How do you spend five days in Dubai? To be honest, we did a lot of lounging and reading by the pool, but we also squeezed in a few must-do activities. Let me back up though because this trip was supposed to be two weeks in Hong Kong and Thailand. Due to some unfortunate timing with David’s work schedule, we changed our plans and the good news is we still got to spend five days in Dubai.
We piggy-backed our five days in Dubai onto our holiday travels in the UK where we visited David’s family and friends. We stopped in Belfast, Ireland and Glasgow, Scotland before landing in London for a night. Then it was on to Dubai. We were ready for some sun after the UK gloom.
From London, we flew Business Class on Emirates overnight. If you can spring for the ticket, I highly recommend it. The six-hour flight was hardly long enough to enjoy all of the on-board amenities, but I did get some restful sleep. One of the nice things about flying Business Class on Emirates from London Heathrow is that you conveniently board the plane through the Emirates Lounge.
Once you’re on board, there are endless movies, plenty of leg room, a nice Bvlgari amenities kit, a comfy flat-bed with a mattress, gourmet meal service – with a choice of vegan, gluten-free and many other dietary options – plus a full-service cocktail bar. I actually told David that I wished the flight was longer, which you’ll never hear me say!
Once we landed, we were shuttled to FIVE Palm Jumeirah by the Emirates transfer service and quickly transitioned into relaxation mode.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: If you want to eat healthy in Dubai, it’s possible, but it’s not necessarily a lifestyle. If you have dietary requirements restaurants are very aware and cater to them relentlessly. Healthy options are available but not ubiquitous.
Five days in Dubai isn’t a long time, but if you use your time well, you can manage to do a lot. I recommend going during the Fall and Winter months when the weather is cooler otherwise prepare to encounter unbearable heat. Like I said, David and I wanted a couple of days to do nothing and read by the pool so we built that into our itinerary. These are a few of the other highlights:
One // Shopping at Mall of the Emirates: The malls in Dubai are notoriously huge and there’s no sales tax. The Mall of the Emirates has every store imaginable and also houses Ski Dubai.
Two // Dune Bashing on a Desert Safari: If you want to get a taste of the local culture and see the desert, book a desert safari tour. Ours came complete with a head scarf (ghutra), camel ride, SUV dune bashing, fire show and dinner.
Three // Culture at Global Village: Shop, have dinner, see a show or catch a concert at the Global Village. Open from 4 p.m. -Midnight from November through February, this attraction represents almost every country in the world.
Four //Drinks at the Burj Al Arab: Experience a seven-star hotel, stunning views and peruse the extensive and creative cocktail menu at Gold on 27 at The Burj Al Arab.
Five // The Observation Deck at Burj Khalifa: Take a trip to the world’s tallest observation deck atop the famous Burj Khalifa. Buy tickets in advance, but be prepared to wait in line.