas Eve was pushing it even more. People were standing on the conveyor belts and yelling orders at others, the people in all the lines had no less than like 10 boxes per family... chaos. I don't mind the chaos as long as everything was on time, but sadly our Sri Lankan flight was taking its sweet time to board. I made the mistake of going to the bathroom by our boarding gate and finding out it was a squat toilet. How the hell is this one of the busiest airports in the world and you have a squat toilet? Mans were tired, that was more work than I was ready to put in. Blah. We finally boarded, time for the Maldives.
If you're wondering the costs associated with this entire trip, make sure to click here. Gives a breakdown of what we paid for flight + stays.