June 23, 2014

A Few Days in Dubai

I greatly enjoy reading tips about visiting different countries, so I thought I could get a travel expert here who could tell us about his travels. This expert is no one other than Alex, who travelled to some wonderful places on his own! He planned all of the trips, searched hotels, and found exciting sights to see. Alex has kindly agreed to share his travel experiences with us, so I will sometimes feature travel posts written by him. 


The United Arab Emirates was never at the top of my list of places that I wanted to travel to. I didn't know much about the area except for the little bit that us westerners are exposed to through our media and normally what we hear is relatively stereotypical and biased. I guess I never technically decided on my own to travel to Dubai. My employer sent me there for a few days and I took the opportunity to explore the city as much as possible. Before traveling to Dubai, I had been to other countries in the Middle East like Afghanistan and Kuwait, so culture shock was not an issue for me. I was already used to seeing the different customs, the different attire, the differing roles in society for women, the differing religious views, and the different types of foods. All in all, Dubai was much more "western" experience to me than the previous places I had been.

Dubai is a beautiful city that is full of massive skyscrapers, five star resorts on the Persian Gulf, exotic cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti, and a massive amount of wealthy oil families.  The city screams luxury and money like no other city I've been to before.  Construction is also booming and the city will continue to grow to become even larger than it already is as wealthy people from all over the United Arab Emirates continue to flock to the extravagance that is the city of Dubai. The skyline reminded me of one that you would see in downtown Manhattan, except Dubai had taller and more exquisite buildings. The city is home to the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa, the world's only seven star resort, Jumeirah's Burj Al Arab, and has The Dubai Mall which is the largest mall in the world by total area at 12.1 million square feet.

If the glitz and glamor is not so much your style Dubai is also full of history and old architecture.  About a ten minute cab ride away from downtown is Deira which is just across Dubai Creek.  In this area you can find The Souks which contain an endless maze of spice markets, gold markets, linen markets, and many other vendors.  Its is a beautiful area of town and the buildings are much older and more traditional looking.  The Dubai Museum is also just a stones throw away from these markets and is directly on the other side of the Dubai Creek back towards the downtown area.

As I stated earlier, Dubai has been heavily influenced by the western culture.  You are more likely to see a McDonald's, Chili's, Starbuck's, Tim Horton's, T.G.I Friday's, or an Au Bon Pain, than you are traditional Middle Eastern fare.  Although the latter can easily be found as well. Dubai is also one of the few Middle Eastern countries that hasn't completely outlawed alcohol.  You are allowed to purchase beer, wine, or liquor or your choice at any of the many bars that they have. Prices are a bit exorbitant for both food and drinks.  Be ready to pay $20 a meal and close to $10 a beer.  Hotels on the other hand are not quite so bad.  Since it is such a popular tourist destination, there is no shortage of places to stay and hotels are constantly running special deals to fill up their rooms.  You can probably get a 4 star hotel for around $100 to $150 a night. The taxis in Dubai are by far the cleanest and most affordable of any city I've ever been to.  A half an hour cab ride will probably cost you  somewhere around $20 which pales in comparison to other places in Europe.

Dubai is a wonderful city.  Don't let the fact that it is in the Middle East deter you.  If I ever get the chance, I would go back in a heartbeat.  Here are some of my personal photos from the aforementioned places.




post signature - kasi

38 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous! I've always wanted to go to dubai!

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  2. Your photos are GORGEOUS! They make me want to go to Dubai!

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  3. Dubai is absolutely GORGEOUS and I cannot wait to visit!

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  4. Dubai looks beautiful! Those food and drink prices are so steep!

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  5. i've always wanted to visit dubai! the city looks amazing! a couple of my friends recently went and they raved about it too.

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  6. How fun!!! Gorgeous pictures :)

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  7. This adventure looks like SO much fun! What a beautiful place!
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

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  8. Incredible photos! It makes me want to visit Dubai! <3

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  9. Stunning pictures! I didn't know too much about Dubai, but it sounds pretty incredible!

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  10. Wow, I could look at pictures of Dubai all day - it is such a beautiful place!

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  11. Wow, I could read this post all day. Felt like I went instead of Alex lol x

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  12. Definitely a place that I want to visit, amazing!

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  13. This city looks stunning! i love the juxtaposition of old architecture with the modern skyscrapers! and the fact that there's a chills, cold stone, and tim hortons...haha

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  14. Beautiful! I'd love to visit some day.

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  15. Wow! It's gorgeous. Completely luxurious, even $10 for a beer!
    StarrJoy16.blogspot.com

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  16. Deidre || Love, The SkinnysJune 24, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    Dubai is my DREAM vacation

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  17. It's a blast...You should definitely go if you get the chance!

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  18. Yeah the alcohol is a bit steep... I think for mixed drinks or wine its even pricier!

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  19. I highly recommend it!

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  20. It's a beautiful city and is even more impressive in person. It was nice to have a little taste of home with all of the American/Canadian restaurants!

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  21. Thanks for the kind comment! Im glad you enjoyed the post!

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  22. If you get the chance, go and don't think twice about it!

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  23. It really is... the pictures don't quite do it justice though!

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  24. I didn't know much about it either and I doubt I would have travelled there on my own had my employer not sent me. Im glad that they did!

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  25. Thank you! Looking at them makes me want to go back! haha.

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  26. It was a blast..and it was unexpected. I didn't really know how much I was going to like it but it ended up being one of the best places I've been to.

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  27. Thank you, Amberly!

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  28. I've had a couple of friends who have been there as well and I've never heard anyone say a negative thing about the city!

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  29. They are! But all in all, it kind of evens out because the hotels are relatively cheap and the cab rides are an absolute bargain!

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  30. Do you have a trip planned already?

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  31. Thanks, Ashley!

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  32. Thank you, Amber! It's even better in person so if you get the chance, go!

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  33. I definitely got lucky when I was sent there by my employer! I hope you get the chance to go as well!

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  34. You are welcome. I give credit where it's due and it's definitely due here x

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  35. I remember talking about Dubai way back in World Geo (like, six years ago) and it's definitely on my list of places I want to go!

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  36. I think from Atlanta to Dubai it took me about 10 hours or so! Considering its geographic location, thats not bad!

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  37. Gorgeous pictures! I have heard so much about Dubai. It's so on my must visit list.

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Thank you so much for your comment! I will do my best to respond to them all and also visit your blog:)