So If you ask me about Dubai….It’s a city made to entertain the insanely rich …a city of ‘immigrants/expats’…a city of excess..of the good life and as the World largest mall ‘Dubai mall’ says…Welcome to the land of everything!! But these are just first impressions!
So, it all happened with a work visit planned at Dublin which resulted in a stopover at Dubai..I grabbed that opportunity and extended it to a day! I landed at 1:00 am on 31st and departed on 1st at 3:00 pm..and these 36 hours (and 1000 dirhams) gave me a glimpse into this futuristic city!
Some cities are traveller friendly, some are not..Now, Dubai is made for travellers! I took a taxi alone comfortably at 3:00 am from the airport to the hotel, Four Points Sheraton, Bur Dubai..a fantastic decision by me. 2 nights at 640 dirham (through booking.com), the rooms were great, breakfast delicious and a super helpful front desk.
So, at 9:00 am, I started the day by getting couple of bookings done through the hotel- Dubai Dolphinarium(70 aed) and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo (100 aed) and with the tickets in hand which I got from the hotel itself, I started my race against the time! Tip: Get the Burj Khalifa tickets done too to avoid long queues!
So below itinerary is definitely recommended if you want to experience the most of Dubai in few hours:
1. Public transport is very convenient, the cab driver from Bur Dubai took me to Dolphin aquarium which actually is also a kid’s park! The 1 hour show was very captivating, amazing to see how they even thought of using Dolphins to entertain people! I also paid 80 dirhams more to get a kiss from Dolphins and a photo..the photo was crap but the kiss was worth it!
2. Post Dolphin show, visit the Dubai Mall, the World’s Biggest Mall. It doesn’t matter what your thoughts on shopping are, this place has something for everyone..be the precious gold in Gold Souk, mega sale in your favourite brand or the biggest bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup..this place is what dreams are made of! The zoo in the mall was jaw dropping..you have to see the sharks and the crocodile ‘IN’ the mall to believe it!
3. Before you leave the mall, enjoy the view of Dubai from Burj Khalifa Observation deck. A must do activity for the day! You can either go to the Level 125 which will cost you 125 dirhams or level 148 which costs 350 dirhams during non prime hours. At prime hours (1530- 1800 hours), which are perfect for sunset the cost of the ticket would increase to AED 500. But I will say, it’s worth it!
4. Meena Bazaar was the next stop for some street shopping! If you like bargaining and perfumes, you will enjoy the walk here! I met lot of Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Indians who once got to know that I am Indian, invited me to have a cup of tea! I said yes to an hour of ‘special tea’ and conversations!
In the evening, at 7:00 pm, I came back to the mall to enjoy the Fountain Show (free of cost). I saw it twice, because, that is something that I don’t want to forget!
The evening was spent with a friend who works in Dubai and we took the metro to beat the office traffic. Lot of walking, but very conveniently in 30 minutes we were at Jumeirah beach. Jumeira Beach is a white sand beach that is located divided into 1, 2 and 3 and has hotels and restaurants next to it, public beach, water sports, yachts and all other water activities that you can imagine. Do go for a walk their early morning or evenings! Enjoy the Shawarma, walk in the sea and sit in the sand to enjoy the Dubai Sheesha at ‘Smokey beach’, a restaurant on the beach!
It was 1 am yet people were relaxed and the night seemed to go on and on! Enjoy the drive at Sheikh Zayed Road both during the day and the night, just to see engineering marvels! The modern architecture will surprise you again..and again!
Dubai seemed like a time warp..and I can’t wait to step into it again!
This city has left me with a thought, ‘Rise and Shine and if you make it, make It Big’.