Do boi! a.k.a Dubai!

…To pick up where I left off on the last Dubai post, there are so many things do here!

Atlantis, The Palm is another one of Dubai’s unbelievable hotel and resorts. It boasts a giant aquarium, water-park, amazing restaurants and sits on the man-made palm-shaped island. Walking inside the lobby feels like steeping inside some royal palace and as you twist and turn around various bends and corners, passing luxury boutiques and restaurants further cements this feeling. Spend some time strolling around and take some snaps, as it’s an amazing place. The luxury cars parked outside alone are enough of a jaw-drop. Take a quick walk through the impressive Indiana-Jones style aquarium and see the giant selection of sea-life. Have a quick bite to eat at the burger bar, as you can be refused entry into the numerous elite restaurants based on exclusive dress codes and strict no-children policies. If you are lucky enough, spend the day at its water park and experience the thrill of seeing the aquarium from a different perspective as you slide through it on one of many water slides.

Speaking of water slides, Wild Wadi Waterpark is the perfect way to spend the day cooling off from the intense heat. Word has it, it’s bigger and bigger than its rival at Atlantis. It boasts a wide range of slides and surfing rides as well as lazy rivers and adrenaline-fuelled high speed ones. Not only is it cooling from the sun, its position beside Jumeirah Beach means you can enjoy views of the Jumeirah Beach hotel and more importantly, the Burj al-Arab while you queue! Bonus! My favourite ride has to be the Jumeirah Sceirah! Here’s what the website says about it:

“With two tandem slides, guests first climb the 32 metres tower and enjoy a spectacular view of the entire waterpark. Once on top of the tower, two capsules await for two guests to ride on at the same time. …guests must cross their arms and legs as the doors of the capsules close, unaware of what awaits them…Before they know it, the floor beneath them opens and both guests slides down the 120 metres slide at an astonishing speed of 80 km/h! In few seconds, guests reach the bottom of the slide with a rush of excitement!”

Such a great day out! The large raft rides fit up to 5 people and take you on a twisting and turning journey from top to bottom. Word of warning: Make sure your swimming attire is secured tightly for these!!

Another good day out in the open is the Miracle Gardens which, as the name suggests, are amazing gardens where plants and flowers have been used to create houses, famous landmarks, animals, flags, etc. You can take a selfie with the Eiffel Tower without ever stepping foot in Paris! At a cost of around €8 p.p., you can spend all day wandering around taking as many pictures as you possibly can! Bargain! There’s a nice sheltered café area in the centre of the gardens where you can grab a fresh fruit juice and sit back for a quick break. The gardens really are impressive, even for someone who knows nothing about gardening in general! The highlight for me was the seriously cool umbrella display which was a shaded section covered with hundreds of multi-coloured brollies and floral walls on either side. Definitely a worthwhile picture moment. It’s a little bit tricky to get to by car as it’s a bit outside the city and it’s even trickier trying to get out of, navigating the numerous confusing roundabouts, but hey I wasn’t driving! Taxis will know it well and shouldn’t be too pricey. A must-see for an afternoon trip!

If you fancy an evening stroll, than head down by the Marina and take in the lights and sights! Conveniently placed alongside the Marina is a decent-sized shopping centre so you can jump in for a quick snoop around before the shops close. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from. One building even boasts 7 restaurants in one so it’s hard not to be overwhelmed. It’s normally quite busy by day and night so be savvy what time you go. You can also hop on boat rides around the Marina if that tickles your fancy. Skyscrapers surround you and it’s hard to imagine that you’re in the middle of what was once an isolated desert! Worth an evening stroll if nothing else!

Another place worth an evening stroll, or day tanning session for that matter, is JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence). This is a massive strip of beach with hotels, shops, cafés and restaurants aplenty…yet one thing you won’t find here is drink! The beach area is an alcohol-free zone! Within the last few months, Real Madrid F.C. opened a tapas bar and restaurant here which has attracted flocks of curious tourists. It’s not worth all the hype in any way! The food was quite nice and the non-alcoholic cocktails were surprisingly yummy but it was a bit of a let-down. Service was slow and the sky-high prices were not the most reasonable so I would give this place a skip! By the looks of things, you will not be stuck for somewhere to dine and revel in the views of the Arabian gulf, Burj al-Arab, The Palm and Atlantis all in the distance! Along with these is the construction of a pier, which will resemble something like Brighton or Blackpool I imagine, and will soon boast a ferris wheel…larger than the London Eye of course! It takes away from the view a little but once finished, it will no doubt attract thousands more to the already popular beach. You can rent paddle boats and canoes and plenty more and enjoy water trampolines and inflatables too if you get bored of eating or tanning! And it’s a great place to catch 4 sets of fireworks from the various hotels nearby for New Year’s Eve!

There’s an ice-bar where you have to wear thermal attire and can admire the ice sculptures inside, all in the comfort of a warm hot chocolate in your hand! And where do you ask is this located? In a shopping centre no less…! Take a drive at night to the luxury car garages and see the amazing selection of millionaire’s toys! Wander down to the famous Irish village and have a pint and a greasy Irish breakfast to cure a rough head! Nice place to sit out on a warm day, however, the service is poor enough and the charming enthusiasm and friendliness of the Irish is not apparent here!! Head to the Autodrome, which was used as a former F1 racetrack and have a lesson is a F1 car and take a quick spin around the track like a pro! Such a buzz!

All in all, Dubai is a great place to experience! This is only less than half of the things you can do! The glamorous desert is a million miles away from normality, but it’s entertaining to soak up the atmosphere as the locals do!

Thanks for reading,

Next week I’ll be sticking to a European hot-spot,

Nicola

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