Sorry for the delay in posting!
This was our first trip to Dubai and before I go any further, it won't be our last!
The wife and myself spent 4 nights in Dubai to escape the British weather, albeit very briefly and to enjoy a break from the kids. We stayed at the Dar al Masyaf which is part of the Madinat Jumeirah resort. To say we were impressed was an understatement!
We left Manchester flying Emirates on the evening flight which gets you into Dubai at 7am the following morning. This is by far the best flight in terms of timings in our opinion as it enables you to maximise your time in Dubai if you are on a short trip. Just park the tiredness in a corner somewhere!!
We arrived a little ahead of schedule in Dubai even though we left a little late from Manchester and we were immediately blown away by the size of terminal 3. Not just the size of it but the architecture too.
If I had one small complaint on arrival I guess it would have to be the wait to get our passports stamped. Plenty of lanes available but not as many open as perhaps there could be. Not exactly a major crisis though.
Having done a little research on TA in the months prior to our trip I had already planned on making the detour out of the airport via duty free. We picked up a few bottles of wine and stuck them in the cases before leaving the airport. These proved to be very handy for a nice glass of vino on the balcony of an evening as the room service price for a bottle if I recall was £30 upwards for a bottle. Duty free was around £7 a bottle. Hand little money saver if you enjoy a drink or 2.
I had already Pre booked a chauffeur from the hotel to pick us up(surprise for the wife). All went to plan, jumeirah group staff met us in arrivals, took us to their small lounge where we were given a drink and cold refreshing towels and we were then whisked off to our very nice car.
The trip through Dubai was great, especially as it was our first visit, so seeing the buildings and just taking in Dubai was great.
We arrived at the DAM around 9.30am, checked in immediately, upgraded to a suite and within 30mins we were in our ocean suite. 15 mins after that and a quick shower we were well and truly in holiday mode and walking along the beach admiring the Burj al Arab. although we hadn't slept on the flight tiredness just seem to dissapear.
(please see my review of Dar al Masyaf that is now online today)
The resort is first class. We were both very impressed with it. Well, it doesn't get the number 2 ranking on TA for nothing does it!
We spent the the afternoon of our first day on the beach and we felt like we had been away from it all for more than just a few hours. It was hard to imagine we were in Manchester just 12 hours ago. We certainly chilled out very quickly.
The heat is certainly something else. Was wondering how we would cope as we did our initial walk round but we seemed to adjust very quickly and yes it was still hot and humid but it did not bother us at all. It was a very cool 45C during the day and a freezing cold 32c overnight!
We enjoyed a buffet style meal that night in the Mina Salam and we crashed out in our huge bed at 11.30pm. As this was about maximising our time here I had our butler give us a wake up call at 6.30am. Both up and out doing breakfast by the Al Qasr pool at 7am, bliss!!!! The rest of the next day included plenty of swimming in the sea(don't bother going in it to cool you down as it won't happen), beach walks, a trip or 2 on an abra and exploring the resort.
Day 3, again a nice early start and tough as it was, another morning on the beach. I say a morning, because we went off to the Dubai Mall in the afternoon for a look round prior to our Pre booked trip up the Burj Khalifa. The mall is just huge, guess that's why it's the biggest in the world but it makes our malls look tiny. We loved just standing watching the aquarium which was just very impressive. The different species of fish just swimming around was great to see and reminded me of my snorkelling experiences in the Maldives.
The Mall was great, I'm not really a shopping person, I leave that to the boss, sorry wife, but I did find the shear size of the mall impressive. I reckon a good few days in there and you would just about cover it all so we had no chance in just a few short hours so we just wondered round and wondered round and got lost but all part of the fun.
Time was getting on so thought we had better make our way to the Burj Khalifa. On the way(well, it turned out it wasn't on the way at all) I was really pleased to find the fashion parking by the entrance to fashion avenue. I could have stood out there all night watching the rich arrive in just about everything but my favourite was a Ferrari just parked a little out of sight of the entrance. This car was well worth checking out. Remember thinking one wheel on this beauty would cost probably more than my car. Still, I love 'my' car!!!!
Anyway, I looked up at the Burj Khalifa where these cars were being dropped off and remember looking up and saying this building is stupidly tall. Impressive but you must need your head testing being one of those maintenance guys who go out on ropes from the very top just to check all is ok(just YouTube it). Impressive!
Must have been a blip in my planning as stupid me didn't know the entrance to the Burj was down on the LG floor within the mall. I can now admit that the wife did tell me it was, but there was method in my logic. I thought, why bother going back inside to go down when we can just walk down the stairs and head to the Burj from there. Boy I was wrong. I took us on a guided tour all around the perimeter of the Burj Khalifa trying to find a way in. finally get round to the Armani hotel and ask a security guy. He confirmed what I was dreading, the entrance was within the mall. By this point we were sweating, overheating, the bottles of water were just a few degrees below boiling point and it crossed my mind that the same could be said of my wife's mood towards me hehe. I have since discovered we were not the first to take this walk in the way we did, nor the last I expect.
Long story short, we finally got up the Burj, cooled down after an hour or so and just loved the views of the sunset. Interesting feeling the building gently moving about I must say! It was a great experience and must surely be on your list of things to do in Dubai, unless you are scared to death of heights that it.
We then made our way back down made our way out to see the Water Fountain show and guess where we stood, at the bottom of those famous steps that took us on a whilst stop jog around the Burj Khalifa. The show was fantastic and you could easily watch it several times without getting bored. It really is a nice experience at night and somewhat emotional too.
After a quick bite to eat in the mall a taxi back to the hotel and a chilled bottle of wine. A perfect day.
Next day, again early start and yet more sun worshipping and a jolly on a buggy over to the Jumeriah Beach hotel. Although it was a lovely hotel it didn't come close to the DAM. Nonetheless, it was a nice hotel to visit and look round. It was just too hotelly for us, daft as it sounds.
Next and final day sees us make a visit to Wild Wadi. What a great little water park. Even better that we had free unlimited access during our stay. Would suggest avoiding the Friday(it is a day off in Dubai) if you can as it can get very busy by lunchtime. Great fun and although we both enjoyed going round and round on the lazy river I couldn't resist finding it funny pushing the wife through the heavy waterfalls part way round the lazy river. Not so sure she found it so amusing after a few times though hehe!
Last night, a lovely meal out with a nice couple we met over drinks earlier and up early to do breakfast and even managed one last swim in the Arabian Gulf before getting changed to head to the airport.
A pleasant flight home and guess how I could tell we were home, we landed in a torrential downpour! Lovely, don't ever recall the rain stopping for more than a day since we landed.
Hope this trip report is informative and fun and hope it helps others planning Dubai trips. Sorry it's a bit of a long read, I've put it together very quickly and got carried away but hope you like it.
We will definitely be returning to Dubai and to the DAM and this time for a lot longer stay and we will also be bringing the kids.