Does traditional blogging exist anymore? I pour my heart and soul into a post with life updates. Anyway, last week, I was lucky enough to visit Dubai. As it’s no secret, my spouse is deployed for six months. He had a few days off, so we decided to make the best of it and take a short vacation there. I can’t say I’ve “always wanted to visit Dubai,” especially in August.
As someone who hates layovers and will likely do anything I can to avoid them, I booked a flight straight from LAX to Dubai on Emirates. Lucky for me, it was an A380, the largest commercial plane and a favorite of mine. Did you know the A380 has two levels of seating? I wanted to sit upstairs, but I couldn’t get a ticket up there.
We stayed in the Palm Atlantis. While it wasn’t cheap, it was the most excellent hotel I’ve ever stayed at. It’s a complete resort with a water park, aquarium, and about ten restaurants, including 3 Michelin-star restaurants. We spent most of our time there, which is weird because we aren’t “resort people” at all. But plenty was to do, and we never felt “too cramped.”
All of my runs were on the treadmill. The low was around 90-95, and the high was 105 with a “feels like temperature” of about 115. It just wasn’t worth it to run outdoors. As I wrote in my newsletter, I had pretty good weekly treadmill runs.
Saturday-Sunday: Day 0 and a 16-hour flight
I wasn’t sure how I would sleep as Dubai is 11 hours ahead of the west coast. My flight left LAX at 4:40 p.m. and arrived in Dubai at 7:30 p.m. the next day. Honestly, the flight went by really fast. I had contemplated getting a first-class ticket, but they were $27,000 (whew), and I couldn’t justify that LOL. But the economy seats were comfortable. I slept 5 hours on the flight, got some blogs done, watched two movies, and read about 800 pages of books. When we arrived in Dubai, I wasn’t tired since it was around 8:30 a.m. PST, but I was able to fall asleep around 11 p.m.
Monday Day 1:
I found myself wide awake around 3 a.m. Again, I wasn’t too tired, but we ended up relaxing at the resort most of the day. We checked out the Aqauaadventure Waterpark and rode some of the rides. Plus, we napped three times and went to dinner at Nobu. I’m not usually a napper one time, let alone 3.
Aqua Adventure was a lot of fun. I haven’t been to a waterpark in a long time, but what I *really* liked about the Aqua Adventure was the lazy river wasn’t that lazy. It had rapids, and you could take waterslides to enter it. It was kind of the center of the waterpark, and I enjoyed my time there.
Nobu is one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to. It has a Michelin nod and is located at the Atlantis Resort’s top. While it is primarily Japanese, they have a lot of fun options.
Tuesday Day 2:
In the morning, we went to the aquarium. While the aquarium in the Atlantis Palm isn’t huge, it’s still really cool to see, and they have a lot of fun sea life. It took us about 30 minutes to walk through. My favorite was the giant eels. I guess I didn’t know how giant eels could be.
We left the resort and headed into downtown Dubai to the world’s largest mall. We walked about 4 miles in the mall and checked out several stores. Most stores are similar to US versions, but it was cool to check it out.
We ate at Asma, a Middle Eastern restaurant, and grabbed cake from a local spot. We also went outside and looked at the Berj Kulifa, the largest building in the world. You can go up, but we decided we didn’t want or need to.
In all, it was a great day. Going to a mall wouldn’t seem “that cool,” but the world’s largest mall was! It had every store you could imagine, from US to UAE stores. We walked about 4 miles in the mall itself.
Wednesday, Day 3:
On Wednesday, we decided to relax at the beach and the pool on the Palm. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the ocean temperature. The US West Coast is so cold, but I knew the Gulf would not be cold. But when it was warm (around 82 degrees) and it was super salty. It was so salty; every cut or minor cut burned when I got in. We only lasted about 5 minutes in the water before we decided it was too hot. Then we headed to the pool, more relaxed.
We went back to Nobu because we liked it so much. The atmosphere was great; the food was just as good.
Thursday, Day 4:
We returned to the mall and went to the underwater zoo, home to a 1650-pound crocodile. They had all sorts of animals, and it’s wild how they fit it into a mall. I think my favorites were the crocodile and the bats.
Then, I dropped my spouse off at the airport since his flight left that evening. I stayed at the airport in the hotel because it made sense for my morning flight.
If you fly out of Terminal 2 in Dubai on an early flight, I highly suggest the airport hotel. It was nice and they even had a gym and pool.
Friday Day 5:
I woke up around 4, ran into the hotel from 4:30-6 and made my flight at 8:55. Since the hotel was past security, I could walk down to my super flight friendly. I only got about 5 hours of sleep, but I wanted to be tired for the plane ride so I could sleep. Sadly, that didn’t go in my favor, and I maybe got about 3 hours of sleep.
The flight was delayed, and we ended up leaving about an hour late, but luckily only arrived 20 minutes late. When I arrived, the line for customs was about 90 minutes long. After leaving LAX around 4:40 pm, I didn’t have it to drive home (rush hour traffic meant my 96-minute drive was now 3 hours). So I booked a local hotel and fell asleep soon after arriving.
Overall, I enjoyed Dubai and would go back again. Perhaps in the cooler months! There is a lot to see!
Questions for you:
Have you ever been to Dubai?
What is the longest flight you’ve taken?