I just came home from a warm vacation, yet my mind is already set on the next winter getaway! Like is there any better time to take a break from the dark (and start the new year!) than with a travel? Don’t think so! Palm trees, sandy beaches, sun, airy clothes and even more sun; if you haven’t booked your winter getaway already you’ll want to continue reading because we’ve gathered some hot tips for you, from a traveller to a traveller. Malin Gaden, fashion editor at Norway’s largest women site KK.no shares her best Dubai – yes, people DUBAI – tips with us. From what to pack to where to stay, eat and shop! We already see ourselves on a sunbed.
Enjoy – and follow Malin at Instagram for even more travel and inspo!
WHY SHOULD WE VISIT DUBAI?
Where do I begin? First of all; it’s not as far away as one might think. A direct flight is three movies and a hot meal from Oslo (translated: seven hours). You can get the sweetest deals for literally nothing, it’s hot all year long, and there’s just so much to do/see/drink/eat.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT DUBAI?
When us Norwegians go on vacation, we usually go to a cozy old town in Greece, the sunny beaches of Spain or a weekend trip to Paris. Don’t get me wrong; that’s not bad, but Dubai are those two things combined. It’s just a different vacation to what many of us are used to, and there is so much to do here. They also have some of the coolest clubs and bars I have ever been to. And did I mention that it’s really hot? It’s really hot. I love it.
WHAT DO WE PACK?
First of all; I do not advise you to travel here during the summer. I mean, I like hot but that is just too much. I have been there in February and late September, and it was 40 Celsius in September. Just saying. I think March or April would be a good time to go there. And you have probably heard that you should dress very modest in Dubai? Well, that hasn’t really been a problem. Of course, if you were to show a little bit too much of everything, you’d probably get a few upsetting looks, but I think you’d be surprised with how chill it actually is.
I will say this though; a lot of the restaurants, clubs and bars require that you dress up. So pack your best heels and dresses! For day time I love wearing a kaftan and some cute sandals. Comfy, chill and cool.
WHERE DO WE STAY?
The options are endless, and so is the price range! You have the world’s most expensive hotel in Dubai, which you have to pay to even enter just to have a look. So if you plan on spending some cash, Burj Al Arab is the place to go/stay. But to be honest, you can pretty much stay wherever in Dubai, and you will be treated like a queen. Areas around Dubai Marina and Palm Jumeirah are a sure thing. Some of my friends have also tried AirBnB and ended up with a giant pent house in the marina. If you’re bringing kids, Atlantis, The Palm is a winner. Here you can swim with dolphins, ride water slides from morning until night, or chill on one of the smoothest beaches I have ever been to. You don’t need to stay here to enjoy this, but you must pay 500 NOK to enter. So if you’re tired of laying by the pool or the beach, I would definitely go here.
Let me just say; if you’re going to Dubai – I would definitely plan out where you’re going to eat. And dinner reservations? Book them in advance! Dubai has some super cool spots, and for breakfast I love going the Füme, Roseleaf Café at Dubai Garden Center, The Pan Breakfast, and Fournil de Pierre (great pastries)!
WHERE TO WE TAKE A BREAK?
Brunch on Friday is like a thing in Dubai – and you’ll find brunch offerings everywhere. And if you just want to relax by the pool/beach/eat all day, you should definitely you go to one of the MANY beach clubs. Most of them charge you to enter, but Barasti Beach Bar Dubai is free and so much fun! During the weekends this is kind of a party scene, but go here Monday-Thursdays and there probably won’t be too many people there.
THE LATE NIGHT DINNER SPOT
Okay. If you’re ever going to Dubai go to Cavalli Club! I mean it is just amazing. AMAZING. It’s owned by Roberto Cavalli himself, and the whole restaurant is just a big party. You need a reservation to get in here, but don’t worry it’s not that hard! Just send an email and they will help you out. They also have the best deals on themed nights where you can get unlimited prosecco and sushi for 680 NOK. On Sundays they also do a shows throughout the night, AND you get unlimited food and drinks for the same price. Before the show starts they show Cavallis runway show on the big screen. It’s just amazing. Make sure you book a table at Buddha Bar too. Start your night by walking down the beautiful marina, and eventually you will end up at Buddha Bar. Great food and super cool surroundings.
WHERE DO WE GO FOR DRINKS?
Level 43 Sky Lounge is the highest rooptop bar in Dubai, and it has the most amazing view. 40 Kong is also really cool. Q43 is both a restaurant and a bar. I went there for dinner, and if you want to have a quite meal – don’t go here. I would definitely go back to have drinks, though!
SHOPPING SPOT NO.1
So this is probably tourist trap numero uno, but you have to go Dubai Mall. It is the largest mall in the world, and it contains pretty much everything you could ever want. Mall of the Emirates is also really cool. If you ever miss Norway while you’re there, they have a skiing facility. Make sure you also go to a souk and get yourself some reasonable gold – very cool experience. I mean, who can forget the scene with Carrie Bradshaw in Abu Dhabi in Sex and The City 2?
Inside Dubai Mall you’ll find everything, and they have gigantic makeup stores such as Sephora. I would definitely check out the makeup stores because they have a lot of products that hasn’t even come to Norway yet. Just a few months ago when I was there, I got my hands on some Gucci makeup! And yes, it was amazing.
Even though a lot of tourist know about this, a camel safari is so much fun. Ask the hotel you’re staying at to help you find one that you like. The one I went on started out with driving around on the desert sands in a Jeep towards a camp where we had traditional food and tea, got our hands painted with henna, and then finished off sandboarding and riding camels.