Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well!
Let me begin by saying I’m sorry for the radio silence; I went on holiday, was ill for 2 months, and at the same time I moved into a new house so I have been consoling myself with wine and crying all the time, but I am BACK and will be blogging all the time again.
I thought I’d kick off being a responsible adult with a Guide To Dubai; I went to Dubai in May, and honest to God it was the most amazing place I’ve ever been to in my life.
I got loads of questions from people off the back of all my Instagram stories and posts (I was incessant sorry huns), so I thought it would be best to put it all in a post.
I’m going to do a separate, in depth review of Fairmont The Palm, which is the hotel we stayed in, but I will briefly touch on it in this post. I am also going to do separate posts on the excursions we did, as otherwise this post will be longer than the Old Testament, and we all know I like to ramble.
(The view from our balcony in our hotel room)
So anyway, Dubai. We unknowingly booked to go during Ramadan, and realised basically as soon as we’d press ‘Pay’. There’s no problem with this, it’s just that the hotel we’d originally booked wouldn’t allow us to drink water by the pool, and as it was going to be nearly 40 degrees we knew we couldn’t do this, so we booked Fairmont The Palm who were absolutely fine with guests eating, drinking etc. It was cheaper hotel wise to go during Ramadam.
Honestly, going during Ramadan made no difference to us really. When we went to Dubai Mall during the daytime, the food establishments (lol establishments who do I think I am) were closed although I believe a few places had screens up for people to eat in. You can’t walk around eating and drinking during the daytime in Ramadan, although we went on a speedboat tour one day and were given bottles of water.
I will be honest and say I was nervous to visit; it’s a very different culture to ours and I wasn’t sure what it would be like, but I have never been so happy in my entire life as when I was out there. I remember sitting in The Cheesecake Factory in Dubai Mall with my friend on our last night and we were both saying how this is literally the happiest we’ve ever been; we felt so relaxed and chilled out, and everything is just so beautiful.
So, the flight was about 8 and a half hours on the way there and 7 and a half on the way back. We flew with Emirates, which was really good because you get free alcohol. That is literally the reason. Nah I’m joking (ish, who doesn’t love a free Pinot? Answer; not me. I love one). The in flight entertainment was really good, there was so many good films, series and playlists. Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits was seshed let me tell you (did I really just say ‘seshed’?).
I’ll be honest and say it was pretty turbulent on the way there and VERY turbulent on the way back. The seat belt sign was basically permanently switched on during the flight back, and I was bordering on hysterical (I say bordering on, I was). A diazepam later and I was right as rain though.
Public service announcement; if you’re flying anytime soon to wherever and have in flight entertainment then please watch Home Again with Reese Witherspoon. Banging film and gives hope to all us women that are probably going to end up with a much younger man.
A little tip, at Dubai airport, go to the taxi queue and only get in the branded taxis, you’ll know the ones I mean as they’re everywhere! The touts try and approach you and charge you about triple what your taxi should cost. Thankfully I’d already googled what our journey should cost from the airport to the hotel, otherwise we could’ve been massively ripped off.
The currency used in Dubai is Arab Emirate Dirham, and 5 Dirham is approximately £1 in our currency.
Money wise, Dubai is obviously expensive, it’s not a cheap place at all. I’d say it’s comparable to VERY expensive London venues, you know those affluent Mayfair type areas where you buy a round of drinks and then realise you’re gonna have to remortgage your house and sell your grandparents commemorative Coronation plate sets? Yeah those.
Our hotel was half board, so we got two meals a day, and every day we chose breakfast and dinner, except once when we chose lunch, so we didn’t really have to pay for food except for snacks we had during the day at the hotel.
We went from Wednesday till Sunday, and I’d say during that time, on drinks, food, taxis, going out and buying a few small bits, I spent about £650 in spending money, and that isn’t including excursions because fortunately we got our speed boat tour and entrance to the Burj Khalifa for free in return for a blog feature. We did drunkenly order room service, drink a fair few cocktails, order quite a few snacks and drinks down onto the beach, and get taxis everywhere rather than buses so you could absolutely do it cheaper than we did spending money wise. It just depends how much you want to spend.
One thing I’ve been asked a lot since posting I was in Dubai is about covering up; when we went out and about during the daytime, like on excursions or to the mall, we just wore midi dresses and threw a cover up over our shoulders. I’d recommend investing in loose fitting maxi dresses because it is so hot and you don’t want anything tight fitting.
When we went out in the evening we wore what we would wear out in the UK; strappy tight dresses and we were fine. We went to Atlantis for cocktails one night (you need to go, it is the most incredible hotel I’ve ever been to in my life!) and we asked the receptionist at our hotel if we needed to cover up at all and she said we were absolutely fine, and we were wearing strappy dresses above the knee.
We wanted to be 100% respectful so we ensured that we checked what was and wasn’t okay.
We did drink alcohol both at the hotel and outside of the hotel in the evenings; we definitely did not get plastered, we did have a fair few cocktails one evening but we got a taxi back to the hotel after and got room service. Dubai is not the UK and it isn’t acceptable to shout and scream in the street or piss in the gutter like it is down West Street on a Saturday night, so I would recommend being conscientious or you will probably get arrested.
(Outside Dubai Mall during the daytime)
Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world; it has everything from Cartier to Topshop, Gucci to Lush, it has an aquarium, an ice rink, restaurants, cafes, every makeup shop and clothes shop you could ever wish for in your entire life. It’s beautiful and you could spend an entire day in there and still not have seen everything.
We sunbathed at our hotel which also had a beach, and we went up the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world, absolutely unreal and will be doing a full blog post), and on a speedboat tour round The Palm (UNREAL just FYI, will also be doing a blog post), so I’d seriously recommend those as things to do during the day.
(The view from the top of the Burj Khalifa)
(Atlantis The Palm on our speedboat tour around The Palm)
If we’d have had more time there’s so much more we would have liked to do, like jet skiing and a desert safari, but we are 1000% without a doubt returning later on in the year so we will make sure we do a lot more then.
(Cocktails at Atlantis)
Atlantis is an amazing hotel on The Palm, and it is incredible to walk around. We went to Barazura and they had two for one cocktail offers on which was surprising but amazing for our bank balances.
If you’re a woman, then Dubai can actually be a bit cheaper for you because of Ladies Night; I don’t know the exact venues that run it but I think it’s a fair few. Essentially, bars/clubs will run a ‘Ladies Night’ where women get in free and get drinks tokens. We went somewhere called Cargo and got 4 free drinks each, which was obviously great, and this was on a Friday but I think different venues run all different days.
Pier 7 Dubai Marina is where Cargo and another incredible top floor bar (I cannot remember the name but it’s on the top level) are situated, and I’d 100% recommend going, and ordering the Berry Cooler cocktail. The views are literally insane.
We didn’t actually eat outside of our hotel apart from The Cheesecake Factory at Dubai Mall which you 100% need to go to, so apologies for the lack of restaurant recommendations.
To be honest, our hotel was the kind of place you can just spend an entire evening because the restaurants etc are so incredible, but I will talk about it more in my review of it.
(Dubai Mall in the evening)
I’ve put Dubai Mall in Daytime activities however we spent an entire evening there as it’s open till about 1am.
So, that is my mini guide to Dubai; I hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful and of course if you have any other questions just message me or comment on one of my Instagram pictures.
All my love BGP xx