We visited Dubai in August 2015 and it was the hottest month of the year. Our generous host for this time-off was my sister and her Family who has been in Dubai for less that 10 years and no amount of thank you’s can express how they made our stay the most memorable of all our travels.
Unlike it’s neighboring countries like Qatar or Kuwait, Dubai is an open city. Vast and Vibrant city, so many to discover. Progress is evident in all the construction sites. Not to mention the fact that Dubai houses the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa. But these are not the only “est” we can find in Dubai.
For this article, I am going to share the places we visited rather that our activities each day as we stayed there for almost a month which would render this content insanely long!
1. Visiting the Tallest Building in the World – Burj Khalifa
From our homebase in Arabian Ranches, it will take use around 15 minutes drive from the house to the city center. Even before you reach the center, you can already view the towering splendour of the Burj Al Arab. It is inded distinct and one-of-a-kind structure among Dubai’s skyscaper. The signature pointed tower makes it even more seemingly unreachable.
You can visit the observation deck at 125th floor. And if you do, don’t forget the spot the island the resembles the world map. 🙂
Fact or Fiction?: The person occupying the highest residential floor in Burj Khalifa is an Indian National.
2. A glimpse of the luxurious hotel designed like a sail – Burj Al Arab
I haven’t actually visited the hotel itself but that’s fine. If I can only view from afar is good enough already. My family went to the beach near the Burj and had a pre-dusk dip at the hot sea. Don’t worry about the heat from the sand, you’ll get used to it in a while. Along with our snacks and bathing suits, dipping in Dubai sea is one of a kind experience.
Fact or Fiction?: Burj Al Arab is the only 7-star hotel in the world.
3. A replica of an old Arabian Town – Madinat Jumeirah
My sister took us to this amazing resort where everything is pleasing to the eye. It could have been cool to hang out outside as the resorts houses different restaurants that had al-fresco dining but that isn’t a good idea as the heat is sometimes un-tolerable. The resort also has a souk (market) inside which you can browse thru while walking. Bring the kids as there is plenty of room for them to roam around without worrying about them breaking things. Just keep an eye on them though as the place is huge and they might get lost roaming around.
Fact or Fiction?: As the resort is surrounded with waterways, Madinat Jumeirah was actually called the Venice of Middle East.
Another round of pictures I just can’t get enough of Madinat
4. A Marina like no other – Dubai Marina
This is the only Marina I’ve seen where there are more buildings rather than actual bodies of water. Or perhaps, I was only on one side of the place most of the time. The structure overpowers the beauty of the man-made bodies of water. It also houses the most well-known hotel brands in the world. Including the yatchs in the waterfront, is now a testatment of how rich the people who lives in one of those buildings are.
When we come here, we usually go crazy over the fountains. They actually allow you to get wet as the heat is scorching. And before sunrise, plan for a morning jog around the marina where there are few people roaming around this famous attraction.
Fact or Fiction?: Dubai Marina is entirely man-made
5. Go extreme and let your heart race – Skydive Dubai
One morning while we were jogging around the Marina, we came accross the Skydive Dubai area. It is a heart racing experience to be 13,000 feet up in the air and dropping towards gravity. I did not try it though.
Fact or Fiction?: Name a Filipino celebrity who already tried this extreme ride in Dubai.
6. Go crazy shopping at the world’s largest mall – Dubai Mall
The mall is just within the area of Burj Khalifa, there is nothing more luxurious mall that I have ever been to. So many shops, restaurants, brands. Intricate details on the ceilings, walls, corners. All you can do beside shopping is get impressed with the structure.
We came here several times. And for each time, we are in awe and unable to visit everything the mall can offer.
Fact or Fiction?: Dubai Mall is houses the largest cinema in the world.
7. The home of the Ski Dubai – Mall of Emirates
One of the top 5 shopping malls in Dubai, MOE as famously called is a place for family leisure, shopping and chill. It houses the first indoor ski resort and snow park in Dubai. Though my sister only comes here to do some groceries, we managed to chill at those times while killing time.
8. Transportation made easier with Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro opened in 2009 and when we visited it in 2015, it looks like everything is still brand new. We rarely use the metro since my sister usually drives us around whenever we wanted to visit places in the city. Riding the metro is something that shouldn’t be missed though. It’s convenient, fast and watch out for the Gold Card section as there are distinctions on your card access. When we took the metro ride, my sister also made us ride the bus towards the nearest station from our place. This is also the first time my niece is taking the bus.
Fact or Fiction?: Dubai Metro is the world’s longest automated driverless train system.
9. Children trying to be adult at Kidzania Dubai
Courtesy of my sister, this is my son’s first time at Kidzania. It’s my first time too! At first, I really have no idea what to do here. For every kid entering, requires the supervision of adults. This attraction is actually a child’s role play. They get to do adult jobs in exchange for money where they are also allowed to have a good time after a day’s work. When I say good time, not the good time like adults do but of course, more play. Kidzania Dubai is where my son got his Pazzport and so far, we have visited Dubai and Manila’s Kidzania branches.
Fact or Fiction?: Kidzania Dubai is the 7th franchise that opened starting from it’s home location in Mexico.
10. The myth came to life – Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, The Palm is a resort built in one of the highest point in the famous The Palm Jumeirah – the structure that is shaped like a palm tree in the coastline of Dubai. Upon entering the Palm, one can only be left in amazement of how the structure came about from reclaimed area. Smell and feel extravagant upon stepping into this fine place.
Atlantis is just one of the attractions inside the entire resort. We are unable to enter in one of the 16 fronds as these are private properties and only residents are allowed.
Fact or Fiction?: David and Victoria Beckham owns a villa in one of the fronds at The Palm Jumeirah
11. Watch the life underwater – Dubai Aquarium
My sister treated us to see the Dubai Aquarium as both my son and my niece loves fishes and anything that moves from the water. This is also the first time my son experiences VR by watching creatures from the sea. From the VR goggles, we went on to see other creatures of the sea from the magnificent tanks of the aquarium.
Fact of Fiction?: Dubai Aquarium is the largest Indoor Aquarium in the world.
12. Home of Dubai’s racetrack – Meydan
Though we only came here to eat buffet lunch, be mindful that this place requires a dress code. Strictly! If you are in the location underdressed, you will feel ashame you did not bring out those high heels and faboulous dress from your closet.
13. Another paradise for kids – Modhesh World
So this trip is not only about the adults but mostly for the kids. My sister took us to this indoor entertainment complex for our kids to enjoy the day. My son particularly enjoyed the trampoline
14. Another luxurious residence at JBR
Just another beach to hang out to when in Dubai. Water from this beach is of course humid and tolerable. I vividly remember my sister cursing when we had to park the car in one of the residences and was charged AED60. That’s even pricier than the dessert we had.
Our time in Dubai is the best there is. We get to spend time with our family like no other. Definitely coming back to Dubai when we can.