Dhows (old cargo ships) on the Creek
Although you’ll always see some skyscraper in the background, the Deira side of Dubai’s old town is surely the best to see a more traditional side of Dubai. Not only all the souks give you an idea of pre-boom Dubai. What I would like to recommend is a short walk along the Creek between the two Abra stations (Old Souk and Sabkha). Here, archaic, wooden cargo ships are being offloaded. The goods you see here are not those you’ll find in the shopping malls. Here, you see cheap far-eastern household products as feel as some food and spices for the nearby shops. Don’t expect it to be too traditional as most stuff comes in boxes. But it’s apart of the Creek you won’t find in many tourists guides. Be careful, as it is a working harbour and not a purpose-built tourist attraction, and see one of the most authentic parts of the city.
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort - Dubai
Located just 45 minutes from Dubai International Airport, the Resort features 115 rooms and suites appointed in traditional Gulf decor, complemented by the region's first authentic open-air Arabic desert restaurant, and a superb range of recreational facilities.
For those seeking a unique desert experience within easy reach of Dubai, Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa presents the ideal destination.
Offers comfort and entertainment, at Jumeirah Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa you can experience the history of Dubai.
And do not miss the dinner at Al HAdeerah Resturant - it will be a wonderful experince of Arabian night !
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Castles and Palaces
Budget travel - Hotel Apartments
Try hotel apartments, if you are travelling in a group. It is more economical and you have an option of cooking your own favourite meals to your taste. Most supermarkets are well stocked with fresh and canned foods local and imported. Try fresh local fish , but you need to go to the fish market in Diera Dubai near the Gold souk(market). There are some stalls were you may find local fisherman selling local fish. Facility for cleaning the fish is available . You can get your fish fried in a restaurant at Shark restaurant(located in meat & poultry market) in the same market near the parking lot.
- Budget Travel
Al Badia Residential Complex
The Festival City area is a new development, and nearby is the Al Badia Residential Complex. Just beside th Festival City are the traditional-style blocks of Al Badia Hillside Village. Then come small villas and large blocks, a sports area, club, shops and across the way the fantastic Four Seasons Hotel and Golf Club site.The latter is sure to attract a lot of visitors.
- Road Trip
- Work Abroad
Mirdif Residential area
A popular area for ex-pats in Dubai. It is in the south on the road to Jebel Ali. Houses are modern but to date the facilities are few- the odd super market, photocopy, dry cleaners etc
Across Rebat St is Uptown Mirdif shopping area and residential complex- the reason why rents have risen considerably recently. The complex has many known shops, a bank, and Spinneys a grocery etc shop found throughout the Gulf.
Many of the houses are in guarded complexes with a communal pool, and very modern. Other buildings are huge , almost like palaces.
The major disadvantage is that it is close to the flight path to Dubai International airport.So, if you are outdoors the noise is loud, but cannot be heard from inside.
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
Visit the Christian Churches in Jebel Ali
In a very respectful environment Dubai has many christian churches.
We visit the Catholic Church in Jebel Ali. It is surrounded with others christian churches (evangelical, protestant, orthodox, etc.).
It is an incredible sensation to describe the hundreds of people attending these churches.
An special advice is that the Catholic Church gives mass every 15 days in Spanish!!
- Religious Travel
Get out of the city.... day-trip to the East Coast
When you've had enough of traffic, shopping malls, fancy restaurants & sight-seeing, escape from the big city.
Snorkling/Diving is not possible along Dubai's coast, due to no plant-life, whirled-up sand & offshore construction.
Therefore, try an absolute favourite among Dubai residents: you simply cannot beat a day-trip to Dibba & Mussandam. It's a 3 hour drive so it's good to leave early. Dibba consists of sea side villages who are owned partly by the Sultanate of Oman (Dibba Bayah), Fujairah (Dibba Muhallab) & Sharjah (Hisn Dibba).
Once arrived, you'll notice the clean air, peaceful surroundings & friendly people. Take a boat trip into the fijords & beaches with either a "Dhow" (traditional) or modern boat.
We booked with Khasab Tours, but most tour providers will also offer full-day trips starting at 09:00am; returning at 05:00pm (they bring lunch to the dhow with a speed-boat) The Hajjar mountains to your left rise an impressive 6,000 feet into the Musandam Peninsula and the famous pass winds its way across the mountains, through Wadi Bih, back to Ras Al Khaimah on the West Coast.
You will see:
> small villages on the side of a rocky hillside.
> beautiful, hidden beaches to which you can swim.
> fijords teeming with colourful corals, fish and turtles; great for snorkling.
> if you are lucky, you'll have some dolphins (yes, you heard correctly: WILD DOLPHINS!) bow-riding alongside your dhow!
Sometimes we've been too tired to drive back to Dubai, so we stayed at the Hilton in Fujeirah.
If you want to see the "real UAE", you simply have to visit the East Coast. It's the essensial & often forgotten charm of the United Arab Emirates.
NOTE: To explore Dibba & Mussandam further, you need a visit visa for the Sultanate of Oman.
- Diving and Snorkeling
Reena Mary Thomas_A Painter in Duabi
Reena Mary Thomas who has completed her Masters in Physics and based in the city of Chennai in India, discovered the dormant potential that dwelt within her to evolutionize her Painting talent. Further the ability to use her Visual; Auditory and Kinesthetic abilities revolutionized her style of painting. The Total dedication and commitment spent for serious paintings altered her painting from rough treatments to a more mature art form. Reena Mary Thomas has a distinct style in her representation of nature, with which she experiments with the shade of brown. Contrary to the misconception about artists, Reena is devoted to her calling. She adapted to a style of her own, with out any formal training.The Paintings-A Perspective
Painting of landscapes is her signature expression. In the process of conceptualizing and believing that all things are created twice i.e. there is mental or first creation, and physical or second creation, the artist herself states, ”my mind wonders through unseen places and it draws me closer to nature”. Reena draws her inspiration from scenic places, a certain events but more often than not, nature in particular. Quote “Yes, almost all elements of nature inspire me because nature is our ultimate source of information”. Her paintings display a sense of belonging to the autumn season and her love of nature. She uses monochrome, as the method to express her landscapes. "Monochrome" method of painting is “Painting done in a single hue. Achievements
Her works adorn some prized corporate and private collections in Chennai and abroad. You may visit her web site for a peek into some of her paintings. She would like to leave on a note of promise & belonging, with her web site, http://reenamary.20m.com/about.html
- Arts and Culture
Not many tourists go here but it is a good way to spend a couple of hours. Only costs 2 dirhams to enter per person (about 27pence!) You can wander all around and watch what you want -Tigers, Lions, snakes, and exotic birds like Malibu Stork (and seagulls?) Plus you get to watch the gorrila get a a bottle of orange fanta!
- Budget Travel
Drum it under the full moon
This is so cool. In the desert, full moon, with loads of people, drumming. Think chaos, hilarity and loads of fun. Was a great night and we're going again. Was about 100Dhs each for dinner & drumming fun.
ChoCo'a, a luscious chocolate lounge and coffee shop behind Mall of the Emirates (MOTE) opened until midnight. Truly worth the walk across the road in any heat. Die hard choco fans won’t have a deal to do this. It's also nice and quiet to escape the Maul at the MOTE.
Totally innovative Beligium chocolate creations, handmade and wrapped in the local factory at Al Qouz. There are mountains of choice, like tiny chocolate mousse pyramids filled with cardamom-flavoured coffee cream, diabetic and yummy sultry hot chocolate.
You must Nocochi at Vivel
A very delicious experience not to be missed and incredibly addictive if you live here. Such a selection of the most exotic middle eastern treats mmmmmmmmm, the choice is too hard, so they will give you a selection.
From innovative and ancient Persian recipes, the Iranian family business are quality orientated and use the best of ingredients such as butter from Australia!
Vivel Patisserie has 5 coffee shops in the UAE, also in Canada and US. In Dubai, there is a relaxing courtyard shop on Jumeriah Beach road opposite Jumeriah Beach park, one in Deira and also in the busy Madinat.
These tiny treats look like a cookie or shortbread. It melts almost at once in your mouth with a rush of cardamom that is a lovely surprise. Nocochi….mmmmm made from finely ground chickpea flour and spices. The chocolate and cardamom is taste bud treat.
You will not believe their exotic range of mini- pastries, Turkish delights, and wonderful dried fruits. All so daintily small that you can almost try them all! All shapes from golden crescents, glazed diamonds, pistachio-dusted cocoa rounds, squares of meringue, jam-dotted discs, knobs of walnuts and vanilla. Hazelnut rubs with strawberry, almonds are heart-shaped with apricot; they're feathered with powdered sugar, licked with chocolate, encrusted with coconut flakes.
Also one of the few great coffee shops to serve Illy coffee – my favourite.
- Women's Travel
- Food and Dining
Day trip to Sharjah
A trip to Sharjah is a great day (or half day) trip from DUbai. The distance is very convenient and - depending on the traffic - it can take you from 20 minutes to over an hour. There is an interesting heritage area, an old souq (apparently the oldest souq in the emirates) and the blue souq. This souq in particular is stunning: it's in arabic style all covered with blue tiles.
It's less chaotic than Dubai and more conservative. You won't find alcohol, shish or swimsuits on the beach. I would not suggest staying overnight, but a visit, even a short one, can be very refreshing: here you will find a lot of opulence and very little tackiness.
It's possible to reach Sharjah by bus or even by share taxis. They leave from a corner near the Bur Dubai bus station. Just look out for a large group of men in traditional white dress, hanging about and looking like they're just wasting the day away. They are not: they are your cab drivers.
Day Trip to Abu Dhabi
With its parks, trees and orderly streets, Abu Dhabi is very pleasant and offers a tranquil contrast to Dubai. While tourism is still under development, Abu Dhabi currently has very little on offer, as compared with Dubai. Nevertheless, Abu Dhabi does provide an interesting alternative to the buzz of Dubai, and is worth the trip. The beaches in and around Abu Dhabi are also great and may be worth exploring. Click on Abu Dhabi to read more about the capital of the UAE.
Abu Dhabi makes an easy day trip from Dubai. The capital city is only about 100km from Dubai, and only road travel is available between the two cities at the moment. A private taxi costs about 300 dirhams (~US$82) each way.
Although a major attraction in Dubai, the desert safari is far from a tourist trap. It is a most enjoyable experience that is better than any roller coaster ride! I utilised Alpha Tours, which was excellent. A jeep will pick you and other passengers in Dubai (4-6 per car) and will drive about 45 minutes into the desert until you reach the real breathtaking sand dune desert. As soon as all the cars have assembled (and some photos taken), the jeeps will start trecking on the dunes... AMAZING! ... The evening will end at a camp located in the middle of the desert, with an Arabic dinner, camel rides and yes, a belly dancer. Alpha Tours is one of numerous tour operators in Dubai. All tour operators offer choices of half day, overnight, and multi-day safaris. I found the 5-6 hour one quite sufficient (from 3:30pm until 9pm). For additional photos, check out the travelogue Desert Safari
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