united arab emirates
Dubai was an unexpected stop. We were supposed to go to Turkey but with the recent terrorist attacks and government uprisings, we decided against it. We were looking for a place to stop between Asia and Europe… and Dubai was the winner. Honestly, WE LOVED IT!
I think Dubai is underrated.
We were there in July. We thought this was a huge mistake because it’s literally an OVEN. But even though it was 112+ degrees outside there was still SO much to do! Dubai has done an incredible job making a gorgeous, high-tech, diverse city in the middle of the desert. We were so impressed with how clean it was. And because it was so hot outside, it appeared to be empty. But Dubai did make us want to come back and visit again for sure! I can see that it would be an even more wonderful destination in the winter months.
So, Dubai has dealt with the heat and made some pretty rad things to do indoors. Their malls are incredible! The Mall of the Eremites has indoor sledding, skiing and penguins! The Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world with over 1200 stores. The Mall of Dubai has iceskating, a large aquarium and is also attached to the Burj Khalifa.
We knew of the Burj Khalifa from Mission Impossible. It was SO very cool. It’s the tallest building in the world with 160 storeys. The views were so unreal all the way around. Dorothy actually had one of her very rare meltdowns (sugar crash) so we have some great memories that we will hopefully laugh at years from now of the Burj Khalifa.
Our kids favorite place in Dubai… and now a competing favorite destination for Dorothy besides Chucky Cheese, is Modhesh World. Think of every single thing a kid could ever want to do… they have it! Trampoline park, haunted house, petting zoo, arcade games, ice skating, zip lining, bouncy houses, laser tag, carnival games, food trucks and SO much more! We thought we’d be there for like an hour like we are at most arcades, but we had a blast and were there for HOURS. Good job Dubai!
Our very positive outlook on Dubai is very much thanks to our incredible accommodations. We worked with the Ritz Carlton and were able to experience both of their locations in Dubai.
The Ritz Carlton JBR is by the beach. It has great pools, a kids club and we were welcomed with the most thoughtful, detailed room we’ve ever seen. They left us goodies and treats in every corner. We LOVED the staff there. Our favorite experience was when they learned that we love smoothies. The next morning, our server brought out a dozen different kinds of smoothies with our names on them! We pounded them all! : P Same thing the next morning… and then they even brought us healthy, refreshing ones out to the pool. We could only go out to the beach and pool before 9 am because it was so hot. But the rest of the day, the kids got to go to the kids club!
When we switch locations, we thought there was absolutley no way that the Ritz Carlton DIFC could match JBR. We were wrong! The DIFC is downtown in a great location. They showed us the royal treatment in the presidential suite. Dorothy got her tent in the room for a camp out along with some books and yummy treats. The staff, again goes above and beyond to make your stay personalized.
At both locations I was able to do something that I haven’t been able to do in a long time - cook! I learned how to make Arab food at the Ritz Carlton JBR. We made baba ganoush, tabbouleh, and some super yummy grilled meats. I had never had Arab food and I loved how fresh and healthy it was.
At the Ritz Carlton DIFC Garrett and I learned how to make sushi! I used to never be a fan of sushi and I’m still not very experimental, but we loved it. We learned how to do a simple California roll and also an Arab-influenced chicken roll. I will totally be trying to make sushi on my own next time I can!
At both locations they set up some cookie and cupcake decorating stations for the kids. Dorothy heaven. They were so kind to the kids and gave them all sorts of sprinkles and treats to put on top. Dorothy crashed hard… which resulted in her Burj Khalifa meltdown later that day.
Dubai, you are cool. We LOVED the diversity. We met people from all over the world. I don’t even know if we met anyone from Dubai. All different races and religions. And it was very safe. We would absolutley love to come back… this time we will wait until it cools down. ;)