Expat Life in Dubai

Dubai state of mind.

May 8, 2011

“You are living in a great city” is what most of my friends who’ve visited me here tell me after their holiday. Well, that is actually what Dubai wants you to be: IMPRESSED. This place has something new to offer all the time, the Dubai you saw 6 months ago is no longer the same now. Buildings get built in no time that you’d think that they actually sprung from the desert itself overnight. It’s so hard to keep up with the fast-paced changes that is happening all around you, even for someone who’s actually living in this great city.

Though there is a considerably large gap between the rich and the poor (the have nots and the have yachts as they call it) you don’t really need to be extremely rich to enjoy the luxuries of what Dubai has to offer. I am one of the have nots but I don’t really feel like I am missing a lot of things for being poor. Haha! Specially now that there are means of bringing closer the have nots to these Dubai luxuries – The Entertainer Book, Cobone and Groupon just to name a few. 🙂

So anyway, to give you a quick rundown of what you can do here in Dubai – as far as I’m concerned, these are the must see/do:

1. Desert Safari

Vroom Vroom!

A visit to Dubai without a desert safari is like a visit to Venice without riding the gondola. You just have to do this. I normally take my safaris from Arabian Adventures, although a bit more expensive (I have staff discount of course) but it’s all worth it. You might think that a safari is the same for every tour operator and I’m telling you right now, it’s not! Yes, all of the safaris will have the dune bashing, the camel ride, the bedouin camp dinner and the belly dancer but because Arabian Adventures, unlike the other tour operators, has their own private bedouin camp so the number of people in one safari is controlled. Imagine if you have about 10 tour operators each with about 25 guests, sharing one camp and you’re all lined up to the buffet table? or worst yet, the toilet? in the middle of the desert? Get the picture? 🙂

2. The Dubai Mall musical fountain.

If that won’t give you goosebumps with the massive structure of the world’s tallest building as a backdrop then I don’t know what would. The fountain starts playing at 6pm with 30mins interval until midnight I think. The best place to view the fountain is undoubtedly The Neos at The Address hotel. If a lounge bar is not for you, you can always have dinner at the Italian restaurant Urbano at Souk Al Bahar, to have this fountain play for you while you dine.

3. Breakfast at Shakespeare & Co. at Souk Al Bahar.

Shakespeare & Co.

Nothing really extraordinary about the place you might think, but because you have the below photo as a view, then it definitely becomes a tourist destination in itself.

the massive Burj Khalifa

4. Aquaventure Waterpark

need I say more?

5. Ski Dubai
– well, I just thought that: “I went skiing in Dubai!” would probably be the weirdest thing one can ever brag about.

Ski Dubai

6. Dinner at Wafi.
– this has been a frequent dinner destination for me over the weekends. Although I must say that I’ve had some numerous “unfortunate” events with the quality of service that these restaurants have, they never fail to satisfy my taste buds though. They have Seville’s for Spanish cuisine, Carter’s for your pre-drinks drinks (yes, such a thing exist in Dubai), Medzo for an Italian cuisine, Mahi Mahi for seafood lovers and of course Noodle Factory for southeast asian cuisine. There are a lot of other restaurants within the vicinity but those are the ones that I’ve already tried.


7. Smoke shisha at Dubai Heritage Village.
– with the traditional arabic house behind you as you watch a wooden dhow slowly making its way thru the creek of Deira, smoking shisha can’t get any more authentic than that. 🙂

Heritage Village

8. Shop for souvenirs at Souk Madinat Jumeira.
– you actually don’t need to but anything, you can just take a photo of the seven star hotel from here to take with you as a souvenir.

Burj Al Arab view from Madinat

9. Friday Brunch in Dubai.

– most of the bars and lounges here in Dubai will have their own version of Friday brunch which only means people getting drunk as early as 3 in the afternoon. Free flowing drinks and unlimited barbecue or tapas usually seals the deal for a good brunch but more often than not, it’s the ambiance of the place which wins the hearts of the Dubai-ites.

Barasti Beach Bar, one of the many bars which offers a great ambiance for a brunch.

10. Happy Hour at the Observatory in Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel and Suites.
– if you want to get a view of the man-made Palm Jumeirah islands while sipping 25-dirham cocktails, then you should definitely go at the Observatory.

The Palm Jumeirah

11. Sail the Arabian sea.
– Seeing Dubai in a different perspective just makes this luxurious activity all worth it.

oooohhh la la!

And swimming the Arabian sea with the seven star hotel as your view is just oh so amazing!

The two dots that you see out there? That’s me and the boyfriend. :p

Well those I think are the top 11 things a tourist must do here in Dubai. I didn’t mention shopping because clearly, that’s already a given fact that you must do your shopping with all the malls that they have here. I didn’t also mention clubbing or bar hopping because you’ll figure it out on your own that you would need to sit down and relax somewhere with a beer in your hand after a long “exploring the city” day. I do believe that 3 months from now, I would need to do an update of this list as something new has come up once again.


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  • Reply John Pierre October 31, 2016 at 22:41


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  • Reply bagnidilucca May 8, 2011 at 07:44

    I’ve been a couple of times to Dubai. It is a lot of fun. I did the desert safari and loved it. Thanks for the other tips for next time. I fly regularly to Italy and some times go through Dubai.

    • Reply galatea234 May 8, 2011 at 15:21

      Great! Will be updating the post whenever something new comes up… :p

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