Dubai in five days: What to do
Dubai in five days. Here I am in Dubai for the second time in my life, just over a year after the previous one! This time the trip was designed to discover a less known side of the city and a more cultural one. A very different side from what you see with the classic itinerary that includes a visit to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Al Khalifa (of which, if you like, you can read HERE). A trip also designed for those without an infinite budget: in fact, there are many hotels where you can stay for an affordable luxury vacation. I’ve been to three hotels, all different by category, and today I want to tell you more about this experience and all the activities I’ve done!
Dubai in five days: What to do & My travel tips
To reach Dubai we flew with Emirates from Milan Malpensa. The flight is direct and it takes just over 6 hours. I took the 2 pm flight and I landed in Dubai after sunset: when I was still in the air I could see how magical the view of the city at night is, all lit up! To enter as an Italian tourist your passport must be valid for at least 6 months and it is not required the visa.
The first hotel we stayed in was Zabeel House Hotel, a lovely boutique hotel located in the oldest district of the city, Al Seef. The room was very beautiful, with a wallpaper depicting the stylized skyline of the city. The same that can be seen with the naked eye from the terrace where the pool and breakfast room are located!
Immediately we set off to discover the Al Seef district and its many souks: from gold to spices, from perfumes to fabrics… Aren’t the colors of their carpets absolutely amazing?!
Dubai is rich in museums and this trip was dedicated to discovering the less known. Like the Museum of Illusions, an interactive museum with lots of optical illusions and perspective games including the mirror room and the rotated one you see below!
We then stopped to have a healthy lunch break at Nightjar Coffee Roasters with avocado toast, eggs, potatoes and lemonade… So good!
Our itinerary in Dubai continued at Alserkal Avenue, the arts district which hosts events, galleries… The work that struck me most is below: it’s called “Heaven Is Elsewhere” and it’s the result of a year and a half of work in which the artists exchanged the clothes of refugees on the southern border of Bangladesh with Southeast Asia giving them new clothes. They then used the refugees’ original clothes to create this giant and colorful piece of fabric!
Not only art but also chocolate you can find at Alserkal Avenue: there is an artisan chocolate factory where we discovered how they make chocolate here in the UAE! And of course we tasted it too!
For our first night in Dubai we had tickets for the show at Le Perle By Dragone. It was really incredible: the set was crazy, as were the special effects… Indescribable in words: I strongly advise you not to miss it if you decide to take a trip here!
The next morning we woke up very early, around 3 am, because there was a very special activity on the program: a hot air balloon ride! Unfortunately once we reached the desert, around 4 o’clock, we discovered that because of the rain it was not possible to fly. Yes, it’s crazy to say but it was really raining in the desert! It happens rarely, twice a year, and the first of 2019 was precisely that day: what a misfortune. So we went back to the hotel to catch up on a few hours of sleep… When we woke up we still found rain, so we took the opportunity to change hotels and change areas, moving to one of my favorites, the City Walk. If you have read the post of my first trip to Dubai you will already know that in Dubai it is practically impossible to walk because there are no sidewalks and you can only go out by car. There are few exceptions to this rule, including the City Walk: an area organized like an open-air shopping center, with shops, bars, restaurants and hotels. Including the second we stayed in these 5 days in Dubai, La Ville Hotel & Suite. I liked this hotel very much: here the decor is much more modern and on the rooftop there is a wonderful swimming pool with a panoramic view of the skyscrapers!
A few steps away is a really unusual little place: it’s called Secret Garden and has part of the ceiling and a wall entirely covered with pink roses and peonies! And it’s not only beautiful, but also good: the selection of desserts is incredible and the cupcakes we ordered were nothing short of delicious!
We then moved to the Dubai Mall area to have brunch in one of the most beautiful hotels in the city, the Palace Downtown. In Dubai you can experience the luxury dimension without necessarily splurge by sleeping in five-star luxury hotels like this, but experiencing one of its restaurants. Even if you are not a guest of the Palace, in fact, you can book a table for their brunch: I recommend it because it’s really amazing!
In the afternoon we went back to the City Walk area and, since the weather was still bad, we decided to visit another incredible attraction that is located indoors and is called Green Planet. Right in the middle of the skyscrapers there is a building that houses a vertical rainforest, with thousands of different plants and animals! Everything is really possible in Dubai!
On the second consecutive morning waking up before dawn we discovered with joy that the weather was good and would have allowed us to finally do our balloon ride with Baloon Adventures Dubai! It was super exciting for me as it was my very first time ever and I wasn’t prepared for the landing, which happened with a funny rollover! A hawk also flew with us!
The flight lasted about an hour and after taking off we had a desert safari by jeep to go and have breakfast in a Bedouin tent!
Once back in Dubai we headed to another dream hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, located in Jumeirah. Here we had lunch at their The Bay Restaurant with a beautiful view of the city! We ordered sushi and fish salads: all very tasty!
In the afternoon we took advantage of the sun that in the meantime had returned to shine on the city to go for a walk on the beach until arriving at the Burj Al Arab, the iconic sail-shaped hotel…
… that at sunset we discovered enlightening in pink!
The last morning we moved to an area of very recent opening: it is a new artificial island that they called Bluewaters. Even here, like the City Walk, it is possible to walk as it is partially pedestrian. The islet is home to the world’s largest ferris wheel, Ain Dubai, and some restaurants and residences, as well as the Caesars Bluewaters, a five-star luxury hotel where we spent our last night in the city!
My bedroom was beautiful, with a large bathroom and a bathtub with a panoramic view of the sea!
A few steps from the Caesars is Alici Dubai, a restaurant where we headed for lunch. More than in Dubai, it seemed to me to be in Italy: the furniture, the ceramics handmade by Ceramiche Assunta in Positano, the food…
I have to admit that I was missing Italian food pretty bad and having pasta with cherry tomatoes and scampi just like the one I eat at home was really priceless…
… And with this view!
In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours sunbathing on the beautiful Caesars beach.
The time had come to prepare for the evening’s event: the grand opening party of Caesars Bluewaters and its restaurant Hell’s Kitchen Dubai, with the presence of the multi-starred chef Gordon Ramsay!
The last morning before returning to Italy we visited the offices of Visit Dubai, the tourism body that allowed us to make this journey. They are located inside the Dubai College of Tourism (the high school that houses 300 students divided into two classes of 150) and is a huge open space. If you need privacy you can use the curious white and burgundy spaces that you see in the picture below, which can accommodate up to two people!
Thank you so much Micaela and the entire Visit Dubai team for this wonderful experience!
There is a gift for you: you can use my discount code VISITDUBAI0119 to get a discount of 100 € per person on the same itinerary trip to Dubai as mine, to spend in any travel agency that relies on Quality Group Viaggi!
Happy Friday to you all!