I love the usual pre-holiday rush. It makes arriving at my destination, in this case Dubai, feel that much more relaxing. So I finished packing at stupid o’ clock in the morning, beasted through my last day at work for 10 days and then rushed straight to the airport where our bags were waiting for us – because negotiating the rush hour rat race with an unreasonable amount of luggage would definitely not end well. After checking in and racing through duty free (where I picked up these sunnies from Burberry) we boarded, finally stopped to take a breath, snuggled under duvets & woke up in Dubai!
A wall of welcome hot air hits you as you walk out of the airport doors. Then your first sight is the segregated men’s and women’s waiting areas. Er…
After jumping in a cab over to the marina, we checked in at Grosvenor House.
The lobby is full of flowers, candles and spots to lounge. As well as super attentive staff that pamper you from from the moment you walk in… including upgrading us to an obscenely large two bedroom apartment! Highly recommend Starwood Preferred Guest – they always look after you.
So with our tummies rumbling, we left the butler to unpack the bags and went in search of food. Yes, butler. Nope, never leaving.
It’s a hive of activity around the marina with restaurants, cafes, shops, boats and loads of sheesha places. Alcohol is only really served in hotels, it is a muslim country after all, and so sheesha is their social lubricant. Despite this, they have a surprisingly liberal attitude towards dress and alcohol – maybe because around 70% of the city’s population are expats? It seems they’re becoming immune but you do still hear horror stories about people being jailed for a peck on the cheek in public. While it’s wise to broadly respect their rules, for your own sanity more than anything, I think any bad press really comes from the jobsworth actions of a small minority of power tripping rent-a-cops.
After getting distracted by the
twinkly lights sights, forgetting how hungry we were and walking past a Portuguese restaurant twice…ok it was Nandos… we reasoned that if we ordered something different from our usual, then we weren’t being boring and it was totally acceptable to eat there! This is what we ended up with…
Spicy peri-peri chicken skewers, peri-peri humous and fries… Closely followed by bed. Rockstars.