Wow! What a fantastic experience, Dubai is a city and Emirate in the United Arab Emirates known for its luxurious shopping malls and skyscrapers. Planning a trip to Dubai can be overwhelming, and we spent months planning and saving for this memorable trip. Hope this helps.
Travel agency: Expedia
We book most of our trips through Expedia since we get points for the hotels, I like that everything is consolidated in one place (flight, hotel, excursions). The worst thing that can happen is when you book through a bunch of different sites, and you are scrambling to find emails and booking information. (Believe me, I've done that.)
Update: After many trial and errors, we found the app Skyscanner to search up cheap flights but continue booking our hotels with Expedia for points.
Flight Duration: About 12.5 hrs
We choose to go with a non-stop flight on Emirates and OMG I loved it. The plane was so spacious and even in economy the service was wonderful. We also got a durable travel bag with simple essentials like a toothbrush, earplugs, socks and eye mask (which I still use). As far as aircraft food goes, the food wasn't half bad and they keep the snacks and drinks going.
Traveling from and to the airport:
Caution!! Oh, boy, did we learn the hard way. We didn't have transportation set up from the airport to the hotel, so we decided to take a cab and made the HUGE mistake of telling the cab driver it was our first time in Dubai. What many cab drivers do is offer a flat rate as a discount and not run the meter. RUN THE METER! We paid almost twice the amount a couple of times through flat rates.
Hotel: The Atlantis, The Palm
From the moment we walked in it was extraordinary. The hotel is HUGE with restaurants, shopping, a club, an aquarium, and a water park. We even got lost a couple of times. We had an ocean view room that was beautiful and spacious with a balcony, tub, separate shower, and bidet. The hotel is about 30 mins away from downtown, and you have to take either cab or train.
Respectful but still modern. In the hotel, you’re free to wear whatever you want. We saw some ladies in their shorts and tanks top mixed in with women in full burkas. However, once you plan to go off the island, you should be mindful and take a cover-up.
Places we went:
The Dubai Mall - Aside from restaurants and shopping they have, Kidzania, an aquarium, indoor ice skating rink, a movie theater, souk, The Emirates A380 experience and more.
Burj Khalifa At The Top- Get tickets online! This is a top-rated attraction so we had to wait about 2 hours before our time slot, by the time we got in it was sundown and although the view was still breathtaking, you couldn’t see very far.
The Dubai Fountain-Our Favorite! We watched the fountain go off about 10 times.
4x4 Sunset Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner - through Expedia about $80 each
We loved this excursion! We were picked up from our hotel and driven about 40 minutes where we hit the dunes in a wild adventure. Then we were led out for about 20 mins to watch the sunset and take pictures. This was amazing although it felt like 110F the experience was one in a million. Then we were taken to a campsite where we got on camels and the headed inside for a traditional meal and a show.
Note: The camel ride was about 2 minutes you get on to take pictures and then get off, so that was a little disappointing.
Full Day Abu Dhabi City Tour From Dubai 250 AED which included visiting the Sheikh Zayed Mosque Ferrari Theme Park, Heritage Village, Emirates Palace, and Dates Market
-Sheikh Zayed Mosque
Note: For women, a Black Abaya will be provided from their company to enter the Mosque DO NOT FORGET AN ID! PASSPORTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED
Scuba Diving in The Lost Chamber Aquarium- At The Atlantis, The Palm
This was our first time scuba diving, and I must say what a fantastic experience. The hotel has an excursion desk where you can book this excursion. *You don’t have to be certified to go scuba diving, after your first lesson you will receive a certificate. We swam with hundreds of fish, sharks and stingrays.
Saffron Friday Brunch Buffet at AED535.00 per person
The Saffron was my favorite place to eat. Imagine yourself in a food utopia where you can eat and drink (alcohol included) everything and anything from all parts of the world all while listening to great music. It was definitely a splurge, but we do not regret it.
Ossiano is an underwater restaurant with a prefixed meal, delicious but extremely pricey.
Picture 1 - 2 Saffron Picture 3 - 4 Nobu Picture 5 - 6 Ossiano
N’ Dulge Terrace $$- This is a club at The Atlantis. It wasn’t packed, and the vibe was chill. You could tell locals go there to let loose and express themselves.