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Dubai

Travelling To Dubai? Make Sure You Check Out These Amazing Places!

Dubai is a popular city that millions of people visit each year. People from the Middle East and beyond visit this stunning place and often come back for holidays. In fact, it’s such a revered city that many visitors from abroad make it their home!


If you’re thinking of going on a holiday this year, I recommend you put Dubai at the top of your shortlist. You might be wondering what there is to check out in the city. It’s a good thing you stopped by this blog post! Keep reading and you’ll learn of the best places to visit in this Emirate:


Burj Khalifa


Even if you’re not too keen on tall buildings, you must visit the beautiful Burj Khalifa! It’s an impressive skyscraper and the tallest manmade structure in the world. Measuring 828 metres high, this building took over five years to build. Today, it’s home to a mixture of residential and commercial tenants and property owners.



If you want to see an imposing view around Dubai, I recommend going to the observation deck on the 148th floor.
Madinat Jumeirah


If you want somewhere luxurious to stay, there is only one option you need to know. The Madinat Jumeirah is the epitome of luxurious Islamic holidays! It’s a recreation of what life was like in ancient Arabian times. And it captures the region’s natural beauty.


The Madinat Jumeirah is a resort location that boasts two grand boutique hotels. There is also a selection of summer houses and villas. One can enjoy entertainment in the grand ballrooms or the 1,000 seat amphitheatre!


All facilities on the site have connections to 3 km of landscaped gardens and waterways.



Wild Wadi


Dubai’s top entertainment complex aimed at families is Wild Wadi. It’s a waterpark that can be found in front of the stunning Burj Al Arab. The park got themed around the tales of Juha, a popular character from Arabian folklore.


There are over thirty rides and attractions there, and it’s a place that everyone will enjoy. Especially the children!
Mall of the Emirates


Want to do some shopping on your visit to Dubai? You need to make sure you spend a day visiting the Mall of the Emirates! Now, you might think this is just like any other shopping mall you’ve been to in the past. But, as their slogan states, shopping is just the beginning!


When you’re at the mall, you can also go skiing. Yes – that’s right; skiing in the Middle East! The Mall features an indoor ski slope, dubbed Ski Dubai. You can even get up close and personal with some penguins there too!


There aren’t many shopping malls out there that boast such impressive reasons to visit!



Desert Experiences


Last, but not least, you can also step outside of the city and head towards the desert for some outdoors fun! Many tour companies offer camel rides, “dune bashing” in a 4×4, and more!

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading today’s blog post. Thanks for checking it out!
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Driving Etiquettes to Know for Travellers in Dubai

Photo credit: emirates247.com

Travelling to the cosmopolitan city of Dubai is one of the many wishes of travellers.  There are many ways to enjoy Dubai and the many scenic places to see while in the Middle East. You can join an excursion or land tours or even commute. However, if you are like other people who prefer to discover beautiful attractions on your own, driving will be a good way to see the city.

Driving in Dubai can be fun, exciting, and daunting all at the same time. People who are driving in Dubai for the first time may find the unfamiliar roads challenging. Do not let that scare you because Dubai has wide, clean and well-kept roads. The road signs are very visible. There are police and traffic enforcement everywhere so you will be safe. Road side assistance is available and plenty of gas stations, supermarkets and food kiosks line up the long stretches of wide roads leading to the various emirates adjoining Dubai.


Even if you are a seasoned driver who is accustomed to driving elsewhere, it is best to know the driving etiquettes of Dubai.  Aside from that, Dubai has strict road safety and traffic policy in place.

1. Driving and Drinking does not mix

This is a universal rule in driving. It applies in all countries. You do not drive when you even have a tiny drop of alcohol in your system. It is simply unacceptable.  The Dubai Police and Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) are responsible in imposing fines and black point systems to motorists who do not follow the rules.

2. No hand and arm gestures

It is not acceptable in this part of the world to gesture or sway your hands aggressively to another motorists. You can get in hot water especially when you gesture or even point fingers.  With the big roads of Dubai, expect drivers to drive fast and recklessly and you may even get cut off because that is just how other drivers here treat the road and other motorists.

3.  No cursing or swearing

If you are coming from a place where road rage, swearing and cursing are part of the driving norm, then Dubai is not the place for that. I bet, drivers here also curse, swear and rage under many circumstances but not within hearing range of the other motorists. It is highly offensive to curse at anyone here. Do not badmouth other drivers no matter how terrible they are in driving.

4. Use the indicators/signals properly

Photo credit: parade.com

Many drivers here do not seem to know the importance of indicating or using signals. Some drivers will signal but never change or turn and others would suddenly swerve to your lane without any notice.  I have been to many countries and have observed how other people drive. I know this happens anywhere too but based on my experience living in this country for many years,  drivers who do not use any signals or indicators are highly concentrated here.

5. Give way to the tram, public and school buses

When you see any of them on the road and needs to pass, give courtesy and let them pass. Also, stop when you are behind a school bus that is dropping of children to the curb. Observe common courtesy.

6. Keep calm and drive on

You may find yourself driving casually until a big vehicle tailgates you and starts flashing headlights so fast that it can cause epilepsy. Do not panic. Do not get mad. And never gesture and swear. Just signal and change lane and allow the vehicle to pass. Do not ruin your vacation just because some people are inconsiderate or they simply do not know road courtesy. Hey, you do! So, relax, give way and just drive according to the speed limit and keep distance.

It is imperative to acquaint yourself with your new surrounding, the orientation of the driver’s side in this country, the laws and regulations, and fines and violations. You can get tips from other travellers who have driven here and in other places around the world from this travel guide.

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New Article Featured in Attraction Tix Blog

I’m so glad to share that my 2nd article is up in the famous Attraction Tix site’s blog. It’s about going around Dubai on a budget.

Attraction Tix is a famous online ticket specialist in the UK.  If you need tickets on attractions, tours, theme parks and experience holidays, then look no more and check out Attraction Tix’s services and offers!

Read my post in Attraction Tix so next time you plan to include Dubai in your itinerary, you know what to do.

Click here for my post.

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Review – Le Meridien Dubai and Conference Hotel

This is the first time we booked and stayed in Le Meridien. I used to sell it to my clients when I was still a travel agent. I would only have a glimpse of the Le Meridien splendour from the travel magazines I hand to my clients and they were fabulous photos of the property. So, my hubby and I jumped on the opportunity when our daughter was going to have her Graduation Ceremonies outside their school campus. We booked a deluxe room right away from Booking.com.

I am really impressed with the conservative look of this property. It gives you that opulent look without giving the vibes of being outlandish. The location is also a plus factor because it’s just few minutes away from Dubai International Airport Terminals. Aside from the good location, it is confined within the Le Meridien Village where numerous bars and restaurants line the cobble-stone pathway in this entertainment village. So, without further ado, below is my review of the five-star hotel.

What I like:

General and Service

  • Location – it is just few metres away from the Dubai International Airport, the GGICO Metro Station, restaurants and other entertainment establishments.
  • The efficient and friendly staff from the valet, bellhop, concierge, front desk agents and duty manager. They were all friendly, courteous, approachable and deeply rooted to their dedication to give service with a smile. It’s so hard to find that kind of service nowadays. I have to give my thumbs up and accolades to the men who were running the valet. We checked in around 12 noon and it was very hot that time and yet, not a single staff showed us a frown. We were greeted with warm, happy smiles despite of the heat. Now that is really worthy of mention and is going to be a great factor for me to book again in the future.
  • We were allowed to check-in early at 12 noon. I just had a brief mention of the reason why we booked the room because it was for my daughter’s graduation ceremony. The hotel was kind enough to release a room for us so we wouldn’t have to rush and be hassled with all the preparation.
  • The price was affordable considering it is a 5-star property. We got a very good deal from Booking.com for a deluxe double bedroom but upon check-in, we were upgraded to the Le Meridien Club Room.
  • The staff who delivered our lunch gave us extra 4 bottled water for free.
  • Check-out did not take a lot of time. I was even enrolled by the duty manager that time to their Starwood Preferred Guest Loyalty Programme. 
  • Public transportation is readily available. Just ask the concierge.

Room

  • What can I say? Upgraded room! And the Le Meridien Executive Room is quite spacious with ultra modern amenities such as modern phones with hands free function and other features that I haven’t even tried nor seen before and the espresso/coffee maker is an added feature.  
  • Aside from the spacious room, the down pillows are soft and the bed is comfortable.
  • The bathroom is big enough that I didn’t bump into anything nearby. There were 2 hairdryers as well so my daughter and I didn’t have to wait for the other’s turn.
  • The long vanity area near the TV also served as our table for our food.
  • The built-in lights can be dimmed with a control.
  • The study area is fancy and I like the curved design. It looked very classy and fitting for business travelers.
  • The big closet has mini-safe box to stash important and valuable items.
  • There were free slippers and shoe-cleaning kit.
  • 2 bathrobes were available for use and there were plenty of towels for everyone.
  • The shower area served as a huge bathtub as well.
  • It’s very quiet inspite of the fact that it is surrounded by restaurants and bars with live bands playing.
  • Well-stocked mini-bar

Food

  • Excellent in-dining experience for our supper! We also ordered during lunch and the selection is great!

Other amenities

  • It has gym, spa and pool for guests to use.
  • Valet parking
  • Business centre

What I don’t like:
I have to be fair in my review so I have to inform my readers that the coordination and lack of proper communication from one restaurant to the hotel’s concierge was a hassle. I also had to ask the hotel for improvement in that aspect. The service between the Le Meridien Village’s restaurant (Jules Bar where we ordered our lunch) must have coordination with the main hotel’s concierge. Our lunch arrived more than an hour after we have repeatedly called Jules Bar for follow-up only to be advised that they could not directly deliver to our room but the food would be given to the concierge to handle the delivery from there. We were guests and we wouldn’t know that, right? So far, that was the only hassle we had encountered.

Price: AED 450 per room per night (deluxe double bedroom) without taxes (good deal from Booking.com)

Nearby attractions:
Deira City Centre
Le Meridien Village
Dubai Creek Park
Dubai Golf and Yacht Club
Burjuman Centre
Gold Souk
Naif Square
Dubai Mall
Dubai World Trade Centre
Zabeel Park
Dubai Festival City

My recommendation: 5 out of 5

This 5-star property deserves a 5-star rating from me too! I give this a high five because of the excellent service they have provided, the wonderful amenities available for the guests and the luxurious and relaxing stay we had there. Will I book again? Definitely!

Le Meridien Dubai and Conference Hotel is located at Airport Road, PO Box 10001, Dubai, UAE.

Search for hotels and book here:

Booking.com

Disclaimer:
I was not compensated to do this review.  This booking was a personally paid for by my family as our preference.  My opinion is 100% mine and may vary from yours.

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On Our Way Back To Dubai

This blog has been very, very quiet lately because I am still on leave. My family and I will be flying back to Dubai a day early as we need to be back to work on time on Monday, Sunday for my hubby.

So, I hope to be able to post regularly thereafter as I sort all our pictures taken here in Tokyo and write some articles about the adventures here, interesting finds and the wonderful place we visited.

Tuh-tah for now! I’ll chat with all of you later.

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Tennis Events In Dubai To Watch

When you hear Dubai, you think of the magnificent infrastructures lining up the cosmopolitan are of Sheik Zayed Road, the huge and lavish malls burgeoning in the city, the well-manicured street plants adorning the pavements and islands, the man-made residential village called The Palm and the vast sandy desert that changes in color when you travel to the other Emirates. Surely, Dubai is very famous for those things but did you know that aside from those mega-infrastructure this place boasts of, it also hosts the biggest and well-known sporting events in the tennis world. 

One of the famous and well-celebrated tennis competitions is being held in Dubai annually. The Dubai Tennis Championships or now known as the Dubai Duty Free Men’s and Women’s Open attract a huge number of spectators from all over the world to watch their favorite tennis legends.

This tennis event is an open court competition held at the Dubai Tennis Stadium next to the Aviation Club. Tennis enthusiasts all over the world come to Dubai to enjoy the sporting event. Since this event falls during the winter season, watching it al fresco surely adds to the convivial spirit of the sports fans.

The world’s famous tennis players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena and Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Justin Hardenne and to name a few,  have all graced the sporting event and more powerhouse will join this tennis open next year.

Sports enthusiasts who wish to visit Dubai may plan their trip ahead since the Dubai Duty Free Open happens during the Dubai Shopping Festival that sees millions of travelers around the world. It falls during end of February to first week of March. Flights and hotel accommodations may be hard to obtain if you plan last minute. Also, do not worry about not bringing your tennis racket when you have the urge to let that sporty persona come to light. There are plenty of sporting goods in Dubai where you can find tennis rackets for perfect holidays situation.

Sporty travelers will surely find this tennis event experience a check on their bucket list!

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Weekend at Ibis Hotel in Deira

We love spending overnights in different hotels in UAE. We do not this every single week as this costly habit will definitely burn holes in our pockets. Our family makes it a point to spend a weekend in the nearby areas when time and budget permits at least once every 2 months. We take that opportunity to bond as a family and explore different places and hotels around the UAE.

I chose Ibis Hotel in Deira, Dubai this time. The last time we checked in a hotel was last quarter of 2011 in Hilton Ras Al Khaimah. I decided to book in Ibis because our company gets special rates and I will earn in my A/Club Loyalty Program which is under the Accor Hotels. Ibis Hotel is one of that famous chain.

Ibis Hotel is a 2-star property. However, I feel it can pass as 3-4 stars because it is clean, has modern amenities like other 3-4 stars hotel. It has a basement parking lot for free for guests and clients, restaurants, access for the handicap, free wi-fi at the lobby, internet access in the rooms, vending machines on every floor, ice machine in the 1st floor and is connected to the Novotel Hotel so guests can access the pool with a minimal fee.

I booked a standard room with a queen size bed. The room is actually spacious with very basic amenities and no mini-bar. The cabinet has no door which I find very chic for easy access and there is no safe box unlike other big hotels. The private bathroom has a shower and the body gel and liquid soap are attached to the wall. There were no other free toiletries. However, there is an installed hair-dryer which is okay.

I like this hotel because it is clean, smells good and is walking distance to the nearest metro station. It is situated right in front of Deira City Centre. So, business travellers in Dubai can enjoy this small but very chic hotel for a budget price. I give it my thumbs up!

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