Saturday, 3 June 2017

SWEETIESAL IN THE SUN: DUBAI


Earlier this year I stated a blogging goal of mine was to do more travel related blogging so here is my first piece, please let me know if you like it or have any suggestions!

My most recent trip to Dubai was my third time in the beautiful United Arab Emirates and as always I had a wonderful time and wanted to share some of my travel tips with you!

Travel
Let's start with getting your ass to that desert.. I always travel with Emirates direct from Manchester and it's been an amazing service every time. Price-wise you can get some great deals and I paid just £410 return for my recent trip which I felt was very good value. Plus a massive plus for me is the very generous luggage allowances meaning you can have a fabulous wardrobe at your disposal whilst away!

Things to Do
This section will be the bulk of the content but each time I have visited I have found such fun things to do that I have to share them with you!

Ladies Night
Tuesday is the main ladies night in Dubai with most bars and clubs serving complimentary drinks and food for ladies. There are places that ladies can drink for free most nights but they require a little more research as it isn't everywhere... I have been to China Grill at the Westin at the Marina and Mahiki at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and both were great fun! Head there later on in the evening as they tend to be quite quiet early on.

Blow Dries and Makeup
The DollHouse made my circular face angular for once in my life and their MUA was seriously great. This time I opted for blow dries only and on Laura from Buy Now Blog Later's recommendation I went to Be Bar on Jumeirah Beach Road and they were amazing! It is two for one on Tuesdays at a steal of £15 per blow dry so get booked in! Plus they wash your hair whilst you are lay down - so comfortable and a lovely experience!

Shopping
The Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates have EVERYTHING you could possibly think of from American and English Department Stores to restaurants and beautiful surroundings. Bear in mind that the restaurants within the malls do not serve alcohol, but let's face it, you want to properly quench the thirst if shopping is to be done!

Friday Brunch
Weekend starts on a Thursday Evening in Dubai and Friday Brunch is a *thing* especially in the expat community! The majority of hotels have their slant on brunch with the food on offer not always being breakfast! With alcohol or none - alcohol packages on offer they are a lovely excuse to get dressed up and have a lovely meal in lovely surroundings. I have been to brunch at Mina a Salam which was basically every type of cuisine you can think of paired with cocktail stations, all you can drink fizz and much more. I also have it on good authority that the brunch at Nobu at the Atlantis is great and the 'Bubbalicious Brunch' at the Westin! It isn't a particularly cheap experience but a lovely treat!!

Eating
Dubai has their very own versions of many well known restaurants such as Nobu, Bread Street Kitchen, Hakkassan etc you will find an abundance of cuisines available! This time round I went to Nobu and was absolutely blown away by the quality of the food so I can highly recommend you pay a visit. I've been impressed with all the restaurants in fairness as the quality is outstanding. If you want something more low-key then that's widely available too, with alot of american chains having a presence in the malls. 

Souks
For a more authentic aranic shopping experience you can pay a visit to the souks. Madinat Jumeirah have their very own souk attached to the hotel which is a nice way to see what the souks are like if you don't have much time to head to the proper ones. The gold souk is something I am dying to see so when I next head to Dubai (I am thinking I need an annual trip!) I am definitely going to go. 

Cultural Awareness
Visitors to Dubai need to be aware that there are religious and cultural differences that you have to respect in Dubai. Hotels are predominantly very western and therefore there is less emphasis on complying but if you are going outside of hotels to the malls or souks then you have to cover your knees and shoulders if you are a woman out of respect. For me I think it really isn't a big deal and I would always prefer to be respectful rather than draw attention to myself for the wrong reasons. As I said earlier, the malls are alcohol free so don't expect to be able to have an alcoholic beverage. Modesty is a big thing and ignorance is not an excuse. I would urge anyone going to read up on do's and don't's just to ensure you know what is and isn't ok.

Holiday Budget
At the moment, 1 Dirham equates to approximately 22 pence (£ sterling). Alcohol tends to be expensive (think London prices) but a good tip is to buy in the airport in arrivals and then you just need to buy mixers from your hotel. Taxis are very cheap over there so getting around is not a problem as you will want to take a look at all the different districts! You can definitely do Dubai on a budget!

I absolutely love Dubai and think it's a fascinating place, the sheer size of it is a bit mindblowing and I can totally see why it is so popular with expats!
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