December 9, 2016

Dubai Travel Guide | Vacation Photo Diary

I want to incorporate other types of style cues on the blog, besides the fashion realm, such as lifestyle and travel. You may remember that I vacationed in Dubai a while ago (with this outfit post and on Instagram), but I want to share more about the trip itself through visuals and about my trip experience with recommendations.

{ D U B A I }

I have been mesmerized by Dubai--a city in the middle East that has become a cosmopolitan metropolis with endless high-rises and luxuries. After visiting, I am impressed with the city's drive and innovation to create the best of the best in various categories.

How long to go for:  We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights, and I thought that was sufficient time to experience the city. We made this our layover stop before we headed to Thailand. Dubai airport is a major international hub, so if your final destination is elsewhere, you can take advantage and extend your layover for a few days. That is enough time if you want an adventurous trip or just relaxation on Jumeirah Beach or on Palm Islands. If you want a combination of both, then additional time should be factored in.

Where to stay: We stayed at the hotel Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers in the neighborhood of Dubai Marina. The hotel met all of my criteria when I typically research what hotels to stay at on vacations: modern and clean, cost (price is reasonable for a five-star hotel since we planned to be out exploring majority of the time), free wifi, in a good location that is easily accessible to activities and public transportation (walking distance to a metro), amenities. They also have free shuttle to some locations. 
The hotel's indoor pool

How to get around: Taxi prices are reasonable. Their metro system is also extremely clean and safe. 

Things to do and see: 
Shopping: Dubai is notoriously known for this with their dozens of shopping malls and also being home of the world's largest mall, The Dubai Mall. Honestly though, it was fun to window shop, but I ended up not buying anything during my trip. There are some countries where I look forward to shopping with either having boutique shops native to the country (such as many East Asian countries) or buying designer items that I could benefit with some sort of discount compared to buying in the US (such as Europe with VAT), but neither of this was the case at either of the two malls that I went to in Dubai. Designer items were actually a little higher priced compared to US after currency conversion rate during the time that I went.
the Dubai mall aquarium
Part of the aquarium in The Dubai Mall

Burj Khalifa: World's tallest building. I couldn't believe how high up we were with the views of other skyscrapers significantly below us.

Fountain show at Dubai MallSimilar to Las Vegas' Bellagio choreographed water fountain show, but of course Dubai has the world's largest one. Best of all, it's free! 
- Helpful tip: if you don't want to stand in the crowd of people, eat dinner at one of the mall's restaurants with outdoor seating area that faces the fountain. We wanted breakfast comfort food, so we ate at IHOP and unbeknownst to us that they have an outdoor seating area with a good view of the show (as seen in the pic below). We sat in comfort away from the crowd and watched show after show (since they occur every half hour) while we ate our meal. 
Our view from the restaurant for the fountain show

Dessert Safari: There are half and full day safari tours. We went on a half-day one. It was fun with the dune bashing, sand boarding, and camel riding. Full day package additionally includes a dinner and live performance show. 
Dessert Safari sand boarding
Sand boarding (actually, sliding down on a snowboard since I don't know how!)

High tea at Burj Al Arab: This is our one splurge activity on our trip. This hotel has been described as "the world's only seven-star hotel" and the only way to get onto the hotel property are either being a hotel guest or dining there. I love afternoon teatime, so we decided on that. Reservations are needed, so plan ahead prior to your trip. It has the most amazing picturesque views of the city. Some of the food items are unlimited on refills. Even though tea time is considered afternoon snacks, we were quite stuffed afterward. 
High afternoon tea at Burj Al Arab Skyview Bar
High afternoon tea at Burj Al Arab Skyview Bar

Palm Islands: Man-made island shaped as a palm tree in aerial view. Atlantis Hotel Resort is also located there. We didn't have a chance to check out the island since I felt that I would want to go to Atlantis if we did, but that is a vacation within itself! :) 

Autodrome: Okay, I'm throwing this in here for the men that you ladies may be with! It's a luxury racetrack, considered one of the most modern and challenging in the world. You can go and drive race cars on the track. We discovered this too late on our trip to accommodate it into our schedule. A guy we met on one of our activities said it was one of the coolest experiences that he has done. Definitely on my husband's list if we ever go back. 

Dress code cultural etiquette: Even though Dubai is quite westernized, the traditional wear for Arab women have them covered up from head to toe. General consensus that I gathered is to be respectful of their culture with your attire. Although I saw some Westerners in shorts and tanks, I erred on the more conservative side and wore dresses/skirts past my knees. Baring shoulders seemed okay, especially while walking around outside in the heat. In the malls, I brought a cardigan to cover up my shoulders. For the desert safari, I wore shorts since I knew I would get sandy.

Have you been to Dubai? I would love to read any other recommendations that you may have!


  1. amazing travels! xO!


  2. a great trip, sure you had many good memories in this place

  3. It is an international place for tourist, I have already visited there and I really enjoyed a lot there, never forgettable moment I lived to visit every place of there. Find the best Rental Car Dubai service to enjoy your trip.

  4. Nice article, Your guidance for Dubai trip is too important for my trip, I am too glad to know the important location of Dubai. To get the service to explore and enjoy your trip use Rental Car Dubai with unlimited mileage.

  5. Loving your photos, dear! Starting to miss Dubai just by looking at them! Hope you had a wonderful time there!

  6. Dubai is <3! oh I just love this land of Kings and I cant wait ti visit this amazing place finally this year! I has no second thoughts once I got the cheapest airline fare .. this place was on my list and finally I am going! well ill try to visit all the places and your vacation Photos are superb.

  7. Want to have a see entire look of Dubai, Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab are the best choice for me.

  8. I would recommend these Los Angeles venues to anyone who is looking for a great spot or place to go and attend an event while eating and trying lesser known things. Prices are very reasonable and the staff is great!


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