Sci-fi City of Dubai

Sci-fi City of Dubai

Dubai - Burj Khalifa, At the Top
There comes a day in your life when waiting anymore feels like a waste of time. Euro Trip was just that for me. There came a time when I decided to take the plunge all by myself. Sounds like m talking about getting married or some bigger decision in my life? It was big to me. Introvert by birth, in this trip, I was like a panda trying to learn kungfu. But just like in the movie, I started to enjoy every minute of it.
 
Now that I had decided to fly solo, I decided to put myself in self created experiment by not only travelling alone but also making sure that I am surrounded by more and more strangers – instead of cozy hotels, I decided to crash at hostels sharing room with other travelers and I purposely did not carry any internet or phone with me when I was out on roads.
 
How did it feel? On the first day, it felt like I was a self torture trip but as days passed by, I became more comfortable with choosing my own path, deciding my own routes, and dealing with last minute gate changes at airport, finding my way around the cities while taking directions from strangers, and meeting some great people on the way. All in all, the trip changed my opinion about myself. I, quite literally, surprised myself.
In the first one hour of landing in Dubai I believed that it’s a glass and lights city. Everything in Dubai looks like a scene out of a sci-fi movie – high rise glass buildings, swanky super cars, big digital screens, amazing perfect for chasing scenes roads/highways. But with each passing day it made me believe that there is much more to Dubai than what just meets the eye.
 
It’s truly a global city! It is one of the most geographically diversified cities I have ever been to. It has accepted everyone so nicely and by looking around at people you can tell that the feeling is mutual.
 
While doing customary online searches about Dubai before travelling, I came across articles and reviews talking about what “not” to do in Dubai. My experience says that not all of those articles are true. I think all we need to do is just be aware of surroundings and follow the traffic and safety rules and you are sorted.
 
It’s one of the safest city for women, and No, you do not have to give up your little black dress for travelling to Dubai. I definitely missed mine, because I didn’t pack any after reading all articles about dressing conservatively. So don’t get too bogged down by reviews talking about negatives else you will miss out on the essence of the city.
 
Although on a work trip, I had time to see Dubai by the night. It still looks like a scene out of sci-fi movie but experiencing it first hand is definitely worth it. I first went there during end of July, not the best time for travelers as the mercury soars high even at nights but if you do not want to feel the heat, no problem, you can enjoy the views from Air Conditioned indoors. Almost everything in the city is air conditioned, right from homes and offices to even walkways and bus stops. My next visits were in winter months and it’s a lovely time to experience Dubai.

TOP THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI

At the Top Burj Khalifa: Might sound a lot like a touristy thing to do, but it really is an experience. The iconic skyline of Dubai looks spectacular from that height. For someone with a fear of heights, my experience felt like an achievement in itself. My suggestion is choose evening time – you can then get the evening view and also the night views when the lights turn on. There is no limit on how much time you spend up there. You can also catch the fountain show at the Dubai Mall from 124th floor.

Dubai - Burj Khalifa, At the Top
Dubai Mall and Fountains

Dubai Mall and Fountains: Dubai fountains start at evening and shows are every half an hour to watch. They are accessible to everyone without any charges. Bonus is that you can binge shop at one of the biggest malls in Dubai.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: Located inside Dubai Mall it is a house to more than 300 species of marine animals including sharks. The Aquarium hold a Guinness World Record for the ‘World’s Largest Acrylic Panel’. You can book it in advance or buy tickets over the counters. And most important one – I found Dory 🙂

Dubai Mall - Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
JBR Beach, Dubai
Dubai - Marina Dhow Cruise
Walk at the JBR Beach: There is lot to do at the beach starting from water sports to shopping and to enjoying the world cuisines overlooking the beautiful sea.
 
Dhow Dinner Cruise: It is best enjoyed during the winters and best way to have this experience is on the open deck of the boat. In addition to the amazing water journey across Dubai skyline, the cruise serves a multi-course meal along the side of traditional dance performances. It’s a perfect evening one can expect to end your day.

A Walk along Dubai Canal: Inaugurated in November 2016, Dubai canal is an artificial canal which is planned to house a shopping complex, 4 hotels, about 450 restaurants, houses walkways and cycle paths. Canal has about seven bridges, including a one inspired by the Golden Gate Bridge in the US. While you are there, don’t miss the waterfall opening and closing for water taxis like a curtain, it’s nothing out of this world but a nice view.

Dubai Canal
Dubai Creek - Seawings Seaplane Tour-Dubai

Seawings Seaplane Tour: This was one of the best experiences I had in Dubai. I believe Dubai was built for aerial views. Amazing views and the thrill of taking off and landing on water can’t be explained in words. There are 45 minutes and 20 minutes tour over Dubai that you can book in advance.

Where to Crash
As mine were official visits I stayed at a Ziqoo Hotel Apartments close to my office. There are numerous hotels and hotel apartments in Dubai for all budgets, all you need to do is find the right deal. One thing I wanted to do while in Dubai but couldn’t, was to book an Airbnb and explore Bur Dubai. There are lot of options on Airbnb as well.
 
Explore
Best way explore Dubai is either by Metro or by buses and cabs. As most of the things are far from each other, there is no way walk around from one place to another except for Dubai Mall, Fountains, and Burj Khalifa.
 
Packing Tips

In addition to all your documents, do not forget to pack a super effective sunscreen and a large bottle of water when you are moving out. Sun is quite effective in Dubai, if you know what I mean.If you are vegetarian, there are lot of options, but if you cannot take display of meat while eating, pack up some maggi and ready to eat meals that you can make in your hotel room.

Safety Tips
Dubai is one of the safest places I have ever been to. Just don’t do anything that could be considered obscene, holding hands are fine.

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