Dubai – it rises proudly out of the desert, a symbol of its success and a monument of excess. As you race towards the city along the main Sheik Zayed road the towers of skyscrapers get closer and closer and before you know it your surrounded by an array of awe inspiring architectural wonders.
Everywhere you look makes you feel as though you have been catapulted into the future and the best part is that it’s still evolving. If you’re looking for fantastic weather, five star Arabian service, shopping and luxury hotels then this is definitely the place for you.
Here are my blublazerguy recommendations;
There are numerous beaches around Dubai, with most of them belonging to the five star hotels that line the shore. However there are some that you can visit including the expansive Jumeriah beach, JBR and La Mer. My favourite was the newest area called La Mer which was filled with beautiful shops, restaurants and facilities.
La Mer eluded a tranquil and laid back vibe, reminding me of Miami with its aura and also its hip street art mirroring Wynwood art district in Miami.
Apart from the beach itself, a highlight for me was the Nitrogen Bar. Here you can choose from an array of different flavoured ice cream, made right in front of you using Liquid Nitrogen. I tried a few of their flavours, including their frozen Cheetos and Nitrogen coffee.
Albeit La Mer is the newest beach resort, it can get very busy, there I would recommend to arrive early if you want a sunbed!
You cannot go anywhere in Dubai without gazing at the tallest building in the world – The Burj Khalifa.
If you are heading towards the Burj Khalifa, make sure you have a visit to the delightful Armani.
Whether it’s one of their many restaurants or simply just for a drink, this luxurious hotel caters for your every need. In true Arabian style, I tried the renowned Gold Cappuccino; a delicious strong coffee decorated with real 23k gold with the addition of some Armani chocolates. It was a tad indulgent but when in Dubai that becomes a regular occurrence.
Gold on 27
For an extravagant experience head to the world’s only 7 star hotel – Burj Al Arab. The Burj Al Arab is Dubai’s most iconic hotel and you cannot visit Dubai without indulging yourself here.
There are vast restaurants to cater for your every need and it is here that you will find Gold on 27.
This beautifully decorated gold bar is located on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab and is home to Dubai’s most unique cocktail menu. Your are presented with 24k gold ipad menus housing an array of over the top cocktails while you looking out onto the beautiful shoreline and city view.
I chose the Dubai Frame cocktail which contains homemade saffron and Jasmine Gin. This was a very unique and lavish experience, which I throughly enjoyed!
Recently opened Dubai Frame is a must when you visit Dubai. This impressive 150 metre tall golden structure is found near the star gate of Zabeel Park.
Take a lift up the frame to their observation deck and explore the history of this amazing city from old to new.
Ensure to take a daring walk across a glass floor which automatically changes from frosted to clear giving you a glimpse of the world below you.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Housed in a large hotel complex the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a great place to visit for a fantastic selection of shops and restaurants. The Souk itself combines traditional Middle Eastern shopping with a mix of fashion, jewellery, Arabian fragrance and souvenirs.
This fantastic place to visit for an evening stroll in the comfort of much needed air conditioning. It also boasts over 25 different restaurants with cuisines from across the world some of which are lined along the beautiful waterway which connects each of the areas in the resort. I enjoyed traditional Middle Eastern cuisine at the Time of Arabia restaurant.
Looking for some time outside the city and a little adventure? Take one of the many trips out into the desert. Here you can experience the scary but thrilling dune bashing, a camel ride, falconry, quad biking and sand boarding.
As the sun dips below the sand dunes you are whisked away to a desert camp where you can enjoy an evening under the stars with some Arabic food and entertainment such as belly dancing, flame throwing and traditional Middle Eastern dancing.
As Dubai in within the UAE, there isn’t a lot of natural greenery. Therefore if you fancy an injection of colour, head to the beautiful Miracle Gardens.
This garden is filled to the brim with exquisite flower displays and wanderlust of colours and sculptures.
Being in Dubai you cannot simply expect low key flower displays… here you will the largest and most famous flower structure in the world in the shape of Emirates A380 plane.
If you like shopping then this is the place for you! One of largest shopping mall in the world, Dubai Mall houses some of the biggest and best names in fashion, food and entertainment. Home to the iconic Dubai Aquarium and The Waterfall featuring a number of diving sculptures, you can spend all day here.
If your feet are weary, in true Arabian custom simply hail a taxi (yes that’s right)! As Dubai Mall is one of the largest in the world, you are able to take a taxi around fashion avenue getting off anywhere you wish.
Here you smell the amazing selection of Arabic perfumes or simply just enjoy walking around this expansive mall. In the evening, sit in the one of many restaurants that look over the Burj Khalifa.
If you time it right, you can see the renowned high-spirited fountain display and the impressive light display without being surrounded by crowd of people.
If you need to escape the sometimes overbearing skyscrapers of the new town then head to the old town.
Here you will find more humble and traditional architecture, a selection of gold, spice and perfume souks and the Dubai Museum.
It is here where you can truly see and enjoy the history of the old city and appreciate how it has transformed into today’s marvel.
For a very small price you can take a traditional boat ride across the river, again providing a different aspect to the place.
If you want an abundance of history and culture then Dubai probably isn’t the place for you. Like a new born child it’s still growing and developing and although it has moved forward architecturally and financially there is still so much more that Dubai can offer. This is precisely what makes Dubai exciting as every time you go back, there is a new district, building or area for you to explore. Even though there is an air exuberance and grandeur there is still a heart to this amazing contemporary city which is why a visit to this luxurious destination is a must.
Only a few hours from Dubai is the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post on 24 hours in this beautiful city.