Friday, 3 March 2017

Dubai - The City of Superlatives

A week in the city of superlatives has left me in awe. I did and saw things I've never experienced before and learned a lot both about Dubai and myself. That's exactly why traveling is so amazing: it opens your eyes to new things and at the same time you get to reflect those new things on yourself. I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on Dubai and why it's definitely a city to be visited at least once in a lifetime.


1. Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world

The list of Guinness World Records begins...This is obviously the place to visit in Dubai. The tallest structure in the world rises up to a respectable 828 meters. It's honestly so high it's hard to fit the whole building into one photo. You could just choose to marvel at it from ground level, but unless you're hopelessly scared of heights, take a lift to either the 125th or 148th floor to take a look at the amazing skyline of Dubai. The higher you go, the more expensive it gets and we decided that the 125th floor was enough for us. I definitely recommend purchasing tickets beforehand online and going early to avoid queues as much as possible. The entrance to the lifts can be found on the lower ground floor in the Dubai Mall, which also is huge, so make sure you arrive at the mall early enough. 
The experience was honestly worth every penny. In comparison to the One World Observatory in New York, there's less show going on (even going up in the lift to the Observatory was an experience in itself), but what the Burj Khalifa lacks in entertainment, it makes up for in height. 
Once you've had enough of the beautiful views and head back down, make sure you stay long enough in the area to see the beautiful fountain show in the evening. I think they have a show going on every 30 minutes from 6pm onward. We watched two shows from different locations and both of the shows differed in music and length, so I definitely recommend watching several and walking the area in between shows.

2. Shopping at the huoooge malls

There are several shopping centers in Dubai. But just to stay on the list of world records, the biggest shopping center in the world is the Dubai Mall (also mentioned above). There are about 1,200 shops so you'll probably find what you're looking for (unless it's Lululemon). There's also an aquarium, which you can go diving in (yes, it's true and yes, it's probably as if you went diving in a fish tank) and an ice rink. 
The second biggest shopping center in Dubai is the Mall of the Emirates. Being smaller than the Dubai Mall, it's still huge. Over 500 stores sounds small after the Dubai Mall but just to give a picture of how big the place is: there's a ski center inside the mall. This was definitely my favourite shopping center and I visited it several times. They had the Lululemon I so badly wanted to pay a visit to.  
The third shopping center we visited was the Dubai Marina Mall. Nothing big and crazy about this one, but they also had Lululemon (a very important fact, as you can see haha). It's located in the lovely Dubai Marina area with the popular beach, JBR, close by.
The shopping centers were kind of like a mixture between the shops in the UK and the USA. Usually when you go to either one of those countries, you don't get every shop you'd wish for. Dubai just has them all.

3. Bur Dubai & Deira - the beautiful old parts of  Dubai

Everything in Dubai seems to be sparkling new and like it has just suddenly appeared in the middle of nowhere. To find something original and historical you have to take a stroll in the old parts of the city, which can be found in Bur Dubai and Deira. The atmosphere is completely different and the old buildings are super charming. Walk around the area of Al Fahidi, pay a visit to the Dubai Museum (the ticket is ridiculously inexpensive!) and go through the famous souks to get a real feeling of the Arab culture. Also, if you're a woman, be prepared to be mistaken as Shakira, especially in the souks, hehe.

4. Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis is a luxury hotel resort right at the end of the artificial palm-shaped archipelago called Palm Jumeirah. Going through the palm you don't really get any idea of it's shape, it's so big. The hotel has its own waterpark, which anybody can visit whether your a guest at the hotel or not. If you like a bit of adrenaline and excitement, you have to visit this waterpark. The "main slide" has to be The Leap of Faith, which made me scream as much as I could without getting my mouth full of water. The slide basically dips you straight down through a tank full of sharks. You don't exactly have time to even notice the sharks, but the slide sure was fun!


  • Taxis, metro and the tram are cheap. I wouldn't recommend walking too much although I personally love walking around new places. Distances are really long and pavements hardly exist in Dubai. 
  • Women traveling alone and safety in general was not an issue in my eyes. Dubai sure is a very big city and obviously every big city has their dodgier areas, but if you use common sense and do some research about the culture and city beforehand you should be more than ok. I wasn't traveling alone, but as a woman I never felt insecure. I would still recommend using the metro carriage and taxis meant for ladies only, if you do travel alone. 
  • Dress code in Dubai isn't as conservative as it probably could be as most of the population consists of expats. But there still is a code and you should respect it in public places such as shopping centers, supermarkets and souks. In general you should cover up your shoulders and knees. That might sound crazy in a country with such a warm climate, but worry not: the AC is buzzing full speed inside every building, so basically you'll only be thankful if you wear more clothes. Normal swimwear is obviously allowed on the beach and at waterparks, but once you leave the beach you should cover up again. Don't worry about it too much, just be aware of it :) 

All in all together Dubai was an amazing experience. There are some really stunning and unique things to see and do which you'll definitely not be able to see anywhere else in the world. Weatherwise I got a really bad week as it's never supposed to rain in Dubai and it rained on three different days while I was there. I still enjoyed myself a lot and loved learning about the culture over there. Some of the things I saw I felt a bit contradictory about and I guess that's what the city is also about; it's a wee bit crazy. That's exactly why it's a must-see destination and I would also love to visit the city again sometime. There are of course many other destinations on my "where to travel next" -list, and you can be sure I'm already planning my next holiday!

Have you visited Dubai? 
If yes, what's your opinion on the city?
If not, would you like to?

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Dubai. A vlog of my trip will also be up soon enough on my Youtube channel so stay tuned!

Have a lovely weekend lovelies <3
Emma xxx


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  2. I knew there was a dress code in Dubai, but didn't know that you have to cover your shoulders and knees :) I haven't been to Dubai, but from what I read and saw online, there's so much to do and see there. It is definitely on my list, but I don't think it will be in the near future :) View from the Burj Khalifa is amazing and scary :D xx

    Ela BellaWorld

  3. After reading about this and the Dubai post from Nadia I have certainly added Dubai to my bucket list! It sounds like such a gorgeous and interesting city. I would love to walk through old Dubai and visit all the old architecture - plus the Burj Khalifa would be absolutely amazing!

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

  4. So happy to finally read a little bit more about your trip, hun! It sounds like you had a lovely time, and looking at all the photos just makes me so happy! I have never thought of visiting Dubai, to be honest. I have heard mixed things about it, but I am so happy that you had a positive experience hun, despite the weather! It's nice to see that there are some wonderful old parts of the city to see, also. The tallest building in the world definitely is impressive! I am a little afraid of heights so I don't know how well I would do there, haha! Thanks for sharing this, darling. :) Also, I tagged you in the I Heart Spring tag on my blog! <3 Hope that's okay. ^^ Love ya lots sweetie. <3 xoxo


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