This year I spent Christmas in Dubai and it was an unforgettable experience. I was in Dubai twice in my life. The first time I was there was 8 years ago with my mom and it looked completely different than it does now. The only things which stayed the same were the beach and the malls.
Dubai was always one of my biggest dreams ever since I was small. I was so in love with the warm weather, the sea and the skyscrapers. This mix was always so perfect for me. I also really wanted to spend Christmas or New Years in some tropical place on the beach. I was lucky enough to be able to stay at the Shangri-la hotel. It was perfect! I wrote about my experience there in another post.
Dubai is a very unusual city which doesn’t look like any other city in the world. It has very modern architecture, luxury lifestyle, famous places to eat and a very modest culture. You won’t find any alcohol in the shops or restaurants. If you are a drinker you’d better buy some alcohol at the Duty Free store. Even though some hotels have expensive alcohol as well.
If you are a girl you should be careful with your outfit choice – not too revealing or short. It is allowed to wear short dresses or open shoulders if you are going out to the restaurant. But be aware that in the places such as malls there is always strong air conditioning, so don’t forget to take a jacket with you.
There is quite a large list with different things to see in Dubai.
I recommend starting with the Walk (JBR). It is really fun and doesn’t take long. The walk has a lot of shops, cafes and restaurants and is right next to the beach. In the evenings you can also visit their fairs and try and win something.
Don’t miss visiting the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa. It has 163 floors in total. You can visit the 124th or 148th floors, or have lunch at the restaurant which is located on the 122th floor. It also has the highest nightclub and the highest place of worship (144th and 158th floors).
Miracle Garden is a flower garden which opened on Valentine’s Day in 2013. It the world’s largest natural flower garden and has over 109 million flowers planted. Definitely worth visiting.
Ski Dubai (Mall of the Emirates) is the only place where you can enjoy the winter sport. It also provides a wide variety of lessons from learning the basics to improving your skills to get to the next level.
Restaurants & Cafes
There is so much to try in Dubai!
My must go places are:
- Find Salt – vintage instagrammy fast food truck scrolling through the streets of Dubai. It has really delicious burgers, ice cream and refreshing lemonades. Highly recommend it.
- The Cheesecake factory – if you love cheesecakes as much as I do don’t forget to visit this place. It offers over 35 different cheesecakes. They are all very delicious.
- Ladurée – this French teahouse offers delicious tea, cakes and cocktails.
- Vogue Café – there are only two Vogue Cafés in the world – in Moscow and in Dubai. If you are a fashion lover don’t miss out on their fancy desserts.
Dubai for me was always THE place to shop. It has everything you want – from the medium class brands such as Zara, H&M, TopShop and River Island to the most luxurious ones.
For shopping visit Mall of the Emirates which has 630 stores plus a cinema, sushi place and a lot of cafes and restaurants.
Dubai Mall is another shopping Mall worth mentioning. It is the largest mall in the world and has only 1200 stores (both local and international). And it has a beautiful Aquarium.
You can also visit the Old Town area for some local products, Hotel Madinat or Dubai Marina Mall.