Thank you guys so much for the love on my Saudi travels. So this was my second trip to Dubai, hence the "part II," if you want to read about my first time in Dubai you can read and see what I got up to here. It was a totally different trip since the last one wasn’t with family, it was much more relaxed since I was there for about 4-5 days, and I got to see a little bit more of the culture rather than this time as a proper tourist.
This time around we stayed in Dubai for 2 days, and I planned the entire 2 days since I knew what all my parents would like and have to see! We stayed at the Sheraton in the Mall of Emirates, since it’s centrally located with little to no traffic. I knew the staples were a must, the Burj Khalifa, Burj al Arab, JBR, Kite Beach, City Walk, The Souk’s, The Malls, and of course Nusret. & We made a day trip to Abu Dhabi to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque which I hadn’t seen before, & I am sooo glad we did!
I’ll split this up by food and places to see. So let’s start with my favorite, the food!
The food in Dubai is amazing, there isn’t a single place you can go to that won’t be extraordinary. Since we were only there for 2 days, we wanted to try the best of everything.
Here’s everything we ate & a short review:
Paul – Inside Mall of Emirates, amazing omelettes & brunch.
Laduree – Mall of Emirates, if you don’t know Laduree its famous for macaroons but amaaaazing tea and snacks too!
Carnival by Tresind: DIFC, oh my god this place was amaaaazing. The presentation, the food, the service, the ambiance, just everything about this place was amazing! It’s a 5 course meal (really it’s like 10) and you can reorder anything you like as many times as you like. It’s beyond amazing and I recommend it to everyone. They do change the menu every few months but it stays so unique, they brought the tea out on this bike in the picture below, and served it like that! See what I mean by unique?
Nusr’et: So Nusret’s restaurant is a must if you go to Dubai. Not only is it the best steakhouse I’ve ever been to, but if you’re lucky enough, he’s actually there. We were surprised and he randomly showed up, so we got to actually meet him, but it is 100% worth the hype guys. I hate fancy restaurants where the food sucks, but he did really really good with this. & Nusret himself is a super nice guy! So 10/10. Note: make a booking in advance! I made a booking 2 weeks before my trip (yes, it’s that packed). If he’s there though, you’ll def have to wait even if you have a booking, we waited 1.5 hours after our booking but it was so worth it.
Places to see
Atlantis, The Palm: This hotel is beyond beautiful, it’s one of Dubai’s luxury hotels on the apex of the Palm Jumeirah. Can’t go inside but if the outside is this magnificent, can you imagine what the inside looks like!
The Burj Khalifa fountain & light show: So if you go to a restaurant in the Dubai Mall called "Al Hallab" you can see the fountain and light show from the outside patio while you enjoy your meal, save the hassle of standing in the rush! Just get there a little bit early to make sure you have a seat outside. This show is like the one in Vegas, but the added light show with the Khalifa makes it a little more unique for them. I definitely recommend watching it at least once!
The Burj al Arab: Definitely do a drive by if you can! The closer you go however, you won’t get the whole building in the back, and you can’t go inside unless you have a reservation at their restaurant so I recommend taking a shot from Kite beach!
The Dubai Mall: If you don’t go to any other mall, you have to see the Dubai Mall. They have fashion avenue, an aquarium, an amazing food court, and so much more. It’s a mall like none other I’ve seen (trust me, I’ve seen a lot of malls) and it’s beyond beautiful in their architecture and design inside. The picture below is in fashion avenue! You can probably tell I spent most of my time (& money, sigh.) there.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque: This Mosque is in Abu Dhabi, but it’s only about an hour and a half away from Dubai. It’s the most beautiful mosque I’ve ever seen it looks unreal, if you’re not Muslim don’t worry – they provide abaya’s and scarves for the women and men don’t need to worry about anything either. Definitely worth the trip!
The Emirates Palace Hotel: The color of this hotel is just so different and stunning. The inside was like, I can’t even describe it, just so regal. I have videos and pictures of the hotel on the inside on my Instagram highlights under "Travel" so be sure to get a look at that!
JBR/Kite Beach: This is a super pretty beach that has so many water activities and sports and places to eat all around, you can easily spend a few hours or a whole day here! Definitely a go-to place. If you’re from the west and are wondering what to wear, you can wear anything here. I mostly only saw Americans at JBR so you don’t really need to worry about anything there!
A lot of the questions I got on Instagram was about Dubai’s culture and if it’s as strict as Saudi Arabia. I’d say Dubai is like exactly like America, but with a Islamic foundation. You’ll hear the call to prayer, you’ll see women who are in abaya’s and men who wear traditional garb as well, but there’s no judgement if you don’t.
Since tourism is their #1 thing, they’re used to seeing people from all around the world dressed in different ways and accept different cultures as well, so it’s a great city to vacation in and still get that middle eastern feel.
As far as how to dress, it’s nothing like Saudi. Women are actually respected and given a choice to be who they are, and you can wear whatever you please, just as long as you realize that it is a Muslim country. I’d say in my personal opinion to keep that in mind and stay modest, but know you won’t be judged if you choose otherwise.
I hope y’all enjoyed these travel diaries for my trip to the Middle East! I can’t wait to book my next trip and share more of the world through my eyes and my experiences. To see ALL of my pictures and videos, and even outfits from my trip (yes, I packed 6 outfits for 2 days and wore them all!!) you can check out my Instagram highlights, and they’ll be under "travel" and "outfits."