At the beginning of December I was lucky enough to spend a week in one of my favourite cities, Dubai. There is nowhere quite like it. It’s big, it’s glamorous and it is the place to go for a Winter break in the sun.
While we were there we stayed at The Four Seasons Jumeirah beach for 7 nights. It was a lovely, luxurious hotel with stunning pools made of tiles with glimmering white and gold mosaics shaded by leafy palm trees. (hotel review here)
December really is the perfect time to visit Dubai and the Dubai Tourism board (DTCM) had kindly set up some awesome activities for us to do during the week we were there.
The first activity on the list was the Miracle Garden… I love this place! It was my second time visiting and each year there’s something different to see. My biggest tip would be to go early as towards lunchtime it can start to get veryyyy busy making taking photos without crowds of people in them pretty difficult.
After a couple of hours wandering around this colourful Alice in Wonderland garden, we jumped in a taxi and headed to Dubai’s ‘Little Venice – the Madinat Jumeirah. Souk Madinat, with it’s gorgeous Arabian-inspired architecture design, is one of my favourite places to hang out in Dubai. It’s full of cafes, restaurants and shops and is generally just a really nice place to wander round and soak up the atmosphere.
We hopped on one of the traditional boats called an abra and sailed around the beautiful waterways which is a good way to see the area and marvel over the gorgeous hotels they have on the complex. The beach at Madinat Jumeirah is also a great spot to spend the day, with 2 km of soft white sand, beautiful turquoise water and delicious coconuts.
That night we visited the Jumeriah Beach Hotel and enjoyed watching the sun slowly dip behind the iconic sail shaped Burj Al Arab.
After the sun had disappeared we met up with a friend and drove to the marina for dinner. The marina is definitely of my favourite areas to go in the evening as it’s so lively with lots of restaurants and bars and it’s nice to stroll along the canal with the skyscrapers towering above you.
The next day we were up bright and early for a really amazing experience – a seaplane tour over Dubai! Last year I did the helicopter ride so I was excited to see how this would compare.
We flew with a company called Seawings which is based at the Dubai Golf Club. I can say that it’s very different to the helicopter ride but equally as good! Take off and landing were very smooth and we flew past the Burj Khalifa, down the coast past the Burj Al Arab to the Palm and back.
That afternoon the Dubai Tourism board had organised for us to goto the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the World. I had done this last year but really wanted to go up there at sunset this time and see the city in a different light.
At 4pm we took the elevator to the World’s Highest Observation Deck on the 148th floor, which is 555.7 m (1,823 ft) off the ground. We got to see the view in 3 different lights – day time, as the sun set and in the dark with all the city lights twinkling below.
After spending some time on the 148th floor we took the elevator down to the 125th floor, walked down to the 124th floor and then back to the bottom.
The entrance to the Burj Khalifa is located inside Dubai Mall so we immediately landed in shopping heaven and spent the night browsing stores, eating dinner and watching the amazing fountain show which happens every 30 minutes right up until 11pm.
The next day we had lunch reservations at Scape restaurant which is on the outside terrace at the most luxurious hotel in the world – The Burj Al Arab. After a yummy lunch and exploring the colourful interior and marvelling over the Christmas decorations, we headed up to the 18th floor to the Talise Spa which is home to one of my favourite pools.
Last year I visited with my mum whilst we were on a tour at the Burj Al Arab (photos here) and we fell in love with it. This time we got to jump in and we had the pool to ourselves pretty much the whole time we were there. There are two separate infinity pools; one for women and one mixed and both of them overlook the magnificent Arabian Gulf below.
The following day we decided to check out Shangri-La hotel’s iKandy lounge which is the perfect place to unwind in a downtown oasis. The ambience is so relaxing and they have a beautiful pool surrounded by palm trees with the iconic Burj Khalifa towering over it in the distance…
Early afternoon we went back to our hotel to get changed as we were going on a desert safari. This was my third safari in Dubai and it was definitely the best of the lot.
Our desert safari was with the company ‘Platinum Heritage’ and from start to finish the service was great. Tiago, our guide, was very knowledgable and made the whole trip very enjoyable and fun. We drove an hour out of Dubai to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR for short) a 225-square-kilometre natural reserve.
When we arrived, they gave us water bottles and head scarfs and we swapped vehicles and jumped in a gorgeous 1950’s Landrover. We drove through the desert, wind in our hair and excitedly spotting wild onyx before stopping for a 40 minute photoshoot on the dunes as the sun was setting. It was so, so beautiful!
All the Landrovers stick to a certain route and don’t drive all over the place like other safari’s i’d previously been on, meaning that the dunes were unspoilt and didn’t have car tire tracks all over them making it perfect for photos! After watching a falcon display show we drove to the camp where we ate a delicious barbecue feast under the stars.
We got dropped back to downtown Dubai at around 9pm and we went straight to the 42nd floor at the Shangri-La Hotel. Their balcony has become pretty famous in the Instagram world as it has the most amazing and iconic view over downtown Dubai…
Before we knew it, our last day had come. Time flies when you’re having fun! We decided to take it easy and just chill out by the pool at the four Seasons and enjoy the weather before heading back to colder climates for Christmas.
Many thanks to @Visit.Dubai for an amazing week, I already can’t wait to return!