Sunday, 20 August 2017

Top 5: Things to do in Dubai

Dubai, Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, holiday tips, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, I love Dubai, lights, Dubai at night
Dubai, Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah, shopping in Dubai, holiday tips
Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, Dubai, holiday tips, Dubai Marina
Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, Al Fahidi Historic District, holiday tips, Dubai, thins to do in Dubai, art in Dubai, Dubai street art, Dubai mural, Dreamland Clothing, Scottish blogger
Burj Khalifa | Madinat Jumeirah | Dubai Marina | Al Fahidi Historic District

Since Kimberley did her Top 5 Things to do in Brighton, I thought I'd try and cast my mind back and pick out my favourite things from my birthday trip to Dubai with Heather Mac. My main reason for choosing Dubai for my first holiday abroad was to visit our friend Susan. To be honest, it probably wouldn't have been my first pick of destinations - there are a few spots higher up my 'to visit' list. But the chance to spend time with one of my best friends (who I'd been promising to visit for ages), and the offer of accommodation, swayed me and I'm so glad it did! I ended up having an awesome time and it's definitely somewhere I'd visit again. With my guidebook in hand, my sis by my side and Susan acting as tour guide we managed to squeeze a lot in...

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Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, thins to do in Dubai, Dubai, holiday tips, art in Dubai, art gallery, photography, Alserkal Avenue, Anelica Dass, Humanae
XVA Gallery | Angélica Dass Humanae
1.) Art, art and more art
One of my favourite things to do in a new place is visit its art galleries and Dubai didn't disappoint on that front. There were plenty of spots to look around and a wide variety of art to admire. The first gallery we happened across even had a cat! That's two of my favourite things in one spot! The bulk of my allotted art time was spent at Alserkal Avenue, an industrial estate turned gallery complex. There are so many small galleries in this one spot, showing a selection of contemporary art from sculpture to photography and painting. My favourites were the Leila Heller Gallery, Nick Brandt's Inherit the Dust at Custot Gallery and Angélica Dass' Humanae exhibition.
I can also recommend the Al Fahidi Historic District which has a number of little galleries dotted around, including XVA Gallery, as well as some colourful murals.

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Kite Beach              
2.) Heading to the beach(es)
While most of the holiday was spent zipping around, we still managed to fit in some relaxing beach time. I enjoyed a very nice morning on Kite Beach, lying on the sand and reading (didn't see any kites though). With it's selection of small eateries, colourful lifeguard station and view of the Burj Al Arab, it was a wonderful spot to spend a few lazy hours. We went on a weekday, on a not so sunny day and it was lovely and quiet.
For a busier and more bustling beach side experience head to The Beach at JBR. It has some very nice shower and toilet facilities, lots of beach side activities and a lovely boardwalk littered with restaurants and shops, which leads me nicely on to...

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Gold Souq         
3.) Shopping!
S*uce ON-SEA was my favourite from The Beach. It had a lot of designers I recognised and some great pool floats. I could have spent a lot of money in there!
Dubai may be known for its huge malls (Dubai Mall is the largest in the world) but I found these a little too much to handle. In fact, I had a mid holiday breakdown in one (blame hunger and exhaustion). The Bur Dubai and Gold Souq's, while fun to look around, left me feeling similarly exhausted.
I felt much happier wandering around Madinat Jumeirah. This hotel and shopping complex has been made to look like an old style souq but has a lovely calm feel, even when busy. While it still has plenty of souvenir shops, there's also some nice crafted items and you can even have a boat ride on the waterways. Another fun shopping experience was Ripe Food and Craft Market. Taking place weekly in Za'abeel Park, it featured lots of lovely food stalls and a selection of art and craft stalls - basically a hipsters paradise!

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Top 5 Things to do in Dubai, things to do in Dubai, places to eat in Dubai, cafe, health cafe, hipster cafe, Wild and the Moon
RAW Coffee | Wild and the Moon
4.) Eating and drinking
With all the activities and adventures we had there were plenty of stop offs needed to refuel. These were mainly chosen by proximity to where we were when we happened to get hungry.
RAW coffee was recommended to us by one of the gallery owners and it's delicious coffee didn't disappoint. Wild and the Moon gave us some healthy eats in a modern setting. The XVA Café had lots of lovely veggie options and the most delicious mint lemonade.
I already mentioned in my last post, but my birthday afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria was super good. Also, as we were staying with Susan, we enjoyed a number of delicious home cooked meals. You probably won't be able to do that if you visit but I could try and put in a good word for you.

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Dubai Museum         
5.) Seeing the sights
My guidebook has a list of the top 10 sights and we managed to see 7 of them. I'd say that's pretty good going.
Dubai Museum was busy but gave an interesting look at the history of the place and just how fast it's grown. I got to look at sharks and a giant crocodile at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall (seeing fish swimming around in the middle of a shopping centre was a little weird though). And we went (not quite) to the top of the Burj Khalifa. It is one impressive structure and the view was pretty spectacular even on a cloudy day. On top of all that, we also went on a Dessert Safari. This was fun but probably would have been more fun if I was less hungover.

There you have it. I think I've managed to subtly sneak more than 5 things in there. There's still loads I've missed out but I feel like this post has to stop somewhere. Have you been to Dubai? Let me know what your favourite things to do were and I'll pop them on my list for next time.

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Waldorf Astoria         


  1. Dubai Mall is definitely one to make a day of. I had a similar breakdown on my first visit - we'd done a mini tour and headed to the mall afterwards, and I burst into tears in the food court because I was so hungry and there was so much stuff there I just couldn't cope (we ended up having KFC).

    Did a similar post after my last visit if you're interested! I'd love to do the desert safari next time (provided I haven't been drinking the day before - my sister tried that too and ended up vomiting in a paper bag in the back of the jeep). And an afternoon tea in the Burj Al Arab. Which I know will take some saving up...

    Lis / last year's girl x

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  5. Awesome post! Dubai truly is a land of ostentatious landmarks.You indeed have tempted me to explore the plethora of fascinating architectures and amusements of this desert city. Applying for Dubai Tourist visa right away!

  6. Exquisite pictures! These fascinating tourist attractions in your blog certainly prompt me to apply for a Dubai Visa UK . I would love to pay a visit to these enigmatic tourist destinations & make memories for life with my family.

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