Dubai in Four Days!
En route Australia to Europe, we decided to break-up the long flight with a stop-over in Dubai,
Although we had already previously spent 5 x days in this ever-evolving country, there were still so many activities and sights we didn’t get to tick-off the list our first time around, so here we are, back again, and we decided to share our four day itinerary here with you!
Check into Rove Downtown Hotel and explore the Dubai Mall
Our flight arrived in Dubai at 5.30am, and we transferred immediately to our accomodation at Rove Downtown, with 24/7 check-in and only 15 x minutes from the airport, we loved how centrally located the Rove Hotel is!
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Our room was on the 9th floor, and we had uninterrupted views of the famously impressive Burj Khalifa. We spent the morning settling into our new home for the next few days, and Kirk even had enough energy to go to the gym while I spent some time laying by the pool,
Rove Hotel was also directly across the road from the Dubai Mall, we heard big and wonderful things about this place and although we didn’t have much room in our suitcase remaining for any shopping, it was the only mall we have ever visited with an in-built ice-skating rink and aquarium!
Explore and have lunch at Souk Al Bahar
There are many souk’s to be explored within Dubai, and Al Bahar was one that we didn’t get to see during our last trip (we visited the Gold, Spice, and Textile Souks previously),
Souk Al Bahar was within walking distance or a short Uber from our accommodation, and we loved the traditional style stone steps, stunning archways, and blue waterways that surrounded this area, with the impressive city-views as your backdrop,
Wandering around the souk was hungry work, so we found a quaint but incredible spot for lunch - Baker & Spice, filled with fresh salads, hot dishes, coconuts, juices, and so many vegetarian options!
Visit At the Top, Burj Khalifa
The tallest building in the world, reaching a huge 830 metres high into the sky, we wanted to see what all the hype was about with our own eyes, and the At The Top experience that the Burj Khalifa offers,
A one-minute elevator ride later, and we were sitting at 555 metres high, overlooking the entire Dubai city, which is really a whole another world from above,
Sunset drinks and dinner at Fish Taverna Dubai, right on the beach
One thing that we’re always blown away by when we visit Dubai, is the beach living lifestyle, only minutes away from the big city,
Upon stepping inside Fish Taverna, it was as though we were instantly transported to Greece, white stone buildings, blue and white chairs and decor, dining right on the beach with the sand between our toes..
We wound down with a cocktail, sound of the gentle waves, and watching the sunset on the horizon, while snacking on delicious home-made bread and tapas style greek-inspired food that had our mouth watering all night,
Visit to the Dubai Frame
A newer addition to Dubai, the Frame is situated in a stunning parkland and has an elevator that takes you all the way up to the top level of the frame where you have 360 degree views of the Dubai city, as well as a glass-bottom floor view below, Sparkling gold in the sunshine, this is a new popular spot to see in Dubai and our favourite part was sitting at the bottom of the frame near the water fountain and enjoying this architectural phenomenon so close-up!
Road-trip to the Al Maha Desert with Arabian Adventures
When we visited Dubai in November 2018 we had a small taste of the desert, and it was top-on our list of somewhere to return to and explore some more,
We organised all of our transfers through Arabian Adventures, which made getting from the busy city to the slow desert life a breeze,
Check into Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa
We were lucky enough to spend one night at the luxurious Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, which is all-inclusive of sunrise / sunset activities, breakfast, lunch, dinners, morning and afternoon tea’s, pool, jacuzzi, sauna facilities, and the additional option of spa treatments and massages,
Our Bedouin Style room was one of the most unique and beautiful stays we’ve ever had anywhere in the world,
The resort is extremely spaced out and the wonderful staff transport you around as you require via buggy,
Our room had our own private pool that looks out over the endless sand dunes, and as the resort is situated atop a large sand-hill, the views are the most stunning in the whole of the Al Maha Desert,
Sunset camel ride
There are a number of different included activities that you can choose from when staying at Al Maha Resort, and we decided to enjoy the sunset camel ride. These beautiful creatures who are treated like royalty by their carers, kindly took us through the desert dunes, to a secluded area where there is champagne waiting for us to sip on while we enjoy a stunning sunset,
We were then transported back to the resort atop camel, an incredibly relaxing experience enjoying the last golden glow for the evening, before giving them a big thank you hug and freshening up before dinner,
Dinner at the resort
There are no nearby restaurants, however Al Maha Resort ensure that they cater for all types of dining preferences and cuisines, and we were especially thankful of how accommodating they were of us both being vegetarian diners, and they even had an entire specialised vegetarian menu for us to make our selects from, with a very wide range of options!
Dinner was five courses, and we scraped our plates clean that we couldn’t even squeeze in dessert as we were so content and full!
Morning Archery at Al Maha Resort
After enjoying another delicious dining experience at Al Maha, this time for breakfast which included both a buffet with assortment of dishes/ options, as well as having the ability to order off the menu, we ventured out for a private archery lesson / session with one of the Al Maha Activity guides,
Kirk was a natural and hit the target board every single time, our guide said that he has a natural talent for the sport and that we would survive just fine if left out in the middle of the desert with no food and enemies, another reason why he’s a keeper I guess!
Spa time at Al Maha Resort,
With a generous standard 12noon checkout, we had a few more hours up our sleeve to soak up the serenity and stillness of all that Al Maha Resort had to offer,
We spent our last few hours in the desert soaking up the sunshine, and alternating between pool and sunbathing, before one last long-lunch and a transfer with Arabian Adventures again to our hotel back in Downtown Dubai, it was a sad goodbye, and Al Maha is a place that we would 100% love to return back to again someday!
La Perle Show at Al Habtoor
Last time we were in Dubai we missed out on La Perle by Dragone so we were SO happy when we found out that it was still playing during our second visit as we had heard so so many wonderful things about this show and WOWIE it did NOT disappoint! 90 minutes, and our mouths were wide open, eyes bedazzled, and hearts beating the entire time, with so many acrobatic routines, crazy water effects, light shows, and a beautiful storyline,
It’s absolutely impossible to put the magic that is La Perle into words, but we 100% believe it is a must-see and must-do when visiting Dubai, the performers are SO so talented, we didn’t want it to end,
Dinner at Armani Deli
In the heart of the dazzling city, is the Armani Hotel, and we were treated to a wine and dine at Armani Deli, their Italian restaurant that overlooks the fountain and light show at night,
With the option of dining inside or outside, either way you can see the beautiful fountain show which happens every 30 x minutes and we stayed around long enough to watch about 5 of them! (It was a slow and wonderful dining experience),
We loved that many of the waitress’s at Armani Deli could speak Italian and had grown up there, including the chef, so it was no wonder that the food was authentic and delicious!
For starters we shared bruschetta and a salad, and Kirk and I both opted for pasta dishes for our mains, my absolute favourite dish, mushroom fettuccine, and for Kirk, a ravioli.
For dessert, we shared a platter of mini-sweets including a cheesecake, mousse, macaron, and chocolate brownie,
We left with very full and happy bellies!
Visit to Al Shindagha Museum & Perfume House, Al Fahidi
One of the most important reasons that travel is special to us, is for all that we can learn from exploring new countries, traditions, and ways of life around the world, which is why we visited the Al Shindagha Museum.
We learnt so much about the wonderful Dubai history, the people, their traditions, and we now have an even greater understanding and appreciation for the way that this country has developed into what it is today,
The Shindagha is a really affordable (15 AED) and super interactive way to better your understanding of the culture, people, and city of Dubai,
The museum is filled with different rooms, all that showcase the heritage of Dubai, in a very hands-on and exploring your senses manner,
With touch screen activities, and our favourite part was the 10 x minute movie in a mini-cinema which transports you back to the early Dubai days, and brings you on a fast-forward journey to todays world,
After spending some time in the museum, we also visited the Perfume House where we learnt just how integrated the art of perfume making is in the Dubai Culture and heritage. Similar to the Museum, the Perfume House was also a very interactive experience with a workshop room, as well as many many different perfume samples to experience.
Lunch at the Arabian Tea House
It was a morning filled with lots of learning about Dubai history and traditions, so it only seemed appropriate to carry this on through our choice for lunch, at the Arabian Tea House,
Kirk and I shared an Egyptian platter, and an Arabian platter, filled with a large selection of smaller dishes such as traditional breads and pancake, hommus, labneh, falafel, salads, curries, and much more! We finished off our lunch with arabic coffee and dates, and by the time we were leaving, it was becoming extremely busy! We were told to make sure to arrive here early, to avoid waiting in long queues!
Visit to the Jumeriah Mosque
The Jumeriah Mosque is open to the public and non-muslim tourists 2 x per day, at 10am, and also 2pm, for guided and informative sessions,
It’s always so interesting for us to learn about other religions and traditions, and it was also a very beautiful mosque to visit from an architectural perspective also,
Sunset Abra ride at Souk Madinat Jumeirah & Dinner
An area that we visited during our first Dubai trip last year, and somewhere that we knew we wanted to spend more time in this time around, was Souk Madinat Jumeriah. Even though we have visited on two occasions now, we still manage to get lost every time, but that’s half the fun of exploring this area,
Wandering through the souk, the cobbled stone stairs, bridges, and walkways, sunset is always our favourite time to visit here as everything is shining a golden light,
This time we even treated ourselves to a sunset Abra ride, a wooden traditional boat, which took us along the waterways around the souk, and providing us with the best views and seats in the house of the Burj Al Arab,
With many different dining options scattered around the souk, and most of them with waterfront views, your cuisine options are endless, (one of our favourites however is Folly by Nick & Scott!)
While exploring Dubai, the cities, the souks, it’s evident that there are always new developments on the horizon, and exciting projects on the go in this country. They are forever thinking beyond today’s day and age, and at the moment there is a lot of excitement around the 2020 Expo, we hope to visit again soon Dubai!
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