Our first real “adventurous” type trip with our munchkins was to Dubai. It was a crazy emotional trip bc we were on our way to meet and bring home one of our son’s who was born in Ethiopia. At that time we already had three biological munchkins and with such a long trip my mama heart just couldn’t bear leaving them all. So, like any
super crazy wise parent would do we decided we would take the oldest along for the journey. And, boy what a journey it was.
There were no direct flights into Ethiopia so we took a flight that had a layover in Dubai. We figured we would stay a few nights to help catch up with the jet lag before meeting our son and beginning that emotional journey. I was so glad that we made that choice as Dubai was a really amazing place to explore.
Here is us getting ready to go. I used to be SO scared of flying so the 16 hour flight had my nerves in a tizzy 😉 All that luggage was mostly donations for the orphanage our son was from… I know you what you were thinking’ “That women is CRA-zay to lug all those suitcases and tubs half way across the world with her.” But, see now you can just chill.
The flight went surprisingly well. We flew Emirates and they took great care of us. They had a wonderful complimentary kids entertainment backpack filled with goodies that kept my munchkin happy and I remember feeling like they were serving us food, beverages and snacks constantly. I highly recommend flying with them.
Next up we arrived at our hotel- The Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai we were in a rush when we booked the hotel (in adoption you are so focused on the child and getting all of the legal work done when you pass court you realize that you should have booked your trip weeks ago) so we weren’t really sure what we were going to get. My hubby’s dad had points that could be transferred to this Jumeirah Beach Hotel so that is where we ended up. Little did we know what a fantastic choice that was. We arrived in the room all haggard after our flight. We walked towards the window to check out our view and low and behold there was the Burj Al Arab Hotel– the symbol of modern Dubai right in front of us. SO cool!!! Do you know it has a helicopter pad… optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce. I mean that place is the pinnacle of luxury. It was amazing just to look at it to be honest. And, super fun to take pics in front of- ha!!
I am not sure why they had these camel statues all around Dubai… looked like some sort of art display as they were all uniquely painted. Something else we weren’t sure of was what was up with breakfast. We had trouble finding any restaurants open early for a traditional American timed breakfast (8-11am). What we did notice was that the buffet lines mid morning/ early afternoon were C.R.A.Z.Y. so I am thinking that must be the thing to do. We were there for such a limited time though that we didn’t make it to any. Plus, you could pay about $75 USD to eat a buffet breakfast/ lunch or $75 USD to go on a Dune Ride, Camel Ride and Dinner Show. So, we chose the later. The pic below was us ALONE at a restaurant (the entire time we were there we didn’t even see another guest in the restaurant or walking around) catering to I am thinking only American guests who wanted to eat earlier than the buffet that most were attending. The hubs and my munchkin in the ocean in front of the hotel. And, yes! I allowed my munchkin who almost never is allowed any fast food let alone McDonalds… to get a happy meal (ahhh!!! Don’t tell anyone) but he loved seeing their Arabic writing on his little happy meal box. It’s the little things when it comes to kids- ha!
Burj Al Hotel- eh… whatever mom (insert eye rolls)!
McDonald’s in a different language- B.E.S.T. T.H.I.N.G. E.V.E.R.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did I mention they have INSANELY HUGE malls… so big they can fit an entire ski slope with chair lifts in it. Snow in the desert… it’s crazy cool!!
Our hotel also had a water park (Wild Wadi Waterpark) which was super cool. And, in case you are wondering bikini’s are fine for westerners on hotel property. I had read conflicting things about dressing in Dubai before we left. It seems like you should dress conservative (cover shoulders, nothing too short, don’t show tummy) around town and hotel property your pretty safe in whatever.
I loved the gorgeous mall right across from our hotel.
We used Arabian Adventures while in Dubai for a sunset Dunes Tour, Dinner & Show and I cannot say enough good things about this company. They are amazingly prepared and all of their equipment is top notch. Every employee tried to ensure you were having the time of your life. They were funny, spoke excellent English and were so concerned with your happiness. It was the highlight of our trip for sure!!
Even the camels were amazing. They were super friendly and their caretakers actually live with the animals so it was amazing to see that connection firsthand. I don’t recommend sitting in the third row seats as my hubs and munchkin felt sick after the dunes. But, otherwise I think you should be fine!
The dinner was SO cool. They had all sort of amazing dishes set up buffet style. I felt as if I walked onto a movie lot… there is nothing but your camp, the sand and the stars. SO… SO… SO… incredible!!!!
They had henna tattoo artists which the munchkin was all over. His first choice was a butterfly… until he realized that might be a tad feminine. He went back for a scorpian- ha! And, the traditional belly dancer was fun to watch too.
I would love to go back to Dubai someday as it was such an amazing experience. I don’t think we were there long enough to capture all it had to offer.