Sophie has written her first travel post for She Gets Around and it’s all about FUN in Dubai! Now Dubai isn’t my favourite place in the world, but Sophie managed to find a different side. Read on to hear about her thoughts on Dubai…
Dubai has a bit of a bad rep, don’t you think? Many people brand the place as lacking culture, which in many ways is true. But, I was lucky enough to bag myself a cheap holiday there a couple of years ago, where I gained some great insider-knowledge. My friend, Annie, who was Cabin Crew for Emirates at the time, showed me around the city in style, and of course, made damn sure we had FUN! So, I hopped aboard my Emirates flight to visit my super glamorous, fun-loving friend, who was ready to show me around her new stomping ground.
My friend, Annie, who was Cabin Crew for Emirates at the time, showed me around the city in style, and of course, made damn sure we had FUN! So, I hopped aboard my Emirates flight to visit my super glamorous, fun-loving friend, who was ready to show me around her new stomping ground.
At this point, I will mention that Emirates cabin crew get fairly special treatment in the city. Including discounted prices or free entry into almost all bars and restaurants, just upon producing their Emirates staff card.
BUT, I did some really fun things and wanted to share them with you, as following Jen’s Ras-Al Khaimah post, we thought it’d only be fair to give Dubai a bit of coverage too!
On Fridays, we brunch
Hands down, this was one of the most fun experiences I had in Dubai. It turns out that every Friday, the ladies (and gentlemen) of the city all congregate for a boozy brunch.
Yep, that’s right, people put on their glad rags and head to the latest be-seen brunch spots to eat and drink their way through the day. Prosecco for breakfast? I’ll cheers to that, *clink!*
Take the vertical water slide challenge
Dubai has some incredible water parks, but the most fun I had was at The Atlantis, just off The Palm. For a true adrenaline rush and quite frankly, really scary challenge… get yourself on the Poseidon’s Revenge slide. Once you’ve climbed all the way to the top, you wait your turn to step inside what can only be described as a vertical coffin made from see-through perspex. Once inside, a brief count-down and before you know it, the floor falls out from beneath you, and you literally plummet at speed down a huge water slide that even takes you upside down. It’s, without a doubt, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most petrifying! The waterpark is an absolute must if you’re thrill seeking in this hot and humid city.
It’s, without a doubt, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most petrifying! The waterpark is an absolute must if you’re thrill seeking in this hot and humid city.
Catch the Dubai World Cup
Next up in terms of fun was watching the horse racing (and J.Lo perform!) at the Dubai World Cup.
An annual event, held at the end of March, it’s a huge congregation of beautiful looking people drinking fizz in the afternoon sun and having a dabble on the horses. You can even try your hand at winning the popular ‘best dressed’ competition, but for me, the spectacular firework show at the end was worth the ticket price alone!
Wander around the Old Town
The old town is still very quaint and beautiful and full of culture.
You can wander through the stunning gold quarter and look at all the expensive, yellow-gold jewellery that you probably can’t afford. My favourite, however, were the spices, trinkets, architecture and hustle and bustle of this side of town, which is not to be missed.
Plus, to reach the old town you take a short ride on a traditional wooden boat, which is lovely, and all part of the charm and experience!
Go stand on top of the world
This one is obvious, but in my opinion, it’s a must do if you’re in the city. Yep, go to the top of the Burj Khalifa.
On the way up, they show you how the epic structure was built and how many men it took from start to finish. The lift (or elevator) is an experience in itself; it is, of course, the tallest in the world, and honestly, you barely feel it’s in motion, despite its impressive speed of 10 meters per second!
At the top, on the world’s highest outdoor observation deck, you really get a feel for how this building dwarfs everything else in the city. Impressive!
Eat your body weight in cheesecake
Dubai is a very indulgent place, and the American influence is apparent everywhere you look. Therefore, I found it best to take a ‘when in Rome’ approach, and just went along with the Starbucks culture and eating indulgent meals as-and-when you like. So when my friend suggested we ate cheesecake for dinner, I was more than up for it.
In the middle of the busy Dubai Mall, is The Cheesecake Factory. As you arrive, you’re greeted by a huge glass cabinet literally full of stunning cheesecake. But this place is an actual restaurant, so we obliged and ordered a ‘main meal’ first. In order to maximise room for dessert (did I mention this place serves epic cheesecake?) we opted for lettuce wraps to really keep things light. Having got through the formality of ‘mains’ we didn’t hesitate to pick a slice of cheesecake each. It’s absolutely heavenly.
And don’t worry, if you can’t finish it, they box it up for you to take home for later. A very fun dining experience indeed.
Spend the afternoon jet skiing
In this hot and humid climate, many take refuge in air-conditioned Malls or of course, in the water. There’s no better way to spend the afternoon than jet skiing in the open ocean.
We booked with Shark Jetski’s and it was with these guys I learnt how to jet-ski. We rented one each for an hour in the afternoon and had an absolute ball. You get to go right out into the sea, or if you’re not feeling so brave can stick to the bay area that’s much less rough. Life jackets and training are provided too, so even if you’re a novice (like I was) then you’ll have a chance to get to grips with your new favourite hobby!
After all of the above, you’ll probably be ready to relax. You could go for a full-on spa day, which I’m sure would be lovely.
But I found it most fun to find a cheap and cheerful nail salon. The ladies who work in these places seem to be having the time of their lives. They’re all gossiping away to each other whilst pampering your toots and finger tips. This was the best mani/pedi I’ve ever had, and all in record time as there can be up to four ladies working on you at once! Complete with massage chairs and a hand massage too this was a fun experience I’ll never forget!
So I hope this has shed a little light on the fact that you can have fun in Dubai!
It’s not as cheap as it’s neighbour Ras Al-Khaimah, which Jenny loved, but if it’s on your travel bucket list you can rest-assured you CAN still have a fun filled time in this ultra mod UAE city.