It’s a popular activity to ‘transit’ in Dubai, whilst waiting for connecting flights to get you to all the other fabulous European countries. I’ve done this, a few times and its horrible, the waiting around, the smells from getting off a 14 hour flight is unpleasant, the leg cramps are horrible and really how badly would you prefer to be sleeping lying down instead in a cramped cocoon!
Part of my extended leave, I decide this was a great opportunity to stop in Dubai and see what all the fuss was about with this emerging destination! Emerging is an understatement, 10 years ago when I stopped over for the first time, they were still building the amazing airport and the airport hotels were minimal. Seeing it from outside the airport was AMAZING. I stayed at the Sheraton Dubai Mall of Emirates for two nights and one whole day… I wish I had stayed longer!
We arrived just before midnight, and after a breezy exit through customs, we jumped into our cab! Not just any cab, a catered for ‘female’ only passengers! It was pink, with its own female driver – now I had no intentions of objecting to a male taxi driver, but the airport staff wanted to treat us with respect and offered the service to us! Which we gladly accepted! Our trip from the airport to the hotel was a pleasant journey with some tidbits about how the locals and expats live in Dubai! To summaries, they do it happily.
Arriving at the hotel, we were absolutely buggered, so all we wanted to do was check in, shower and sleep. Only a few words to sum up the hotel Luxury at its finest without breaking the bank! All the necessities you require from a hotel stay, with the extra perks of roof top pool with exceptional view of the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Dubai city, air conditioned throughout, smoking room that looked like old cigar rooms in the 20s, a breakfast room, an outside tent decorated in traditional Arabian fittings and entry into one of the best shopping centres I’ve ever shopped in!
After an amazing sleep… (the beds were beyond exceptional, i felt like i was sleeping on clouds), we had only one day in Dubai, so we got up early and headed out, starting with breakfast in the hotel, our needs all catered for, even freshly squeeze mango/pineapple juice or traditional Arabian mezes (mouth is watering as I reminisce). After breakfast we went shopping, heading out to the stores, everything but more, H&M, TopShop, Zara, Forever21, Chanel, etc, the shopping centre was spacious and absolutely spotless you could eat off the floor! The local supermarket had a wonderful spice stall and the best lunch options. After our shopping, we took our lunch back to our hotel to eat (we could not eat in public as it was Ramadan).
After lunch, we had to trial out the amazing roof-top pool. So we took the plunge and went outside in the 40-degree heat. It was HOT to say the least, and very dry, but the pool was the perfect remedy to cool down. The views from the pool were not to bad either. Lazying around all after noon does take its toll, so to end our day and night in Dubai, we headed out to Jumierah beach at the sister hotel (Sheraton Jumierah Beach Resort) and had a traditional Arabian feast under a heirloom tent. More mezes, and the atmosphere was great, the best part was that it wasn’t just tourist that dined at the hotel, there were many locals with their families who were breaking their fast and dining amongst us. The variety of food was amazing. Lucky it was a buffet and all you can eat! It was the best way to savour the flavours in one night. A definete recommendation when you are limited in time.
We ended our night with some non-alcoholic drinks up at the hotel pool, looking over the Dubai skyline lit up by amazing buildings! The next day we headed off to Prague….
There’s so much to do in Dubai, my next visit I plan on staying longer and visiting more of this amazing city.
In short, One Day…i did Dubai. And plan on going back.