What to Do in Dubai?…
Planning a trip to Dubai? We’re here to help! Ever since we’ve returned from the surreal SkyDive experience in Dubai, we’re being pinged by friends & family to help plan their trip.
The best part about being a traveller is when you inspire people to travel. It’s so fulfilling! So, here we are, reviving Lyf&Spice, and as the phoenix rises from the ashes (err… sands of travel time), here’s hoping we continue inspiring our readers. Rest assured, you’ll find more stories in this space that you & we collectively own.
Honestly, we just went to Skydive over the extended Halloween weekend. So, this post has more of SkyDive, and less of the rest of Dubai. But hey, we never disappoint (at least we hope so)! We’ve thrown in handy tips for everything else too!
Hey Jumpers, Let’s SkyDive
We booked the Tandem SkyDive from Skydive Dubai. This was the best way I (Aditi) could conquer my fear of heights. (Now, who doesn’t love a good challenge?!) The fee included a video.
If you want a similar experience, go ahead and book your slot in advance. It’s totally worth it! We talk from experience!
SkyDive Dubai FAQs:
A lot of you have asked us the do’s and don’ts. Compiling it for you:
- Q: Should I go SkyDiving?
- A: Your wish!
If you do, read on…
- Q: Should you drink the previous night?
- A: Preferably not! Lose some, gain some.
- Q: Do they really check?
- A: Well, if they see you’re Mr. or Miss Wobbly and head’s abuzz, then don’t expect your deposit back!
- Q: What are the steps?
- A: The drill is very organized.
→ Book your slot & pay your deposit → Reach the centre at least 15-20 minutes before your slot → Show your face, get your weight checked → Enter the video training room → Wait for your turn → Fly → Jump → Gather yourself together (heave a sigh of relief that you’re alive) → Wait for 30 mins. or so to collect the pen-drive → Test it at their station → Smile! 😀
- Q: How long does all of this take?
- A: All the above? 3 hours-ish!
- Q: Do they offer pick-up and drop?
- A: Nope
- Q: Which one do I choose?
- A: There are 2: Palm DropZone (AED 2,199) & Desert DropZone (AED 1,699) – depends on your budget and the kind of view you want to experience.
- Q: Cost?
- A: AED 2,199 per person, that’s around INR 45,000 per person. They will try & sell and up-sell their Instagram video package at an extra cost. Trick: If you want to avoid it, simply get your final video, download a video editing app & DIY!
- Q: What do I wear?
- A: Comfy clothes, ‘coz the harness really grips you tight (ouch!)
- Q: Does it get too cold up there?
- A: Doesn’t matter. You’re gonna be sweating your guts out anyway!
- Q: Is it safe, Any other tips, etc.?
- A: Seriously? Go check it out for yourself!
Dubai Travel Tips
Here’s a rundown of all that you need to know and can do in Dubai, right from taxis and food to malls and places to stay.
1. Understanding Dubai:
The first step is to understand the city, dissect its roads and figure out which spot you would be interested in.
Let’s divide Dubai into 3 parts for convenience:
Diera (N) — Dubai Creek — Bur Dubai (S)
- Downtown Dubai: Dubai Mall (largest mall – Fashion Avenue), Burj Khalifa, Dubai fountain
- Dubai Creek/ Al Khor: (9-mile stretch) souks, Dubai museum, abra-ride: AED1/head
- Dubai Marina: city-scape, water-side restos, Dubai Marina mall
- Bur Dubai: The oldest neighbourhood,it’s best explored walking, has the Textile souk
- Madinat Jumeirah: Think of it as a complex that has it all – theatre, 40+ restos, Souk Medinat – outdoor mall, trad-mod eateries, shops.
A’s Walking Tours: Hah! That’s what we call our tailor-made tours.
(a) Souk Tour:
The Souks: You’ll find the Gold, Spice, Perfume Souks to the Deira side of Dubai Creek
Textile Souk: It’s a short abra or water taxi ride away, on the opposite bank in Bur Dubai
- Start point: Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai to End point: Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek. Check out the Dubai Walking Guide for mapping it out.
- Suggested time to walk: Morning, early afternoon
- Major landmarks: Arabian Tea House, SMCCU, XVA Gallery, Textile Souk, Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Radisson Blu Hotel Dubai Deira Creek and more.
(b) Museum & Old Dubai Tour:
- Start at: Al Fahidi Metro Station, Exit #1
- Route: Try this – Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (vintage-styled cafes, narrow lanes, cultural centres) → Coffee Museum → Dubai Museum → Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum’s House (wind tower, regional architecture) → Dubai Creek → Old Souk
2. What to Eat in Dubai?
A trip to the Middle East is incomplete without (over-)eating all that the beautiful city has to offer. Needless to say, the shawarmas, machboos, kabsa, tabbouleh salad, qahwa, dates etc. are to die for! We tried lots of dishes at Karam Beirut, Al Halaba and a lot of outlets at Downtown Dubai and the malls. A special mention of stuffed lamb has to be made, the aroma and flavour of which left us longing for more. It had meat served on a bed of rice, topped with nuts. Here’s a Dubai Food Guide by my all-time fave food blogger Mike Weins (Migrationology) that’ll give you an insight into what to eat in Dubai.
How do you get around Dubai? 2 ways: Taxi and Metro.
- Metro ride: Pick an NOL card, which is valid for 5 years all around UAE, and pre-load it. You can buy it at the airport itself.
- Cab Service: Download Careem, right now! Of course, there’s Uber to the rescue, always! Psstt… NOL card works on Careem. Click on the Hala (Dubai Taxi) for that, not on the other tabs like Economy, Business etc., if you want to use it, but do check before your ride starts.
4. Burj Khalifa:
Over-hyped? Not at all. There’s more than meets the eye! Either head to the top, pay a fee and get a bird’s-eye view of the city, or simply head to Dubai Mall to witness the laser show by the Khalifa!
Laser show timings:
- Tue – Wed : 7.15, 8, 9 p.m.
- Thurs – Sat : 6.45, 8, 9.45 p.m.
- Sun – Mon : Whoopsy! (basic laser and Dubai fountain by the Khalifa)
5. The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah:
If you head there during special occasions such as Diwali and read all about the extravagant fireworks and Diwali bonanzas, might we add, you’re in for a surprise (and a not-so-good one)! They are overrated, well, at least they were for us. We headed to The Pointe at Palm Jumeirah to watch the fireworks display against the Atlantis that lasted merely 5 minutes. However, the line-up of restaurants by the promenade is a treat to your senses. Both the East and West wings offer cuisines from around the world, calming water views, and a music console to amp up the heat. We’d say spend an evening there – walk, enjoy the breeze and park yourself at a resto. We walked around the wings and completed about 6,000 steps each 😉
- Malls: Mall of the Emirates has some amazing restaurants, Dubai Mall houses the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain, and has some of the best brands within its floors.
- Water: Well, no tap water concept. You’ll have to buy a bottle.
- Desert Safari: We didn’t take it up, but here‘s what you could do!
- Accommodation: There are umpteen places to stay at Dubai. Depending on your focal point, choose to stay at Palm Jumeirah, DownTown, or around Dubai Creek.
– Sheraton Mall of the Emirates: Stayed here for a day and hopped to the mall right down for every meal. Their rooftop lounge is exceptional, and serves not just great views, but good sheesha too.
– Renaissance DownTown Hotel: Hopped here the next day. Dubai Mall is walk-able. The hotel has exceptional rooms, their suites have beautiful washrooms that give total spa feels. However, there’s no good lounge or rooftop bar.
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