A few years ago, my friend and I started a travel website called www.thetraveltrail.com where we shared content for backpackers by backpackers of the best places to travel to around the world. The site took a lot of hard work and eventually we decided to take a break from it, but the site is still there if you fancy taking a look.
I found myself on it recently and reminded myself of how much I enjoy travel writing. I do a fair bit of travelling during the year so decided to try my hand at writing my first travel post for my blog and see whether you lovely people enjoy it and I can add it as another string to my bow for this site.
I have wanted to visit Dubai for years, but have never gotten around to booking a trip there, mainly because life has always gotten in the way. At the start of this year, my best friend Rosie decided this would be the year we visited and using her nifty sales hunting skills, found us a complete bargain for a 5 day trip to Dubai.
Myself and three other girls flew from Gatwick on a Friday evening, we stayed in the Habtoor Grand on Jumeira Beach and below is an outline of the jam packed itinerary we created for ourselves whilst we were out there:
As soon as we landed we headed off to a boozy beach brunch at Blue Marlin which turned out to be on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. We had a roomy beach bed for the four of us, unlimited mojitos and an amazing spread of brunch food that blew any brunch dishes in London out of the water. We were hop skip and jump away from the sea (even though the water was so warm it did nothing to cool us down) and were accompanied by a soulful acoustic band for the day. It was the perfect intro to Dubai!
I’ll admit I left most of the planning of this trip to the 3 extremely organised girls that I went with and our first night in Dubai led us to a club called ‘White.’ It was an open air club located above the race course with panoramic, Instagram worthy views of Dubai’s skyline. As we were girls our entry and drinks were free – we found this happened in most places, even if it wasn’t ladies day. Whereas groups of men needed to book tables (and spend a small fortune) if they wanted to enter a club. The music was incredible and my favourite kind – hip hop- and half way through the night the bar turned into a stage and a rapper called Designer bounced onto the stage for an energetic performance. I couldn’t wipe the Cheshire cat grin off my face all night.
I’ve been to pool parties across Europe before, but this one was so much better than any others that I have been to. Not only because it had an incredible backdrop of the sea and Dubai’s skyscrapers, but the atmosphere was much more relaxed than most pool parties. There were no rowdy drinkers, no loud groups, no fights, instead, mingling among the young crowd were old couples and young families. Part way through the day a guy waded into the middle of the pool and started playing the saxophone whilst a suspended bubble machine covered us in a mist of bubbles. And of course, the cocktails were free for girls.
With the Burj being officially the tallest building in the world, it’s safe to say the views from the top were EPIC. We booked to go up just before sunset so were able to see the transition from day to night, where each skyscraper becomes illuminated and the city turns into a mini Las Vegas. I could say more on this, but the picture below probably does it more justice.
I loved this afternoon! We were picked up by our tour guide in a 4×4 and driven out to the desert along with a convoy of other jeeps and he drove ( like a mad man) up and down the sand dunes of the Arabian desert. It was the most unadulterated fun I had had in a long time, I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face as he tossed us around the car and spun across the sand. The trip ended with a stop at a traditional Bedouin camp where we ate traditional food and watched some fire and belly dancers perform.
I LOVE water parks and this one didn’t disappoint, It’s located inside the Atlantis Hotel which I’ve wanted to visit since it first opened ( I definitely did a little giddy dance as soon as I stepped inside!) The park is laid out like most others, there’s a relaxing lazy river that is prime for sun burning, a couple of restaurants, a children’s play area (which looked more fun than the rest of the park) and some pretty scary slides. I’m not normally so bad on rides, but the fact you free fall at water parks turns me into a complete wimp. I was dragged onto a group Kamikaze slide that I screamed through every second of but refused to try Poseidon’s Revenge, which involves standing on a trap door that OPENS and forces you down a vertical slide. The only part that disappointed me was the slide that travelled through the shark tank, I had seen it advertised on TV years ago and couldn’t wait to feel at one with the scary fish, but in reality it was hot, stuffy, bright (so you couldn’t actually see anything) and it was only the tail end of the slide that went through the tank.
Dubai totally exceeded my expectations, I felt as though I had stepped into a city 200 years into the future (either that or a district from the Hunger Games), their architecture is light years ahead of ours. I loved the richness in variety of things you could do there – be it in the desert, in a skyscraper, by the beach or in a pool, it’s a place not short of activities and adventures. I was apprehensive about making sure I dressed correctly whilst I was over there, but I pleasantly surprised at how incredibly polite and respectful the local people are. Plus, the year round hot weather helps, A LOT.
Have any of my lovely readers been to Dubai? If so, did you enjoy it?