This would be our first time being reunited in several months, and with long distance, you look forward to this moment more than anything. My other half, Karim, is now living in Dubai (UAE), and I’m still a D.C. gal. We share a birthday a day apart and we knew we didn’t want to miss spending it together, so it was set… I was going to DUBAI! Even though this was a very personal trip for the both of us, I knew it was something I wanted to let you guys share with us, thus, my Dubai diaries travel post!
I need to start by saying… NOTHING could have prepared me for a 14-hour flight. I flew with through the amazing Emirates Airline, and their crew did the best to make the flight seem as quick as possible. I was on a non-stop cycle of “movies, sleep, music, sleep, eat, sleep, read and sleep”.. I mean their food was insane! I’d wake up to have steak and potatoes for dinner, french toast for breakfast and then chicken salad for lunch!
When the time finally came that I had arrived, my nerves were all over the place, but quickly passed when I saw him again. I couldn’t believe I was there, and I couldn’t wait to spend my week with all he had planned. I’m going to take you guys through my trip via pictures and let you have a travel tour!
WHERE I STAYED
I decided to stay nearby Karim in Al Qusais at the Dubai Grand Hotel. The hotel room was soo spacious (and their room service was even better). I was only there for a couple of the beginning and ending days of my stay because Karim had booked a resort in Fujairah for our birthdays!
In the middle of my stay, we spent three days and two nights in the absolutely breathtaking Radisson Blu Resort in Fujairah. Fujairah is another Emirate of the UAE, which is about an hour and a half drive through the desert (yess I practically screamed every time I saw a camel!). What I loved most about this resort was that all of their rooms were facing the private beachfront view. Below was our peaceful view to the left and right from our balcony! There was a little gazebo all the way at end of the pier that gave us the besttt view of the resort with the mountains in the back.
Looking back at my photos, I realized a majority of them were actually of the buildings in Dubai! All of the architecture (hello the Burj Khalifa!!) was like nothing I’ve seen before, so unique and they were all hugee!
THE BURJ KHALIFA
I have never felt so tiny in my life… It had always been my dream to see this in person because I’ve seen the photos, but that did this view no justice. We experienced the ultimate struggle of trying to find the perfect angle to take a selfie with the Burj (hello good ol’ double chin)
THE MALLS (yess ladies)
The Dubai Mall was every girls’ dream… 1,200+ stores and they had a whole block inside the mall of the top luxurious stores. Poor Karim had been walking in circles with me while I was just in awe of everything (he’s the best?). Inside of the mall was an aquarium with stingrays, fishys and sharks, but that was just the beginning. Turning the corner was The Souks inside of the mall, an ice rink and huge displays like the diving men and the umbrellas over the ceiling.
Mall of the Emirates was another just as popular mall in Dubai (and this one had a ski resort inside!!). The UAE was celebrating their 45th National Day the next week so all of the shops were filled with flags and signs. MOE is known for having SkiDubai slopes inside, which even has a penguin encounter exhibit.
WHERE WE ATE (our favorite pastime)
We experienced tons of different foods and new flavors during my stay. Home Bakery in Galleria Mall is known for their amazing chewy melt cookies, so we had to try them while we waited for our breakfast. We grabbed breakfast twice in Cocoa Room , and they go all out with their food and presentation! He grabbed a Mexican ranchero benedict one morning and a roast beef benedict the next, while I had a Nutella stuffed french toast and then an oreo midnight pancake the next (with a burnt marshmallow hot chocolate.. still drooling over it). We grabbed lunch another day on the middle deck of Barasti Beach in Dubai Marina, overlooking the private beach, live music, and sunbathers.
WHAT I WORE
Dressing in Dubai is a little tricky. It’s known for being extremely hot (average summer days feel like 110 F) and because I knew how modest women dress there, I was careful with what I wore. I stuck to long flowy sundresses and sandals a majority of the time and wore long flared pants and off the shoulder tops with a light cardigan on our nights out.
All in all, it was a trip I’ll never forget, and one that I thank Karim for all of the time. He put together the most amazing stay and we got to make so many memories while touring his new home city and celebrating another year older.
I can’t wait to plan many more trips and travels in the new years..
Cheers to 2017, Darlings!