Other than having lived in Dubai while I was in school and studying journalism , Dubai has also been a destination for me for skydiving . After getting my license and flying in Multiple places around the world, I made the bold decision of choosing Dubai’s skydive zone my favourite. Weather conditions were the most stable out of everywhere I’ve flown AND I knew Dubai like the back of my hand . So when the weather was a little windy and conditions didn’t allow for flying , I had about a 100 backup things to do that can more than fill my time! And I am going to share every single one of them here for you . Enjoy !
FIRST OFF , WHERE SHOULD YOU EAT IF YOU’RE ON A BUDGET?
I got you , sometimes you don’t want to splurge your life savings on a meal and just want to get the job ticked so you can move on with your life and maybe spend your money somewhere much more worth it , like on drinks (just kidding lol). Here are my favorite easy going spots that will keep you full-filled without having to remorgage your house.
Zaatar W Zeit : A chain restaurant that became a chain for a reason , because it is damn good , quick and oh so authentic. This a perfect place for you if you want a true Lebanese breakfast before starting your day . It’s on every corner and its prices are perfectly reasonable.
Social House: Usually in other parts of the world , you don’t choose to go dine at a mall. In Dubai its a much different life. You LIVE in the mall. You do everything in the mall. Why ? Because each mall is the size of an entire country . You will find everything you need there . Dubai Mall specifically is massive and offers A-Z of life necessities and extremities . While you’re here you should go to Social house. They have a nice vibe, a simple and eclectic lunch menu and delicious juices . Not only that but its also located by the iconic Dubai mall fountains .
Arabian Tea House : While you’re in Dubai I recommend you try as much Arabic food as possible. Even though they have cuisines of all kinds, Arabic in general in my opinion is hard to find authentic . So when you’re in an Arabic country , EAT AS MUCH ARABIC FOOD AS YOU CAN 🙂 this little adorable (and very instagrammable) Cafe is just a perfect little spot for a nice casual lunch but with an amazing outdoor vibe and a true arabian feel.
WHERE TO GO IF BUDGET IS NO ISSUE ?
Nusr-et: This place is not just hype. I honestly was going to be such a tough critic knowing in my mind before I had even gotten there that this was some instagram born brand. BUT , like I said this place is not just hype. I can easily say I had one of THE BEST MEALS OF MY ENTIRE life at Nusr-et. These guys NAILED IT . Every dish is mind bogglingly creative and delicious. Their meat quality is superb and their cooks must have PHD’s in cooking steaks because I’m usually pretty fussy about my steaks and I have never found it any less than perfect at Nusr-et. Just make sure to close your eyes when you get the bill ! It might sting a little bit ..
Ramusake Sushi : Do you also think of food as art ? Well if you do , and you like Japanese cuisine then it is a sin for not to go here. Grab a bunch of friends though because the more of you there the more you can try more dishes and see what this place is capable of . Plus the vibe is just so bright and energetic . You won’t want to miss coming here.
Nena’s Indian restaurant in the One and Only Royal Mirage Hotel : If you like Indian food you’re probably a little like me . You can tell a good curry from just merely looking at it . You probably love a little spice and you probably go crazy over a good cheesy Naan . Nena’s has the most incredible Indian food I have ever had hands down . I actually don’t think it is too expensive and want to be fair here since I categorised it in the same section as Nusr-et BUT it isn’t cheap . I never thought I would excuse paying more than £35 for a curry but trust me it is so so so worth it !
Weslodge Saloon in the JW Mariott Marquis : There are tons of places in Dubai where you can have a stunning view of the city, however you have to choose wisely because its easy to build a gorgeous restaurant with a view but its not as easy having the food match the ambiance. This is my opinion . Weslodge however, has nailed it. They have it all! They’re part of a hotel that has an amazing rooftop bar and a great ambiance all around. They have an amazing chef who knows what he’s doing ( you can tell) and they’re service is top notch . On top of all that they’re nuzzled perfectly by Burj khalifa so the view is spectacular and you have a perfectly clear view of the fountains too while you’re enjoying your most likely delicious fresh fish and creamy white wine .
WHERE TO GO FOR A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE ?
DUBAI DESERT : OBVIOUSLY ! The United Arab Emirates has some of the most stunning sand dunes in the middle east . There are many companies who offer some awesome desert excursions like ATV riding , off roading in classic Land cruisers , camel riding and even hot hair ballooning . Platinum Heritage is a great destination for all of that . You can literally just call them up and book any of these. Just make sure to call in advance and tell them I sent you there 😉
Jet Skiing , wake boarding and boating : Look anywhere with water can you offer you these. It’s not exactly something out of the ordinary BUT why you should do this in Dubai is an easy thing to explain : THE VIEW! If you wan tto spoil yourself and get a real good look of each corner of this city from the best seat (the ocean) then don’t pass up an opportunity to do this. (Habtoor Grand has good prices and a beautiful starting point), you will be able to cruise by the spectacular skyline yourself! Nothing beats hitting the waves while being encased in the world’s most beautiful architecture. I’ve lived here and visited countless times over the past ten years yet I still never get used to the view. TIP: When you rent a jet ski make sure to ride it through the Marina, that’s the best place to really get a good up close look on the city !
Skydiving at the Palm : I’m not just saying this because I am a skydiver. I am saying this because if you categorize yourself as an adrenaline junkie, this is your chance to see the worlds most unique Oasis from right above the clouds while flying over the ocean at over a 100 miles an hour . You wouldn’t want to miss this experience. And right after you’re done you can pop across the street and have a drink at the dropzone bar which has great music and a good crowd!
Drive to Abu Dhabi ! : While Dubai really is where all the fun is at , don’t forget about its next door neighbor, Abu Dhabi ! It is the home for a stunning royal palace and one of the most gorgeous pieces of art you will ever see , The Sheikh Zayed Mosque . No matter what religion you belong to or if you even belong to any, I hope you agree with me that beauty is beauty . You should never pass up the chance of being in this golden haven . Just make sure to go early and never go on a Friday , the mosque closes on Fridays to allow worshipers to have peace and time for their Friday prayer.
ATTENTION SHISHA SMOKERS! : Not sure if Shisha is your thing or if you even know what it is but oh man am I a sucker for some good Arabic music and an arabian style sit down with some fruity Shisha . The One and Only Royal Mirage has an incredible little spot called the Courtyard. Its easily accessible from the Palace entrance and so cool if you want a nice drink and some good Arabian vibes. If you’re a Shisha lover this place will really be your kinda thing !
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT THE CULTURE AND ETHICAL DRESS CODE IF THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN DUBAI ?
First thing you should know is that locals here are incredibly accepting, inviting, and more than happy to make you feel at home in their country . So don’t worry too much about feeling like you don’t belong because , well, you DO BELONG. This is a melting pot of diversity. Dubai had 15.92 million overnight tourist visitors in 2018 ! Crazy isn’t it? The only thing you should know is in return for their incredible hospitality you should still be aware of their culture’s basic rules. Try not to wear anything low cut, go easy on mini tight dresses when you’re family areas (by go easy I mean keep the dress in a hanger in your closet) and maybe when you’re at places like the mall , dress a little more conservative . This city is amazing , you don’t have to cover your hair or wear abayas or anything of the sort. Locals do what they want and they don’t expect you to do the same, they just expect mutual respect of their culture. As for dedicated places like hotels and beaches you will feel no different than if you were in Cabo . TIP: I like to google the main religion and etiquette of countries I visit, it takes little to no time and helps you not accidentally offend anyone .
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