More Touristy Adventures in Dubai

I’ve never lived in a very tourist-y city before: sure, the three (count ’em 3!) cities that I have lived in North Carolina, Houston, and Atlanta are great, but none were exactly where family and friends were flocking for week long trips of the tourist variety. And now, living in Dubai, we’ve had guests aplenty – which I have loved! It’s so fun showing off our new city to family, and even seeing tourists snapping shots of buildings with their iPads on my daily runs is fun as well (unless there is a huge flock of them, refusing to get out of my way, in which case, not as much fun) 😉 Either way, I’ve loved learning about Dubai and then “showing it off” to our visitors over the past few months! Here’s a quick recap of the rest of my mom’s trip here:

Abu Dhabi was a big hit with my mother – she really liked the more laid back feel of AD, plus we met up with one of her fellow expat friends from Singapore, who coincidentally moved to Abu Dhabi about two years ago. We met at her villa near the corniche and headed to lunch at a great cafe on the third floor of the ONE department store – delish! Of course we saw the Grand Mosque, and left Abu Dhabi with a gorgeous wool rug for my mom and great time with her friend, Sandy.

Rocking our abayas and pashminas, turned hajibs at the Grand Mosque

Rocking our abayas and pashminas, turned hajibs at the Grand Mosque

Thursday night, we went to dinner on the Palm at the One and Only (we find this ironic – oh the irony – as there are actually two One and Only hotels in Dubai) – we had reservations at the 101 Dining Lounge at the hotel, and it was AMAZING! The vibe is super swanky and cool, but the food lives up to the decor and views of the marina and water. My mom and I split a delicious paella and Barr had amazing scallops. (For any gluten free eaters, this is a great spot! I told them about my celiac diagnosis when I made the reservations, and the table had GF rolls for me and the chef came out to confirm my food selection was also gluten free – great service!)

The mini Simpson/Blanton crew at dinner

The mini Simpson/Blanton crew at dinner

The views of the marina were spectacular!

The views of the marina were spectacular!

Gorgeous pool area at the hotel

Gorgeous pool area at the hotel

On Friday, we took the Dubai ferry across the marina, past the Palm, the Burj al Arab and downtown all the way to the creek. This route only runs on Friday mornings at 11AM – highly recommend it (if you arent enjoying an amazing Dubai brunch, that is!)

Helloooo there!

Helloooo there!

 

We ended up at the gold souk (how on earth did that happen?! ;)) and couldnt resist a classic tourist shot in front of the wares:

photo 4444Of course, it is a great time to visit the desert as a tourist in Dubai, and OF COURSE we did that with my mom in town – camel riding, ATV riding, and dune bashing!

Great morning in the desert

Great morning in the desert

On a desert safari, definitely spring for the ATV ride!

On a desert safari, definitely spring for the ATV ride!

Checking out the baby camel - just 2 weeks old!

Checking out the baby camel – just 2 weeks old!

Obviously pondering life and wistfully looking off into the distance atop a camel

Obviously pondering life and wistfully looking off into the distance atop a camel

The last big tourist event we embarked upon was a day trip to Oman – definitely touristy, but a different thing to do if you are visiting the area – the landscapes are so different than those you see in the city as well as the desert. We had a two hour car ride to the coast (north of Dubai), followed by a dhow boat ride around the fjords (long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs – dont worry, we had to look it up to confirm what that meant!) – the dhow dropped anchor in a little bay where you could swim or go to the small beach. It was a little chilly so we opted to just stay on the boat and chat – this would have been even better had the weather been a tad warmer! It was a fun way to spend the day nonetheless, and was neat to pass by Zighy Bay, where Barr and I spent a few days on our honeymoon.

Passing by Zighy Bay in Oman

Passing by Zighy Bay in Oman

We had a great time, and now I feel fully equipped to recommend fun day trips, tourist attractions and spots to eat/drink/shop to future visitors 🙂 Of course it will always be evolving, but it is always fun to try new stuff out (or go back to your favorite places!) Dubai is such a great place to go visit, and we’re so happy our families have been over to see us – my dad was actually in Saudi the week my mom was here, so we felt that he was with us in Middle Eastern spirit! Until next time…

 

2 responses to “More Touristy Adventures in Dubai

  1. Looks like you had a great time! I haven’t visited AD or Oman yet (embarrassing, I know) but both places look beautiful. 101 on the Palm is also one of my favorites:)