Eloli does Dubai...
Posted on March 15 2018
We (Dibo, Sume and Fese) live in different cities and this makes it difficult for all 3 of us to meet at the same time. We feel very lucky and blessed because God made it possible for us to take time off and meet in Dubai. From sourcing, to shopping, birthday celebrations, an impromptu Craig David concert, riding the sand dunes and more, Dubai was awesome!!!
Our favourite bits
Desert: Our favourite bit was visiting the desert which is only about a 45 minute drive from the city center. A myriad of Safari tours are available at all budgets from a few hours to overnight trips in group or private tours. Add-ons include sandboarding, camel riding, camping with belly dancing and other entertainment.
Beach: Nov- March is the peak season in Dubai so the beach is less rest and relaxation and more party central. Many of the beaches along the Jumeirah stretch belong to hotels with some free public beaches, and others with asmall entrance fee. A fun way to enjoy the beach is to do a beach brunch party at one of the beach hotels- sun, sand, sea, all you can eat and drink and music- whats not to love?
Entertainment: Lots of international acts perform in Dubai so be sure to check for whats available during your visit. The stunning Dubai Opera hosts top billed acts and there is live music throughout the city. We were able to catch the amazing Craig David in concert where he brought his popular DJ and vocal hybrid show, TS5 and reminded us of why his comeback rocked the scene.
For a night out dancing there are options for most music genres. Urbn at White Dubai has the reputation of being the best Hip hop and R&B nights in the city and we also visited a downtown lounge for a dose of afrobeats and Ndombolo.
Dubai Mall is a premier shopping destination with many European and North American luxury and high street brands as well as restaurants, an indoor skiing slope, ice rink, aquarium, zoo and the Bellagio-styled, Dubai Fountains. Worth a visit for a crash course on Dubai opulence even if you are not into shopping. If your wallet needs a respite you can shop like a local at places like "Lulu Department Stores" located in different areas of Dubai. Karama markets. Dragon mall located near International City, Shoe Mart and Shops located at Naif Street - Deira
Dubai is an example of uber modern architecture with landmarks like Burj Khailfa and Burj Al Arab but rediscovering the heart of Dubai was the best part for us.
A short abra ride on Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai Abra Station on the southern side will take you to Dubai’s spice souk and let you travel back to the city's beginnings. The Bastakiya Quarter of Dubai (aka Al Fahidi) is a stark contrast to Dubai's sleek cityscape with narrow alleyways, past palm-wood houses and 'wind towers' (an early Arabian ventilation system).
The Dubai Museum, will give you information on the rapid transformation of Dubai from a desert fishing community to a global city and business hub of the Middle East.
The Arabian Tea House has over 100 tea blends to choose from and is a nice stop if a bit kitsch. There are also painter's studios, galleries and bookshops. A quick stop in the old area of Deira will give you a peek at some of the cities residents and an opportunity to purchase cheaper trinkets and gifts or gold jewellery at the Gold Market.
Abu Dhabi is about1 to 1 ½ hours driving distance from Dubai so it is worth taking advantage of the proximity for a quick visit. There are many popular attractions in Abu Dhabi including the Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosqueand Yas Island.
Food & Drink: The cuisine is multicultural cuisine with a heavy Asian, including Indian, influence. You have to make an effort to find traditional Emirati food xxx beach. The Atlantis Resort is a must if you are into Vegas style hotels with the high ceilings, designer shops, multiple restaurants and large crowds or you can just catch a glimpse of the famous man made palm shaped island, Palm Jumeirah from Jumeirah beach. Jumeirah Beach Residence walk (or ‘JBR walk’ if you want to sound like a local) has many prime people-watching cafés, bars and some of the best restaurants in Dubai.Buj Al Arab is considered the worl'ds most luxurious hotel and you can dine at it's seafood restaurant, Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara which has an underwater feel thanks to a wall-to-ceiling aquarium. You will find many top restaurants brands here like COYA and Gaucho but there are a host of cheaper options and Visit Dubai has many recommendations for good value eats. https://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/cheap-eats
Dubai With Kids
You can splash the cash on kids in Dubai and they will love all the glitzand novelty however it is still possible to have memorable and relatively affordable holidays as in addition to the water parks and the free public beaches the city boasts beautiful, peaceful, clean, green parks where you can find local families barbecuing and playing. Mushrif Park Khawaneej Road is a good for kids with woodlands and zoo.
- When to go: The best time to visit Dubai is from November to March when the temperatures are cooler (highs of 30C to lows of 15C). June to August temperatures can exceed 40C which typically means spending the day indoors and only venturing out in the evening when temperatures cool down.
- Where to stay: Dubai is known for it's luxury hotels however standards are relatively high so you should get decent accomodotion even on a budget. Apartment rentals such as Airbnb are also a good option. The Dubai Financial Center is great for proximity to the most popular landmarks like the Dubai mall and Burj Khalifa while the Dubai Marina is more relaxing with Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab close by. Jumeirah Beach filled with beach resorts, shops and restaurants.On the complete opposite end of this “strip” is the Dubai airport and Old Dubai with the souks. Along most of this strip is Based on your interests, you may prefer to stay closer to one of these landmarks.
- Getting around: Taxis are affordable and easy to acess however it is worthwhile taking the metro at least once for the experience. The metro system is very clean and easy to use and the stations have a very modern design. Beware of taking this to the Dubai Mall though as it is quite along walk from the station. .
- What to wear: What to wear when travelling to the United Arab Emirates is usually a burning question for non-Muslim's. Most non-locals wear western clothes some of which may be quite skimpy however to be comfortable and respectful you may want to cover your shoulders and knees. There is a formal dresscode for mosques and for the Dubai Mall but it is not usually enforced at the mall. We found our Eloli tunics to be the perfect blend of style, comfort and modesty and thrown over a pair of jeans, trousers or dress they took us effortlessly from day to night. You are also expected to have on closed-toe shoes with pants or long skirts for ladies with your shoulders covered while dining in restaurants in Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab. We rocked our Ms Tutu dresses with no problem and got loads of complinents
- Public Behaviour: Best to skip PDA in public and consuming alcohol in public is a big no, no! Tourists are allowed to drink at licensed hotels, bars and restaurants in Dubai. You need a license to purchase alcohol however you may do so without a licence at the duty free shops at the airport.
- Language: English is widely used, with most signage in both Arabic and English.