Nothing is impossible in Dubai

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Come to Dubai they said….The weather is fab they said…..You’ll love it they said……
And they were right, except the weather was a bit up and down.  Highs of 26, lows of 22 and it did feel cold getting in and out of the pool a few days, but then it is February. 

Dubai Marina

I can totally see why people have been raving about this city for years now. The building site is very much alive and well, with construction showing no sign of slowing up. In saying that, a taxi driver told me that he believes pretty much all building will be done by 2020 when the world expo comes to town.  The buildings are incredible. 
The thing about Dubai is that 20 years ago most of it didn’t exist. Reclaimed land, constructed beaches, the ‘Palm’ and tower block after tower block form the landscape. A city of bright lights, opulence and where nothing is impossible. 
Someone told me that coming to the UAE would give me a culture shock. There is no culture shock here, the only shock you get is the price of things particularly eating out and the price of alcohol. A glass of Prosecco and a G&T cost on average the guts of £30. That aside when it comes to service, surroundings and the welcome you receive you can’t go wrong. I’ve never been anywhere where the people are so polite particularly with kids. They are patient, the service is first class and there isn’t a spot of dirt anywhere. Everything is pristine, no graffiti, no chewing gum, no litter. 

Jumeriah Beach Resort #JBR

We stayed at Jumeriah Beach resort at the Hilton. They have great family rooms and suites in a tower block of only 42 floors.  It certainly isn’t the tallest in town, not by a long stretch. One thing in this city you have to get used to is the wait for lifts (elevators if you prefer).   
Everywhere you go, you need to use lifts with the exception of the Ritz Carlton hotel a block or so down from where we stayed. It only has a few floors and probably another reason for it’s nice price range. I loved where we stayed as it’s in the heart of ‘the walk’ an outside mall where boots meets Starbucks and Prada meets Burberry. There is something for everyone even if it’s just window shopping. We ventured out to Atlantis for an evening meal and to see the aquarium. It was incredible to see, I am sure it’s one of the biggest hotels in the world. It is beautiful but crowded with thousands of people. Getting a table reservation was difficult with long waits and I imagine check in and check out at the wrong time would be a nightmare. Staying at #JBR also means you are close to the Dubai marina which has the wow factor as the skyscrapers with their fancy lights line the water on both sides. We tried the Simon Rimmer (Sunday Brunch) restaurant at Pier 7 which was brilliant. Awesome food and great views plus a brilliant singing celebration for my daughter Ivana’s 8th birthday from the staff. Talking of birthdays and the reason for our trip was my Mums 70th. For the big night we went to downtown Dubai. It was incredible with views over the Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world with a fountain show outside which eclipses the fountains outside the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The restaurant matched the occasion with food to die for and a jaw dropping backdrop. It was a pinch yourself evening. 

The Burj Khalifa in the background

Our trip was a family trip, I did get to see on one evening what a night out in Dubai had to offer if you’re with a group of friends or away without the kids. I met up with an old friend who has lived here for over 10 years. We took in a few venues and ended up in the bar where the Dubai Liverpool Supporters Club meet to watch the Champions League game against Bayern Munich. It was a 0-0 draw, the atmosphere was incredible. A sea of red and the singing of Liverpool songs all night was superb. No matter what night of the week you go out, with 5 million people in the city you can find a party and a great atmosphere. 

LFC Supporters club at Goodfellas

Before I came to Dubai I had reservations about the culture. No public displays of affection, holding hands etc etc. It’s true you don’t see much of it but never did I once think about it when I was there. I felt incredibly safe and everyone I met was friendly. Society here is a fusion of people from all over the world from different backgrounds, cultures and religion. As a parent I thought it was brilliant to bring my kids here to experience it.  They have had a ball from the beach, to Kidzania (a must do at Dubai Mall) to Ski Dubai (indoor skiing with real snow) its been a trip of a lifetime. Will we be back? I hope so. We need to get saving first. 

Chilled times

So as I finish writing this we’re about to board our flight back to Dublin. A quick word on Emirates. They are possibly the best airline I’ve flown with. Definitely up there with Qantus. Now, I’m turning right on board. I’ve never turned left or been in business so I’m comparing economy with economy. Spacious seats, really comfortable and the best inflight entertainment with a huge tablet type screen and and a controller for inflight games which the kids loved. I also got to finally watch ‘Bohemian Rapsody’ on the way here. It’s brilliant and worthy of a few oscars on Sunday.

So there you go. Dubai – pricey but brilliant. Would I come back? Definitely. 
Pete #PS014

Showing 14 comments
  • Charmaine

    Was there for the 1st last August, we went for 10 days and OMG I LOVED IT, I went with my brother, wife and 3 kids we all had a ball! The HEAT was BRUTAL 40 plus degrees but we soon got use till it 😜😜 I would highly recommend it and hope to return also

    • Gordon

      Nice place to take the family and my twin sister for her 70 birthday 😀 Oh I guess I must be 70 two! But as my twin would say I am an hour older.
      Peter you need to try South Africa, nice people, nice country, warm and sunny in February. In-expensive, three course meal for two with a good bottle of wine £40
      Uncle Gordon.

    • Karen Yeates

      Very interesting read for someone who has never been & mayb never will! Always imagined it as a city of skyscrapers & designer shops with not much else………but enjoyed ur review….thanks for sharing.

  • Nicola

    Really liked your take on Dubai,really informative thanks! Have thought about going, but, reading this, I’ll get saving a lot before we go 😁

  • Karen Mcmullan

    Love Dubai we went a couple of years ago and spend Christmas there. Amazing was an understatement. Plenty to see and do. Saving my pennies to get back X

  • Stephen Millar

    Great article Pete, really interesting and gives an insight into what a holiday would be like in Dubai,as I know my partner and I would like to go there in the next few years.

  • Jordan

    Florida wins hands down every time for me Pete sorry. Lol.

  • Wendy Reid

    Have been to Duba 4 times ( hubby & I both love it) , but , as you said …it has become very pricey , to eat out etc etc ,
    I always say to anyone that listens, if you ever get a chance to visit Dubai , grab it & go. Ps..although it is cheaper to go there in July ( there is a reason ), it is too hot then , you literally can’t walk on the burning hot sand and the sea is like a hot bath !! Research on line things to do , there is always something , I wish that I had known about the Magic Gardens ! Only learned of it from an instagramer, wow wow , what a place . Some day , we will go back , after we have saved up though !😉😊❤

  • Shauna

    Just stayed in dubai enroute back from brisbane ..shout out to emirates who were fabulous. Stayed in five palm at entrance to palm ….djs paradise with famous names playing, 6 bars and party central . Just missed Manchester United team by few days. On downside don’t stay there if your over 25 or have kids !!!! We are near 50 and needed ear plugs 🎧 .

  • Alison Hobson

    My myself, husband and 16 year old son went to Dubai last August for 10 nights. Stayed in Atlantis, wow what a hotel, actually what a place. We loved it that much that we have booked to go bck this August 19 we staying in Grand Hyatt this year. I have said to people if they ever get the chance it’s a must. One of my best holidays

  • Linda Walker

    Reading this has been great, we are in September Pete for a late honeymoon & our birthdays. Initially staying at Dubai Creek (Hyatt) then staying in RAK at Waldorf Astoria. Like you I’ve been told so many myths about culture. We’ve friends who live there since 2010 & after reading your experience I’m even more excited! Happy birthday Ivana & Mrs Snodden! 🎂. I’ve noted your restaurant Pier 7 & will give it a try.

  • Jolene Mackay

    Spot on Pete, I’ve been in Dubai all week and have never experienced anything like it … so clean, so much to do and the people have all been so friendly and well mannered. Also agree that Emirates on the way out were brilliant, first class entertainment and food. I’m back with my teenagers in April and can’t wait! Will need to start saving though and next time try the London Social Friday Brunch for all the family, it’s amazing!

  • Sam

    I love Dubai ,go twice a year , people are helpful and polite . Don’t need to stay at JBW at the really pricey hotels can get just as luxurious close to any of the metro stop areas at a fraction of the price . Experience the metro great way to see Dubai not like our public transport .

  • Beverlee

    Pete I’m so happy you have written this, I’ve been coming to Dubai since 2005 and every year we do something different as there is something new to see…. I keep telling my pals exactly what you have written but they worry about getting arrested for having one too many! This is most definitely not the case… we have stayed in 18 different hotels and my favourite has to be the madinat jumeirah group (kids get free access to wild wadi) opposite the Burj al Arab…. you are so right the Atlantis is a nightmare took us 1 hour to get our luggage after check out! I’m heading back this year again…. thank you for showing us your highlights! If you need any tips I have loads!

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