…my Dubai Experience
and the list goes on.
November 2018, I get lost in Dubai. Travel is one of my passion. It REVITALIZES my LIFE. It MOTIVATES me to WORK HARD for more travels. I heard so much of Dubai that I like to EXPERIENCE.
As John Keats quote:
“NOTHING ever becomes REAL till it is EXPERIENCED”
Luck was on our side when a local budget airline had PROMO TICKETS to Dubai. We paid around P33,000 for 2 round trip tickets, MNL-DXB-MNL, inclusive of 20 kilos baggage each and travel taxes. Yes, my husband and I are budget travelers. We buy travel air tickets in promo fare and choose to stay on Airbnb accommodation. We planned trips way ahead to carefully budget each tour. I usually had DIY (do-it-yourself) trips especially when on a tight budget. When the INTERNET was not yet that ACCESSIBLE. My travel buddy was a Lonely Planet Book Guide borrowed from my brother. It’s a very helpful book to guide you on top places to visit, good food, the best accommodation, local fares, how to get there, etc. But this Dubai Trip was not a DIY trip. We hired a travel agency based in Dubai to book our tours and process our Tourist Visa. My husband likes to experience a hassle-free vacation and that everything is planned out. We just book the airfare and accommodation ourselves for a cheaper rate. We traveled together with another couple who had been traveling with us. We booked at a condotel, Al Deyafa Hotel Apartment, the location was really the best. It’s a walk away from City Centre Deira, a known shopping, entertainment and leisure complex in the United Arab Emirates. Our accommodation has 2 bedrooms, 2 comfort rooms, a kitchen with complete utensils, a dining area and a spacious living room. It cost us around P22,500 for 6D5N, for 4 pax. We cooked our breakfast from the groceries we bought from City Centre Deira. We arrived late at night around 10pm and our travel agency fetched us from the airport. The next day…
THE EXPERIENCE began
Day 1 was a Half-Day City Tour of Dubai. We were picked up from the hotel promptly at around 8:30 am. We joined a group of tourist and our first stop was at “the souk”, an old town with merchants, jewelers, and a lot more. We went inside a store with all kinds of dates, nuts, herbs, etc. We got to hear a little history of that store and of course, got to have the sample taste of everything. Bought some for “pasalubong“. Then we went to several museums and Burj Al Arab – an iconic and only 7-star hotel in the world. In the afternoon, all spirits high we were picked up on the dot at 3pm for the Desert Safari Tour. It was a long drive going to the desert safari site. We got to see a vast desert…it was sooo hot but the experience was AWESOME. When we arrived at the site, several land cruisers were already in line waiting for the others to start the adrenaline-pumping SAND DUNE BASHING. While waiting, we experience 🐪 CAMEL RIDE…my husband and I rode one camel only..and maybe that would be the last time since I feel sorry 😟for them. Though camels are strong and they are used to carry heavy loads. Sand Dune Bashing’s experience was thrilling and exciting. Dune bashing is completely safe for healthy people with no heart ailment. 🧡 It’s like riding a roller coaster but you may tell the driver to stop when you feel dizzy and nauseous. We were 3 braved couples in our land cruiser, the 4 of us and a Ghanaian couple who were very friendly and nice people. We finished sand dune bashing w/out stopping. The experience was really fun, exhilarating and I almost lost my voice from too much screaming. At night, we’re entertained by a cultural show while sitting on the sand in the desert covered with pieces of cloth and pillows. I appreciate the cultural show esp the belly fire dance and Tanoura Dance. We feasted on an authentic Arabian Buffet which was really tasty and appetizing.
Day 2 was a day trip to Abu Dhabi. We were picked up at 9 am from the hotel. Distance between Dubai and Abu Dhabi is 140 km, a 1 hour and 30 minutes coaster ride. It was a non-stop scenic route to Abu Dhabi. The streets are very clean and no traffic 👍😉 We visited a number of museums, The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and a market where we bought dates and nuts again 😆. Ferrari World was our last stop in Abu Dhabi. Before we entered the amusement park, we ate our lunch in one of the restaurants there and was served by a “kababayan” from Carcar City, Cebu. We experienced a heart-pumping ride at the Ferrari World. It was just a very very short ride but I think my soul left my physical body for a few seconds 🤢. We arrived at the hotel at 9pm, tired but the experience was one for the books.
Day 3, we visited the World’s Tallest Building, The Burj Khalifa. Over 828 meters and160 stories. Getting there, we hired a metered taxi from the hotel. Another tick on the bucket list since I have climbed other tall towers in the world. From the top, you can see the overall of Dubai. We also enjoyed watching the Dubai Fountain Show. The place was crowded and you need to be early to have a good view and take instagrammable pictures and videos. At 7pm, a driver picked us up from the hotel to a dinner cruise. It was a beautiful Marina Dhow Dinner Cruise. We get to see the beauty of Dubai from the bay. Lighted skyscrapers were very picturesque. We were served with an Arabian Dinner buffet and entertained by a cultural show. My husband was invited to dance the Tanoura Dance 😂 Alighted the traditional Arabian boat stomach full and phone memory full 😁
Day 4 was a free day. We did not book any tour for this day so that we can have the liberty to go wherever we want. We googled some other tourist destination and luckily landed at the site of The Miracle Garden. Apparently, they just re-opened a week before. Their operation is seasonal from November – March only (during winter). I highly recommend this place. All angles are scenic and instagrammable. Be sure to have enough free space on your camera. The entrance fee is around 55 AED or around P750 pesos. We paid for this since this is not part of our package tour. We went there by metered taxi. We took advantage of this free day, relaxed and relished the beautiful flowers around the garden…and oh by the way, for coffee lovers like us..you can buy Starbucks Coffee inside 😎
Day 5, last day. Our flight is still at 10 pm, so we still have enough time to do our last-minute shopping or window shopping. 😊 Checked out from the hotel and we just lived our luggage at the concierge. We went “malling” and just hanging out at the mall usually eating. While waiting for our transfers going to the airport, the hotel receptionist served us with Arabian coffee with dates. By the way, she was a Filipino 😀
We arrived in Manila exhausted, tired, and sleepy. Our connecting flight to Cebu was still a few hours away. Though the trip ends with sore muscles and tired feet, the MEMORIES last FOREVER.
As Matthew Karsten(travel blogger) said:
” Investment in TRAVEL is an INVESTMENT in YOURSELF”
…and Oh and the total package tour was USD390 per person inclusive of Dubai Visa, Airport transfers and Tours.
Start INVESTING in YOURSELF now!!!