Dubai has always been on my mind ever since I started transiting in Dubai 7 years ago. In a very short span of time, this emirate has evolved to become one of the most sought after destinations in the world. This time, while travelling to the US, me and my wife decided to take a pit-stop in Dubai for 2 days. I stayed with my childhood friend Pranshul, which made our overall experience in UAE truly sensational.
We landed in Dubai around 1 AM in the morning and our friends drove us to Tim Harrisons on Sheikh Bin Zayed road. I was impressed to see the night life in the city given that it was 3:30 AM in the morning. Everyone was well dressed with lovely hair-do and it felt like 7 PM in the evening. The cafe is open 24 hours and offers a wide range of sandwiches, donuts, coffee, tea etc.
We started our “day” (yes we didn’t sleep!) by visiting ‘Atlantis’ at ‘The Palm Dubai’. It is a splendid drive through the Dubai downtown and a tunnel that has been constructed through the sea. Do switch on your google maps. It will pleasantly surprise you!
As the name suggests, the Palm Dubai is in the shape of a Palm tree and it has been constructed using state of the art technology on reclaimed land. We drove up to the East Crescent which is the top most point on the palm tree. This locations offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Marina skyline.
Kite Beach is a white sand beach popular for kite surfing in clean blue waters. You can sit & relax and enjoy the breeze. It is also called Sunset Beach. The sunset is a must watch from this beach when the sun dips in the sea just next to Atlantis. The sight of ‘Burj Al Arab’ and Atlantis on one side of the beach and Burj Khalifa on the other is spectacular. Just sit on the rocks with feet in water and enjoy your evening on this irresistible beach.
Dubai, interestingly, has about 80% expatriate population. This emirate is truly global and has some of the finest and most authentic Mexican, India, Chinese, Arabic & Italian restaurants. The wide variety of cuisines that are available to satisfy your cravings are simply unbelievable. One such Mexican restaurant is El Chico at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). I loved the idea of “make you own salad” in this restaurant.
JBR truly comes to life in the evening with great music and range of restaurants serving mouth-watering food. I highly recommend that you have atleast 1 meal in this area. If you want to try Turkish food, do give a shot to Paul Bakery & Restaurant at JBR.
The highlight of the day was ‘Burj Khalifa,’ the tallest building in the world. We bought the tickets from Dubai Mall for a 6:30 PM visit at 350 Dirhams for level 148. The tickets for level 125 cost only 125 Dirhams but can only be bought online. You must visit level 148 as it offers much better view of the city and you will not get the same view on level 125. The best time slot is 6:30 PM as you can see both the day and the night view.
The Dubai fountain display happens every half an hour in the evening. You can see the 7:30 PM show from level 148. The night view of the fountain from the top was supremely scenic and something which we had never seen before. With a length of 275 meters, it is the largest choreographed fountain system in the world, spreading over a 30 acre lake. While you are atop Burj Khalifa, spend most of the time on the sky observatory in open air on levels 148 and level 124.
We came back to Dubai Mall to see Dubai Fountain and were spell-bounded by the humungous scale of the fountain. For the best views of the fountain, exit the Dubai Mall close to Tim Harrisons, cross the bridge and take a place in front of the Souk. Post the fountain show, we spent some time at the souk to see the traditional Arabic art and then went back to Dubai Mall for Dinner. If you are fond of waffles, do give a shot to the Strawberry waffles at Granny Waffles.
The visit to Dubai is incomplete without the visit to the Souks. The top 6 souks in Dubai include perfume souk, spices souk, souk madinat, jumeirah souk and gold souk. Treat yourself with Arabic souvenirs: Sheesha, Attar, Essential Oils, Arabic spices etc.
It was an action packed day with excess of everything: marvelous places and great food. Though it touched 50 Degrees in afternoon, the weather didn’t stop us from seeing the best of Dubai!
We drove to Abu Dhabi for our ‘Day 2’ in UAE. We have written a separate post on ‘The Grand Mosque’. Do check it out here.
What was the highlight of your trip to Dubai? Did you visit anywhere else in UAE? Share you experiences below.