Travel made in October 2019
Duration: 5 days
Welcome to Dubai (and Abu Dhabi) !!
Welcome to Myoxybubble Dubai the city of the future, evolution, luxury and excess! Projects are always moving forward in Dubai, Their vision is always further, always higher! Hotel complexes and infrastructure are growing like mushrooms. The work never stops. Their imagination is limitless with surreal architecture like the Burj Khalifa or the Cayan Tower ! A city entirely built on a desert, starting with a bold challenge with Palm Island and the World (artificial peninsulas in the shape of a palm tree and a world map)!
Dubai is a tourist destination with its luxury hotels and shopping at the Dubai mall or the mall of the Emirates. The sun is omnipresent with its paradisiacal blue beaches with warm waters. We often hear about the modern and luxurious Dubai with its tourist activities but Dubai hides another facet! You will discover through MyOxyBubble Dubai the old Dubai ! This district has other unsuspected riches with its souks, its authentic alleys.
Welcome to Dubai ! Here, you will take yourself for the kings of oil!
- Welcome to Dubai (and Abu Dhabi) !!
- Dubai futuristic city!
- Day 1: Discover the Dubai mall and its surroundings!
- Day 2: A day in Abu Dhabi
- Day 3: Discovering Old Dubai
- Day 4: A little thrill!
- Day 5: Madinat Jumeirah and the marina area
You can click on all the photos in this article in order to view them in large format
Dubai futuristic city!
Day 1: Discover the Dubai mall and its surroundings!
Landing imminent! It’s 6am and the day just starts with 30°C on the thermometer! Pick up your suitcases, think about changing money, jump in a taxi and go straight to your hotel to take a shower, drop off your luggage and start exploring Dubai. I recommend a 4 star hotel with a very good value for money. This is the Ramada by Wyndham Hotel. It is perfectly, located not far from the Palm, the marina and the mall! It will take you 5 to 10 minutes on foot to reach the metro. The metro day pass costs AED 22. The hotel is clean, the rooms spacious and the staff welcoming. You will enjoy the pool on the terrace and the good breakfast.
# Dubai Mall
Here we go! Head to the Mall for shopping! The shops open at 10am. The dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in dubai. It is huge and impressive both in its size but also in its design, its design, its luxury shops and its restaurants.
In the heart of the center, you will admire the beautiful Dubai aquarium & underwater zoo and an ice rink ! Open your eyes wide! Here, I guarantee you an exceptional change of scenery under the appreciable freshness of the air conditioning.
As for the Aquarium, I was very disappointed. It is beautiful to see from the outside but the visit is not up to the mark because very small.
Only the tunnel that allows access to the visit of the aquarium is nice to do. Small Instagram cliché obligatory! Admission will cost you 11€ (50 AED). The Dubai Mall is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa !
Leaving the mall, you will catch a heat wave. Discover the terrace of the Dubai Mall and its artificial lake where fountains occur in the evening. I invite you to take a tour and admire the resorts, buildings and different views of the Burj Khalifa!
Everything is disproportionate and grandiose here! I challenge you to find Dubai’s famous angel wings ! the view of the Burj Khalifa is splendid. Think a little, you will find! I put you on the trail with my photos to find 😁 them. Just follow the clues. This Instagram shot is deserved!
# The impressive Burj Khalifa
Here we are at the foot of this famous skyscraper with a height of 828 meters! It is the tallest tower in the world! This is a must visit in Dubai. I suggest you book your visit at the top for 5pm via Get Your Guide to avoid an endless queue on site for the purchase of your ticket.
The visit is not given, it will cost you 95 € / person. It is a skip-the-line ticket so no waiting. I strongly advise you not to do only the 124th and 125th floor (which is cheaper certainly) because the windows are opaque and you will have the reflection of your person in it. We don’t see anything, it’s very disappointing and it’s impossible to take quality photos.
On the 148th floor, the 360° view dominates Dubai. The windows are transparent and will allow you to immortalize this magnificent view with your camera.
The welcome is perfect with a tasting composed of tea, coffee and pastries! The end of the day seems perfect to visit the Burj Khalifa because you will be able to admire the show during the day and at sunset. It’s time for you to come down and go and sit down, eat and admire the fountains of Dubai!
# The fountains of Dubai!
Welcome to Las Vegas! No, in Dubai sorry! Dubai’s fountains are very similar to the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas. Remember my article A road trip in the American West!. At Nightfall, on the artificial lake of the Dubai mall takes place a magnificent musical show with projection of a hundred jets of water that dance to the rhythm of a song. The show is free and is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa which is also lively and illuminated. This show takes place every 30 minutes from 6pm until 11pm. I’m sure you’re all asking yourself the same question! Where is the restaurant with the most beautiful view overlooking the fountains for dinner? I recommend the Tribes ! The restaurant’s terrace overlooks the fountains. The view is grandiose.
You will access the entrance of the restaurant through the mall shopping center, upstairs.
No reservation possible. I went there around 5pm, Marie a waitress still exceptionally booked me a table for 7:30pm after I sympathized with her! Another good surprise, the manager Ahmet gave us a 30% discount on the final note without entertainer (a mobile application giving right to discounts)! In the end, my cocktail (31 AED) and my burger meal (77AED) were offered 😀 to me. He was so friendly! I highly recommend the Tribes for their warm welcome, impeccable service, exceptional views of the fountains and the Burj Khalifa and not to spoil anything delicious, hearty food with affordable prices.
Day 2: A day in Abu Dhabi
# Sheikh Zayed Mosque
I strongly advise you to book your outing through Get Your Guide.
The organization is top and in small committee of 10 people. About 80€/;p ersonne. The meeting point is at Marina 3. The mini bus is on time, don’t be late! Departure at 9am!
You will arrive at Sheikh Zayed Mosque by 10am. Women should wear an Abaya as the hair and body should be covered.
In Abu Dhabi, women wear a black abaya and men a white one. Male tourists must dress in proper attire (pants and shoulders covered. The visit of the mosque lasts about 2 hours until noon. You will be immersed in a count of a thousand and one nights! Everything is clean and immaculate. A mosque that dazzles you with the beauty of its architecture, its white marble, its flowers, its arabesques, its carpets and chandeliers. Beautiful Muslim place of worship!
A must do during your stay in Abu Dhabi or Dubai! You will think you are the prince or princess of Abu Dhabi. The only negative point is the present crowd (as in any tourist place). The visit is in one direction.
# The Louvre of Abu Dhabi
Once your tour of the mosque is over, it’s time to join the group and travel by mini bus to the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. You will have free time until 3pm. The place is magical. You take full view as soon as you arrive with the masterful architecture of the metal dome of this museum made by the famous Jean Nouvel.
The museum is interesting and has a collection with beautiful works (Vinci, Monet, Van Gogh) and beautiful design spaces, modern and refined highlighted by pools of water and a view of the sea.
The setting is pleasant and the galleries are air-conditioned. There is even a fun museum dedicated to children in connection with works of art. Possibility to eat on site at the Café du Louvre. Beautiful site to visit for art and architecture enthusiasts. I recommend!
When you return to the hotel, why not relax and enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool? In the evening for dinner if you lack inspiration I can advise you the restaurant Little Bangkok. This is a very good Thai restaurant.
Day 3: Discovering Old Dubai
# The district of Deira
Today, go to the District of Deira at the level of the Gold Souk. The districts of Bur Dubai and Deira are across from each other, separated by the Creek. The creek is an inlet.
I propose you to embark on a traditional wooden boat called Abra for a 1 hour ride on the creek. It will cost you 60 AED.
You will be able to admire the contrast between the old and the new Dubai. Here, it is the starting point for trade to other countries such as Oman or Iran. You will see many cargo ships. The walk is very pleasant and peaceful. We were lucky to have a boat to ourselves (we were 2 with my friend)! I was even able to direct the abra on the Creek myself, a great experience!
On your return from your trip at sea, do not hesitate to get lost in the narrow streets of the souks of Deira (gold souk, herb souk, naïve souk, textile souk etc …).
French tourists are often questioned by traders as in many Arab countries. Their catchphrase are “hello, Macron and it’s cheap! ». It’s pretty funny.
Be careful on Friday mornings the souks on the side of Deira are closed because it is the day of prayer.
Once the Deira district is explored, make the crossing by abra for 3AED/person to get to the other side of the shore, on the side of the Bur Dubai. You will be on board with the locals.
# The district of Bur Dubai
On the day of prayer, on the Bur Dubai side, the district is very lively and the souks open. You will be immersed in the authentic universe of the Middle East and Aladdin with alleys decorated with a thousand and one nights. Women in traditional costume resembling Princess Jasmine, shops of fairy lamps, stalls of stoles and slippers, but also with the enchanting smells of spices will be offered to your eyes.
Stroll through the labyrinth of the historic district of Al Fahidi. Here you are far from the skyscrapers, luxury shopping malls and artificial islands mounted from scratch of the new Dubai. The neighborhood is quiet and the architecture interesting. There are few tourists. It is good to stroll there to discover the oldest district of Dubai and its few art galleries.
Would you like to know more about the history of the country? Their way of life and their evolution? Head to the fort of Al Fahidi ! The oldest building in the city. The entrance fee is only 3AED. The museum is surprising! The entrance does not look good because it is picturesque. We have the impression that the visit will be very fast but you will be pleasantly surprised!
The museum is mainly designed at the underground level. The exhibition is interesting, comprehensive and traces the history of Dubai chronologically. The Dubai Museum allows you to discover what daily life was like at a time when buildings did not exist and the city was just a fishing village. Reconstructions of scenes of everyday life very well done enamel the course. An excursion not to be missed!
Day 4: A little thrill!
# Dubai Frame
Today, I reserve you a day full of sensation! I hope you don’t have vertigo or fear of speed!
On the way early in the morning to the Dubai Frame. Take a taxi! The taxi is very convenient to circulate in the city because the metro line and straight and does not allow to go everywhere easily. Taxis in Dubai are inexpensive, convenient and necessary. During your stay, you will need to use it several times. Distances are long in Dubai. Most taxis are equipped with a credit card payment terminal even for small amounts.
The Dubai frame is a majestic golden arch both in size and beauty. This setting is very well thought out: it represents on one side the view of the new Dubai and its Burj Khalifa and on the other the old Dubai.
The Dubai frame park is pretty and pleasant to walk around. The entrance fee will cost you 52AED. It’s not given! The architecture is interesting from the outside as well as from the inside. We were surprised to be able to climb inside the Dubai Frame. A lift is installed. Be careful, there is a little queue! Allow 30 minutes of waiting.Arrived at the top of the arch (150m high), you will be able to admire the view of the city at 360°, not to mention the one under your feet which is magnificent. Motto: do not have vertigo!
The floor is a transparent glass walkway! The visit provides a better understanding of Dubai’s development and its vision for the future. A projection on the future Dubai is realized.
# Desert Safari Dubai
It’s time for you to regain strength with lunch and then return to your hotel. This is the starting point for your dubai desert tour. We had booked our tour through the Groupon app. Exchanges are mainly made by email, then by WhatsApp directly with the driver. They are very receptive. The tour will cost you (AED 230 for 2). The price includes:
- Round-trip transportation from your hotel
- 4×4 safari in the desert
- Camel tour
- Evening meal and soft drink
- Show (belly dancer, fire-eater ..)
For an afternoon excursion, the driver will meet you at 14:45. You will board a 4×4 and have 1 hour of travel to reach the desert. You will be 7 people in the 4×4. Once arrived, possibility to go quad biking in the desert with supplement. The activity will cost you 250AED for 30 minutes and for 2 people. It’s expensive! We hesitated because the price is really a brake. After reflection, we let ourselves be tempted by the adventure.
My friend Florian never drove this kind of vehicle, so he let me get behind the wheel. Woman behind the wheel dead at the turn? Not! I had a fairly sporty drive and he enjoyed discovering this kind of sensations that he did not know. Half an hour is short, but it’s so good to drive a quad in the middle of the desert! You’ll feel like you’re the kings of Dubai’s desert! The sensations are strong! You will climb and descend dunes at full speed, cross other quads and sometimes for some, get bogged down in the sand! In the end, we did not regret our turn. It’s worth a visit!
Then it’s now time to do 4×4 in the desert. Unfortunately we had a battery failure that delayed us by 45 minutes. We had to find pliers to restart the 4×4 but also find another vehicle for the desert safari. We were disappointed as the safari was shortened and lasted only 20 minutes! The driver was not very friendly in addition. Otherwise, you will appreciate the sensations during the skidding in the sand, the moment when you will go up and overhang the landscape, where to descend steeply the dune. I was lucky because having long legs, I was sitting on the passenger side, right next to the driver! Sensations in the front row.
Then, you will continue with the rather funny sandboard and the camel ride. I think it’s too touristy: the camel ride is ridiculous and short, it’s just for the photo.
Besides, we didn’t! At nightfall, take a seat in a camp in the middle of the desert. Sit back, go serve yourself to eat at the buffet while waiting for the show.
The food is ok but nothing more. You will have a pleasant time until 9pm. Possibility also to benefit from a free henna tattoo! My tattoo lasted 15 days.
Another negative point, the driver was in such a hurry to go home that he didn’t even wait for the final show to be totally over! He was a bit aggressive. So I do not recommend Groupon for this safari because of the unpleasant driver and our penalty due to the breakdown. Even though this is unpredictable, no apologies have been made.
Day 5: Madinat Jumeirah and the marina area
# Madinat Jumeirah
Wake up! Take the metro or a taxi. I advise you to go to Madinat Jumeirah. This is the little Venice of Dubai.
The souk opens at 9am. It’s just a souk re-enactment that’s not very big, with jewelry, souvenirs, crafts, carpets and clothes. The place is touristy and expensive. The architecture of the hotel is very beautiful. The resort has sea views on one side with a private beach, and views of the canals on the other as well as the Burj al Arab.
Possibility of an abra walk on the canals of the hotel but it is very expensive. Personally, I did not. No interest for me to waste money on this type of attraction. It is nice to walk around Madinat Jumeirah. It is a nice place to take very nice pictures of the luxurious Hotel Burj al Arab. We went back the same evening. The neighborhood is very lively in the evening and the lights on the Burj al Arab are beautiful. Do not hesitate to sit on the terrace for a drink and dinner! A real moment of relaxation.
# Walk to the marina
Take a taxi and go to Marina 3! I highly recommend the pedestrian promenade of the marina. The starting point is at the foot of the Cayan Tower.
Then, head to the left of cayan Tower and walk along the Marina for several kilometers on foot. Possibility to make a course of 7km! The view of the Marina and the most beautiful buildings is breathtaking.
You will walk along a pedestrian canal where you will find many bars and restaurants. Possibility to rent a bike. You will see during your walk magnificent yatchs.
Many runners come very early in the morning to jog when the temperatures are not yet too high. Very nice place day and night! We never get tired of it! I advise you to go to a bridge to get to the other side of the shore. There you can reach the resort JBR beach (Jumeirah Beach Residences)! a sublime sandy beach.
# Welcome to JBR beach!
Along the JBR beach, there are activities for children and water sports. Possibility to rent a deckchair and an umbrella. You can swim in heavenly blue water, sunbathe, enjoy the place and have a drink. For your comfort, you will have shower cabins and sanitary facilities.
From the beach, you’ll admire Dubai’s largest observation wheel on the island opposite, called Bluewaters! It is accessible on the left thanks to a street that connects JBR to Bluewaters.
On the right, if you walk along the beach with your feet in the water you will arrive at the Skydive ! A desire for a parachute jump? A dream to discover the Palm from the sky? This is it!
For my part, I did not have the budget for the big jump. I still had the dream of discovering the Palm from the sky. Coming to Dubai without discovering it? No, impossible for me! I invite you to take a helicopter tour. I guarantee you an unforgettable moment. The price will be more accessible than the parachute jump. That is a good compromise. Flight tickets are taken on the beach. The flight takes 12 min for 160€ or 650 AED.
In just 12 minutes, you will fly over the Palm, the Burj al Arab, go to the Burj Khalifa and see The World.
I asked to be placed in front. They agreed. They study your weight and that of other companions in order to best balance the device. My flight took place at 5pm. It is very difficult to take a picture of the Palm correctly. To get to the heliport, I invite you to take a taxi. The heliport is right next to the prestigious Atlantis Hotel !
Moreover, the Atlantis Hotel often organizes a pool party. Free admission for everyone and free drink for girls! The music is great! Sunbeds and towels are free. We landed there 3 hours just before the helicopter tour.
A pure moment of relaxation! Once back down to earth, this is the time when the sun sets. I discovered a hidden dream beach. Can you imagine alone on this abandoned beach?
Can you imagine admiring the sumptuous and luxurious Burj al Arab at nightfall? Or to swim in the crystal clear and warm waters of the Persian Gulf while admiring around you the captivating and majestic buildings illuminated under the magical lights of the sunset … It is difficult for me to tell you precisely this magical place.
I confess that it had to be private! But I couldn’t resist being the mermaid of this Dubai 😄 paradise. This beach is located between the Palm Jumeirah and the Burj al Arab. You have to find a huge public beach and on the right of it hides behind a wooden palisade the secret beach!
Here are some clues! It’s up to you to find it now! If you want to discover even more activities and places to visit in Dubai and its surroundings, we invite you to click on the banner below:
I hope you enjoyed this trip with me. I look forward to seeing you soon for new adventures with a new Myoxybubble destination!
Feel free to leave your comments on this article and share your own experiences in Dubai (the form can be found a little further down).
Need advice to organize your trip? Contact me!
We advise you to travel by taxi. The price of groceries is low.
They are easily found on the street at any time. Just give them a sign. Possibility to also use the metro, but the network is not very developed and therefore there is not necessarily a station near your destination.
In any case, Dubai is not a city made for pedestrians: the heat and distances make this option impossible.
Except in religious places where you have to have your legs and arms covered (as well as hair for women), there is no imposed dress. The bikini is accepted at the beach. Adopt an outfit adapted to the heat and your activity.
It is easy to find a 4 or 5 star hotel for relatively reasonable prices. There is no shortage of offers in Dubai!
The currency is the dirham of the United Arab Emirates. €1 is worth around AED 3.98.
CB is accepted just about everywhere.
Before you go
Don’t forget to check that your passport is still valid.
There is no need for a visa.
For electrical outlets, they are different from those in France, it is necessary to have an adapter. If you have forgotten it, some hotels provide them on request.
Consider taking sunscreen, sunglasses and a head covering.