Getting away from chilly London in October was a welcome break – Rizwan was working in Dubai for a month so I really missed him and although he was really busy with work, my brother and I decided to head there to see him and explore Dubai. I was also excited to meet one of my friends from London who had just moved there a few weeks earlier.
Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located on the southeast coast of the Arabian Gulf and is one of the seven emirates that make up the country. Dubai is magnificent in so many ways – you can ski down a snowy slope in the middle of the desert heat, slide down all kinds of adrenaline-pumping rides at Atlantis Aquaventure Park, quad bike in desert sand, and shop till you drop (I loved all the American stores that aren’t available in London)!
Since I am a junkie for historical architecture and especially for natural beauty, Dubai felt a bit artificial, everything is so new and shiny, however, it is a perfect destination for an action-packed holiday, luxury, and fun in the sun.
Dune Bashing & Quad Biking in the Desert
We were picked up early in the morning by our guide and driver from Desert Safari Dubai, and he drove us straight outside the city. We chose the morning safari, which included dune bashing and quad biking – and I’m so glad we did because we were the only ones with our guide, and also, the only people in this part of the desert. When the skyscrapers of Dubai were behind us, suddenly you see nothing but a wide road, surrounded by golden dunes all around you, and some camels taking shelter from the heat by the roadside.
ATLANTIS AQUAVENTURE WATERPARK
This is what I was really looking forward to! The rides looked amazing and water is definitely my element so I always turn into a big kid when I have a chance to play. The Atlantis Aquaventure Park is an adventure, you can get around it in big floats through interconnecting waterways. Some of them thrilling rapids, some just relaxing. We had so much fun, unfortunately, the lines were long so a big part of your day goes in standing in queues – luckily the views from the queues were pretty amazing! This apparently isn’t always the case though, so perhaps we were there on a really busy day.
I never imagined I would go to the desert to go skiing, but that is exactly what we did. Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates is a 3000 square meter Snow Park, with temperatures around -4 Celsius, a nice 400m ski run, tow and chairlifts, and a lovely slope cafe. You don’t have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either, everything is included in the price, we did, however, bring our own hats and ski gloves.
My brother, Mikko is an excellent snowboarder and I heard a lot of “whoa!” from people in the lifts when I was skiing behind him. He made me a very proud big sister!
The alpine café is ideal for sipping hot chocolate, however, I missed the splash of mint liqueur – that’s how I’m used to having it back home in Finland 🙂
SKI SLOPE PRICES (120 mins)
Adult AED 200 (about 48 euros)
Child AED 170 (about 41 euros)
They also have day passes available and offer ski lessons, check their website for prices.
BURJ KHALIFA & THE DANCING DUBAI FOUNTAINS
Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, stands over 828 metres tall and has more than 160 stories. Burj Khalifa was designed by an architect Adrian Smith. The building derives its design inspiration from the desert flower, Hymenocallis, and incorporates patterning systems that are embodied in Islamic architecture. Incredible sight with its twinkling lights in the evenings.
Dubai Fountain show was spectacular!!! It comes on every 30 minutes from 6 pm onwards outside the Dubai Mall. It’s a beautiful creation with water, music and lights – I saw it at least four times, each time with a different theme and music and it got me each time.
JUMEIRAH BEACH RESIDENCE, JBR BEACH
We spent fun days at the JRB beach near our accommodation. The water was so warm and the sky crystal clear, we were just relaxing on sun loungers under the shades. The most exciting part was racing with jet-skis with my brother. There are plenty of juice bars, gelato counters and restaurants on the boardwalk (lots of European & American chains) – we even went to Laduree one evening.
We took the Jet skis for a little sibling race.