Dubai in a Week!

12th Jan 2018

Dubai, the city of superlatives! This was a unique trip for me as I was travelling with my parents for an international holiday. I have a golden rule of not booking a package holiday & always designing my own travel plans. So had to be considerate in the choice of Hotels (Proximity to Vegetarian Food), also the amount of walking we do daily. Dubai lacked an element of surprise as we had seen so many photos & videos of every important tourist attraction it offers. Yet, we decided to stick to these discovered places in our itinerary. Once again, a split stay in 2 Hotels (Different Areas / Different Category).

Day 1

We flew Emirates & it was a comfortable journey. The line at immigration in Dubai though was too long & took us about an hour to clear. But we managed to get out by late noon & so had time to start exploring.

Hotel Check-in was smooth. This hotel has lot of Indian Vegetarian / Jain Foods options nearby. I would recommend Bikanervala.

The iconic Burj Al Arab. Only 7* Hotel in the World.

Photo of Public Beach - Jumeirah - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

After grabbing quick lunch, we decided to head to the beach. Idea was to catch the sunset here & photograph the iconic Burj Al Arab Hotel.

All lit up in the Night.

Photo of Dubai Marina - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

Next stop was Dubai Marina. We had called in advance & reserved seats on Bristol Charter Tour: Captain Jack. It's a Dhow Boat with bean bags as seats. It takes you on a 90 minute ride & you can sit back, relax & enjoy the view! We followed it by a walk along the Dubai Marina till the Marina Mall. I didn't opt for the Dinner Cruise as it's highly overpriced & doesn't offer any value.

Day 2

I always prefer to travel via public transport & Dubai has a well established multi mode public transport. We bought NOL Silver Cards from Burjaman Metro Station. This card can be used for Buses / Metro / Mono Rail etc.

A family of Dolphins in Action!

Photo of Dubai Dolphinarium - Bur Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

Started the day with Dolphin Show. Mighty impressed with the performance. If you have kids traveling with you, this is a must visit attraction. Do book the tickets in advance online to avoid the queue. Reach early & grab best seats (Yellow Row behind the VIP Seating in the center of the Hall.)

Next stop was Dubai Mall. This place is huge. It takes hours to see the entire mall. Make sure you have studied the Mall Map & decided on the shopping list. It has an indoor fountain & it's own aquarium. Having seen the S.E.A. Aquarium in Singapore, I decided to skip the indoor aquarium here. The Food Court had vegetarian options in McDonald's & Pizza Hut.

I had booked the premium slot which keeps changing based on the time of year. However, there is no restriction on time you spend on top. But I thought watching the sunset from the tallest building in the world would be nice experience. Also wait till it's dark & watch the Dubai Fountain Show from the top. It's a different perspective from up there.

Photo of At The Top Burj Khalifa - Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra
Day 3

Today we decided to explore the Old Dubai. Starting with Al Fahidi Fort which houses the Dubai Museum. It's a well maintained monument that gives you a glimpse of what Dubai was a century ago.

Last standing Minar of the Fort.

Photo of Dubai Museum - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

Do take some timeout & explore the historical neighborhood next to the fort. It has alleys that are great place to photograph. Also the area resembles a bygone era. You should visit the Architectural Heritage & Antiquities Department. The office is housed in a tradition building & tourists can access the second floor that opens to Dubai Creek.

Take a Abra Boat Ride to cross the Dubai Creek & visit the famous Gold & Spice Souq. We did a lot of spice shopping from the Iranian Street there. Highly Recommended. On the way back we did some souvenir shopping from the nearby area.

Day 4

Today was the day of some adrenaline rush. As we were visiting Ferrari World. Now there many ways to visit Abu Dhabi from Dubai, but nothing beats a private car at your disposal. It's not very costly either. There are many rides inside the Park, but Formula Rossa is the ride to try.

Next we visited the Grand Mosque. There are no words to define how beautiful this place is. Truly mesmerizing.

Photo of Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi - Al Ain Road - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra
Photo of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

You must have heard about the Louvre Museum in Paris. Now it has opened in Abu Dhabi. Amazing Architecture & Great Collection of Artefacts. This is one museum you should not miss. Having a private car proved advantageous as this museum is not part of standard tourist circuit. Our last stop was Dates Market & then back to Dubai.

Day 5

Time for some dune bashing. There are many options available for Desert Safari across the price range. Do book your slot in advance to avoid last minute rush. Best thing to do is call a few operators & find out details about the package. Insist on the Toyota Land Cruiser. Later in the night you will be taken to a desert camp where you can enjoy some belly dancing performance along with your dinner.

The Red Dunes of Desert.

Photo of Desert Safari Dubai - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra
Day 6

Today we check out of our hotel & head to the Atlantis. Was so looking forward to this stay & it didn't disappoint. The check in was super smooth. After which we straight away headed to Aqauventure Waterpark. The Tower of Poseidon & Leap of Faith were my favourite. This park has something for everyone. You can also choose to just relax & float in the Lazy River.

The Resort Lobby.

Photo of Atlantis, The Palm - Crescent Road - Dubai - United Arab Emirates by Harsh Mundra

In the evening we headed to The Lost Chambers. It's an in house aquarium & the access is complimentary to all the gusts staying at the resort. Dinner @ Kaleidoscope which surprised us the range of Indian cuisine it offered.

Day 7

It's the final day in Dubai. Wake up for a delicious breakfast buffet & enjoy some time exploring the resort. Head to Sealion Point to see the creatures upfront & also the Dolphin Bay. Can also go for a quick swim in the cascading pool. Do not tear the wrist band till you exit the property as this is your gateway to all the facilities.

Time to board the flight & get back to the usual life. Dubai you were an excellent host & we are departing with lot of memories to cherish forever. Till next time...

Catching glimpse of Presidential Palace & Emirates Palace Hotel. We grabbed quick lunch in Abu Dhabi. Your driver may insist on visiting Heritage Village, but trust me it's a waste of time.

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