Disclaimer : This is not a commercial post and opinions are exclusively mine. The photos in this feature are shot on iPhone 6 Plus and have a copyright. They are not to be used without prior permission. This blog is written so that people with passion for travel can plan their trip to Dubai with the right expectations and information.
Dubai was on my mind for a long time. August 2018, I finally made up my mind and booked the tickets on emirates. I had saved on some points from my Brazil trip and used them for the tickets to Dubai.
Here is a video to sum up my trip…..
Normally, I don’t book my trips through any Agency and I myself do all the research about the place. This helps me know a lot about that place and also lets me know the places/food/experiences not to miss during the trip.
For visa, I did some research and found out that if I book my tickets through emirates online, they had an option for applying for Dubai visa online. Post booking the tickets, I applied for visa through emirates website and received it the next day on my mail, without any hassles. They charged me around INR 5500 for the visa fees.
It was a Solo trip!
That meant the planning had to be immaculate, and I intended to save a lot on my travel and stay.
Here I was, all geared up for the trip, with the boarding pass in my hand…
Normally, the lounge access is chargeable, but if you have a credit card which has Lounge access for free, you can actually spend some time at the lounge. Normally, you can escape the rush outside and also help yourself to some good helpings….:)
While I was helping myself with some delicacies, I could see the emirates flight arrive. The sheer size of the aeroplane was huge. The Oman air aircraft, beside it, looked really puny….
In no time, the boarding announcements started, and I made my way towards the aerobridge. At one point, the aerobridge got divided in two, making way for two entries – one for first class and the other for economy class.
I have travelled on quite a few airlines, and I rate emirates pretty high amongst all. The personal screen in front of you is huge, has a fantastic high quality and variety of content.
Well, that’s me, trying to settle in!
The headphone quality is ok…..
Now, here comes the best part. They serve you a menu and a foodie like me generously appreciates this 🙂
Well, this was the menu and you can definitely make out that I was grinning from ear to ear with happiness….and yes, the quality of food is like that of a five-star hotel….! Definitely, I was pretty impressed.
“Good start to my trip”, I said to myself ….
We arrived on time and after walking miles inside Dubai airport (that’s true, the airport is huge and emirates lands at the main one) I reached immigration. It was over in no time and I was out.
I had done some research earlier and was aware that Dubai metro was well-connected and there was a common pass for both metro and tram. I was also aware that, gold pass was a bit costly but had a lot of comfort. The gold pass was valid for 24 hours and I availed it, with the intention of coming back to Burj khalifa in the evening and then again back to hostel.
You can avail Dubai metro right from the terminal where you land. After picking up a gold pass, I made my way, for boarding the metro.
I had booked myself a hostel and had already chalked out my route. Around 40 min of travel by metro and then through a connecting station to tram, another 5 min by tram. The tram station was right in front of my hostel.
This was the Nol Gold pass and the booklet. You can get both at the counters where you buy your tickets.
The metro station had gates like this which only opened when the train had arrived. Good feature….
The gold class cabin is normally the first compartment of the train. It was so clean and looked very impressive. There was a luggage space even…Can you spot my red suitcase? 🙂
The trains were driverless, but the tram had a driver. Trams were also spotless clean.
Well, that’s me going up to the 66th floor, to my hostel….I heard it had views of the Palm Jumeira and was eager to have a look!
Well, that was the view and it was amazing. For the sake of everyone’s information, Palm Jumeira is a palm shaped island built on sea which has hotels, residences, water parks, restaurants and many more things! I could make out a lot of construction work was going on….
I had booked a dorm room with attached toilet. There were eight bunks in my room. There were other rooms with shared toilets too.
My room was chock-a-block and I was the last one to occupy the only bunk which was empty. The other bunks were occupied by all men, who were all lost in their mobile devices and pretended as if no one else was in the room. I expected not much talk around and decided to push-off to Burj Khalifa. I knew Dubai metro had a station for Burj khalifa / Dubai Mall. Holding on to my gold pass, I left for the tallest building on earth!
Dubai hits you with sheer opulence, right on your face. There is nothing small time here. Every thing in Dubai competes as the best what can be! Look below, and you would witness the largest aquarium in the world, and yes, this is inside Dubai mall 🙂
Dubai mall is right next to Burj Khalifa and is famous for shopping. All international brands are available here…..It is huge and is difficult to cover in a day. After having a look at this massive aquarium, I decided to take a walk and soak in the sheer opulence of Dubai….
This was the cheesecake that Had at Cheesecake factory. It was Yummy!
I booked the passes for a visit to the Top of Burj Khalifa. Two passes?
Yes, an old friend of mine was to join me the next day……hence, the two passes.
Dubai Mall has an amazing (read abnormally big ) fountain and there is a Boardwalk built in the water, where you can go and sit and enjoy the fountain shows. I saw a couple of fountain shows From the edge of the mall and decided to take a joint ticket of Burj Khalifa and Boardwalk!
The sun was setting and the crowd was building up.
The fountain shows are popular and normally you would see a lot of people enjoying it.
Dubai mall is easy to reach from the metro station. A skywalk about 3 km long connects directly the metro station to one of the higher floors of Dubai mall. Easy! And one more thing. You would not find any security checks anywhere, either in metro station or in any malls. But beware, everything is under camera surveillance and in case of any incident, it takes a minute for the police to reach you.
I was staring at this huge masterpiece for quite some time. Definitely, I was at a loss of words. If it looked so amazing now, I wondered how would it look with the lights on?
I was tired and decided to head back to my hostel. Though everything was perfect at the hostel, somehow I was struggling with myself at the lack of privacy….anyways, I didn’t have any other option….:)
After a good night’s sleep, I woke up fresh in the morning. The interiors of the hostel was pretty lively and colourful. The common hall was big and had amazing views of Palm Jumeira.
With breakfast being served in the hall, hungry mates like me, made a beeline…
I managed to get quite a lot on my plate and decided to go sit in the open balcony for the views. It was hot outside, but the view was great!
The view from the open balcony….
Few more pics of the common areas in the hostel….
I checked out of the hostel and made my way back to Dubai Mall. I was joining my friend but since his flight was a little late in the day, I decided to spend some time on my own….
This photo is of one of the roads in Dubai. Twelve lane road inside a city!!!!
Few pics, on my metro ride to Dubai Mall….and since, I had luggage, I opted for the gold class pass, again!…
I saw this replica of a tower in the ground floor of Dubai mall. This is a new tower coming up in Dubai, which would be taller than Burj Khalifa….Can you beat it?…..
I decided to sip some Turkish coffee….it was damn expensive…..
I liked this message …..inside the paper napkin….
And here comes my friend…..he tried to negotiate for a better room and voila…in no time, we had checked in….
After a selfie together, we made our way to Al-Ustadi Kebabs….This is one of the famous kebab shops, in Deira area of Dubai. Closer to old Dubai…
Both of us were hungry, and here’s what we ordered….The food was amazing and is highly recommended from my end…
The shop has pics of a lot of famous personalities who had visited here…
This was the legendary chicken seekh kebab….juicy and succulent…
The kebabs were served with a rumali roti….
The mutton seekh kebabs were amazing too!
We retired to our beds with this view of Dubai creek…..surreal….isn’t it?
Don’t miss out on Part 2 which would have Burj Khalifa in the night and view from top, visit to Atlantis hotel and the lost chambers aquarium and the famous desert safari!