Visit Dubai? The good and not so good

Visit Dubai? The good and not so good points!  My last visit was ten years ago and, I must admit, I didn’t really like it very much.  We discovered Abu Dhabi and that was that.

 

PHOTO: Jumeirah The Palm at sunset

However, I was lured back by friends telling me how it had grown and was such a great place to visit.  Many of my friends adore Dubai.  Here I will share with you the places I enjoyed visiting in this fast growing Emirate.  My stay on Jumeirah The Palm was an absolute delight, so much so that I actually considered buying an apartment on The Palm!  (For about a day, until I realised it was way too hot in Dubai).  Top hotels, beautiful villas and the most perfect setting.  The Palm is so luxurious, quiet,clean, safe and with the most beautiful residences.

PHOTO: The Palm Jumeirah and view of Dubai Marina

As my readers will know, I stay in top hotels all over the world.  For a change, I chose airbnb

I cannot recommend my experience highly enough.  A stunning apartment in a beautiful residence in the most luxurious area of The Palm.  Definitely think about Airbnb, I rented the whole apartment and they have some lovely Villas to rent too.

TOP TIP: Rent a whole apartment or villa with Airbnb and avoid the huge deposit normally charged by other online rental companies.

PHOTO: My Airbnb Residence Pool

My Airbnb apartment even provided Kayaks for guests to use at sea, which was a lovely treat.

Top Tip: If you do stay on The Palm think about hiring a car.  Super easy to drive in Dubai and the distances between places are long! 30 minutes from The Palm to Downtown.

Dubai Marina can be seen on the horizon in my pics.  Why on earth there isn’t a boat service between the two, I have no idea!  The only way off The Palm is by car (train to Atlantis The Palm).  If you don’t rent a car, download Uber app.  There are really good Uber Lexus cars which are not much more expensive than the rather basic taxis.

PHOTO: Dubai Marina

DUBAI MARINA

This was another favourite of mine.  Fabulous, well designed Marina with gorgeous yachts moored.  It is very easy to take a trip out to sea on a yacht. Private charters or pay to go on a tour with a group of people.  There is a big shopping Mall with Waitress Supermarket (Much more expensive than the ones in England!).  Lots of coffee shops and places to eat.  It has a great vibe and is full of people having a great time.

The food in all of The Emirates is generally underwhelming.  This probably seems a little bit harsh and I do live in London and the South of France with some of the great restaurants in the world.  However, restaurant prices are high and there is huge room for improvement.  Another good reason to rent a property, you can choose to eat in or out!

PHOTO: Sofitel The Palm, Dubai

Above is the pool at Sofitel The Palm Dubai.  I spent a day here after buying a Beach Pass.  There are several hotels where this is possible in Dubai, downtown has quite a few options.  My flight into Dubai arrived so early I decided to check this out before arriving at my Airbnb Apartment.  The price of The Pass included a Dining Voucher so it is not too expensive.

The Sofitel The Palm Dubai is a family orientated hotel and was absolutely packed with children.  Not the relaxing day I envisaged to be honest!  If you have kids they will love it though.

PHOTO: SOFITEL The Palm Dubai

Dubai is very family friendly and a great choice for a family beach holiday.  However, if you want a romantic couples holiday or a relaxing time be careful where you choose to stay!

TOP TIP: The distances are long between places in Dubai  I was surprised just how far it was to downtown Dubai.  Everything is designed for car transport, walking and cycling are really not possible to get around.

BEST TIME TO VISIT DUBAI:

Beware! it is hot!  I know that is stating the obvious as it is in the middle of the desert BUT it was too hot for me in late April!  Summer months are 50 degrees.  The best time to visit is in the winter.  Perfect for a sunny escape from the european weather in winter and less than 7 hours away.

BARGAINS! Yes, there are some bargains to be had, especially of you go outside school holiday.  Check out http:kayak.co.uk

Visit Dubai? The good and not so good.

THE GOOD:

  • Excellent Hotels
  • Very safe
  • good hotel deals if you shop around
  • Great stopover for a couple of days en route to Asia
  • Good for a few days R and R in the sun
  • Fantastic Yacht charters
  • Enjoy The Palm, Downtown and Dubai Marina, visit The Gold Souk and The Souk
  • The desert
  • family orientated
  • Superficially more liberal in attitudes to dress than other Emirate States

THE NOT SO GOOD:

  • Way too hot, except in winter months
  • Restaurants are expensive and very average food.
  • Too family orientated.  Dubai has waterparks rather than sophisticated places to discover.
  • Not much to do except waterparks, shopping and sunbathing.
  • I hated the lack of eco friendly living.  The reliance on motorised transport, air pollution, lack of recycling, tremendous waste of resources.
  • Youth orientated.  A definite bias against older people!  The average age is 25 for women in Dubai.  It is very odd being in a country when there is no-one aged over forty. This, in my humble opinion, is why Dubai is basically financially bankrupt and reliant on Abu Dhabi to prop it up!   Older people have money to invest and spend!

Make sure to take a trip to the desert, the best thing about Dubai in my opinion.  Abu Dhabi is still my favourite Emirate though!  I prefer The Louvre to Waterparks and the sophistication of Abu Dhabi.  Take a look at my Abu Dhabi blogs, including this one: http://luxurytraveldiva.com/abudhabi/However, I would definitely recommend Dubai as a winter destination for a few days relaxation and sunshine or as a nice stopover travelling further afield.