Whilst planning our honeymoon in 2012, the cheapest flights out to Thailand were with Emirates who stop to refuel in Dubai! Although Dubai wasn’t in our original honeymoon plans, I decided to include a 4 day stopover here on the way to Thailand as a surprise for David! He had always wanted to visit, and now seemed like the best time, as flights were no extra cost, just the hotel & food etc. I had hoped to keep it a secret but this didn’t last long as he soon guessed with the dates!
We left Dublin on a Saturday and flew to Dubai with Emirates, arriving there in September it was very hot and humid, and felt like someone had turned on a huge hairdryer! We had 4 days to relax & explore the city, and had already planned a few activities with Trailfinders before leaving home.
We arrived at our beautiful hotel – the 5* Meridien Mina Seyahi, which was set on the beach with a swim up bar, various different restaurants, a spa, a couple of pools and lots more! When we entered our room they had rose petals on the bed and in the bathroom, and a card wishing us a Happy Honeymoon! The room was massive, and very modern. On our first morning we had a complimentary breakfast in our room, which was excellent! We sat at the wee table surrounded by croissants, fresh fruit, fresh orange juice & a cooked breakfast, and with the sun beaming in the floor to ceiling window! This was the life!
On our first full day, we wandered along the beach by the hotel & explored the grounds and facilities including the Club lounge on the top floor, which we had access to for breakfast, afternoon tea & in the evening canapes and cocktails all free off charge (well we paid a bit more for a club room but still great value)!
We then took a taxi to the Dubai Mall where we visited the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building! It is a good idea to pre-book this online, as it often books up in advance and is also cheaper online! We spent most of the day walking around the huge mall, which was in itself amazing with water features. inside the mall there is an ice rink & an aquarium and underwater zoo – the largest suspended aquarium in the world – unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit!
At about 5pm we went up the Burj. The view from the top was breathtaking! We had been up the Empire state building and other tall buildings around the world, but nothing could compare! From the top we could see the sunset in the distance and could also see the dancing fountains from above!
Once it got dark, we viewed the dancing fountains in action before we left to return to our hotel. The fountains go each day and evening on the half hour. Definitely a must in Dubai!
On the morning of day 2 we took a boat trip out from the marina and saw the 7 star hotel Burj Al Arab from the water, numerous Superyachts, the World islands, the Atlantis Palm, the Dubai Marina & the Sheikh’s superyacht & house. We booked this through our hotel, and although we asked for a shared trip, we ended up being the only ones on the boat for the same price! The trip was highly enjoyable & a good way to see some of the sights from a different perspective if time & money permits!
That very same day in the afternoon, we set off for the desert for our Dune Dinner Safari which we had booked with Trailfinders before we left on honeymoon. It cost around £50 each and was money well spent! We were in a 4×4, with another honeymoon couple and a driver & drove for about an hour to the desert, stopping along the way at a shop (where they tried to sell us things that we had no desire to buy) and at a place where you could take a ride on a camel or do some quadbiking! When we arrived at the dunes, we drove convoy-like behind lots of other 4×4 tour groups. The dunes were massive, and to say it was a bumpy ride was an understatement, yet the views and experience were amazing. We stopped along the way to watch the sun disappearing behind the dunes, and Jen was nearly sick whilst many others were sick! Arriving at the ‘camp’ which had been set up for a traditional dinner and bellydancing, we had the chance to take a quick ride on a camel!! This was something which neither of us had done before so we gave it a go. Whilst the getting up and down was a bit ropey we enjoyed the experience 🙂 After dinner and a bellydancing show we made the journey back to the city, fortunately on a level road! All in all we had a great day at the dunes, and this is a must for anyone visiting Dubai or Abu Dhabi as there aren’t many places you can experience the desert!