Dubai, considered as the economic heart of the country,, is the city - and an emirate in itself - that is most often thought of when speaking of the United Arab Emirates. It must be said that its reputation as « city of excess » or « city of all possibilities » precedes it ! So well, that in recent years, Dubai has become one of the top destinations for luxury tourism.
We had only made brief stops in Dubai: the first to buy the drone, and the second on the way back from the road trip ( «Read the article »). Each time, we were on the outskirts of the city, but already, we could realize that the atmosphere is very different from Abu Dhabi.
This time, we went totally for a weekend.
Day 1 :
We leave under a powerful wind that only worsens along the way. When we arrive in Dubai, we decide to take a short drive and find yourself along the coast of Palm Jumeirah. You know this island completely artificial, haped like a palm tree seen from the sky ! (With the many helicopter flights, Ulm, etc. passing over we avoided flying the drone at a high altitude so we took a screenshot via Google Maps).
It feels like being in Saint-Malo in Brittany, a stormy day! The wind blows so strongly that the waves crash down to the road, and sometimes they even cover the car while meters separate us from the sea! It's pretty impressive ! (We're glad we're not walking ! ).
We finally head to our hotel : l’Ivory Grand Hotel Appartments where we stay in an apartment that includes 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and living room and kitchen in common. It is quite friendly, and is recommended for those traveling in groups! In addition, it is often a bit cheaper or the same price as a classic hotel room. There, we got about 60 €. (In addition, there is a rooftop pool ! )
Ivory Grand Hotel Appartments
Website : « www.ivorygrandhotels.com »
Prix : For an apartment with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms : 60€ (without breakfast).
Activities :Rooftop pool, restaurant, games room, gym, wellness and spa.
Once installed, we decided to go out on foot this time despite a weather always capricious. On the road we see several accidents happen, especially things that fly away like large metal plates (a woman has been seen so close that we can talk about luck), decorative pots, etc ... While we wait for nothing to fall on us, we continue our way with temperatures that are falling more and more ! (If I had been told I would be cold in the UAE, I would not have believed ! )
We start with the famous Dubai Mall, the world's largest mall ! And we can't say that there is a scam on the title. In addition to the many shops, there is a ski slope, a giant aquarium, a multiplex, theme parks ... It's completely crazy! People come from all over the world especially for shopping, especially during sales ! There's a huge crowd! We wish good luck to the ochlophobists ( = Don't like the crowd often confused with agoraphobia = fear of public spaces. Here we are, that was the minute dictionary) who want to get there !
Dubai Mall is :
- 1,1 million m²
- 1200 shops
- 750 000 visitors per week
- The most visited tourist destination in the world in 2014 with 80 million visitors. (This equates to the tourists of the Eiffel Tower, Time Square and DisneyWorld combined ! )
Our footsteps lead us to the famous aquarium considered to be one of the largest in the world (yes, once again). OThere are many species swimming serenely, including sharks and rays. In this crowd, it's soothing to see beings moving with such agility and grace under water. We stick in a restaurant right in front of it, and eat a piece enjoying the view of the aquarium.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is :
- 10 millions liters of water
- 140 species
- 300 sharks
- 33 000 animals
After our meal, we are more and more eager to get out of there, the crowd never seems to diminish, and that tires more than anything else. We head for an exit that leads directly to the foot of la Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world with its 829.8 meters (with antenna). It imposes, it's sure! Not easy to put all this in the camera, we acrobatics on the ground to succeed. When you go there, don't be surprised to see people lying on the ground with their camera, it's one of the only techniques that has proved its worth! This and the Superview of the GoPro !
- 1.5 billion $ in construction costs
- 160 floors
- 1000 apartments
- 57 elevators (18 meters per second, they are among the fastest in the world)
Burj Khalifa is :
When you leave the shopping mall, you have a direct view of the Burj Khalifa but you can also directly access the Dubaï Fountain, which is an artificial lake that offers water shows with music and light. It is very well done, especially with the Burj Khalifa which is also illuminated. There is a show every 20 minutes , and it's not the same 2 times in a row. So we look at two in spite of the cold! This reminds many of the famous fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas ! (There must have been inspiration).
Then we decide to go crazy, and go and have a beer in a nearly bar (It's like drinking at the foot of the Eiffel Tower: you call your banker before) before To warm up at our hote !
Day 2 :
We wake up, pleasantly surprised to see that time has calmed down. Despite a small wind always present, there is a beautiful sun which will make the visit even more enjoyable given what we planned.
Today we take the Big Bus tour to visit Dubai. The company - present in other countries - offer different tours to visit the city and its key points! This is ideal because it avoids the car, and doing everything on foot if there is not enough time (and remember that the UAE are not really made for pedestrians). You can stop at the various points and take one of the next buses (about one every 20 minutes if there is no traffic problem), and make the tour on the open part of the floor Which is still much nicer. In addition to the audio guide, you get great flashy red headphones (I know, you're super jealous). We take the 24h Pass and we start on the first circuit.
Our day is on these Big Bus in a rather pleasant way, until lunch time where we stop at the seaside, where yesterday the waves made this impossible. The place is full of food truck ranging from fast food, to healthy, to the sweet touch! Very nice and quiet with a view of the sea ! We take a small digestive walk to a stop to catch the next bus.
We finish our day with a stop at the Dubai Museum which is free. And after it seems that we wait for the next bus for hours so long it is. It must be said that traffic jams are common things here.(Things that we didn't miss).
Before heading back to Abu Dhabi, we eat at a restaurant in the Dubai Mall which is located right next to Dubai Ski, the ski slope of the mall ! It is so incredible to see this, through the window, you can see people skiing, but also small cottages restaurants, places to slip via a sledge, it gives the impression of watching another country !
We eat our meal and leave slowly ( thank you traffic jams ) Dubai. Although we liked the stay, we happily find the calm and serenity of Abu Dhabi !
Ah Dubai, its reputation didn't lack it ! It really seems to be the city of all possibilities . Even though we enjoyed it, there is so much to see and do that a weekend is definitely not enough. Maybe one day we will go back to try out new activities, but for now, that's enough. As you surely understood, Abu Dhabi has managed to seduce us !
If you want to know more about the attractions and places to see of Dubai, we have created a complete guide here !