Last month I headed off to Dubai with Dubai Tourism for literally 48 hours in the city. Having only been in transit I was rather keen to explore the city. But what awaited me was nothing I had imagined and associated with Dubai.
After delayed flight to Dubai , I arrived at 6am and after getting through passport control I was met by a representative from Dubai Tourism. I was taken to my hotel which was not too far away from the Airport.Though it was winter in Dubai , I did not feel cold.
Checking into Rove Hotel was fairly simple and easy.There will be a separate review post up on the blog about my stay here. Quickly recalling my itinerary I knew that at 10am was when my day with start. With roughly an hour and a half I knew I only had time to shower,have breakfast and meet the rest of the media group. In my room there was a welcome gift bag of goodies from Dubai Tourism which included vouchers,a power bank and lots of other apparel. It was then I realised that we would not be returning to the hotel before dinner. So while I showered I quickly charged my powerbanks and phone.
Tip 1 : put phone on flight mode when charging.It charges faster
Tip 2 : always carry at least 2 USB cable chargers so you can charge multiple gadgets.
All sorted I headed down to breakfast where I met Bianca from Hello Joburg Mag who told me that we were a group of 15. Our media group included journos from Nigeria and Kenya. Shortly after breakfast we met Rana and started off our day.
Dubai Day 1 :
We headed off to Dubai Parks and Resorts. On route I noticed a building very similar to The Taj Mahal and wished that I could head there to take some photos. Little did I know that we were heading to this theme park and inside it would be the Bollywood Theme Park I had read about last year. We were the first media group in the world to visit this theme park as it only open in December 2016. I felt like a kid exploring the park and the various rides in each theme park. Spending roughly over 5 hours in the park I felt like I was a child all over again. There will be a separate review about this Theme Park soon https://www.dubaiparksandresorts.com/en
Next we headed off to Market Outside The Box. This was an open air market near Dubai Opera and Dubai Mall. This was the first time a market of this sort was held and it fitted in perfectly with #DubaiShoppingFestival.The market had a variety of stalls all selling locally made products and included jewellery, clothing and home decor. A lovely addition to the market was the large movie screen showing old movies adding to the outdoor fest was several food trucks selling all sorts of yummy foods.
After roughly an hour at the market we headed off to Dubai Mall. There were people everywhere as the awaited to watch the Burj Khalifa light up with the colours of the India Flag as it was India’s Independence Day. Once inside Dubai Mall it felt I was in shoppers paradise with not much time as we still had to go dinner we headed off to Paris Gallery to spend the vouchers we were given. It was so hard to decide what I wanted as this store sold jewellery, makeup ,perfumes and sunglasses. Finally I settled on some perfume and makeup. The staff were extremely helpful and I was even offered refreshments in true Arab Hospitality. Wait I forgot to say Dubai Mall has free WiFi. This was pretty useful as I was going to meet a high school friend of mine.
All shopped out,feet killing we headed off to dinner at the stunning The Palace , Downtown Dubai. Everything about this hotel is amazingly beautiful.I was able to briefly met with my friend which was so good. Thank you Paula for the lovely treats and making time to see me. Dinner was with the Dubai Tourism Team and their PR team. We got to sample the finest Arabian Food as it was an Arabian themed Feast Night. With aching swollen feet after walking 25000 steps my feet felt like they would fall off, I mentioned this to the lovely PR lady from the hotel and to my surprise within minutes a beautiful pair of comfy slippers appeared like magic. I was so excited and my feet were so grateful that I was able to enjoy the rest of the evening.A seperate post will follow about this property.
Like Cinderella ,just before midnight we were whisked back to our hotel. My mind was in overdrive with all my experiences that day. But after taking a shower and a painkiller , I drifted off to the land off nod. And before I knew was time for ….
Dubai Day 2
After breakfast we headed off to experience #IMGWorlds. Yes it was another theme park but it was an indoor theme park http://www.imgworlds.com/
Now before I go on let me tell you I am not a fan of rides and theme parks in general. But Dubai has changed this and now I am looking forward to my next adventure. After a guided tour through IMG Worlds, we were given some time to explore on our own. A group of us decided to go off together and have some adventures. There was something for everyone here and I had a blast.We ended our visit here with a delicious meal at Flavours of Arabia more Arabic Food yes please ! Watch this space for a detailed review.
The #GlobalVillage was our next destination for the day. Nothing quite prepared me for what the Global Village was and lets just say I need 48 hours or maybe more and probably 1 million Dirhams for shopping here.Walking through the village I felt like I was taking a walk around the global in two hours. I only managed to visit India, Turkey, Thailand, Syria , Africa and Spain. Each of the villages are beautifully designed and host stalls which sell food,clothing,jewellery and all other crafts from that country.
We headed off back to the Market Outside the Box near Dubai Mall. I was rather keen as I had my eye on a string of Rose Pearls and having my name done in Arabic.The night before we did not have much time so this time around I was glad to get what I wanted.Another highlight for me was catching up with a dear friend of mine Caroline who I had worked with in London and is now working in Dubai. After shopping ,all weary we headed back to the hotel again like Cinderella. Early morning flights meant we needed to leave the hotel at 7am. As I am always stressed until I check in at the airport.I didnt get much sleep.
I am the type of the traveller that wants to do everything in a short space of time.This also means budget constrains and doing only what is at the top of my list.Also check out this 4 day Dubai and Abu Dhabi itinerary .
Thank you #MyDubai for a fun filled 48 hours. I did not expect to find my inner child in Dubai. And yes even with the time constraints I did manage to do some shopping.
Masalama Dubai until we meet again ..
ps I was a guest of Dubai Tourism but my views are my own.