Often thought of a dazzling destination for only the rich and famous, Dubai has so much to offer! But if you think you will only get to experience Dubai if you have some sort of windfall then think again!
Given that I had to stopover in Dubai to get to Thailand, I thought I would make it a few nights rather than just a few hours. I am already fairly familiar with Dubai, however not having visited in 13 years it certainly has changed a lot! To give you an idea, when I was last in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa wasn't anywhere near being as tall as the buildings next to it, and now it stands as the tallest building in the world.
I travelled with Emirates airline. I have travelled with them before, but not since I had last been to Dubai. Having not done a long haul flight in a good few years, I just got used to the smaller airline planes so I was pleasantly surprised when I sat in my seat and could actually move my legs! The flight time was something like 6 hours and 20 minutes (wind obviously going in the right direction) and I managed to bag a seat with no one next to me. You get fed so much with Emirates! Lunch consisted of orzo salad, beef with veg in a gravy, cheese and biscuits, a bread roll and some berry dessert thing. As far as airplane food goes it was nice! We then got given sandwiches, a scone, clotted cream and jam later on in the flight. I managed to read some of my book, see 6 episodes of The Hills: New Beginnings and some of pretty woman! All in all a VERY comfy flight!
I arrived in Dubai at around 8:30 in the evening.
REMEMBER! You cannot buy alcohol in shops or supermarkets in Dubai, so if your wanting to preserve your travel pennies by not hitting the bars, but still want a little tipple while your over there, make sure you visit duty free on your way in, or you won't be drinking anything alcoholic. There is a huge selection of wine, beer and spirit in duty free but you are bound by limitations from customs (of course). You cannot buy anymore than 4 litres of alcoholic beverage or 2 crates of beer (24 can crates), still a good amount to pick up on the way in though!
Knowing the expense of eating out every night I opted to go for an apartment which had kitchen facilities. I stayed in class hotel apartments in Media City. Here's the link:
To get to my apartment I got a taxi from outside the airport. I was half expecting to get ripped off being an English tourist rocking up for a taxi but actually it cost £20 which I think is fairly good.
For the apartment, I paid something like £190 for 3 nights which is incredibly cheap for accommodation. It was basic but clean, in a great location and had a rooftop pool (bonus)! The staff were very helpful and friendly, you are greeted with a smile whenever you walk in the door and they are always there to help you with anything you need!
As soon as I had checked in I wondered to the local shop to grab something for dinner. As I previously mentioned I didn't want to spend a silly amount of money eating out, nor did I really want to sit in a restaurant on my own in Dubai given its not really a solo traveller community so I opted with cooking in my little kitchen in my apartment. Over the course of the time I was there I probably spent about £40 on food consisting of ingredients for spaghetti bolognese, fresh tuna steak, sweet potato, salad, piri piri chicken steaks, etc and I ate poached egg on toast every day for breakfast. I popped to a local shop on the first night but the rest of my shop came from the supermarket Carrefour (inside mall of the Emirates). You would probably get a main course (if that) for what I paid for 3 nights worth of food if you really want to see Dubai on a budget it is possible! Little piccy below of my poached eggs because it is literally the best breakfast - IDK what anyone says.
So on my first day I whacked on my trainers and off I went (after my poached eggs of course). I could see the metro line from my balcony so I knew it had to be there somewhere! The metro was only then being built when I last visited Dubai so I had never used it before! Turns out it was a 5 minute walk from my apartment! The metro is the best thing EVER and is a really cheap way of getting around Dubai. A one day pass for all areas is 22 dirham which works out just under £5.00. You can use it as much as you like for the day! I did try and get a picture of the map:
The photos aren't the best however it may help in working out where you could go!
The first place I went was mall of the Emirates to have a look around. I wanted to buy a sports bra as I had left mine at home. Every time I go on holiday I get an urge to use the gym because I see myself in a bikini and I think "holy shit girl we need to do something about this". It's a shame the motivation doesn't continue at home! Ironically before buying my sports bra I popped into the Hummingbird bakery for a cup of tea and slice of lemon drizzle :) I'm on holiday right?!
The mall of the Emirates really is one heck of a mall. It is where Ski Dubai is located which I have done before but not this time! I visited the mall probably 3 or 4 times given that is was 5 minutes on the metro from me and every time I went I found myself lost following signs to get to where I needed to be! There are other shopping malls such as Dubai Mall, but I didn't bother going as I've been before plus the mall of the Emirates was convenient for me!
The rest of my day consisted of walking! I got the metro and tram down the the marina and then walked back to my apartment from there! 20km actually - I think we can safely say I have walked off my cake! I got to take some photos on my walk:
That evening I went to the cinema at mall of the Emirates as I was in a cinema mood. I went to see Like A Boss. Despite the critics hating it, I thought it was a real good., laugh out loud girlie film!
So I had reached my last day in Dubai. I needed to leave my apartment at around 10:30pm to head to the airport so I had plenty of time and didn't need to worry about checking out as I had booked my room until the next morning. When I previously visited Dubai, Palm Island was barely there! So I booked my hop on hop off bus ticket and headed over to see the island and the Atlantis hotel! I wondered around the Atlantis. It really is something out of this world however very kiddie orientated so probably not somewhere I would stay on an adult/solo trip.
Here is the link to the bus company I used:
If I was to do it again I would only use these bus tours if I had a few days to really get the use out of it! I could of seen the palm by getting the metro to the palm. Once your at the base of the palm there is another metro line that runs into the Atlantis which would have a been a much cheaper way of doing it given that I had already got my main metro ticket anyway. If however you have a full day or a few days to make use of it then definitely go for these tours. There is a recorded tour commentary you can listen to on head phones so you can learn about Dubai as you go!
I finished my stay with an afternoon by the pool and a chicken salad I rustled up in the apartment. This book is so worth a read...the character Laura in it reminds me of myself - a previous track record of dating absolute losers! I couldn't put it down.
There is so much to see and do in Dubai I could easily have spent another week or 2 there. If you only have a few days in Dubai like myself, definitely research what you want to do and when so you can get there and get straight on with it not wasting anytime. I actually didn't pay for a taxi back to the airport since I found out the metro goes straight to terminal 3 which is where I needed to go! Next stop...Thailand!
Thanks for reading