Wish you were here! Six days in Dubai.

Burj Kalifa (left) and Burj Al Arab (right)

If Paris is a grande dame with a rich history, Dubai is an up and coming teenager with its eye firmly fixed on the future. With the tallest man made structure in the world, which at 829.8 meters is almost three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, the world's only seven star hotel and a man-made palm island that is visible from space, Dubai is a city of superlatives. During the past three days, I've found myself overusing the words, "amazing", "incredible", "unbelievable" and "wow". But what other words would correctly convey the awe that I've felt while craning my neck skywards to see Burj Kalifa's spire piercing the nighttime sky or gazing at the ultra-modern city that emerged from the desert sands less than fifteen years ago.

Since quite a few people have told me that they're currently planning trips to Dubai, here's my schedule for the week. I hope to write more detailed blog posts once I'm back in Paris. But right now, I've still got a lot more to explore!

Monday - Afternoon tea at Burj Al Arab, the world's only seven star hotel. Book early to ensure that you get a table at the Skyview Bar to watch the sunset. (I've got lots of insider's tips that I'll share in a future post.) Visit the nearby Madinat Jumeirah Hotel and Souk Madinat Jumeirah that are styled after an Arabian souk with narrow waterways, wind towers and lantern lit hallways. If you have a reservation at one of the restaurants, you can go for an abra, or small boat, ride through the canals to the restaurant. Otherwise, an abra tour costs AED 75 for an adult.

Tuesday - Learn about Emarati culture and religion while eating traditional dishes at a Cultural Lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. (More in a future blog post). While in the area, visit the Dubai Museum, which is more interesting than it appears from outside, and stroll along the Bur-Dubai creek. If you have time, go for an abra ride. Visit the Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest, and watch the impressive dancing fountain show on Burj Kalifa Lake. With designer boutiques, an Angelina's and a Ladurée under the same roof, I almost felt as if I was in Paris. There's also a huge indoor aquarium and an ice skating rink. If you're looking for a good coffee or Italian food, go to the newly opened Eataly.

Cultural Lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Wednesday - Visit the Mall of the Emirates to see Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Take the Palm monorail to the Atlantis Hotel, dine at one of the 21 restaurants, take lots of photos of the magnificent lobby with the massive glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly and be enthralled by the Lost Chambers Aquarium. Even though we didn't go inside, it's possible to view parts of the aquarium while strolling through the hotel or sipping a coffee at the Poseidon Café. Or, you can dine "Under the sea..." at Ossiano.

Thursday - Relax at the hotel and write a blog post. Eat breakfast but not lunch because you need to save room for an "Arabian Food Tour" with Frying Pan Adventures. (I'm leaving for this tour in one hour and my stomach is growling thinking of all the delicious food I'm going to eat!)

Friday - Have breakfast at the Dubai Marina. In the evening, go for a dessert safari with Platinum Heritage.

Saturday - Wake up early to watch the sunrise from the top of Burj Kalifa. Depart Dubai at 3:00 pm.

Lobby of the Atlantis Hotel with the Dale Chihuly glass sculpture

Comments

  1. I think I may have found my next destination (via Paris bien sûr )............for the BIG birthday perhaps?

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    1. Dubai is a great destination ... for the BIG birthday or any other occasion. Just don't go during the summer months when it's supposed to be really hot. I'm happy that you're planning to come to Paris again! :)

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  2. I love the idea of the culture lunch. All the rest just smacks of Las Vegas to me--somewhat blingy and artificial.

    jxg

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    1. The culture lunch was one of the many highlights of my trip. As for smacking of Las Vegas, it does a bit because everything is built to be spectacular. But there are also lots of enriching cultural experiences that set it apart from Las Vegas for me.

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  3. Goodness, looks like quite the adventure!

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  4. Wow Mary Kay you certainly do your research. Sounds wonderful. Have a good weak. Love Denise.

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    1. Normally, I don't do so much pre-trip planning but I had to because it was my first visit to Dubai and I wanted to see as much as possible. Also, I had to book things in advance since there were so many people in Dubai during the French and English school holidays. Also, it's not really a walking city so I had to figure out which places to visit on the same day so that I wouldn't waste time/money taking taxis from one side of the city to the other.

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  5. It's not necessarily top of my list of places to go, but looks like you're having a great time! Enjoy.

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    1. It wasn't on my list of places to go until Stephane told me about all the things that there are to see in Dubai. Now, I would happily go back!

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  6. I've been intrigued by this Middle Eastern destination but, after reading your post I'm going to put this on my destination checklist. It sounds like there are amazing things to see and experience. I look forward to reading more about things you experienced and seeing your beautiful photos. I'm a huge Chihuly fan so seeing that sculpture was treat for me.

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    1. Seeing the Chihuly sculpture was a highlight because my husband had sent me a photo of it during one of his early visits to Dubai shortly before I saw an exhibition of Chihuly's work in Boston. It was great to finally be able to see it for myself.

      My computer wasn't working last week so I haven't had a chance to write the other posts about Dubai yet. I hope to start writing them within the next couple of days. I wouldn't say that Dubai is for everyone (just like I wouldn't say that Paris is for everyone) but I certainly enjoyed my stay there and hope to return for another visit.

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  7. Dubai is one of the best tour place in the world. I've taken all tours in UAE like desert safari, dhow cruise, city tour, abu dhabi tour etc. I will highly recommend you guys visit UAE

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  8. you must go to Desert Safari is very special famous and must to do tour in Dubai in which you have an unforgettable real desert safari drive adventure with our traditional Arabic Bedouin campsite visit where you can also enjoy with the Camel Riding, Sand Boarding ,henna painting , Sheesha ( huubly bubbly ), BBQ dinner with unlimited soft drinks and water also.

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  9. Amazing Article, No doubt an Arabian desert is an amazing place it has a lot of beautiful views like the sunset and the sunrise and not to forget the night in which the sky is full of glittering stars. The amazing Dune bashing and the Quad Bike in Dubai, it sure is a place to make amazing memories

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