Can you truly fall in love with a place?
If the answer is NO, then are we living in a fantasy land when we travel? And all those emotions are like placebos waiting for you to realize it was all a lie until you snap out of a false reality?
If the answer is YES, then falling in love with a place is truly a drug and it keeps us wanting more and more. Enough to where we would go back in a heartbeat. It is a lingering effect; The type where you cannot put into words how a place made you feel. It just feels natural, and the memories bring you back to all the reasons why you fell in love with that place.
I am going to go with YES, only because I was bit by the Dubai love bug.
Let me just start by saying I judged Dubai by its hype, or face mask. I was hesitant visiting Dubai. There was no hesitation as far as what the American media portrays about this Muslim, Middle Eastern country, but I was skeptic because I was told Dubai is similar to Vegas. And I despise Vegas.
Dubai is quite possibly the most luxurious / unrealistic / relaxing / freeing vacation you can treat yourself with. It is a city showcasing in rich architecture, adventures, man-made beaches, nightlife and day parties transitioning you into this made up fantasy world. It is a millennials dream! I truly felt as if I was living in an unrealistic world when it came to dancing to electronic music at the coolest beach clubs in the world.
Dubai is great in the sense that it takes you away from reality. As a tourist, you see Dubai from the outside and immediately are hypnotized by its regality. It has this expensive mask on it, unconsciously making you spend money like you are Beyoncé. And it is so worth it. My friend Courtney and I spent two weeks having the time of our lives in dazzling Dubai.
And let me just say that Dubai is really not the “Middle East”. Location wise, yes, well kinda. It is actually located on the far western portion of Asia. It is safe and very westernized. I felt more safe in Dubai than I would walking around my hometown late at night. They have certain rules and laws making it very easy to abide by when in public. Not only should you always respect the culture, but you should feel comfortable being a woman walking around in this city. It was safe.
We visited Dubai in February, which was perfect because it was not too hot. Anyone who lives there will tell you not to visit in summer because it is brutally hot like, ‘sticking your face in an oven’ hot.
Based on our experience and notes taken from friends who have been there as well, I have the exact note we used to explore throughout our stay. We honestly winged our whole trip and had nightly discussions about planning the next day.
Ladies Day = Free entry and discounted beverages and food
Souk- an Arab marketplace or bazaar
Things you should do in Dubai:
- Burj Khalifa – Buy your tickets off of Groupon. You will need 48 hrs until you can redeem your voucher, but it will get you a fast pass (You DEFINITELY want this because lines tend to be long), a dessert and snack at the end of the tour. Paying at the Burj will cost you like $20 more versus the Groupon deal. Totally worth it.
- Dancing fountain – Show starts at 6pm – 10 pm weekdays, and 6pm to 11-pm weekends. It goes off every 30 minutes and lasts about 5 minutes. It is the largest chroeographed fountain located in downtown Dubai. The performance is set to lights and music. A must-see!
- Burj Al Arab – A 7 star hotel. You can make a reservation for any restaurant at the Burj, but it is expensive. This hotel offer a PILLOW MENU and offers Hermés skincare products, and aquariums in rooms.
- Atlantis the Palm for instagrammable photo taking
- Miracle Garden – about 30 min away from Dubai
- Check out Groupon for a safari tour. There are a lot of options and they all pretty much includes a camel ride, BBQ in the desert, and arabian night under the stars. They will pick you up around 3 pm and you will spend the rest of the evening there. Then they will transport you back to your accommodation.
- Cove beach (in Jumeirah hotel) – Tuesday or Wednesday is ladies day, opens at 12, but go around 10:30 as they have a limited list. Cove beach has a free beach as well, or you can go to the actual beach club
- Blue Marlin Ibiza, UAE
- Kite Beach – free public beach
- Secret Beach – free public beach
- Nassimi Beach (Atlantis hotel) – Ladies day is on Monday.
- Zero Gravity Beach Club – Ladies day is Tuesday. Cffers clear walls and cool DJ with views of the Dubai Marina.
- Madinat Jumeirah Souk – An expensive shopping souk targeted towards tourists. Expensive, but definitely go for picture taking! There are nice restaurants here as well.
- Gold Souk – An authentic shopping souk sparkling in Gold, diamonds, and affordable clothing featuring abayas, and couture gowns.
- Spice Souk – If you like to cook you can find your spices here
- Perfume Souk – The name is pretty explanatory
- Meena Bazaar – Indian area for shopping
- Emirates Mall – This has all the major luxury brands, including places like Zara and H&M.
- Dubai Mall – An aquarium in a mall? Yes, only in Dubai. It is one of the largest aquariums in the world. The Dubai Mall also has indoor skiing, of course.
- Dubai marina
- Pier 7 – nice bars and restaurants
- JBR – bars, restaurant
- Dubai Water canal
- Dubai Boulevard Walk
Bars + Clubs
Cirque le soir
Day Trips: Visit Abu Dhabi where you see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Emirates Palace, The Louvre UAE, Ferrari World, Heritage Village, and a few other things. It is honestly like night and day between Dubai and Abu Dhabi so I would set one or two days aside to visit here. Research what is most important to see because we were ready to go back to Dubai real quick!
People talk about perfect timing, but I think everything is perfect in its moment; you just want to capture that. – Eddie Huang.
This quote could not be anymore significant with my time in Dubai. It was as if time stood still. As if time was put on hold and I was supposed to be living my best life.
Dubai does that to you though. It brings you to this make-believe world. Escaping reality. Where money is of no importance and you’re spending your time exploring and living in the moment. Beach clubs with electronic music blaring, Arabian nights with camel trekking in the desert, shopping galore, the ambience, authentic cuisines from around the world, and cultural exploration is everything I absorbed and craved when I visited the “Middle East” for the first time. This was the trip of a lifetime. I finally felt as if I was in the right place at the right time, and I thank Dubai for giving me life again.♥️