At Dubai airport we were met by our home owner and took us to their house. We were about 30 minute drive from the airport and pasted the bright lights of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates.
The house sit was positioned slight out of the city around 30 minutes from the Mall of Emirates and as we could not drive in the UAE because I only have a UK license we relied on the buses/metro which were very easy.
NOTE: You need a ticket before you board the bus/metro, they do not accept money on the bus and if your there for a while it is best to purchase the SILVER card which can be used on the buses and metro's. There is an option for a Gold card and this allows you to sit in first class but you are charged more per journey so not really worth it.
NOTE: There is a book for Dubai called 'Entertainer Dubai' which is full of vouchers for restaurants, activities and hotels. My advise it to price up the activities you want to do then see if there are vouchers in the book before just buying the book as it does cost 500 Dirham (today's exchange rate £102).
NOTE: Also before buying the entertainer book look at 'Entertainer Dubai Voucher Swap group on Facebook as people do put vouchers up on there and even full books if they are leaving Dubai. You can also ask for the vouchers you need and people may have them to give. You will need to arrange a collection point so check what your nearest Malls are as that will probably be easiest.
Dubai's weather is hot hot hot in July/August something we knew before we went but perhaps wasn't quite prepared for. 40-45 degrees celcius everyday ALL day. There wasn't much you could do during the day except for the malls which are all air conditioned. We did have a pool at our house sit which was a blessing and the dogs loved it too. Even jumped in before us!
- Mall of Emirates: This was one of the first malls in Dubai and is big, plenty of shops to choose from with easy access from buses and the Metro. (Vouchers for restaurants in the entertainer book).
- Dubai Mall: The biggest mall in the world. We only saw a fraction of this mall it was so big. There is a huge aquarium in the mall which you can stand and watch for divers cleaning or the public learning to dive in. (Vouchers for restaurants in the entertainer book).
- Fountain: The famous fountain can be found at Dubai Mall. There is a Venice feel as you look across the bridge and out to the fountain. The show is only about 5 minutes long but great to watch with the synchronised music.
- Burj Khalifa: This used to be the tallest building in the world, and is situated in between Dubai Mall and the fountain. You can go up the Burj Khalifa and if that is something you want to do please check the weather as a sand storm or smog will affect your viewing. Also book in advance. To the lowest section of the building it will cost you 200 Dirham (today's exchange rate £40) but if you pay on the day it will cost you nearly 500 Dirhams (today's exchange rate £102). We did not do this as we didn't think it would be worth the money. We have been up things like this in the past and I can not say I was impressed then.
- Gold and Spice Souk: You can get a City Tour Bus for this and it will take you to several other placed around Dubai City Center but after adding it up we found it was cheaper to find our own way there and it was very easy. If you get the Metro from the Mall of Emirates get on the red line to Burjuman Metro station the switch to the green line to Al Ras, exit the station to the right and follow the road round until you see a hotel. From there turn right and walk straight you will come across the market. I was looking forward to going here but on arrival we were hounded by people from their stalls 2-3 guys approaching us trying to sell us something every step we took, so we didn't stop and was in and out in a few minutes.
- Water parks: As the weather was so hot we didn't like the thought of waiting in queues at a water park so we didn't go to any but you will get Wild Wadi vouchers in the Entertainer. There is also the Atlantic water park and the best on is Yas water park but this one is in Abu Dhabi so you will need to get a taxi there.
- The Miracle Garden: Full of flowers and different colour plants but again it was so hot we didn't fancy walking around a garden in 40 degrees celcius.
- Desert Safari: There are sooooo many desert safari's to choose from, all of which offer the same thing. We went with Arabian Nights Tours as there was a 2 for 1 voucher in the Entertainer book. I must say this is definitely a TOURIST TRAP! You have been warned. We paid 300 Dirhams (today's exchange rate £63 for two people) which you say isn't too bad until you do trip. In reality your basically paying £63 for a meal. We we picked up at 4:15pm and didn't arrive at the sand dunes until 5:30pm, here we waiting for the other groups to arrive so we took pictures. We then went on a 20 minute dune bashing in the cars and arrived at camp.You have the choose to ride a camel. RIDE is not what it was, you are on the camel for approximately 2 minutes and walk in a circle! You are entitled to a free henna tattoo which takes 30 seconds to do. There is a choice of having a sheesha pipe on your table for £12 or you can have one for free if you walk 50 steps to the stall!! The food was very nice you are given a chicken kebab on arrival and the main meal was a large selection of salad, chicken curry, beans, chicken leg, sausages and fish. In the description of the tour is did say desserts but we never got any. Lastly the entertainment, if you want to call it that. It was the most ridiculous form of entertainment I've ever seen. A grown man spinning around in a circle with a colourful dress to the sound of a baby crying and then a 15 minute belly dance.
We were at our house sit for 4 weeks and we booked tickets to France. We had to get a taxi to the airport which took about 30 minutes and cost £16. Taxi's around Dubai are very cheap in comparison to other countries.
Join me next time for Craon in France.