Over the last two weeks Victor and I have been on an adventure in Dubai and South Africa. This has been an amazing trip that we are going to remember and cherish forever! When people heard I was going to Dubai I continually heard that it was a very expensive country to travel in and I had to be careful because women don’t have many right and a few more common misconstrued stereotypes. These were both things that we found to be false. Check out our adventure!
Let me start by saying I have never traveled to a country where I felt safer than in Dubai. There are cameras EVERYWHERE, one of our Uber drivers commented that everyone is on camera so everyone is on their best behavior.
As a woman, I felt very safe. No, you do not have to cover your shoulders or wear a long skirt if you’re visiting the country. Tourism is one of their biggest industries, so they understand that their culture is not everyone’s. Our first day in Dubai we went to a water park where most women were wearing bikinis. Grant it, you may get some stares if you’re not fully covered or showing signs of PDA, but it is by no means a requirement to cover up.
Where to stay:
There are two main areas in Dubai; Old Dubai and New Dubai. From the description I’m sure you can guess that old Dubai is the older part of the city. We chose to stay in old Dubai because of the culture that came with staying there. Additionally, we were able to walk to shops and restaurants we would have had to Taxi to if we would have been in new Dubai. To give you an idea of pricing we stayed at a gorgeous newly built hotel in Old Dubai that is modeled after the old buildings. For two nights it was only $150 dollars and our hotel came with ticket to a water park, pool and gym. Additionally, because it is so hot, they have golf carts that will drive you around to the different restaurants and shops complimentary.
New Dubai is about a 15-20 minute drive. If you book one of the newly renovated hotel rooms in new Dubai you will be paying between 300-500 dollars per night. Additionally, most hotels are not in an easy walking distance to attractions.
The heat in Dubai is no joke!!! Grant it, we were there during the hottest month of the year. We were told, there was summer and super summer in Dubai. You guessed it…. we were there during super summer. It was 100 by the time we woke up and 110-115 in the afternoon with 70% humidity or more. Basically, walking around in a sauna. The second day, while we were walking outside for about 30 minutes, it got so hot my nail polish melted onto my sock.
I will say, the desert was surprisingly much cooler than the city. Additionally, the evening are much more bearable than the afternoon.
What to do:
It was quite interesting, we realized that things opened between 6am-11am then closed and opened back up around 5pm-late. Because it is so hot during the day many little shops will close during the very hot part of the day. Don’t worry, the big tourist attractions such as the Burj Kahlif, Sky Diving, The mall (with indoor Skiing) are opened during the day. We chose to take advantage of our water park tickets partly because it was so hot we couldn’t breath and partly because we had just gotten of a red eye and could not walk around all day. The ocean is gorgeous, but feels like a warm bath, the best way to escape the heat is the water parks and pools.
There are many things to do indoors so you don’t have to beat in the heat:
1. The Dubai Mall not to be confused with Mall of the Emirates
a. The mall is the largest in the world and home to a gorgeous aquarium, ice skating rink, and indoor skiing
2. The Burj Khalifa
a. The tallest building in the world!
i. It’s a little pricey, $160 per person to ride the elevator to the top, but this includes a high tea at the top.
b. If you want to go up to the top make certain it’s a clear day. Many days there is a haze that you’re not able to see the views from the top of the building.
3. The Frame
a. This frame separates old Dubai and New Dubai.
i. 150 meters in the sky you have views of the two parts of the city
ii. This is a more affordable option to see the city. It is around $10 US dollars per person
a. If you really want the epic views of the city and a insane thrill, skydive Dubai!
i. The views are insane!
2. ATV, Sandboarding and Desert BBQ
a. I HIGHLY recommend experiencing the desert in Dubai. It is absolutely breathtaking. We booked a tour with a company that included: Atv, Sand boarding, Camel Ride and an Authentic BBQ with entertainment.
b. The ATV and sandboarding were an absolutely amazing experience, plus… they send a car to pick you up and drop you off so no organizing for you!
3. Experience an old Dubai tour
a. We were not able to go on this tour because of lack of time, but our friends went and they really enjoyed it. They did say it was taxing because of the heat, but if you go during a cooler month it would be fantastic.
All together, Dubai was an amazing experience, it was like no place we had been before. I would definitely recommend going for a visit. I would say a 3-4 day stay is more than enough time to see Dubai, but if you want to add in other UAE States spend a few more days.
Let us know if you have any questions or need recommendations for your up coming trip!