It was the first time I flew with the company and I was blown away by the kind service, entertainment selection, and (most of all) the comfortable seat. I’ve always thought flying was fun, but after the first few hours I’m over sitting in those seats crammed between a window and a stranger… Emirates takes flying to a whole other level.
The attendants greet you (in their cute red hats) with glasses of champagne and go over how to control your personal screen; with a large selection of movies, TV shows, music, and games. Most importantly, they teach you how the magical seat works… It reclines all the way back until you’re completely lying down making it entirely possible to catch up on some Z’s! Let’s just say the 15 hour flight went by a lot quicker than I thought it would.
Once we landed Emirates also provided us with a car to the Marriot Hotel Al Jaddaf, which was recently built and has a great rooftop view of the city skyline.
Our first full day started in Old Dubai, near the docks, where men sail in from Iran to transport goods in and out. Fabian and his dad were able to get on some of the boats and see just how much these guys had crammed into them.
There are hardly any women in this area and Fabes’ mom warned me beforehand to wear long pants and cover up to be comfortable, glad I did.
The only downfall of this place is the crowds, it’s difficult to even walk around… And finding a parking spot in the garage was nearly impossible at times.
Towering over the mall is the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and one of Dubai’s iconic landmarks. The tower looks like it’s from the future and its name literally translates to “The Leader Tower.”
Tourists also have the opportunity to take an elevator to the very top of the Burj for the view of the city below, which we had to do. There are two options for visitors, you can visit the 125th floor and for quite a bit more you can also go to the very top of the building, which is 160 stories tall. We tried both, and the view from Sky Lounge at the very tip top was amazing!
They treated us very well with refreshments and candy dates. If you want to get a photo without the glass of a window in front of your camera, just go with the 125th floor. While the higher lounge was very nice and exclusive feeling, it was quite expensive and you’ll want to save your AED for everything else in Dubai.
Speaking of expensive, let’s talk about one of the most luxurious areas in all of Dubai, The Palm, which is shaped just like the tree itself. Here, we got a look inside some resorts that were so nice I couldn’t believe they were real! One of them being Atlantis, the crown jewel of The Palm, as you drive up the trunk of the “tree” you’ll see it at the end of the road beckoning you closer. I felt like we were driving into the gates of a palace in a movie.
Then there was Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the lobby alone made me think I had died and gone to heaven…
But enough about those hotels, now let’s focus on the resort we actually stayed in, called Jumeirah Mina A’Salam. It was so magical here that I actually felt like I was in a fairytale storybook.
Especially when we would take the little boats to breakfast or the souk. I always thought Disney resorts were enchanting places, but this kind of blew those out of the water.
We spent each day lounging around on the beach where staff members brought us drinks and ice lollies or swimming in one of the gorgeous pools.
We also had a great view of the world’s only seven star hotel, the Burj al Arab, where we had dinner one night with Fabian’s family and friends.
As soon as you walk into the Burj al Arab you can see why it’s a seven star hotel, the staff kindly greets you, the lobby smells like fresh flowers, there are aquariums lining the elevators, and when you get to the second floor of the lobby a fountain show is happening right before your eyes. The architecture of this place in incredible both inside and out; I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to go inside. Fabes has stayed here once before and said each guest gets their own personal butler… How does this place actually exist?!
Another really nice area was the Marina filled with yachts and crazy-looking ultramodern buildings, it was like we had taken the DeLorean even farther into the future than Marty McFly. Around the corner, is the JBR Walk, which is lined with tons of restaurants; including some familiar ones, such as The Cheesecake Factory and Shake Shack. This is a great place to come on weekends, especially in the evenings because at 8pm it has a spectacular fireworks show. Having the display right in front of us while hearing everything echo off the buildings behind us was pretty “heavy, Doc.”
One place we visited that didn’t seem to have any tourists was Global Village, but it was completely swarming with locals. Seriously, I thought the Dubai Mall was overwhelming at first, but it was nothing compared to how crowded this place was. That being said, we still had a lot of fun. It’s like the World Showcase in Epcot, only with many more countries represented.
Booths include merchandise and food from all these countries and there is even music and shows performed throughout the day.
In the back is a huge carnival, complete with gut-wrenching rides and those games you can win large stuffed animals at. This place was definitely worth checking out!
So even though we traveled to a city that doesn’t allow public displays of affection, we still managed to have an amazing time… And, yes we did sneak in a few kisses along the way… Okay, more than just a few… A lot.