Dubai, a place to visit
June 28, 2019
by Elena Llorens
Dubai is a special place, so different from any other city. When I first moved to the United Arab Emirates in 2015 I didn’t know what to expect. More than three years later when I decided to finally leave and look for my new destination, I realized that living in Dubai was one of the best life experiences I could have. It is a city of possibilities where anything can happen. Being a brand new city, compared to our European towns, it may seem unreal at the beginning, artificial and futuristic. Then you visit Deira and the old town and you understand that Dubai is an incredible spot. It doesn’t matter if you are moving there, visiting for a week or having a quick stopover, the city has always something for you.
Most likely you are arriving at Dubai airport from any of the international flights. The easier way to move around from here is to take a taxi, taxis are quite cheap and the drivers know most of the hotels and main spots in the city. It will cost you around 50AED to go downtown and around 100AED to go to the Dubai Marina. Another good option is to take the Dubai metro from terminal 1 or terminal 3, it is the cheaper option, especially if you are going near any of the stops, but they tend to be in the middle of nowhere.
Now you are all set and want to explore the city, take a taxi, order an uber, catch the metro or even the bus. But keep in mind that Dubai is not a city to walk around from one place to the next. There is a big distance between the different spots, there are no many sidewalks and especially during the summer months, it is very hot. So if you are moving there I recommend you start using EKAR or Udrive or consider buying a car, it will definitely upgrade your quality of life. Another important aspect to consider when visiting Dubai is to avoid the rush hour during the week. It is crazy how all seven lanes are full of cars. Better to go to an area an explore it fully for the day, than to move up and down.
Things to do in Dubai
More things to do in the middle of the desert that one would imagine. As I mention before Dubai is full of options for everyone. There are certain places everyone should check out, but don’t worry when you are done with those and you still have many days left, you won’t be bored. Have you been to the tallest building in the world? Check out the Burj Khalifa and go At The Top on a clear day, visit the Dubai mall with its massive aquarium, the Opera, walk around the promenade… and please don’t miss the fountain show. It is every half an hour from 6 PM to 11 PM and it is just amazing. There are also many nice restaurants in the mall and the Boulevard, but some of my favorite spots are Claw, where you can enjoy a cold beer at the terrace, and La Postreria, with nice views to the Burj Khalifa, both at Souk Al Bahar.
Moving to a different area, you should check out the Dubai Marina, walk around the promenade, rent a boat or a yacht for the day with some friends, enjoy JBR and its beach bars and restaurants, jump out of a plane at Skydive Dubai or chill at one of the many beach clubs (I really like Zero Gravity and Barasti). One of my favorite spots here is The Observatory at the Marriot hotel. You can just walk there and grab a coffee or a cocktail at the bar with amazing views to The Palm Jumeirah. If you step to the restaurant area, then you have astonishing views of The Marina.
Burj Al Arab
Keep following the coast north from here and you have the fabulous Burj Al Arab and the famous Kite Beach, where you can practice most water sports, play some volleyball, and during the cooler months enjoy a variety of bars and restaurants. Another nice beach area to consider is La Mer, closer to downtown Dubai.
When you get tired of the skyscrapers, or if you need something more authentic, head to old Dubai. Visit the Dubai Museum at Al Fahidi Fort, check out Deira Old Souq, the Gold Souq, and the Spice Souq, and cross the creek in one of the Abras (traditional boat) for only 1AED. You can also have a small tour around the creek in one of them for some more money. Visit the Arabian Tea house and relax while eating some nice food.
Explore the desert
Now that you have visited old Dubai and remembered that you are in the middle of the desert, go ahead and explore it. There are many desert safaris that offer a full day trip. Most of them look the same and they are in the same price range between 100-200AED. Check what it is included, the reviews, and choose the one that works better for you. They normally pick you up around 3 PM and drive you back after dinner. If you are not in the mood for a desert safari, you can go for quad biking, sandboarding, stay overnight in a nice resort or just go camping with your tent. Many options out there. You can check out Visit Dubai for more information to plan your trip.
Do you have more time?
If you are lucky to visit Dubai in the cooler months go ahead and gather your friends to have a nice BBQ at one of its parks. Check out Al Mamzar or Zabeel Park, pick your spot and spend the day outdoors. I highly recommend you to avoid Friday for this, as it will be packed with people. Why don’t you hit the road and check out some of the neighbor Emirates? Visit Abu Dhabi and its Grand Mosque, go hiking in Ras Al Kaima, kayaking in Hatta, scuba diving in Fujeirah or visit the Art Museum in Sharjah. You can also spend the day at one of the waterparks or theme parks. Check out the events and festivals happening around you, there are lots of free sports activities and events, as well as festivals of any kind. You can also enjoy a spectacular night at La Perle. Go ahead and discover all the things going on in Dubai in Time Out Dubai.
Do not be surprised, you can party every day of the week in Dubai. There are clubs and bars for anyone, From the sneakers friendly, like The Stables, where you can ride a bull, or Lock Stock and Barrel, to the fanciest, like Cavalli or Armani, where you will need a pair of heels to get it. For something different you can check out Cirque le Soir, and for nice outdoors White and Base. But Hey! Dubai is well known for its ladies nights. Most of the places have ladies night on Tuesdays, but there is ladies night every day depending on the bar. Another great one in Dubai is Friday Brunch. Again, there are so many, so different. You can put on your nicest clothes or your bikini, and enjoy unlimited food and drinks. You can check out Dubai Night for more info.
I hope you get the chance to visit and explore Dubai, and you enjoy it as much as I do. It is a city of contrast, a city in the desert where anything can happen. Just remember to enjoy every moment, no matter what, to live new experiences and try new things. Don’t be afraid, life is beautiful and it is worth living.
If you need any specific info about Dubai, do not hesitate to write to me, I will be happy to help.
Go live some adventure!