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What to see in Dubai


Impressive Dubai

Dubai is a rich place, where they built a luxurious city on desert. Many people dream to go there for vacation, so the tourism developed a lot. It is even easier, since you can go there by Wizzair, a low-cost airline. Since my transfer was in Dubai, I decided to stay there for a few days to see why it is so popular among the tourist. So after Korea I had layover in Dubai, however, I decided to cancel my trip back to Budapest and bought another flight ticket. Therefore I had 5 days in Dubai to sightsee. It didn’t really happen the way I wanted. Simply because of the heat and high humidity.

Day 1 – Heat and amazing accommodation

I arrived to Dubai from Seoul at 4am. I had to ask how to cancel my trip to Budapest, so I went to the connection gate and asked the information desk there. She guided me how to do it and finally it was accepted. I could go out. When I went out they checked my passport and stamped to prove that I entered the country. Since it was dawn, outside was dark, I stayed at the airport until 7am. The metro was only opened at 10am on Friday so I had to find an alternative route to go to my accommodation. So I took bus and I was supposed to get off at Gold Souk, but since the bus didn’t show the bus station’s names and the speaker wasn’t clear either I missed the station.

I got off somewhere at the metro station, but it wasn’t opened yet. I asked a girl how to get to the accommodation. She didn’t know so I showed her I needed to get to this bus station with bus number 8. She told me to take another bus back to Ghubaiba and then take bus 8 to go to my accommodation.

It was really intense, since the weather wasn’t a joke. It was hot and humid. Up to the point I couldn’t breath. Not to talk about my stuff. But luckily I managed to take the bus and arrive to the accommodation. It was still early to check-in so I left my stuff there and went out to eat. The Italian restaurant served a little portion of spaghetti for 42 AED. I think it was a bit overpriced, but I didn’t really have another choice. I wanted to go the beach, but just walking 10 steps and I already felt my face burning so I went back to the accommodation to wait.

I started to read the comic book I bought in Korea, but then I felt asleep. It wasn’t good that I slept in the lobby while people were coming in, so the receptionist told me to sit on the couch on the other side, where people couldn’t see me. I fell asleep again. Then at 12 they told me I could go up to my room. The host waited for me there and introduced the place to me. It was like a Hilton. Private room, private bathroom and the view was ocean view. It was on the 63th floor as well. Everything was good except the air condition. It was too cold. And the worse I couldn’t turn it off since it was connected to other rooms as well. However it was solved correctly.

Ocean view from my room
Night view from my room

On the first day I didn’t go anywhere. I only did my laundry and slept.

Day 2 – Dubai fountain

The next day I went to the store to buy some groceries to cook my meal. Fortunately there was everything in the flat, so I could save money on laundry and food. Then I went to Dubai Mall. I was really afraid of the heat, so I wasn’t in rush to depart. Moreover the view was so satisfying that I was OK to stay in the room for the whole day.

Still I left. I took tram and metro to Dubai Mall. The mall was huge. You can spend whole day there not just because of shopping but another activities as well. For example you can sign up for scuba diving in the aquarium and see the fish in person. I spent a lot of time in a book shop. The theme of the books were so outstanding, that I never saw anywhere before. Really wanted to buy but was lazy to carry home.

Aquarium where people do scuba diving

I ate dinner there. Then I went out to see the Dubai Fountain. Nearby was Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest building as well. I waited until it got dark to see the Dancing Fountain. That fountain is considered to be bigger than the one in Las Vegas. And it was spectacular. I really loved it.

Then in the evening I took the same transportation to go back to the accommodation. The nightview was amazing as well. Dubai’s roads were in lights. I could sat by the window for the whole night.

Day 3 – Disappointed but impressed

The next day I had a plan for the whole day. So I went out to take the bus, but it would only come after 25 minutes, so I tried to find an alternative route. Luckily a taxi driver spotted me and asked where I wanted to go. Honestly I would rather go everywhere by taxi in Dubai. The price was 20 AED from my place: Jumeirah beach to Madinet Jumeirah. The place wasn’t exactly what I thought. It was a shopping place where you could buy authentic parfum, scarf, and many other Arabic stuff. Nearby was a small stream and restaurants on the two side. I went out and walked to find Burj al Arab. It’s a luxurious hotel, where only people with booking could enter. There were guards at the entrance.

From there I took bus to go to Mall of Emirates. It was smaller than Dubai Mall. Here you could ski. Literally ski.

Ski place in Mall of the Emirates
Dubai Marina
Atlantis from Monorail
View of the beach at Palm Island

Then I went back near to my accommodation to Dubai Marina. It is a river with tall buildings on the sides. I thought it would be something more exciting. I wanted to find the beach, which was nearby, but the heat was killing me so I went back. It was still early so I went to the Palm island by monorail. Monorail cost another 30 AED for a return ticket. It was really nice. There were houses where people live and restaurants. The train went all the way to the end of the Palm Island where the Atlantis was. It was a luxurious hotel. Inside there were Aquarium, water park as well. It was spectacular what these people have built up. I went to the beach but it was stoned so couldn’t access there. I went back. Arriving home, I only had a rest, ate fruits and then went to bed.

Day 4 -5 – Relax to leave

The next day I left early when the weather was still cool to see the beach. It was nice.  There wasn’t a lot of people yet. Then I took the metro to Al Fahidi, the historical part of Dubai. I had to change from metro Red to metro Green. However, when I arrived, google maps didn’t work and it was VERY HOT. Even the umbrella couldn’t help. There weren’t a lot of people on the road only the construction workers. Wherever I went there was a construction, I didn’t know the way, people stared at me, I was hungry and above all the sun was killing me, so I turned back to the metro and went home.

I cooked my lunch and then stayed at home for the whole day to write blogs.

The next day was my last day. I stayed until the check-out time. Then I took the bus to Ibn Mattuta Mall. It has an Egyptian style which I liked a lot. I didn’t stay for long as I thought the airport would have restaurant so I wanted to eat there. I took F55 airport bus to Al Maktoum Airport. (Also if you want to go to Abu Dhabi, the bus departs from here, Ibn Mattuta station.)

Ibn Mattuta Mall

It is a new airport that is still under construction. Therefore there was NOTHING. And I couldn’t check-in either. SO I just sat and waited, looked back at the pictures. Finally when I could check-in. I ate McDonald’s and waited until my flight.

Overall, I can say Dubai is nice. You can live in luxury. And you see things that you couldn’t have imagined before. It is already impressive what they have created. Since there are many construction in the city I believe in few years there will be even much more interesting things to do and see here.
Personally, the exciting place for me would be Al Fahidi, the old town. I’m more interested in cultural, historical part of the city. I really like the authentic architecture of the houses. But I guess next time, when the weather wouldn’t be that hot I will visit Al Fahidi.

Interesting facts

On public transport there is a designated area for only woman and for people with gold card. And you need to obey the rule otherwise you will be fined.

There are controller. They have machine that can check whether you tap your card or not. So it is advisable to tap it when you get on and off. The system is similar to the one in Seoul. You reload your car at the machines that you can find at the stops. You tap it when you get on and off and the system will take the credit from the card. However you can buy a daily ticket that cost 22AED. So in this term it is more flexible than Seoul.

Almost every bus station has a booth-like place which is air-conditioned. So you don’t have to suffer in the heat while waiting for the bus.

You won’t really meet local people. People who work and you interact with them, they are not from Dubai. They came there from different countries, like Pakistan or even from Africa. You can see locals in the Mall doing shopping. Men wear white clothes, women wear black.

It is hot in Dubai. It is a city built on desert. Since everything is man-made you can see how far a human talent and hard working can go. It is respectful what these people have created.

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Metro opening hours

Public transportation

Dubai public transportation maps

What to see in Dubai