So as most of you will have noticed from my snapchat activity I took a short trip to Dubai recently. It was one of the most stressful confusing pre-holiday prep holidays I was every on. I heard so many scary stories about people getting arrested for drinking alcohol or PDA’s, and then there was the warnings about what to wear. As anyone who knows me will know my motto for clothes is “LESS IS MORE”, so you can imagine my struggle to pack an appropriate case of clothing. I found it really difficult to choose what clothes to bring with me, I opted for lots of maxi dresses, long denim shorts and the ugliest ugliest Black Beach Trousers (i actually had a nappy arse in these) with matching Kaftan (both now reside in the Bin). I did pack some going out clothes because I did speak with a couple of girls who said the dress code wasn’t as strict as we were led to believe. Ahead of going even my mother sat me down and gave me a motherly pep talk it went something like this “if you can manage it please try not to get handsy with Tom, I know how handsy you are but it would be great if you could try not get arrested”.
OH ME NERVES
TBH I was a bit nervous going, I imagined being treated like a second class citizen, in a country full of women hating unfriendly people, anyone I spoke to who had been there only had positive stuff to say about it but the media is so awash with scary stories. I went to the doctor got a letter for bringing my Tamoxifen with me in case I was stopped in the airport. So we headed off on our little holiday, I get to the airport and who do I bump into only rugby legend Paul O’Connell it was a great little start.
THE CRIB aka our hotel
We stayed in the Intercontinental Hotel situated in the heart of the marina, when I say I spent the week before we travelled manifesting an upgrade I tell you not a word of a lie. The law of attraction worked and the lovely lovey Ahmed upgraded us to a 4 bed suite, I was in heaven, there was a boys bathroom and a girls bathroom (enforced by me!!) it was a fab suite with amazing views. The rooftop bar was so relaxing and chilled we enjoyed cocktails by the pool and it was bliss. The hotel was the bees knees.
WHAT WE DID
Markets, markets every where !
We visited a few markets the Gold Souk , the Old Souk, Al Karama Market and another market in Deira, the market sold spices, fabrics, jewellery, fragrances everything, I loved having the crack haggling before I bought anything it was just a great experience, Tom said it reminded him of being in a scene from Indiana Jones movie. To get to the market in Deira we got a boat across the river. The boat we got literally cost €1 it’s an old wooden boat no life jackets or anything but it’s a fun experience, we really felt like we were experiencing the real culture.
Day at the Desert
We went on a desert safari, oh god it’s an absolute must if you visit Dubai, we were picked up at our hotel and driven out to the desert. Firstly we did dune bashing it was great craic I felt very adventurous, then while driving through the desert random camels were just walking past kind of like cows over here, I loved it. We then went and did a camel ride the guy who brought us was a great character, he even brought us and showed us his own pet camel, never in my life did I meet anyone who loved camels as much as this man he was just great fun. Next we jumped on Quads and rode them through the desert, oh god this was really exciting I nearly feel off twice just because I am super clumsy. The we finished it off by doing a bit of sand boarding something I was brilliant at even if I do say so I lol x this whole thing cost us less than €100 each.
Afternoon tea maam
We had afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab, and absolutely loved it by god it was sheer luxury, the views, the food, the lovely staff doing their upmost to make the experience magical. We upgraded to a window seat and I have to say I would highly recommend anyone booking this, get yourself a window seat. Ahhhh if I close my eyes I can day dream about it. We booked the 4.15 slot so we could see the sun set it was to gorge.
Dubai Mall, the tallest building in the world and a rockin water show all rolled into one
Burj Khalifa, it’s the tallest building in the world, was I blown away not really I wouldn’t be in a rush to visit it again but it was a to do ticked off the list. The Burj Khalifa is located at the Dubai Mall and we popped outside and looked at the water fountain show its similar to the one in Las Vegas for those of you who haven’t been to Vegas it’s a much bigger much better version of the water fountain at Dundrum. It was lovely to watch quite spectacular really. I would recommend you book a table at one of the surrounding restaurants and enjoy the show as you eat.
We did a cruise around the palm and to be honest I can’t really tell you how that went as we were both so exhausted that we fell asleep for that one but I’m sure it was just FAB!
Next time I go to Dubai I am so tempted to stay at the Atlantis on the Palm the most amazing hotel with water park, I even got to tick something off my bucket list here when I held and kissed and hugged a Dolphin, I was sooooooooooooooooooooooooo excited and loved every minute, can’t wait to do that again.
While chatting to a taxi driver we were asking what’s a really good place to go to really experience the culture etc. He recommended we go to the Global Market, it’s a market that starts at the beginning of November and he told us it was huge and really popular with the locals, so we said we’d give it a bash. Picture this me, Tom and 20,000 Arabs, when we asked for culture we got culture it was a great experience. I didn’t see any other tourists when we were there we stuck out like 2 sore thumbs but nobody gave us a second glance and anyone we spoke with were just lovely and friendly. It cost €3 to go in and it’s a huge market which is set up like all different countries, there are lots of buildings representing each country for example China was a big red and gold building with huge dragons outside and whatever country you entered had goods from that country on sale and also dancers from the country doing their countries dance. There was also a huge firework show and a monster truck show. There was the statue of Liberty and the Eifel Tower. If you visit Dubai and this market is on get your ass to it quick!
UNTIL NEXT TIME ….
So as you may have guessed it was a busy holiday we fitted in so much and really enjoyed every moment of it. The next time I visit I won’t feel as stressed packing my case as I will know that it’s not as strict as I thought. As regards PDA’s we saw lots of couples walking hand in hand around the marina and in the malls. We didn’t see anyone drunk and we didn’t really drink when we were there as we were so busy doing activities and seeing as much of Dubai as we could we didn’t have time to waste on a hangover we can do that in Ireland any time. To sum it up it’s a magical place, there is so much to see and do. The people are warm, friendly and extremely helpful. The malls are amazing like who wouldn’t be amazed to see a shark swimming around a fish tank in a mall ??? I didn’t think it was overly expensive. It’s not a place where you walk everywhere like other holidays you will find you taxi your way around. Location wise we stayed on the Marina which was a 2 minute walk from Jumeriah Beach, when I go back again I will stay either on Jumeriah Beach there is a great atmosphere there, the 2 hotels which caught my eye there was the Sofitel (in fact I nearly booked that this time) and the Hilton or I will clear out the bank and book into the Atlantis. So if you are on the fence or nervous about visiting this amazing place FEAR NOT and get your ass over there you will definitely not regret it.