Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene. Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower, dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. At its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music. On artificial islands just offshore is Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks. When we first visited in the early 90s on stopovers to visit a friend en route to SA it was mostly desert with little development!!

🙂 First visited in early 90s when there was just a desert! Contemporary sightseeing. Shopping in souks. Wild Wadi. Desert dune safari. Was great to visit my best friend from school days and gorgeous god daughter when they lived there.

🙁 HOT 50C + in summer with hot sea and dead fish. Sand storms. Expensive. Exploitation of foreign workers.

Our family would always fly Emirates via Dubai en route to our annual trip back home to South Africa. This was ideal as my best childhood friend and husband (and my gorgeous goddaughter) were living and working here during the Boom days. We watched with interest as the sprawling desert was claimed by a concrete jungle. We are not people who really love Dubai as to us it represents a Las Vegas type atmosphere but without the casinos – not our fav type of place. But it was always a great stopover to visit my friend and see our goddaughter growing up and there are loads of fun things to do … we haven’t visited since 2009 so need to go back a final time to experience the Burj Khalifa…

Here are some of the fun things that we did do:

A Dune Desert Jeep Safari – SO much fun … it is exhilarating but not for the faint hearted … people i another vehicle were in tears and vomiting! We LOVED it! We opted for the evening tour and ere collected from a hotel at 15h00. The tour starts with dune bashing – the drivers race up steep dunes and fly over the edge – thrilling stuff!

The views across the desert landscape are spectacular.

We then headed off to a Bedouin camp where the men smoked a sheesh pipe and the girls dressed up. There were falcons, fire and belly dancing and camel rides. The food was pretty food too… we had our hands painted with henna. Great fun and a MUST DO when in Dubai!

Wild Wadi Waterpark – another MUST do…. free admission if staying at Jumeirah Beach Hotel or the Burj. This waterpark has great rides and is a guaranteed great day out!

The Souks are also a MUST to explore. I prefer the traditional souks: Located on the Deira side of Dubai Creek, the Gold Souk, Spice Souk and Perfume Souk are all within walking distance. Catch an abra or water taxi for the short ride to the Textile Souk on the opposite bank in Bur Dubai. Probably Dubai’s most famous market, the Gold Souk is generally considered to be the largest gold bazaar in Arabia and one of the best places in the world to shop for fine jewellery, gold, silver and gemstones, whether you’re looking for big-ticket items or everyday wear. The most colourful souk is the Spice Souk – Just south of the Gold Souk is the popular Spice Souk where you’ll encounter a dizzying array of dried herbs and spices that can be picked up for a fraction of the cost you’d pay in the UK. You will be certain to be lured into alleyways to try out some ‘genuine fakes’ too!

There are now so many options to choose from as to where to stay in Dubai. We were always hosted by our friends who had bought several villas in Dubai but we did take the option to enjoy a day at Jumeirah Beach Hotel after having breakfast and a tour at the Burj – thoroughly enjoyed the day being very spoilt by Loren!

Breakfast covered every single dish you could ever desire and was absolutely DIVINE!

We then visited the massive double storey Suite where Presidents and Royals stay when visiting. Quite splendid.

The views were spectacular. The first time Paul and I went to the top bar and an Arab offered camels to buy Loren and I … we sense he was playing the foreign card … lol…we were shocked at the number of Russian Ladies of the night though.

We then enjoyed the rest of the day on the beach and by the pool.

That evening we enjoyed dinner in the restaurant at the Burj – amazing to have all the marine fish swimming above your head! A special day out.

We have so many great memories …

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