Big cities and beaches, God knows how I love them! Anyone who knows me knows that Miami had my heart in that matter but Dubai came along and took the thrown…
I recently met someone while on vacation who happens to live in Dubai. We stayed in touch and he invited me to visit. I had always been curious about that city so I didn’t think twice.
Life is short; buy the ticket!
So I talked about it to some friends and quite honestly most of them were freaking me out!
According to them the United Arab Emirates is a very hostile country towards women and you can’t dress like you want, plus I was going to stay at a guy’s place which is illegal if you’re not married and so on…
My internet researches said the same things…like it’s forbidden to show your shoulders and knees in most places (malls, restaurants and certain parts of the city).
When I go somewhere I like to respect local traditions. I had done some shopping to have appropriate clothes just in case it was like everyone said it would be. Or let’s say I had an excuse to do some shopping. But honestly it wasn’t necessary, you can wear whatever you want.
So by the time I was leaving I was apprehending my stay over there, especially due to the fact that here in Europe I get mistaken for an Arab woman. There’s this story when during Ramadan month I was eating something on the go in Brussels and a muslim guy walked passed me and started talking loudly shouting at me…I was quite shaken so since then I like to be careful when it comes to that culture.
So I arrived there late at night in a very clean and well organized airport. There are employees everywhere guiding you to where you should go.
The crazy thing is we Europeans are very judgmental about let’s say exotic countries, especially Arab and muslim ones, when in reality some of them are far more ahead than us in things like technology, cleanliness, organization, keeping criminality rates low and so on.
I always like to compare the services you get at the airports on arrival. The one thing that always makes me happy, and which I found right away at Dubai Airport, is the possibility to get a local mobile phone number with data package right upon your arrival. The US has it, Portugal, Spain even Cape Verde…but not in Luxembourg…which I think is a shame for such a wealthy country. But that should be less of a problem when the roaming fees are abolished within Europe now in June…but still. Luxembourg has a long way to go in certain things.
I got my local phone number and went to get a taxi. Again, you can’t get lost in that airport and people are very polite. After 5 minutes queuing I finally arrived outside on the taxi station and I was struck by Dubai’s hot air. It was almost midnight and it was hotter than it gets in Europe in August. Very pleasant for me as I’m a sucker for heat. Felt at home.
They have special taxis for women (not mandatory) with a female driver and recognizable by its pink roof.
Most people working regular jobs in Dubai are Indians or Asians so I had a little trouble understanding their english with their accent. But they are very friendly and polite.
I was staying in the neighborhood of Dubai Marina so a very touristic place with mostly hotels and huge skyscrapers. Loved the view from the room at the 36th floor. I had the smallest Dubai mall nearby, the Marina Mall. Of course I visited the Dubai Mall (world’s biggest mall) and Emirates Mall (the one that has a ski area)…almost got lost, thank God they have signs everywhere to avoid that. Jumeirah Beach was within a 10 minutes walk.
I’m going to be honest I didn’t do the touristic attractions in Dubai.
The first day I was so tired from the flight, I got ready to go to the pool and fell asleep on the bed. And I slept like a baby, really needed to rest.
On the next days I just did chilling at the pool and beaches.
I did the Zero Gravity beach Ladies day, which happens every Tuesday.
Then on another day I went to Barasti Beach. They provide you with waterbeds and you can float all day in the sea to the Dj’s music.
One day I just got to a hotel and chilled on their beach beds, ate, drank and took a good sunbath. That’s how I like my vacations just enjoying the sun and the sea.
But it’s not all I did of course. I went to Dubai Mall at night to admire the famous fountains by the Burj Khalifa while having a good meal on an Italian restaurant’s terrace. It was marvelous, just breathtaking.
I also visited Old Dubai, which I loved. They have free art expositions and you take a 1 dirham boat to go the other side of the river to visit the Spice and Gold Souks. But I must say that the sellers are very annoying. They all want you to come into their boutique and buy something. One of them even tried to get my hat off to make me try his scarves. I found it was very disrespectful considering the fact that he wouldn’t even think to touch a local woman, so why do it to a tourist? It’s honestly the only negative experience I had there.
Oh if you like to walk there’s one thing you need to know if you’re using Google Maps to get somewhere: don’t follow their route!! You will be walking like 20 minutes when the place you’re looking for is just 5 minutes away. Just analyze the map and use your common sense. Google needs to step up on this!
Dubai is a food heaven for vegetarians and vegans…no joke! They have so many healthy food restaurants and cafes. You may not find them on the main attraction sites but they are there (hence using Google maps to get to places). If you are a vegetarian or a vegan just do your research prior to departure (or ask me). Instagram is a good source to find these spots.
Had a delicious veggie burger at Urth by Nabz&G, the best açai bowl and delicious avocado toast at The Açai Spot, generally all beach bars and restaurants have delicious options for us.
So why has Dubai taken Miami’s place on the thrown?
Well Dubai is a fairly new city, everything is big, new and clean. The people are classy and diverse. You don’t have to fear just because of your skin color. Everybody is welcome the way they are if they are respectful of others. No one walks around in their bikini with boobs and ass coming out while you’re having your meal. No “rapper” bothers you so you can buy his cd and help his “career”. No guy comes to you or whistles at you telling you he would like to do whatever with your body. It’s just the vibe and the respect. There’s no ratchetness.
I didn’t really do anything fancy while I was there but now that I know the city a little bit more I plan on going back by the end of the year and catch up.
For more pictures feel free to visit my Instagram page.
Thanks for reading again.
Love and Light