Hello! :) It's time to share my stories in Dubai. It took me quite a time to write on this one as I'm not really sure the best way to describe this whole trip. My travels had always been personal, with my family mostly, or with friends that I am really close with. This one is... different, in a good way.
I was invited to be part of the Alshaya Food Tour along with other food bloggers and foodies from Indonesia. It was an honor to be invited and I would like to really express my gratitude towards everyone who's involved in the trip, everyone has been beyond sweet and kind, I've never feel more welcomed, so Thank You!
Some words to describe Dubai, they would probably expensive, clean, structural and HOT. The buildings and architecture of Dubai is simply gorgeous. We didn't really have a lot of time to explore the city due to the schedule and time limitation, but here is some sharing of my four days there. Hopefully can somehow help you to know more about Dubai. :)
Duration (Direct flight): 7 hours and 40 minutes
Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha 1, Mall of The Emirates, UAE
We stayed at Sheraton and it was nice. One of the good fact is it's connected to Mall of Emirates. So convenient especially because the mall at Dubai opens late until 12 midnight!
Cold water for shower in Dubai is ice refrigerated one so it was different with the standard cold water as theirs are put inside a water chiller with refrigerated system to ensure the coolness. It has something to do with maintaining over the heat in Dubai. You do aware Dubai has a refrigerated beach, right? I can't even imagine how those environmentalists feel about it.
Oh yes, one thing that stressed me out before coming here is the wardrobe. I didn't really know the proper dresscode to wear as I know countries in Middle East do have some dresscode rules, yet the country is so hot that I don't think I'll survive with long sleeves and long jeans. Turns out, Dubai is quite open minded. I didn't see anyone wearing anything too open but sleeveless and skirts are still okay as long as they're not too revealing and you don't wear them in religious place like the mosque.
The view from our hotel. Pretty amazing, huh?
Swimming Pool at Sheraton
MALL OF EMIRATES
Mall of Emirates might not be as huge as Dubai Mall, but it is big. It caters tons of restaurants, department stores, carefour and also the home of Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area. We didn't have the time to go in, No, scratch that. I didn't care to go in as these kind of things are not my kind of fun, but inside you can have your ski lesson, interactive session with penguins and ride a snow bullets. The entrance fee starts from AED 250 - 500 depending on your choice. Go here for further details.
I took picture of the inside of Ski Dubai while we were having dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, which I am strongly recommending you to have one if you go there one day. No, it's not the same lousy Cheesecake Factory like we had here. I seriously had one of my best meal in Dubai there. Go for the Salmon, I don't remember the exact name but that grilled salmon is to die for!.
Dubai is pretty awesome. You would find quite numbers of popular F&B brands open here. IHOP, Shake Shack, Angelina Paris, and trust me, many more. We bumped into one of the famous UK bakery, Hummingbird Bakery and can't resist the temptation to try them. I'm not sure if it's because of the exchange rate or everything in Dubai is expensive, but the cakes weren't cheap. They range from AED 14 - 20 per pcs (56k - 80k rupiah). Were they good? Yes, mostly. The cupcakes were yum! Soft and moist but they were extremely sweet. My favorites would be the carrot, red velvet and blackbottom cupcake.
One thing I regretted is we didn't have time to try more local cuisines. When it comes to food, I mostly open to any kind and I always love to try local food during traveling, too bad we didn't have the time to do that. The only closest local scene we had was at Almaz by Momo, and I don't even sure it can be categorized as local food since they served North African cuisine. Anyway, I don't remember the exact amount we spent here but I think it's around AED 300 (1.2 million rupiah).
Our second day starts with super huge breakfast at IHOP. They served one of the best waffle and pancakes I've ever had. Click here for more thoughts and pictures on my breakfast at IHOP.
Their chicken and waffle is amazing! If you go here one day, do try!
So we spent our afternoon strolling around Dubai for some sight seeings. If you have like three to four hours to spare, I would really suggest you to take a city tour with one of their hop on double decker bus. It was not free, it cost AED 190 (around 800k rupiah) but it's worth the money as the bus would take you to recommended tourist spots. You can choose to stay on bus while it drives you passing through places, or you can choose to go down to selective places you want and then just took another bus after you finished exploring the place. We took our bus tour from Mall of Emirates, but you can also find it at Dubai Mall. After you pay, they will pass you an earphone for you to plug in inside the bus, so you can hear the guide explanation while passing by each places. Don't worry, they have it in English and other languages.
We chose to sat on the deck of the bus without air con as it was the only way we can take proper pictures. Despite the HOT and HUMID weather, it was pretty interesting to stroll around the city. Dubai is so clean! and structure. The building, the architectural, the design are gorgeous.
It's funny that a city that is so hot and humid even at night can be foggy. I wasn't sure how it can be that foggy, but definitely not because the cold weather. I wonder if the fog was from dust or something, but seeing how clean the city is, I doubt it. Anyway, it was so foggy that we hardly get a clear picture of Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
We passed by Jumeirah beach which should be the best spot to take picture with the 7 star hotel, Burj Al Arab on the background, but since it was so hot, and if we stopped, we need to wait for half hour for another bus,and boy no one could handle those kind of heat for even a minute, so we moving on.
SOUK MADINAT JUMEIRAH
Our bus took us to Souk Madinat Jumeirah and we decided to go down and explore some time here as the Souk is air conditioned so we'll survived! Haha! Souk means market and Madinat Jumeirah's is an authentic re-creation of market place with traditional middle east style and ambiance. I was pretty bumped out that we didn't have the chance to visit a real traditional Souk, but at least we visited one even though it was a modern without that local feeling kind of Souk.
BTW, another best spot to take picture of Burj Al Arab is here at Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
BURJ AL ARAB
Do you know that all the guests stays here will be fetched using chopper from the airport? Uh-mazing! I promised myself that the next time I visit Dubai, I'll stay here.
Gorgeous, right? It was taken inside Souk Madinat Jumeirah at the outdoor area. Throughout the area is all restaurants and cafe. You can also take Abra tour (boat ride) along the river of Souk, but we didn't due to the time limitation and the crazy hot weather. I mean, seriously even if it was free, I'll pass. The weather was too hot to handle, literally.
The Souk? Absolutely GORGEOUS! The architectural was so beautiful!
After Souk, we went back to our hotel before heading to early dinner at PF. Chang's. We went to their Jumeirah Beach Resort's branch and it was beautiful. It located right next to the beach so we can watch sunset from the restaurant's terrace. Full Story here.
Another must visit place in Dubai is the uber largest shopping mall in the world, The Dubai Mall. The mall is super huge! Like so huge that you can easily get lost inside. The mall is great. If you only have time for one shopping mall, this is the one. I think we need one whole day to really stroll around this mall. We had one of my most awaited food tasting here, Shake Shack. I have been so curious about this NYC burger and was psyched to finally try one. Full thoughts on Shake Shack, go here.
Aside from tons of restaurants and stores, Dubai Mall is the home for the famous Dubai Fountains which unfortunately we didn't have the time to go. :( Pity since it would be a good memory to remember by. Oh well.
It also the home for again, another "est", One of world's largest aquarium. It's located on the ground level.
There really is plenty of things can be done at Dubai Mall. Another very important one is that, you can go to top of Burj Khalifa from here. Of course, you need to purchase the ticket to go up. I didn't but one of my travel mates did. She online purchased the ticket in advance and it costed her AED 500 if I'm not mistaken. All I know is it's cheaper to buy it in advance.
This is the picture taken by Shanna, one of my travel mates when she went up to the top of Burj Khalifa. Spectacular view, huh?
Photo credit: @shannsational
Taken by: @anakjajan
One of the popular bakery from New York, Magnolia Bakery. Too bad the ones we tasted weren't really good, but their German chocolate layered caked with coconut caramel pecan was awesome. So so good!
The iconic waterfall at Dubai Mall
We went out from the mall to the side near the river where we can spot the magnificent Souk Al Bahar from across. Really, I might not eager to have my second visit to this town, but Dubai's architectural is simply simply beautiful.
The ultra gorgeous SOUK AL BAHAR
Our last meal before we went home is at La Pain Quotidien at Mall of Emirates. It's an American restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and I loved them. The breads, pastries and desserts were so pretty and smells so good. Food was great as well. It's one of those recommended brunch spot.
Thank you Dubai, for the memories!
THANK YOU FOR READING MY TRAVEL DIARY!
Based on trip 15 - 19 September 2015.