Dubai has never been on my bucket list and to go there was a very spontaneous decision. I just came back from my summer vacation in Bulgaria and immediately started thinking where to go next…One of my best friends lives there and I decided that it was time to visit this fairy fancy place.
I booked the tickets and knew I’ll have a great time as I was supposed to hang out with the locals.
The first two days we spent relaxing in swimming pools as it was pretty hot to go to the beach…
After this short break I made a list of all the must-do-highlights-in few days in UAE: visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, go on the top of Burj Khalifa, watch the dancing fountains, take stunning photo shoots of Burj al Arab, visit the old part of Dubai, visit the Creek, go souvenir shopping in Madinat Jumeirah, go on a safari in the desert, visit Abu Dhabi.
The Aquarium, Burj Khalifa, and the fountains are located at Dubai Mall. I started with the Aquarium as my Burj Khalifa visit was already pre-booked. The Aquarium is really big and offers a lot to see from jellyfish, clownfish to sharks and alligators. A special place was dedicated to local fauna and you could see there the black scorpion, falcon, bulging owl, and others.
Before going on the top of Burj Khalifa, stopped by Magnolia Bakery – very stylish and cozy place hidden from the shopping crowd. A coffee with a delicious cake is always a good idea in the middle of such a day….
At the top of the world! As I already mentioned Dubai was not on my bucket list, but Burj Khalifa was….together with the Eiffel tour and Pisa tower ( I did them all)…I had a guided tour and as it was around 19.30 I could see the dancing show of the fountains from above. The panoramic view of the city with the dancing fountains was out of this world.
After being at the top of the city it was time for dinner show: watching the dancing fountains from the first line and without all the tourists and crowd around. We went to Carluccio’s and had a table just in front of the fountains. The show continues for about three hours and among different kind of “performances”, you can see Burj Khalifa changing its lighting as well. The best dinner show I’ve ever had!
The next day I headed for an organized tour to Abu Dhabi. One day is more than enough to visit the capital of UAE. For me, the highlights of this trip were the Emirates Palace and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The palace is a luxury hotel well-known for its architecture and myriad of offerings its guests. The second must-see attraction was Sheikh Zayed Mosque. The mosque was finished in 2007 and is entirely white and gold from outside and luxuriously arranged from the inside. Materials from all around the world have been used to create this architectural chef-d’oeuvre like marble stone, gold, Swarovski crystals, and ceramics. The carpet in the main hall is considered to be the largest in the world.
I spent an entire afternoon wandering the old part of Dubai as well as trying to negotiate gifts at the traditional souks near the Creek. I went there by lunchtime and as It was hot and heavy outside, you could have not seen any single tourist especially in the old part, so I was far away from the touristic beaten path….I enjoyed playing the negotiation game at the traditional souks just for fun, see If I can get some nice souvenirs for a good price…
The last day of my stay I went to Medinah Jumeirah, which is also close to Al Qasr Hotel and Burj Al Arab. Madinat Jumeirah is a Souk, away from the crowd in the Creek and the Dubai Mall shoppers where you can buy souvenirs that you won’t find anywhere else. I bought a pair of oriental slippers (babouches).
In the afternoon I was picked up or an organized safari in the desert. I booked it with Arabian Adventures and enjoyed it a lot. We could see wild animals in the desert, we stopped to admire the sunset, we had a lot of time to take pictures of us jumping in the sand, we rode a camel, had photo shooting in traditional clothes, got a henna tattoos, smoked shisha, did sand boarding, had a great dinner with belly dancer performing for us, enjoyed stargazing and all of that only for one night and on a reasonable price! Definitely, recommend you to go to the desert at least once, the experience is breathtaking.
So my journey came to its end with a lot of pictures and memories for life….