I’m currently sitting on my flight home from Dubai after the best few days there with my mom. The 3 days flew by but that’s always a good sign. We had an absolute ball, fit so much in and still managed to have time to relax and enjoy the heat. It was my second time in Dubai, and my mom’s first (although it never really gets old!). I did 2 blogs and a vlog the last time I was here (last March) and I found myself referring to those throughout the trip for tips – if you’re interested check out my first blog here, my second blog here and my travel vlog here (still my most viewed video on YouTube).
This time we went over with Emirates Holidays – an international holiday company specialising in tailor-made, premium holiday packages to Dubai and beyond. Although the company is around since 2013, they are new to Ireland since May of this year. Emirates Holidays organised every aspect of the trip from our flights to hotel to excursions and activities, which I have to say just made the whole trip very relaxing and stress-free. From the second we arrived we had an Emirates Holidays escort on hand to help, and you can also opt in for transfers throughout your trip as well (which we did) if you want to save the hassle of getting taxis.
How we got there:
We flew direct from Dublin to Dubai International Airport with Emirates (Emirates Holidays always use Emirates Airlines for flights although they are separate companies). We left in the evening at 10.25pm and arrived at 8.50am in Dubai, it was a lovely flight as it meant we got some sleep and arrived in ready to enjoy the full day in Dubai. It’s my 3rd time flying Emirates and I always just think it’s an experience in itself – the food, the movies, the comfort and the service are just amazing. It took 7 hours in total.
Where we stayed:
We stayed at the stunning Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort and honestly it was incredible. I had lots of people message me while I was there saying they had stayed there on their honeymoon, it was their favourite resort ever, so many nice things about the resort. When booking with Emirates Holidays you will always be guaranteed a hotel standard of 4* or 5*. Anantara was so different to any hotel I’d ever seen in Dubai before, it certainly didn’t feel like you were in a city. Located on the man-made Palm you are just far enough away from the bustling city to feel like you can relax and get a proper break.
We had a Premier Lagoon View Room which overlooked the huge lagoons that acted as a backgarden to all the hotel rooms. There was also a main swimming pool with a poolbar, jacuzzi and lots of sunbeds. The main pool is located right in front of the beach which has the hottest sea water I’ve ever felt (and probably will ever feel) in my life. It literally felt as warm as a bath.
The hotel was located about 35 mins from the airport and 25 mins from the main part of downtown Dubai.
What we did:
- Sundowner Desert Dune Dinner Safari – we did this with Arabian Adventures and I have to say it was the highlight of the trip. There was just so much to it: a falcon show, dune bashing, sunset in the desert, camel rides, a bbq (with wine 😉 ), henna tattoos, shisha, a belly dancing show and stargazing experience. They also pick you up from and drop you off at your hotel. We were picked up at 4 and were home by 10.30. I think it’s great value for the price it is. It had been recommended to me the last time we came, and now I’m sorry we didn’t do it then. It’s the one activity that really allows you to experience Dubai and it’s culture. If you are going to book with Arabian Adventures, as for the tour guide Faisal Khan – he was so good and funny!
- Burj Khalifa – At The Top – This was my second time to the top and it is just one of those things I could do over and over and never get sick of. It’s incredible to look down on this huge man-made city in the desert that only had ONE tall building 20 years ago. We had Emirates Holidays add this to our itinerary but if you want to organise yourself you can, I would recommend booking online before hand to avoid queues.
- The Dubai Mall – the biggest and most impressive mall I’ve ever been in by a long shot, it’s got something for everyone. Designer and high street shops, an unbelievable aquarium (make sure you visit the underwater zoo there) and a big food court. Oh and it’s connected to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountains so you can make it a stop on your day of sight-seeing 😉
- The Dubai Fountain show – located at the Dubai Mall and in front of the Burj Khalifa these fountains are a must see. They’re free to visit and there is a show every 30 mins. We watched them 5 times, they just get better every time. They are huge – they’re actually twice the height of the Bellagio fountains in Vegas just to give you an idea. We watched them in day light right through to night time when they are lit up and it was actually so cool. There are lots of restaurants around there too where you can eat your dinner with a view of the show, we did that and it was amazing.
- La Perle – This is Dubai’s number one show, it’s fairly new to Dubai only opening in the last year, and it is absolutely out of this world. It’s like a stunt show with acrobats, gymnasts, dancers and one incredibly put together set. It’s an experience worth adding to the list for sure, click here to watch a little trailer of it.
- The Lost Chambers Aquarium in the Atlantis hotel – the best aquarium we saw during our time in Dubai. We couldn’t get over the size of the fish, you could sit there all day just watching them. It’s only €10 entry as well!
- Visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah – Take a stroll through the traditional Arabian markets, get a gondola through the canals and then enjoy a cocktail or dinner overlooking the Burj Al Arab.
Where we ate:
- The first night we ate in the middle of the desert as part of the Desert Safari and it was such a cool experience. We sat on cushions on the ground at benches, and the barbecqued food was so delicious!
- We had half board in the hotel which was handy as it meant we could have breakfast and then lunch or dinner. It just gave us some time to relax and enjoy the hotel as well. We ate at Revo Café and Crescendo for Breakfast, Crescendo and the Beach House for lunch and Mekong Asian Restaurant for dinner.
- Thiptara Thai Restaurant – this restaurant is in the Palace Hotel, overlooking the fountains at the Dubai Mall. It’s probably the best thai food I’ve ever had!
Ok well that’s everything, it was the trip of a lifetime, and I feel very lucky I got to experience it all and spend some quality time with my mom. I know she loved every second too.
Anything I haven’t covered here with regards to Dubai, I’m sure I’ve touched on it in my last two blogs so definitely have a read of those too. And any other questions you have just drop me a message or a comment, happy to help 🙂
I’m off to get a little sleep on this flight, but before I go I want to say a big thanks to Emirates Holidaysfor inviting me on this trip and for all their help with organising it,
I’m back in Dubai Airport tomorrow night on my way to the Maldives, they just can’t keep me away at the moment haha. Keep an eye out for those blogs coming next week 🙂 I’m very excited!
Have a great weekend guys,