With a week off work coming up, we sat at home one evening and thought about what we could do with the time off. We were thinking of staying home but at the same time thought that it would be cool to explore somewhere new.
For a while we have wanted to visit Lisbon so we checked prices and availability to spend a few days out there but as usual prices tickets were way too expensive for just a few days. We searched a little more until we were just about to give up.
I thought about Dubai which sounded a little crazy, but an hour later, we had flights leaving on Tuesday (it as midnight Saturday) booked and a hotel for 4 days. Having been a few times to the Middle East, and Dubai I wanted her to experience it too, so Dubai felt right. On top of it all, we would be travelling in the newly received BA A350 and coming back in the B747 (we are a bit of plane nerds) which put the cherry on top of the cake.
Bags packed and off we went to the airport a good few hours before our flight so that we could spend some time on the airport plane spotting. Gate opens and onboard we go to the new plane – it still had the smell of something new (like a new car) and was a pleasure to in such a new aircraft. New comfortable seats, larger windows and what felt a more spacious seating area.
Arrival to Dubai was excellent and as smooth as could have been hoped for. We arrived late afternoon, hopped in an Uber and off we went to the Palm to check into the hotel. The hotel we chose was the Kempinski Dubai Emerald Palace. What a hotel, it really does look like and feel like a Palace.
In the morning we woke up and opened the door to the balcony and it was the hottest heat we have felt. It felt like putting your whole body through the sensation that happens when you open a hot oven. Intense. So we closed the door and off we went for breakfast in the nice air conditioning.
The hotel was sensational. It must be the best hotel I have stayed in. The comfort, care, decor, food, and hotel facilities were out of this world, even a little over the top, but we loved it.
It had everything and then some more:
- the comfort in the room was unbelievable. Solely the bed was about the size of our whole bedroom in London.
- the gym had all the equipment possible and was immaculate and well maintained
- the pool was spacious so that you did not feel overwhelmed and had a couple of lifeguards looking after the guests. Free drinking water was offered by the pool, which was a nice touch given the heat.
- there is a small sandy beach area with a cordoned swimming area in the sea.
It was magical and this hotel truly had everything.
As for Dubai itself, given the heat (it was early September), we planned our city ventures for late afternoon / early evening to escape the intense heat and also see the city in different lights. We did the touristy things such as:
- Burj Khalifa (visit to the top and water show)
- Mall of the Emirates
- Walk around Marina
- Visit the Magic Garden
- Visit the Gold Souk
All are really worth visiting. We enjoyed each one and the experience of seeing something opulent was cool. Our favourite is definitely the Magic Garden, followed by the Burj. The magic garden is a joy to walk around and see all the different flowers and what can be done with them and it is cool to see and be able to say we have been up the tallest building in the world. We also saw the water show which happens outside the Burj, and although this was fantastic, it does not beat the [[Singapore]] water show.
For the return journey we hanged around the hotel until as late as possible, checked out but stayed there to enjoy the pool and gym. The hotel has separate showers for the gym, so we could get refreshed before tearfully checking our and making our way to the airport.
We have since been back to Dubai and stayed at the Creek to try something a little bit different. On this trip, we mostly hanged around the Creek and visited Abu Dhabi which was incredible.
The Creek area has a lot more hustle and bustle, which was a nice change to the Palm’s tranquillity. However, the Palm will be tough to beat. Both of our Dubai travel trips were immense and for sure we will be going back.