5 Days in Dubai
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I had always thought of Dubai as a stopover on the way to Europe, so imagine my surprise when Alan said he wanted to spend 5 Days in Dubai. I wasn’t keen on visiting Dubai, to me Dubai was just a large city sitting in the middle of the desert.
After 5 days in Dubai I changed my mind, I was completely charmed by this enchanting city. Here is why Dubai should be on everyone’s list of destinations to visit.
- 1 Arriving in Dubai
- 2 The Mall of the Emirates
- 3 Hotels near the Mall of the Emirates
- 4 Getting Around Dubai
- 5 The Dubai Mall
- 6 Hotels near Dubai Mall
- 7 Souks of Dubai
Arriving in Dubai
After landing in Dubai, we walked out of the airport terminal and were hit by a wall of intense heat. With temperatures over 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) we were glad we had pre-booked hotel transfers online.
In no time we were sitting in air-conditioned comfort looking out the window and admiring the canyons of tall skyscrapers that lined the sleek modern highway en route to our hotel.
Click Here to book hotel transfers online…
The Mall of the Emirates
Shopping in Dubai
Trying to figure out what to do in Dubai? First stop on everyone’s list should be to go shopping! You will be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping in Dubai. Whether you like ultra-modern shopping malls or traditional souks you will discover a shopper’s paradise like no other.
Visiting a Dubai shopping mall is one of the top things to do in Dubai. They are very different from the average shopping mall, a place of entertainment and a cool refuge from Dubai’s searing heat. Dubai malls are a feast for the eyes and an unexpected wonder.
The Mall of the Emirates has something to please everyone, with a wide range of designer and speciality shops, restaurants and cinemas. The massive Carrefour Hypermarket sells delicacies from all over the world, clothing, furniture, rugs and carpets. It’s the perfect place to pick up that last-minute souvenir.
One of the most unexpected things to see in Dubai are snow and ski slopes in the middle of the desert, but at Ski Dubai that’s exactly what you get! Located at the Mall of the Emirates, not only do you get the chance to ski, you can also meet a friendly bunch of Gentoo and King penguins.
Ski Dubai tour packages include a selection of Snow Park activities such as bobsled rides, skiing and so much more. For those wanting a more intimate penguin experience there are a choice of Penguin Encounter tours. These tours allow you to learn more about the penguin’s unique habitat and watch them at play.
Hotels near the Mall of the Emirates
The Mall of the Emirates houses some of the best shopping in Dubai. It is a pickup point for the Hop On Hop Off bus and has Metro links to destinations across the city via the Mall of the Emirates Metro station. This Mall of the Emirates is located in Al Barsha, a fantastic area and possibly the best area to stay in Dubai.
Here are our choice for top hotel accommodation near the Mall of the Emirates.
The Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates
Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel is connected to the Mall of the Emirates for easy access to shops, attractions and transport. The hotel has a choice of room types that include superior, mobility accessible and executive club rooms and suites. The room decor is modern with subtle Middle Eastern accents. Many rooms have panoramic views of Jumeirah Beach and Dubai Downtown.
There are a selection of restaurants and cafes that serve International and Turkish cuisines and the Rooftop Pool Lounge has sweeping view of the shimmering Dubai skyline. There is 24 hour room service and executive club rooms have Sheriton Club lounge access.
Click Here to book Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates online…
Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
If you are looking for luxury hotels in Dubai, look no further than the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates, it is one of the best 5 star hotels in Dubai. The Kempinski boasts a range of rooms from superior to executive rooms and suites. The Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates also has pool chalet and ski chalet rooms that overlook the powdery slopes of Ski Dubai. accommodation in Dubai
The rooms have a modern decor with a touch of Middle Eastern flavour. The chalets have a comfortable contemporary feel, a welcoming home away from home.
The Hotel has a choice of restaurants that serve International, Spanish and Middle Eastern cuisines. Of an evening you can enjoy the fantasy land that is Noir Cocktail Lounge and Bar. Executive rooms have Executive lounge access and the hotel has 24 hour room service.
Click Here to book Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates online…
The Elite Byblos Hotel
The Elite Byblos Hotel is a short walk from the Mall of the Emirates. This 5 star hotel has a bright contemporary style and is family friendly. The Elite Byblos Hotel features range of rooms from classic king to executive rooms and suites.
The hotel has a selections of restaurants and coffee shops that serve a mix of international and Arabic dishes. There is a rooftop pool terrace that serves snacks and drinks. The hotel provides 24 hour rooms service.
Click Here to learn more about the Elite Byblos Hotel
Getting Around Dubai
With temperatures in the mid to late 40’s (Celsius), even taking a short walk could feel like crossing the Sahara. We quickly learnt that at this time of year, Dubai wasn’t a city for walking (in fact we soon discovered that even the cities bus stops were air conditioned). So with this in mind, we found two options that suited our transport needs during our stay.
The Dubai Hop On Hop Off Bus
The Dubai Hop On Hop Off Bus was also convenient for us as it left from the ground floor, of the Mall of the Emirates. Tickets can be purchased online or as you get on board, from multiple locations along the bus route. Learn about Dubai’s transformation from the small trading town to the magnificent city you see today.
The Hop On Hop Off Buses give great insight into the wonders of Dubai and when used in conjunction with the Dubai Metro system you will find it’s a great way to get around.
The Dubai Metro
The Dubai Metro system which was very convenient for us as they had a station attached to the Mall of the Emirates. From the Mall of the Emirates Metro station, we were able to reach other areas of Dubai quickly and easily. The Dubai Metro system is clean and easy to access.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall one of the top destinations in Dubai. It’s easy to get lost in this seemingly endless mall, it houses a large range of attractions that will leave you breathless.
The Dubai Mall can be reached by taking the Dubai Hop On Hop Off bus or Metro, via the Burj Khalifa Metro Station (a 10 minute walk in air conditioned comfort).
The Burj Khalifa sits within the Dubai Mall complex and pierces the sky like a giant needle. This sleek silver spire stands at 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) tall and is currently the world’s tallest building, a landmark that can be seen across Dubai.
To experience these dizzying heights, take the world’s fastest lift to the At The Top Burj Khalifa observatory. Located on level 124 & 125, the observatory takes in spectacular 360-degree views of Dubai and the Arabian Gulf.
Continue to At The Top Burj Khalifa SKY on level 148 and visit the outdoor terrace and relax with snacks and a drink at the SKY Lounge. There is a selection of Burj Khalifa tours including the popular Burj Khalifa Bubbly Sunset Experience. Burj Khalifa tours sell out fast so be sure to book early.
Click here to book Burj Khalifa tours online…
For a touch of class head to At.mosphere, the world’s tallest restaurant on level 122. Indulge yourself with a decadent high tea and champagne in the Lounge or experience luxury dining and breathtaking views from At.mosphere Restaurant.
At night the Dubai Fountain puts on a show, a dazzling spectacle that blends synchronised music, light and towering jets of swirling water. The Dubai Fountain draws crowds from all over the world so make sure you get there early to get the best view. Evening shows run every 30 minutes between 6 pm & 11 pm.
To get the grandstand views of the Dubai Fountain, take to the water with a 30 minute traditional “abra” water taxi ride tour across Burj Lake. This tour sells out fast so book early to avoid disappointment.
Click here to book Dubai Fountain tours…
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
I can’t begin to tell you how impressed we were with the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo; it is one of the best places to visit in Dubai!
The immense outer Aquarium wall gives everyone visiting the Dubai Mall a chance to enjoy this attraction. With over 33,000 marine animals, don’t just admire the outer wall, go inside and explore! We stayed for hours and found it to be one of the highlights of Dubai.
One of my favourite things to do at Dubai Aquarium is to say hello to my fellow Aussie, King Croc! This massive saltwater crocodile weighs a whopping 750 kg and measures 5 metres in length. King Croc originally hails from Queensland in Australia and you can learn his story at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
The Dubai Aquarium also has an extensive array of aquatic experiences to choose from, including behind the scenes tour, shark encounters, scuba diving lessons, cage snorkelling and more.
Click here to book Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo tours online…
Hotels near Dubai Mall
If you are wondering where to stay in Dubai look no further than the Dubai Mall! The area is home to the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, the Dubai Fountain and the impressive Dubai Mall. The area is littered with some of the best hotels in Dubai, here are our top picks.
Armani Hotel Dubai
Possibly the most stylish place to stay in Dubai, the Armani Hotel Dubai takes pride and place in Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa and has direct access to the Dubai Mall.
The Armani Hotel Dubai has a modern minimalist decor of muted earth tones with gold and silver accents. There are a choice of rooms and suites, some with balconies which take in city or Dubai Fountain views.
The hotel restaurants have a sophisticated range of dining options that include Japanese, Italian and Indian. Take the chance to dine amid the bright lights of Dubai’s soaring skyscrapers.
Click Here to book Armani Hotel Dubai online…
The Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel
Walking into the The Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel is like stepping into the Arabian Nights, an opulent Arabian oasis in the heart of bustling 21st century Dubai. The Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel overlooks the Dubai fountain and is within 5 minutes walking distance to the Dubai Mall and Dubai tourist attractions.
The rooms are a fantasy of Middle Eastern splendour with a contemporary twist. There are a selection of rooms and suites with lake and Dubai Fountain views. The restaurants serve a range of Argentine, Thai, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.
Click Here to book The Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel online…
Address Dubai Mall
Address Dubai Mall is a glamorous, contemporary hotel that overlooks the Burj Khalifa and is attached to the Dubai Mall for easy access to shopping and attractions.
Address Dubai Mall has a modern decor of fresh whites and cream with subtle Arabic accents. Rooms styles include deluxe rooms, balcony rooms, executive rooms and suites with executive lounge access.
The hotel boasts an outdoor infinity pool with views overlooking the Burj Khalifa. The hotel has a chic Al fresco dining area which serves a selection of grills and exotic cocktails.
Click Here to book Address Dubai Mall online…
Souks of Dubai
The Old Souk
The Old Souk is on the Banks of Dubai Creek and can be reached by Metro via the Al Ghubaiba Metro Station 2 or the Hop On Hop Off bus. This Souk sells a colourful range of clothing, textiles, decorative plates, shoes and homewares.
The Gold Souk and Spice Souk
Dubai’s Gold Souk and the Spice Souk are World famous. Situated across Dubai Creek in Deira, they can be reached by the Hop On Hop Off bus or by Metro via the Al Ras Metro Station.
The Souks are within walking distance of each other. Be astounded by the craftsmanship of the gold pieces on display and enjoy the colour and smells of the Spice Souk.
Souk Madinat is part of the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah Resort. The Souk Madinat is a re-creation of a traditional Middle Eastern bazaar. Middle Eastern clothing, traditional crafts, aromatic oils and art are some of the treasures on show as you explore Souk Madinat in air conditioned comfort. Dine in one of the many waterfront cafes, restaurants and bars, some with views of the Burj Al Arab.
Souk Madinat can be reached by Hop On Hop Off bus.
Things to do during 5 Days in Dubai.
Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. (One of the Dubai must dos)
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is easily recognised by its sail like silhouette and has a reputation for the luxury. One of the highlights of any visit to Dubai is having Skytea at the SkyviewBar. Located on the top floor of the Burj Al Arab, enjoy a selection of tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes and pastries while being captivated by views overlooking Dubai. The dress code is smart casual and make sure you book ahead.
If the Skyview Bar is fully booked, high tea is also served in the very dramatic Sahn Eddar, the Burj Al Arabs atrium. The Ultimate Afternoon tea includes a glass of Champagne and seven courses. Again the dress code is smart casual and book ahead.
The Burj Al Arab can be reached by Hop On Hop Off bus.
Dubai things to do. Visit the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, with its collection of world class restaurants, exquisite menus, hotel suites and stunning views, has been repeatedly been voted the World’s most luxurious Hotel.
Marine and Water Park
The Marine and Water Park is located at the top of Dubai’s Palm, impressive man made islands that fan out into the shape of a palm tree, all made from reclaimed land. This massive water park is in the grounds of the Atlantis, The Palm Hotel Dubai. The home to 65,000 marine animals, the Marine and Water Park is divided into four different experiences;
Dolphin Bay, where you can have the experience of a lifetime as you meet, hug, swim or scuba dive with dolphins.
Sea Lion Point, learn more about Sea Lions and other marine mammals as you get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures.
Lost Chambers Aquarium, where you can learn more about marine animals by taking the Behind the Scenes Tour. The Aquarium also conducts PADI Open Water Diver Courses for those who would like to obtain their Scuba Diving Certification and there are a range of Aquarium Scuba Dives to choose from.
Aquaventure Waterpark is the place to get wet and wild, this is such a fun park to go to, with massive waterslides and shutes that leave you breathless and wanting more.
The Marine and Water Park can be reached by Hop On Hop Off bus.
Atlantis, The Palm Hotel Dubai is a luxurious Hotel that features underwater suites as one of its room options.
Out of Town during 5 Days in Dubai
The Desert Safari tour will stay with us as one of our treasured memories of Dubai. We were picked up in the afternoon and taken out into the desert.
Once there our heads were wrapped in traditional Emirati headscarves, mine was black and Alan’s was red and white, which I thought was “So Touristy” (I later changed my mind). We could either choose to go desert bashing in jeeps or go for a camel ride I wanted to see what it was like to ride a camel so we went camel riding.
We had so much fun riding these camels and I began to realise that the headscarves that I thought were “So Touristy” stopped me from getting an eye and mouth full of sand. Rocking back and forth from such a lofty height on the camels back, we held on tight as we made our way up and down the sand dunes.
At one point our cheeky camel driver gave me the reigns and told me to drive the camel down a dune as deep as the Grand Canyon, as you can imagine that didn’t happen, but he got quite lot of enjoyment out of my reaction. The desert was silent, peaceful and so beautiful as we rode on while the sun set.
We watched a falconry display before being taken to camp for dinner, traditional entertainment and henna tattoo. We finished the night lying back on cushions smoking apple shisha and gazing up at the stars, it was a magical night.
There are so much more to see when you spend 5 Days in Dubai, don’t just think of Dubai as a stopover, stay longer and discover the excitement of United Arab Emirates.