Holidays in Dubai, a good idea or not?
Nothing destined me to spend holiday in dubai. Like many, I carried around a whole suitcase of prejudices about this desert city. Too constructed, too artificial, too excessive, too everything! A toxic mushroom light years away from the atypical routes that I like to travel. A sort of concentrated superficiality the opposite of what usually attracts me.
Even though I had already traveled to the Maghreb countries, the Middle East represented to me a closed nebulous area. First, I had no intention of endorsing the practices of a population that respects neither its foreign workers nor its women. And two, I didn’t want to spend sun vacation covered from head to toe without being able to drink an aperitif or two (or three).
But that was without counting on the extended stopovers of the gulf airlines. Great value companies that I typically use to get to on the Asian continent. That’s how I set foot on Doha tarmac for the first time. Then, on that of Dubai, in the middle of August and in the middle of Ramadan. Leaving my vest of a priori and my bag of preconceived ideas in the air-conditioned airport. Well it took me since this first step presaged one week holiday in Dubai one year later !
Good reasons to go on vacation to Dubai
First, we press the reset button to forget everything you think you know about Dubai. There is no need to be burdened with incorrect or approximate information when you can discover the destination yourself. For other countries in the world, you often find someone who knows someone who has been there. And who gives an opinion by proxy. For Dubai, it is rarer. Many are there in transit with the Emirates airline, but few stay there. And yet, the city surprises!
Dubai is the Gulf city that understood that black gold was not eternal. And who bet on the tourism development and on his location at the crossroads of three continents.
A cosmopolitan city
There location of dubai necessarily participates in making it a cosmopolitan city. The New York of the desert! The population is made up of 95% foreigners and 200 different nationalities. Suffice to say that the influences are numerous and that there is a cultural diversity surprising. A gastronomic and artistic treat! Of course, if the city remains tolerant with regard to tourists, the country remains Muslim and discretion is required.
Sun all year round
In addition, Dubai enjoys a sunny climate all year round. Blue sky on all floors of buildings and at any time of day. Of course, we will avoid the season from May to October when the temperatures are difficult to bear outside air-conditioned places.
Flight time and jet lag
Departing from Paris, the direct flight lasts about 7h with Air France Or Emirates. For only 2 to 3 hours of jet lag depending on the season.
Accessible to all budgets
Unlike other international megacities, Dubai offers a range of accommodation to suit all budgets. At the level of meals, the rates are similar to those found in France. There is something for all tastes and all budgets. As for travel, three means of transport are the most frequent: taxi, metro or car rental. Taxis are much cheaper than in France and represent the best solution for getting around town. If you plan to leave Dubai or visit Abu Dhabi, car rental is essential (international license required). To find out the cost of expenses, it’s here !
A paradise for families with (young and old) children
Few cities can boast of bringing together so many activities. Visits to mwear, a day at the amusement parks, climbing to the top of the Burj Khalifa, skiing, going to the giant aquarium, shopping around the malls, going to the beach…Holidays in Dubai are a paradise for families. Provided all the same to have a consequent budget. The attractions are relatively expensive, especially when there are many of you. Hotels and shopping centers also offer childcare centers or some clubs to occupy the children. Do your darlings have a delicate palate? No particular difficulty since all the international specialties are present. Burgers, fries and pizzas do not miss ! If you are traveling with a baby, supermarkets, pharmacies and doctors are accessible to everyone. You will not be out of place on the market shelves where the stalls are filled with well-known brands.
A temple of shopping
One could easily spend his holidays in Dubai in the shopping centers. They come in all sizes and on all themes. The best known are the Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates. This is where we find a ski resort, an Olympic ice rink, a giant aquarium, the largest candy store in the world, the Armani café etc. All open until midnight or almost!
The desert within reach of the dunes
How to consider spending your holidays in Dubai without doing a ride in the desert ? Admittedly, this attraction is a tourist tad…including quad biking, barbecue, falcons, sand skiing, camel riding, etc. But the dune landscapes are superb and the fauna is present there (gazelles, monitor lizards and other wild cats). Plus, it’s nice to get out of town for an evening or more. Moreover, in the “coup de folie” category, several hotels offer luxury accommodation with a swimming pool and a view of the desert. Change of scenery guaranteed!
The Old Town: Dubai Creek, Bastakiya, Deira and Bur Dubai
We are often unaware that there is a historic district in Dubai. This unknown part of the city revolves around an arm of the sea called Creek. Here, you can mainly find old traditional wooden boats (dhows), of the souks and museums. Access to the sites is very cheap see free in most cases. Nowhere else reigns this special atmosphere out of time. Cross the canal on a abra like the locals, drink a green apple juice or a lemon mint on the terrace at sunset, go shopping for souvenirs in the Bur Dubai souks…A surprising and pleasant parenthesis in the heart of the city’s history.
Reception, cleanliness and safety
Are you a single woman and fear for your safety in Middle Eastern countries? Come and discover Dubai. Subway cars and taxis are reserved exclusively for women. At no time do tourists feel in danger. Everything is designed for the well-being of visitors. It is also for this reason that families with small children are welcome. Cleanliness and safety are the hallmarks of the city, which drew much inspiration from its American cousins. All crowned by a warm welcome and an exceptional quality of service.
Grains of sand on the horizon? Disappointments?
It is certain that in Dubai, we will not meet Emiratis inclined to engage in discussion. No need to believe that we are going to remake the world with locals around a hookah. Similarly, it is easy to give in to the sirens of international cuisine rather than local specialties. Enough to stay hungry!
During my stay, I had the chance to visit the Global Village. An incredibly kitsch event frequented by the Emiratis at the exit of the city. THE Global Villageit’s like a huge international fair with pavilions welcoming the countries of the world. I went there in the evening and that’s where I tasted the traditional dishes. The event does not present any real interest apart from the shows. But, at least, we rub shoulders with local families and we see another face of the city.
So, going on vacation to Dubai or not?
We can affirm it: Dubai is a ideal destination outside the summer period. Nevertheless, if you are looking for authenticity, contact with the population, nature in its raw state, it is better to move on. The Sultanate of Oman, a few hundred kilometers away, will be better able to meet all these expectations. Note that the budget will also be different!
I will therefore not hesitate for a single second to go on vacation to Dubai. Especially since many activities remain affordable or even free. Then, the city continues to create new tourist structures (accommodation, amusement park, mall, etc.). I’IMG World of Adventurethe world’s largest indoor theme park, opened in August 2016. And theWorld Expo 2020 promises to be spectacular!