Dubai – February 2018

Dubai, one of our favourite holiday destinations. It’s not too far away and it is guaranteed weather all year round. Depending on the aircraft and whether you are going to or from London, the flight times vary from approx. 6.5 hours to 8 hours. We usually do an over night flight so we don’t loose a day. My sister has been living in Dubai for the past four years so this was our fourth trip, although she is leaving this summer and moving to America with her Fiancé. Having said that, we only stayed at her apartment this time for just two nights as she works away a lot and we like trying out new hotels.

At this point I was 18 weeks pregnant. My morning sickness was so bad from 6 weeks that I wondered how I would cope but actually we celebrated my last episode just as we arrived at the airport in Dubai (sorry!) It was a miracle, from 18 weeks, I wasn’t sick again. A day I thought would never come!

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People say Dubai is like Marmite; you either love it or you hate it. We love it and can’t understand whats not to love. It is sunny, hot, clean and everything is luxury and the best and the biggest in the world. Would you expect anything less from Dubai…

Previously we have visited Dubai in February, March and Novemeber which are all great month’s temperature wise ranging from late 20’s to early 30’s. Summer time in Dubai is unbearable, around 45-50 degrees so you want to avoid it from late May to late September. During the height of the summer, the place is a ghost town, everyone is inside and outside areas close, the furniture literally melts. On the plus side, it means flights and hotels are cheap because no one wants to go!

Now that we have been a few times we feel as though we know Dubai quite well. The different areas, what’s where, the best restaurants and where most of the good hotels are.

This trip we stayed at the Five Palm Jumeriah which is on the man-made island of The Palm. It is about the fourth hotel on the left when you drive on to the island which is the perfect location because it means it is only a short drive back to the mainland. Whereas if you are further on to the Palm, it is quite a ride because the island is so big, you don’t realise you are on an island either. The beauty about being on the beginning of the island, and on the left hand side (west side) means you have the best views of all the sky scrapers on the mainland.

When we were here previously we’d seen this hotel being built. When researching hotels to stay in, being a designer, the interiors play a bit part in my decision. What caught my attention of this hotel was it’s unique architectural shape (a glass upside down U-shape) and the interiors were very on trend. Not a piece of chrome in sight, it was brass galore and it did not disappoint! I love seeing something a little bit different.

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Our balcony with views of the Burj Al Arab in the distance.

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There are three swimming pools at the hotel. The main pool, which is long and thin and led right the way under the arch of the building, then there is the adults only pool on the 16th floor at the Penthouse bar and then there was spa pool, also adults only, both great options for us.

The main pool was of course the busiest, and on their weekends, which is Friday and Saturday, there is a DJ. So if you want peace and quiet, you head to the spa pool or the Penthouse pool. We did a mixture of the main pool and spa pool. We loved both for different reasons.

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The heavenly spa pool, which we had to ourselves most days.

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The amazing Penthouse bar, which is located on the 16th floor has incredible views, especially at sunset.

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As the hotel was mostly floor to ceiling glass, it meant there were fabulous views from almost anywhere in the hotel.

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A quiet wiskey bar…

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I loved the panelling in the wiskey bar.

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As you can imagine there are many restaurants at the hotel. This was a sunset dinner from Maiden Shanghai, a Chinese restaurant at the hotel, one of the best authentic Chinese meals we have had.

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Sunset from the beach over looking JBR on the mainland.

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We visited the Dubai Miracle Garden which is home to over 50 million flowers. It is pretty spectacular and is one of a kind in the region and the world for such a unique flower display and extravagant. They even have an Emirates A380 Airbus made out of flowers!

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One of my favourite places in Dubai is the Dubai Fountains (the biggest fountains in the world) which is right outside the Dubai Mall (the biggest mall in the world) and the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world!) I may have seen the choreographed fountain show a dozen times over the past few years yet it never fails to amaze me. It is truly amazing.  When the songs are Whitney Huston, Micheal Jackson or Adele, the hairs all over your body stand up. It is remarkable day or night, so clever!

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Watching the fountain show from dinner…

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The light shows on the Burj Khalifa are also spectacular.

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The tallest building in the world. We went up in on our first visit to Dubai a few years ago, Atmosphere, the worlds tallest restaurant located on the 122nd floor with amazing views out for absolutely miles.

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And the area during the day…

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My two favourite restaurants to eat in around this area for formal and casual are Thiptara and Social House.

Thiptara is right on the water of the fountains, so you get the best views when the show is going on. Make sure you ask for a table outside on the edge. The cuisine here is Thai and is generally the best Thai food I’ve ever had, better than what I actually ate in Thailand! Thiptara is more of a formal restaurant for dinner. Whereas Social House is much more casual for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The cuisine is East and West, so that’s anything from burger and pizza to noodles and sushi. The photo above is from this restaurant, my husbands nacho pizza with views of the Burj Khalifa. Also great views of the fountains as this restaurant is on the water front.

We met up with some friends who have been living in Dubai for nearly a year. We spent the day at Le Meridian Mina Seyahi Beach Resort, which is just at the south of The Palm and located on Dubai’s largest white sandy beaches. We had a lovely pool side lunch and spent the day in the pool and on the beach.  At most of the hotels in Dubai you can purchase a day pass to use the facilities.

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We visited the 360 bar just in time for sunset drinks before dinner which is located at the Jumeriah Beach hotel. This bar is a must! A golf buggy will take you to the bar as it is a little walk. This is the best way to get up close views of the Burj Al Arab, a 7-star hotel and the third tallest hotel in the world.

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After the sun had gone down we headed to Asia Asia, which is located at Pier 7 at Dubai Marina.  Another of my all time favourite restaurants. This place will blow you away not only with the food but the views! We sat right on the edge of the glass balcony so when you look down it is a sheer drop into the water!

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Another great restaurant to visit it Black Tap, located on JBR beach, for the best craft beers, burgers and absolutly insane milkshakes! We shared the Cotton Candy shake.

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Another great place to visit is the Atlanis hotel.  This place is like a mini Disney World! It has it all. Tons of restaurants, a marine and waterpark, beaches and pools. We went to The Lost Chambers Aquarium, home to some pretty incredible sealife.

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Dubai is very expensive, you can expect to pay way above what you would in London but Dubai offers the very best of the best and you will find it hard to find somewhere with bad customer service.

We absolutely love this place and hope we can return with bebe in tow!

Claire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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