Habibi!! Come to UAE!!!


With ease in lockdown restrictions, we all were waiting for travel restrictions to open within the country as well as outside the country.

In India, we have a long holiday for the festival of Diwali. So beforehand I was planning to utilize these effectively and efficiently.

The good news declared by UAE government in September was they are opening up for tourism for travelers from India. This was satisfying and then I decided to plan a trip to UAE.

I was eagerly waiting to write this blog as this was my first international trip and it was to UAE (United Arab Emirates). It is like a dream for a layman to travel international.

We wanted to experience Sri Lankan Airlines so we booked our flight from Bangalore, India with layover in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

When flying with Sri Lankan Airlines, one will immediately feel the warmth and hospitality, through its great service, friendly cabin crew, wonderful onboard entertainment, addition to that meals included in the price of ticket.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Well, I like to study the place so this blog involves information about UAE and my trip to UAE. So here I begin….

UAE, Situated in the Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf between Oman and Saudi Arabia, comprising of 7 emirates:

Abu Dhabi - The Capital of UAE

Dubai - Known for The Skyscrapers, Gold, Ultramodern architecture, luxury shopping, a lively nightlife scene.

Sharjah - Cultural capital of UAE

Fujairah - Offers snorkelling and diving, excursions to the Musandam Peninsula

Ajman - Beautiful Beaches

Ras-Al Khaimah - Known for the rugged Al Hajar Mountains on the border with Oman

Umm Al-Quwain - Excellent venue for camel races, Sailing in the calm water, offering thrilling yet serene break.

I visited mainly Abu Dhabi and Dubai with a glimpse of Sharjah as the time span I had was 6 days 5 nights. In shaa Allah will visit the rest soon.

It was around 9 pm and the view from the plane was astonishing. The skyscrapers, the lights that showed the city was simply astonishing.

Just landed The Dubai International Airport, there was some kind of peace within, self- satisfaction and gratefulness.

There are lot of 4 star hotels that offer a better rate. We choosed to stay at Holiday Inn Embassy District located in Burr Dubai. Burr Dubai area exhibits in the soaring Dubai Frame and light shows at the dramatic Dubai Garden Glow, both in Zabeel Park. Elegant boutiques in pyramid-shaped WAFI Mall contrast with the discount stores of Al Karama, and art galleries are found in Al Fahidi Historical District. Zabeel Stadium hosts soccer games and rock concerts, and international restaurants sit amid curry houses and Arabic cafes, en-campuses many shopping streets and souqs (or souk).

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Day 1

Day 1 was a day out to Abu Dhabi - The capital of UAE, well-ordered, industrious city with a pretty waterside location, a journey of about 2 hours from Burr Dubai.

The ride from taxi will cost you around 250 AED to 300 AED. The ride begins at AED 5 if you are travelling during the day, with an additional amount of AED 1.82 per kilometre charged thereafter.

On the way one can have a look at Art Collection at Louvre Abu Dhabi, that traces the entire history of humanity's artistic achievements, from the Neolithic right up to the current day., The Mangroves, Emirate Palace.

Our first stop was the Dates market. One can get variety of Dates here ranging from 25 AED to 150 AED per kg.

- Barhi Dates - Having thick flesh and a rich delicious flavour.

- Dayri Dates - Originates from Iraq

- Khadrawy Dates - it is soft, with colours ranging from orange brown to light brown.

- Khudri Dates - Originates from Egypt and KSA and are used as sugar substitute, having dark brown colour

- Fard Dates - Common in Oman.

- Mejdool (Majdool) Dates - This variety of Date is native to Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, KSA. It has a sweet flavour, with golden to reddish brown skin and soft yet fibrous texture.

- Mazafati Dates - Originates from Kerman, Iran. These are 2.4 to 4 centimeters long.

- Piarom Dates- Good for Diabetes and High Blood Pressure., Comes with thin, Dark skin

- Rabbi Dates - Oldest and most flavoured, 3 to 5 centimeters long, navtive to city in Sistan Baluchistan, Iran

- Safawi Dates- Native to KSA. Helps to aid in digestion, treat anaemia as well as intoxication

- Sukkary Dates- Originate from Al Qassim Region. Referred as Queen of Dates for its golden colour

- Zahidi Dates - Light brown in colour, having rich and nutty flavour.

Above all My Favourite is Majdool Palestine.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

To experience thrilling in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari World is a must visit.

The park designed in Ferrari brand theme occupies a vast area of 86,000 sq. m., featuring a wide range of attractions for visitors belonging to all age groups.

Ferrari World comes across the most popular places to visit in Abu Dhabi, it is ones among the list of thrilling rides here are Flying Aces,  Turbo Track, Scuderia Challenge, and the world’s fastest roller coaster – Formula Rossa. Furthermore, the park complex comprises a number of restaurants and a shopping space where you can choose from a wide range of Ferrari products including clothes and accessories.


11:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Sunday - Wednesday)

11:00 AM to 10:00 PM (Thursday - Saturday)

Price: 241 - 268 AED

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

The Corniche is 8 km long, starting from the Hilton Hotel to Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Other interesting attractions, such as the Marina Mall and the Presidential Palace are located nearby, including children's play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, restaurants, cafés and the Corniche Beach.

It forms a sweeping curve on the western side of the main Abu Dhabi island and is replete with cycle paths, fountains and park areas. Between 2002 and 2004, land was reclaimed from the sea and the Corniche was extended. Some of the earlier landmarks - the volcano fountain and Abu Dhabi clocktower - were demolished in the process. Certain parts of the Corniche have significant deposition of sand, with people using the area as a public beach.

Marina Mall is located across from the Corniche and can be accessed using a narrow breakwater road. At Marina Mall, the UAE flag is hoisted and holds the record for being one of the tallest flagpoles in the world.

Lulu Island from the Corniche Lulu Island is a tiny reclaimed island located about a kilometer from the corniche. The Emirates Palace Hotel is at the southern end of the corniche. There are a number of skyscrapers along the corniche, with newer taller skyscrapers being built on the southern end.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Our next destination was the Jewel of Abu Dhabi and the one having the most stunning architecture of the world - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

A man-made marvel exhibiting the finest level of craftsmanship and architecture, Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the best places to visit in Abu Dhabi. The grand mosque spans over an area of approximately 30 acres and is capable of accommodating up to 50,000 people at one point of time.

From its dome and minarets to its carpets and chandeliers, every single foot of Sheikh Zayed Mosque reminds the lavishness of the Arab world and an amalgamation of Persian, Moorish and Mughal architectures.  It is so striking with the pure blue sky and gleaming white building. It is a must visit place to experience grandeur and serenity simultaneously.

I was lucky to hear the Azaan at the mosque and offer my Salah.

Lunch at Abu Dhabi: Al Ibrahimi Restaurant, Madinat Zayed - A good option in terms of food as well as service and hospitality.

Shawarma at this place is mandatory

Dinner at Dubai: Golden Tasty, Al Barsha

Avocado Juice is mandatory

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Day 2

Immersed in the mesmerizing beauty of Dubai, I was excited to explore more of it. So today on our list we had The Dubai Mall - A place like no other and Burj Khalifa.

Located in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai Adjacent to Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall, the most-visited retail and entertainment destination, which offers entry to underground zoo, aquarium and serving as an entryway to Burj Khalifa. Located inside the all-encompassing Dubai Mall, Dubai ice rink provides actual snow and ice to create an authentic winter sports experience. The rink opens as early as 10 in the morning and remains open until midnight. The ice rink provides skating gear on rent for its visitors and also provides coaches for inexperienced skaters. The Dubai Mall has over 1,300 retail outlets, including two anchor department stores – Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s – and over 200 food and beverage outlets. The Dubai Mall offers an unparalleled retail variety combined with world-class dining, entertainment and leisure attractions. The Fashion Avenue, the precinct dedicated to over 150 new luxury shopping and dining experiences, positions The Dubai Mall as the fashion capital for the Middle East. Another niche component is The Souk, an elegantly designed precinct featuring jewellery shops, accessory outlets, traditional Arab clothing brands, handicraft stores, cafés and restaurants.

It is the second largest mall in the world after the Iran Mall by total land area, and the 26th-largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Burj Khalifa - A Skyscraper in Dubai

Tallest building in the world. The tower was formally opened on January 4, 2010. Built to house a variety of commercial, residential, and hospitality ventures, the tower—whose intended height remained a closely guarded secret throughout its construction—reached completion at 162 floors and a height of 2,717 feet (828 metres). It was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Adrian Smith served as architect, and William F. Baker served as structural engineer.

The building, modular in plan, is laid out on a three-lobed footprint that is an abstract rendering of the local Hymenocallis flower. The Y-shaped plan plays a central role in the reduction of wind forces on the tower. A hexagonal central core is buttressed by a series of wings, each with its own concrete core and perimeter columns. As the tower increases in height, the wings step back in a spiral configuration, changing the building’s shape at each tier and so reducing the effect of the wind on the building.

The tower’s exterior cladding is made up of aluminum and stainless-steel panels, vertical stainless-steel tubular fins, and more than 28,000 hand-cut glass panels. A public observation deck, called “At the Top,” is located on the 124th floor.

Burj Khalifa broke numerous other records, including the world’s tallest freestanding structure, the world’s highest occupied floor, and the world’s highest outdoor observation deck.

The 124th floor observation deck also features the electronic telescope, an augmented reality device developed by Gsmprjct° of Montréal, which allows visitors to view the surrounding landscape in real-time, and to view previously saved images such as those taken at different times of day or under different weather conditions

Burj Khalifa opened the 148th floor SKY level at 555 m (1,821 ft), once again giving it the highest observation deck in the world on 15 October 2014.

It still holds the record for the highest outdoor terrace in the world, and the highest restaurant in the world.- Atmosphere - the highest located restaurant in the world, sitting 442m above ground in the Burj Khalifa and overlooking all of Downtown Dubai's most iconic sights.

It offers various options to explore from 100 AED to 749 AED

At the top which is 124th observation deck 149 AED

At the top of the sky which is 148th observation deck 379 AED

The view gives immense satisfaction after having a look at the stunning work of art, incomparable feat of engineering, a symbolic beacon of progress and an emblem of new, dynamic and prosperous Middle East.

The day ended with the beautiful view of Burj Khalifa itself as well view from the top of Burj Khalifa.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

A captivating water, music and light spectacle - The Dubai Fountain is the world’s tallest performing fountain, at over 900 ft in length. It is situated on a 30 acre Burj Lake and performs to a selection of different melodies.

The Dubai Fountain is the largest choreographed fountain show in the world, covering an area of 8 acres of land. It is set in the Burj Khalifa Lake, downtown Dubai city. The fountain is built in a unique design and is visible from as far as 20 miles away when the shows are on.

The design of this magnificent water monument comprises of five circles of various sizes and two arcs. The powerful nozzles shoot as much as 83 thousand of litres of water up to a height of 500 feet. The 50 colour projectors and 6,600 lights (WET Superlights) installed within the platform, create as many as 1000 water and light patterns, achieving a spellbinding effect.

The accompanying music ranges from classical Arabic compositions to modern, international pop selections, including the works of Andrea Bocelli or Whitney Houston. Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli's Time to Say Goodbye, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and Power by Korean pop band EXO. Fountain shows are held daily and last up to five minutes. The fountain performance is accompanied by light and music shows and is visible from every point of the lake promenade.

Spectators can also enjoy the show from every other neighbouring structure that overlooks the Burj Lake. Laser shows accompany the fountain dances in the evenings. The Dubai Fountains offer two amenities to allow the spectator to get closer to the fountain show. The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk is a wooden structure built on Burj Lake.

The spectators get to view the show from as near as 9 metres. Apart from that, the Dubai Fountain Lake Ride allows spectators to enjoy the show from traditional Abra boats on Burj Lake. Tickets for both facilities must be booked in advance. Shows are held daily, with a minimum of one show per day.

There are numerous restaurants inside s well as outside the mall where one can dine in but slight heavy on our pockets.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Dinner and Lunch: at Bombay Grills and Woks at Burr Dubai, an Indian restaurant offering delicious food at a reasonable price.

Day 3

As we all know, Dubai is also called as “The Gold City” or “The City of Gold”, Ever wondered why it is called so?? It is said that Dubai owns 29% of gold trade market in the world, with almost 1,200 tons of the metals traded in the city’s gold souks. To know the same visit to the Gold Souk was mandatory.

Located in an area called Deira which comes under the old part of Dubai, The Deira Gold Souk is the largest Gold bazaar in the world for the following reasons:

-You can get a outfit made of Gold

-You can get a shoe made of gold to mach your outfit

-A Bracelet covering your arms made of gold

-A gold cover for Hair

The souk consists of over 380 retailers, most of whom are jewelry traders. Some of the shops are as old as four decades, while some are as new as a year. The major items of mall includes Gold, Platinum, Diamonds and sometimes also deals in silver.

Dubai has also made Guinness World Record as The Dubai Gold souk was host to the largest ring in the world weighing 64 kg. The piece is owned by Dubai-based Taiba.

You can reach here by crossing the creek by sitting in the frequently running abras (water taxis) in the creek, Sit in the Abra and reach the other side in just 1 Dirham. After getting down on the other side, walk towards the Dubai Fish Market and Deira Corniche both of which are adjacent to the Gold Souk or you can reach directly to souk by a cab. While window shopping through the shops, you will be able to see the market price of gold displayed outside the shops in Dirhams and it is constantly updated each time it changes. The variety starts from the mixed 18 carats gold, going up to 21, 22 and then to the pure 24-carat gold. After you select the piece(s) of jewellery, the retailer weighs the piece and lets you know the price. The making charges are added as well with the product. 

You will find a vast variety of intricate gold jewellery sometimes studded with precious stones like rubies, emeralds, and diamonds. Other than gold, you can also buy genuine and carefully inspected diamonds, pearls, and other precious metals from a few shops. The visitors do not have to worry about the quality and authenticity of gold here because of the regulation of prices by the Dubai government. Believe it or not, you have a scope to bargain for this precious metal as the shops sometimes set a high price for their products mostly for the reason that there is a high tourist turnover at the market.

Reasons to buy Gold from Dubai:

Purity - The purity and quality of jewellery is something you won’t have to worry about when buying gold in Dubai.

Cheaper - The price of gold in Dubai due to lenient taxation and tourism is quite cheap when compared to the other parts of the world. Apart from the price the purity and wide variety make Dubai the absolute paradise for gold lovers and enthusiasts.

There is no import duty applicable over gold which makes it cheap in comparison to the rest of the world.

Variety in designs -  The Deira Gold Souk which is one of the oldest traditional souks in Dubai that has a row of jewellery shops lined up. No matter where you go, you are guaranteed to find a spectacular array of jewellery that features designs from around the world.

Tax free Gold - Due to the exclusion of taxes in the emirate prices for gold in Dubai have always been cheaper as buyers would only pay for the value of the gold jewellery. Although the introduction of the Value Added Tax(VAT) in 2018 does levy a 5% tax on any items purchased, buying gold is still considerably cheaper in Dubai compared to other countries in the world. Also, tourists can claim VAT refunds in the UAE for all purchases made in the country. 

Note: The Indian government on 1st April, 2016, stated that all male passengers coming back to India from Dubai or any other place can bring gold jewellery upto 20 grams but not costing more than 50000 Indian Rupees as a duty free allowance. Whereas, female passengers can bring upto 40 grams of gold jewellery and the cost of which should not be more than Rs. 100,000

Bargain on making charges: One can negotiate the price of the making charges, which are charges applied for making the ornament. Making charges vary depending on the type of gold jewellery you are buying and the retailer you are buying from.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Other items at the Deira Souk:

The collection of incense burners, saffron, sheesha pipes, henna kits etc is the best and largely sold items in the market.

Spices ranging from frankincense to shisha are sold here along with numerous traditional herbs which were the ingredients added to give more flavours to Arabic and South Asian food items.

The stores have household articles, textile items, artifacts, rugs etc. Haggling is the main type of trading in the souk.

The establishment of large supermarkets and stores have influenced the number of the stores in the souk to be decreased, however everything here is authentic.

Bargaining skills are really required here, you can easily find budget options if you have the bargain power.

Half Day is at least required to spend a quality time at the souk exploring variety of designs in jewellery as well as other items.

Later we travelled to Sharjah, Just to have the food at the famous Gazebo Restaurant. It is acclaimed for delightful Indian cuisine, which is originally prepared using old-age recipes from the Mughal. Sharjah is at a distance of 28kms from Dubai and by car we can reach in just 29 min.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Cruising down Dubai creek/marina is a novel experience, one which we cannot miss when in Dubai having dinner on a Dhow Cruise with the fascinating lights of Dubai with Music and Tanura Dance show with a sip of our favorite drink and BBQ buffet dinner. Cruising through the waters of Gulf in a leisurely style provides a different pleasure. Dhow cruise is a excursion on wooden boat decorated with colorful lights and reflects the real charm of traditions of Dubai with Arabic ambiance. In Dubai, there are two areas where Dhow Cruise is common. One is Dhow Cruise in Creek while the second is Dhow Cruise in Marina. 

Dhow Cruise Creek is the way of spotting the old Dubai, old dhows and Abras and Dubai Marina is relatively modern area in Dubai. Cruising along both places has its own charm and definitely a worthy experience on its own. The joy of visiting Dubai does not complete without dhow cruise.

Dubai Dhow Cruise Creek Highlights:

90 minutes cruising across Dubai's territorial waters and watch iconic landmarks float past you

Cruise along Dubai Deira Creek to see the souks and climb aboard the luxurious Creek Dhow cruise

Enjoy buffet style dining accompanied by starters, main course specialties, and super yum desserts

Witness the famous ‘Tanura’ dance and other live performances during your entertaining trip

Timings: 08:00 PM to 10:30 PM

Duration: 2 Hours (Approx.)

Dhow Cruise Dubai Creek, enjoy the spellbinding night views of Dubai city while sailing through the alluring waters. While unfolding the journey, feast on the sumptuous meals served in buffet style amid the impressive ambiance with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes and significant highlights of Dubai city in the background. Dubai Creek is an integral part of the city's history. It divides the city into two sections, Bur Dubai and Deira. Both sides of Dubai Creek boast of some of the best exquisite buildings of the city.

Cost: Ranges from 50 AED to 100 AED. Price varies as per the cruise we choose.

Dubai Dhow Cruise Marina Highlights:

Cruise around Dubai Marina, Yacht Club, and Marina Towers for 2 hours.

Feed your cravings with a delicious buffet dinner, consisting of a wide range of cuisines accompanied by an exotic touch of Dubai culture.

Witness the famous ‘Tanura’ dance and other live performances during your entertaining trip (subject to government regulations)

Enjoy Access to the open-air upper deck and fully air-conditioned lower deck featuring welcome drinks, water, tea, and coffee.

Enjoy Soothing music in the background and spend quality time with your family or friends.

Pickup Timings:  Between 6:45 pm to 07:45 pm (for sharing transfer)

Departure Timing: 8:30pm (without transfer)

Activity Duration:

For sharing transfer-3 hrs (approx.)

Without transfer- 1.5 hr (approx.)

Enjoy this 2-hour dinner cruise while cruising through the alluring waters of Dubai on a traditional Dhow boat and witness the stargazing views of Dubai’s shimmering skyline with a wide range of cuisines offering global flavors from all over the world.

Enjoy the toast of entertainment with the famous Tanura dance and other live performances during your entertaining trip while sailing through the ‘Logo Island’ that will make your holiday uniquely memorable.

Cost: Ranges from 100 AED to 200 AED. Price varies as per the cruise we choose.

The difference between the two is:

- Cost: Dhow Cruise in Marina is a lot more expensive than cruising along Creek. The cost is probably double of what they cost in the creek.

- Ambience: As the creek covers the old Dubai, it has very hustle bustle with barges going to the ports, traffic and ambiance of business. Contrary to this, Dubai Marina provides the ambiance of enjoyment, opulence, fun and views of leisure vessels, private yachts and fishing boat. Dubai Marina is the newer version of new Dubai. It is an artificial canal city with high rises and fine examples of modern architecture on both sides. It is home to some of the most luxurious hotels, unique cafes and restaurants as well as quaint boutiques.

- Views and sights: The excursion begins from the historic Dubai Creek on the aquamarine waters of Arabian Sea. Many historical buildings comes your way ranging from the National Bank of Dubai and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry buildings, elucidated souks and palaces, Sheikh Saeed’s House, the place of birth of Sheikh Rashid to the heritage village near Shindagha. Bastakiya Area followed by Souk and heritage Village has a very historical vibe and for a moment, it will make you forget that you are in current times.  From the Bur Dubai side, half of the length of route is taken up by a promenade.  

On the other side, Dubai Marina is modern construction and has plenty of architectural elements. Dhow Cruise along Dubai Marina will allow you to enjoy the attractions of modern Dubai and host of international five star hotels with their influential architecture including Jumeirah Beach Residences, villas of the Palm, attractive Atlantic Hotel, beach resort and also a view of the well known building, the Burj Al Arab Hotel. The skyline of modern Dubai looks fascinating at night and bridges with passing trams above you give memorable experience.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

While returning back from Cruise, we wanted to have the famous sweet dish of Arab i.e. Kunafah at Feras Al Diyafa Sweets is a must. Kunafah is a Middle-Eastern dessert. A cheese-based pastry, made with a crispy kataifi (vermicelli) dough, salty akawie (Mozrella) cheese, and gooey ricotta (Soft Cheese), all soaked in a rosewater syrup for a sweet and floral finish. It’s popular all over the Middle East, and is a staple dessert at special events.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Day 4

Dubai is a city with never ending things to see and do list. Today we had planned to have a Dubai City Tour followed by Desert Safari in the evening. After our breakfast at the hotel, we left for today’s excursion.

Dubai City Tour Includes various sights as below:

Al- Bastakiya :

Also known as Al Fahidi Historical District, holds the memories of an era that pre-dates the federation of the Emirates. Dubai is known for glitz and glamour, but before the tourism boom, before the discovery of oil and before the union of the Emirati tribes in 1971, it was a vastly different place. The UAE was an area of sheikdoms – where bedouins lived as herders, date farmers and fishermen.

The town was built by immigrants from Bastak (a portion of earlier Persia), who moved from their native land to this great place and helped in re-constructing the district. It consists of nearly sixty housing units, separated by thin and elongated lanes. To ensure their livelihood, the Emirati government offered tax exemption and wages to the workers. Thus, this unique landscape is nestled with age-old attractions like Dar Al Nadwa, Gallery Majlis, XVA Hotel, and Make Art Café that must be visited for its beautiful engineering.

Take an abra along the Creek and explore the Bastakiya quarter, the oldest standing residential area of Dubai. First established at the end of the 19th century by rich textile and pearl merchants from Bastak, Iran, today the Bastik Quarter or Fahidi neighbourhood is a maze of old-world wonders.While taking a walk through the tight, winding alleyways, you will see ochre-coloured buildings (Barjeel) made of coral, mud, gypsum and palm wood. These are aligned carefully and segregated by lawns, walkways and public spaces. When you look up, notice that the houses are adorned with towers. Wind towers are the traditional air conditioner of the Middle East; an old Persian invention that funnels cool air through a building. Most of the wooden doors that you will stumble on will lead to hotels, cafes and galleries, so go ahead, explore the old town.

The Shaikh Muhammad Centre for Cultural Understanding is a non-governmental organization; it aims to re-install the culture between the people of Dubai and others. Many foreign travellers indulge in their interactive programs and explore the rich culture and heritage of Dubai. In the end, one is going to get some quality insights about Dubai and its customs and habits.

Tours are held on:

Saturday: 9 am to 10:30 am;

Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday: 10:30 am to 12 pm

Entrance Fee Dh 35 – Dh 55 per person (Depending on the tour you opt for)

Al Bastakiya - Heritage Village

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Shaikh Muhammad Centre for Cultural Understanding

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

The Jumeirah Mosque is considered as one of the most stunning mosques in the United Arab Emirates. This mosque is a remarkable example of Islamic architecture, built exactly on the principles of Cairo's Al Azhar Mosque, which is eight times its size. When illuminated in the evening, its intricate architecture and design shine even brighter. The tranquil Jumeirah Mosque, with its white stone exterior, graceful minarets, and stunning landscape, is located along the gorgeous Jumeirah Beach Road.

The Jumeirah Mosque encourages visitors of all religions to appreciate the surroundings and explore Islam and its local culture, adhering to the principle of "Open Doors, Open Minds." It is Dubai's sole mosque that welcomes non-Muslims. Perhaps for the same reason, it is Dubai's most photographed mosque. The classic architecture of the Jumeirah Mosque sets it apart from the crowd, and it can accommodate up to 1300 people. The "Two Minaret Mosque'' is only open to tourists four times a week, and each visit takes about 75 minutes. The tour of the Jumeirah Mosque teaches guests about Islam's five pillars as well as other fascinating facts about the religion.

Almost every mosque's roof is built in the most popular hypostyle style, with a variety of vertical columns supporting it, each reflecting the area's old artwork. The exquisite qibla wall, which is placed on the opposite side of the gateway, attracts visitors from all over the world. The imam can lead the prayers five times a day from the mihrab, which is positioned exactly in the center of the qibla wall. In the prayer hall, people gather to offer their daily prayers in front of the holy Kaaba.

Exemplifying the medieval Fatimid style of architecture, the fort is adorned with two minarets displaying intricate stonework. To fully enjoy and explore the Jumeirah Mosque, one can book a 75-minute guided tour with the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), which is organized six days a week from Saturday through to Thursday at 10:00. One has to reach the main entrance of the building by 9:45 without any prior reservations. Most unusually, photography inside is allowed, so itÍs worth bringing a camera. 

Timings : 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM (Saturday to Thursday); Closed Fridays

Time Required : 2-3 hours

Entry Fee : Free. Tours Start at AED 25

Jumeirah Mosque

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

The white sandy beach stretches along the coastal area of the city and has many large resorts and hotels close to its frontage area. Jumeirah Beach has been named after Jumeirah district from where the beach originates. It is a welcoming place that has got a dazzling combination of dazzlingly tall apartment blocks, super luxurious resorts & hotels and a huge waterfront.

The park adjoining the beach has a playground for kids and a whole lot of areas dedicated to barbecues and picnic areas. Surroundings are very clean and neat but if you go during the day the heat might take a toll on you. Entry to the Jumeirah beach is accessible from early morning till late at night without any charge but if you would like to access the park, the minimum amount will be levied. It is advisable to carry a water bottle and sun.

The beach and its frontage feature large hotels, resorts, and housing developments, including the Burj Al Arab (Arab Tower) hotel, Wild Wadi Water Park, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and the old-style Madinat Jumeirah, a hotel and shopping complex. On one side of the Burj Al Arab Hotel is a water park (wild wadi) and on the other side is the Jumeirah Beach Park.

The food glorious festival which takes place for about a month is perhaps the most crowded times at the beach and a huge number of people participate in the proceedings. The walk which is a famous walk down innumerable food stalls from French street foods to local delights is a must-visit place here. It provides a perfect escape and surely is one of the delightful experiences you will have.

FiLLi Zafran Tea at FiLLi Cafe is mandatory if you are a Tea Lover. This cafe offers various Signature beverages and snacks.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is undoubtedly one of the most famous landmarks and tourist attractions in Dubai, and is renowned for its 'seven-star status', managed by Jumeirah hotel group and is one of the tallest hotels in the world, although 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space. Burj Al Arab stands on an artificial island that is 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. The shape of the structure is designed to resemble the sail of a ship. It has a helipad near the roof, at a height of 210 m (689 ft) above ground. To secure a foundation, the builders drove 230 40-metre-long (130 ft) concrete piles into the sand.

Engineers created a ground surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honeycomb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, while it took fewer than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 m3 (92,000 cu yd) of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.

Given the height of the building, the Burj Al Arab is the world's fifth tallest hotel after Gevora Hotel, JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur and Rose and Rayhaan by Rotana. The luxury all-suite hotel includes a range of fine-dining restaurants, incredible beaches and the expansive Burj Al Arab Terrace.

For the first time Burj Al Arab is allowing visitors to have an inside guided tour of 90 minutes at 249 AED at our convenient slot.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

The Pointe on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah opened in December 2018, boasting super views out across to Atlantis The Palm, an entertainment destination in Dubai that's sure to impress.

The Pointe fills the space at the top of Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah’s manmade trunk opposite world-famous resort Atlantis The Palm. It’s a soft W shape hugging the coastline with a massive dancing water fountain as its centrepiece. 

The 1.4million sq ft entertainment and dining development on the Palm boasts a 1.5km promenade with more than 100 restaurants, bars and shops for seafront dining and shopping, so there’s plenty to try, whether you’re after seafood or burgers, including prime venues like Meshico or Al Safadi and top-quality coffee shops like %Arabica – as well as boutiques and attractions to explore, the hours will fly by. Head over and pick up unique souvenirs,

And now The Pointe is home to the world’s largest fountain, too. The massive Palm Fountain opened on October 22, 2020, and secured a Guinness World Record. The Palm Fountain is spread over 14,000 sq ft of sea water at The Pointe, while the super shooter will mean water reaches 105m in the air – which is a proper spectacle. As well as being the largest fountain in the world, it’s also the only multi-coloured fountain in Dubai. It’s lit up by more than 3,000 LED lights and there are five shows a night, from 7pm until midnight.

Water sports, sightseeing, fishing tours – whatever aqua-based adventure you’re after, The Yellow Boats will provide. Even better, families or friends looking for a private guided tour out to the Arabian Gulf can hire a first class boating experience for a special day out. 

Open daily 8am-8pm.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Located at a distance of 6 km from Dubai Frame and 14 km from Dubai Airport, Zabeel Palace is a majestic palace is the home of Sheikh Rashid, UAE's former prime minister, situated in the Zabeel area of Dubai, which was formerly just bare land covered with sand. Today, it is surrounded by all the glitzy buildings that make up the skyline of Dubai. The Arabic word 'Zabeel' stands for 'Thanks'. This palace was constructed sometime in the 1960s and was used as a residence till the 90s. The design of this palace is the idea of Otto Bulart who also designed the Clock Tower in Dubai. It is one of the most secured palaces in the world, which is protected by sophisticated electronic devices. The palace is surrounded by well-maintained lush gardens. From the garden, we had a nice view of the Dubai Frame tower.The garden has tight security. One can only move up to a point and can't get close to the palace beyond a point. One can opt for a 30 minutes guided tour that can be very informative.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM

Zabeel Palace

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

One of Dubai's most famous landmarks, the Museum of the Future takes pride of place along the city's superhighway, Sheikh Zayed Road, Occupying a prime urban location adjacent to the Emirates Towers, Founded by the Dubai Future Foundation and set to open on 22 February 2022, the museum explores how society could evolve in the coming decades, combining elements of traditional exhibition, immersive theatre and themed attractions so visitors can look beyond the present and towards the future's limitless possibilities. 

The Museum of the Future symbolises both future progress and the regional design influence of Dubai with its use of modern materials, and Arabic poetry written by HH Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum which is represented in 3D on the facade surface. The quotations express his vision for the future of Dubai.

The landmark development will contribute to a better humanity and stronger global economy by demonstrating how next-generation solutions can enhance our lives – and visitors will have the chance to engage with this game-changing technology.

Each floor of the museum is designed like an expansive movie set, which everyone can explore and interact with. Topics in focus include the future of space travel and living, climate change and ecology, health, wellness and spirituality, with everything brought to life by expert storytellers, technologists and visionary artists.

Currently we cannot have access to the museum but you can have a view from the road or neighbouring area.

After seeing the beauty of Dubai, I was amazed. This took us noon and it was time for lunch.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Lunch:- Al Ibrahimi Palace Restaurant, opposite Burjuman Centre is a large restaurant and simply awesome. I would highly recommend this place and have the buffet meal at 40 to 50AED (Lunch) per person (Mon-Wed, Sun) (12.30 pm to 4 pm ) and 60 to 70 AED (Dinner) per person (Thurs-Sat)

Desert Safari Dubai, a 6 Hours Tour in the Desert of Dubai that is dipped in the rich sauce of thrill and excitement. Convenient round trip transportation will pick us up from our hotel in a 4 wheel drive and take us out to explore the Arabian desert. As the SUV for the tour can accommodate up to 6 people, booking in a group of 6 will allows us to have the entire jeep to ourselves without having to share it with other guests.

One can feel the adrenaline rush through your body as we take part in the dune bashing experience.  The trip includes the activities like Belly Dancing, Dune Bashing, Tanura Dance, Fire Show, Sand Boarding, Henna Painting, Camel Riding. Other chargeable activities include ATV Ride, Photo with Falcon, Writing our name with Sand in a bottle (sand art) and Shisha Smoking. Not only is this but our palate is also taken care of, mouthwatering BBQ Dinner with Veg and non-Veg Optional Dishes are served during our Evening Desert Safari Tour.

From camel riding to belly dancing, to taking snaps of mesmerizing sunsets, Dubai Desert Safari is a complete package to get entertained perfectly.

The Evening Desert Safari with an eloquent sunset view is a must-do for any adventure seekers visiting Dubai.

There are various vendors offering numerous options to select from. The normal package starts from 50AED to 200 AED

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Day 5

With the breathtaking views of the desert, our trip was coming to an end which made me sad. Today was our last day to explore Dubai. So we wanted to cover Miracle Garden and Global Village.

Have you ever been to a floral wonderland where there are stunning floral displays that make you fall in love with them? Dubai has its winters from November to March, and this is the best season to plan visit to Dubai Miracle Gardens. As it sharply opens at 10:00 am in the morning, it is better to reach here during its opening time. This is so because the crowd will be less and we can easily capture some beautiful photographs here.

The arrangement is nothing less than a miniature world of floral wonders spread over an area covering about 72,000 sq. ft

Adding to the uniqueness of this floral world is the fact that it is home to nearly 50 million flowers blooming all over to embrace the luxuriousness of this beautiful imagination. Some of the most common ones are marigolds, petunias, and geraniums. This exhibition includes a replica of the stunning Burj Khalifa as well as arcs, tombs, huts, and houses decorated with vibrant flowers.

We are welcomed by quirky layouts and heart-shaped passageways. The passageways are perfect for strolling and relaxing at cabanas, or you can dine at the international food restaurants and kiosks. The choice is yours! Additionally, there's a butterfly garden here, wherein butterfly enthusiasts have a tough time tracking and spotting the 15000 free-flying butterflies.There are many attractions here, including Disney Avenue, Emirates A380, Lost Paradise, Cabanas, Floral Clock, Gazebos, 3D floral designs, and lake parks. It offers more than sightseeing activities, in fact there are a lot more things to do here.

As this beautiful piece of land is located in Dubai that is not ideally not suitable for growing flowers, it requires a great deal of maintenance. The floral beauty you see today is maintained by a team of well-trained and experienced horticulturists.

It gives an incredible visual treat with the wide variety of flowers at the world’s largest flower garden, a walk through heart-shaped floral passages and umbrella tunnels, the uniquely created floral villas and floral castles, the world’s largest floral arrangement at the Emirates A380 display, designers of floral igloos, humanoid ants, hearts, pyramids, cars and trains, a whole different world of Disney characters made in floral structures, 30 plus food stalls, cafes and kiosks in the Dubai Miracle Garden premises, the Sunflower Field, the Flower Parade is all mesmerizing and enthralling.

The entry ticket is 55 AED.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli

Global Vilaage is an unique cultural destination. A one-stop-shop for the best entertainment, shopping, dining, and attractions in Dubai, bound to discover new wonders with every visit as we experience cuisine and cultures from all around the world along with global authentic cuisine, exciting rides and street performers. Every year, the place receives over 5 million visitors over an area of 17,200,000 sq ft. Managed by Dubailand on the outskirts of the city, the event is organized during the winter season between late November and late February and is part of the Dubai Shopping Festival. These pavilions represent a different country or a region usually by creating an imitation of a famous landmark of the country and can catch a glimpse of monumental displays and cultural displays, perfectly highlighting the features of different countries.

For each nation, one pavilion is designated, where the endless display of their unique offerings, readily takes the visitors by joy and excitement.

Thousands of retail outlets set up shop here, wherein visitors can grab an array of products and specialties on an international scale. There are many fun activities for adults as well as for kids, with theatre and rides to enjoy on. The guest happiness index has been constantly touching a perfect score of 9 on 10 for the past many seasons now, with the next seasons predicted to perform even higher.

The popularity of the place can be made out by the fact that people especially plan their trip to Dubai around the time of this festival. The global village is a popular platform for nations to represent themselves and for people to get to know more about them. Guests who arrive here, never turn back empty-handed, for this global village gives them a lifetime worth of memories to cherish.

The Global village also witnesses international performances including concerts, which are performed by singers from all over the world.

It like getting a chance to see the World in one Day.

The entry ticket to this wonder in just 20 AED.

Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Photo of Habibi!! Come to UAE!!! by Raeesah Tamboli
Day 6

So this day was the departure day, having a flight from Sharjah to Mumbai, leaving Dubai with lots of memories and remembrance of food, astonishing buildings and views was very overwhelming. I was completely submerged in this city.