Dubai is part of one of the largest emirates in the United Arab Emirates. This city, in the madness of grandeur, extends over 50 km and is divided into several districts. Each district has its own activities and atmosphere.
Shortly after leaving Abu Dhabi, the Burj Khalifa is soon visible from the main roads.
Means of Transport
We will discover for our part the city by car but be aware that the city is very well served. Here are the different means of transport at your disposal! I regret a little not having used them, they would have allowed us I think to have another approach to the city, it will be for a next time!
2 metro lines, covering all points of interest in the city, from Etisalat to Creek (green line) and Rashidiya to Jebel Ali (red line).
You just need to buy a Nol rechargeable card (can also be used in Buses, Tramway and sometimes even Taxi). The rate varies according to the distance travelled. The lines are recent and you can even have beautiful views of the city at certain points in the network.
- Some metro trains are reserved for women, families or even VIPs.
- If you are by car, it is possible to park in one of the 3 free parking lots available either in Rashidiya, Etisalat or Nalheel Harbour and Tower.
Another possibility is the tramway that serves the city from Al Sufouh to Jumeirah Beach Residences. Especially as it is connected to the monorail station on The Palm Island if you wish to visit the Atlantis The Palm Hotel, this is still the best option.
You will easily find abras, small traditional motor boats that can transport about twenty people in a fast, pleasant and economical way (1AED!) or other types of boats, to move between Deira and Bur Dubai.
The other more classical means are the bus, the taxi, Uber – which we used once without any problem – rental cars and of course the bicycle or on foot 😎 !
The Neighbourhoods and what to do there
To start our journey, we stopped at the Marina about an hour from Abu Dhabi to take the pulse. Trendy, lively district, with its center commercial, its restaurants, a cinema or its beach and which consists of more than 200 skyscrapers. There’s a choice for everyone!
So we took a walk along The Walk Dubai, and we settled quietly on the beach in a chicha bar to relax and enjoy the moment.
You can head to The Observatory Bar at the Marriott Harbour Hotel to enjoy the panoramic view from the 52nd floor if you’re also interested, you’ll have a view of The Palm Island.
Once the afternoon is spent strolling around, we decide to head to Jumeirah to watch the sunset over the Burj Al Arab, a hotel famous for its white veil structure.
Namely if you don’t have a reservation at the hotel, it is very difficult to get there! Access is controlled. However, it is possible to make a reservation to eat there, or to drink there such as at the sky bar in order to have a view of the Atlantis The Palm.
Unfortunately we have not made any reservations. We can wish one day, maybe, that we’ll be able to access it with the points!!!
The Burj Al Arab is considered to be a 7 star hotel and is said to be the best hotel in the world. It is 321m high and stands on its own artificial island.
In order to get as close as possible, we will stroll to the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
You can find everything here, the place is pleasant but the whole remains overrated; many shops are present, the idea being to make the look of this commercial complex close to a traditional souk or like an Arab bazaar.
The walk outside is interesting, especially as it is possible to have a quiet drink on the canal while having a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab or even to board an abra, a traditional boat.
Then we will drive to our hotel, the Renaissance Downtown hotel, Dubai in order to rest.
A little anecdote, we were undecided about the choice of room. 🙄 We got an upgrade… for a change!
In order to help us decide, 😯 the receptionist suggested that we visit 3 different rooms, each one more beautiful than the other:
- The one we booked with our Marriott Bonvoy points.
- The one we got the upgrade for.
- And the hotel’s finest suite that required an additional cash payment
Jean-Maximilien and I were not in agreement, loving him the 2nd suite and me the last, but with a monetary supplement to pay. We will be good and will keep the 2nd room, the flamingo room, which was fabulous also in terms of size, view and decoration. Jean-Maximilien reported on it lately.
The next morning, the opportunity is finally here! We take the plunge to be dropped off by the driver of the Renaissance Hotel at the Burj Khalifa Mall.
We finally go to the observatory of this infinite tower, At the Top, located on the 124 / 125th floor at 442m high.
Another lookout is present on the 148th floor at 555m high for information but you have to get there in advance to have a place and the rate is high.
In figures: 828m high. 163 floors. 58 elevators going at the speed of 10m/sec. 360° panoramic view. More than 12,000 people participated in its construction. People from all over the world.
At the top, the view is astonishing, the horizon stretches as far as the eye can see. You can actually see up to 80km around and from below you can see this tower from 95km away! Impressive.
Afterwards, it is impossible not to go to the adjacent Mall known for its activities, shops and central aquarium among others. A chance to stroll around a bit, it doesn’t hurt the wallet at least!
Almost all brands can be found at the Dubai Mall or EMAAR Mall. You can find your favourite brands and even your Tim Hortons (!) coffee or La vie en Rose boutique for example. It’s to get lost in it… and that’s what we’ve managed to do!
We will return the same evening to enjoy the fountain show, the light shows on the Burj Khalifa and the walks around. Shows every 30 minutes and all different.
It consists of 2 districts in fact, separated by the creek or river Creek: Deira and the Bur Dubai. There is a more traditional, folkloric atmosphere. Here, no skyscrapers, but a more representative area of Dubai’s past.
After our visit to the Burj Khalifa, we will be dropped off by taxi at the Bur Dubai abras station.
From there, we will join the bank of Deira to be able to chance in the alleys leading us in the old souk including the one of gold.
Sneaky fake dealers will surely tease us many times. The jewels shine. The shops are numerous. Then we’ll go through the perfume souk further on.
Once we have an idea of the atmosphere there, we will return to the other side.
We will take the sandy paths of the historic district of Al Fahidi (Bastakiya), the oldest part of the city of Dubai, reminiscent of the tales of a thousand and one nights. You can find the Dubai museum there.
The heat is starting to get to us. On the way, we will pass by the beautiful Al Farooq Mosque, an art gallery and an ancient wall of Dubai.
We will stop in the charming inner courtyard of the artistic hotel’s cafe XVA in order to have a bite to eat and taste some local specialities.
Then back to the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai to relax by the pool!
The Palm Jumeirah
Palms Island or Palms Island includes
- the Jumeirah Palm
- the Jebel Ali palm tree (unfortunately unfinished)
- and the Deira Palm (under construction comprising 4 interconnected islands)
Everything was built from scratch on the Persian Gulf. Artificial archipelagos for miles around. The palm tree is in fact a trunk surrounded by 16 branches for the Jumeirah and 17 branches for the Jebel Ali, where residences and hotel complexes are set up, protected by a crescent-moon-shaped dyke. The one in Deira should have 21.
There’s no shortage of activities in this area.
Our stay at Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa, Dubai, sums up what there is to do in the desert. a very detailed id=”gid_1″>span class=”term” data-original-term=”cmVwb3J0YWdlLXBob3Rvcw==”reportage-photos here !
As activities, it is possible to make camel excursions in the desert with the Bedouins. You will enjoy the sunsets, sleep in the desert and feel the calm, the serenity that lives there. We were able to do some archery and falconry experiments, the falcon being the emblem of the Emirates.
For fans of sensation, it is possible to go for “Dune Bashing”: driving a 4×4 in the dunes at high speed or a ride on a quad or motorbike.
If you still have time, I suggest other activities! Just like his big sister Abu Dhabi, there is no shortage of activities. But Dubai has nothing to envy and I hope I made you want to go to the UAE, especially if you feel like being warm, it’s the perfect place !
- Skiing down the slopes at the Mall of the Emirates
- Swimming in the water parks of Atlantis or go surfing, diving in palm jumeirah
- Make the theme parks IMG Worlds of Adventure , Legoland
- Participate in a horse or camel race
- Going to Dubai Zoo
- Taking the children to the Global village rides in Dubailand
- Visit the Dubai Aquarium
- Take a traditional dhow cruise on the Creek
- How about a parachute jump or paragliding on the palm grove.
- The franchise is located in Dubai and other cities around the world, and is designed to help children discover different jobs.
- Let yourself be tempted by a hot air balloon or helicopter ride.
- Stroll through Dubai’s Miracle Garden, the largest garden in the world.
- Swim with dolphins at Creek Park or with sharks at Dubai Mall.
Destination Dubai in 2020?
And why not take advantage of the World’s Fair scheduled for 2020 to come and visit Dubai, whose theme will be “Connecting Spirits, Building the Future” and maybe discover the new designed madness, the Dubai Creek Tower which should once again beat the world in height!
Namely, the city is investing in the creation of a supersonic train link, the TT hyperloop, to connect Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 12 minutes. Delivery for 2020 is said to be … a city in perpetual challenge.