Stayed: October 2015 (4 nights)
Room: 1Queen Bed + Bathroom
Overall Rating: 8/10
I stayed at the Ibis Dubai Mall of Emirates when I was in Dubai for 4 nights.
For my travels, I usually always stay in hostels so I can meet other people but I thought getting a hotel for the week would be a perfect way to relax and do my own thing. Continue reading →
Wow what a day!
I’m currently writing this while I wait for my bagel at this place called The Bagel Bar in the Dubai Mall.
This morning I set my alarm for 8.05am. Mainly because I didn’t want to spend money on breakfast and it was already included in my hotel price. And also I was thinking of taking the hotel shuttle to the beach for the morning.
Neither of these things ended up happening haha.
I snoozed my alarm as I was so tired (may have had to do with the late shopping last night)
And then fell back to sleep until nearly 9.30am. Woops.
Breakfast finished at 10am so unless I just went down in my pj’s then it wasn’t happening for me.
I turned my air con off when I went to sleep so I woke up all sweaty and in desperate need of a shower.
I washed my hair and put on a respectable long-ish skirt. (Long at the back anyways) and popped on a scarf thing I used as a shawl.
In Dubai it’s respectable to cover up your knees and shoulders but not everyone does it. Especially if you’re a foreigner and you’re just visiting. I like to think Dubai locals are understanding as it’s so freakin hot I couldn’t even wear pants if I wanted to!
Once that selfie was taken, I went across the road to The Mall Of The Emirates and had a frozen yogurt for breakfast with granola and strawberries.
(That was the only healthy thing I had today btw)
Then went outside to enquire about a sightseeing bus.
As my phone doesn’t have data here (apart from in certain stores and the hotel I’m staying in) It’s hard to get around without my Google maps.
Usually I’d take the metro or something around Dubai to explore but I figured I’d never done a hop on-hop off bus tour before so I’d do one in Dubai. Plus it’d be too stressful without my fave Google buddy to try and navigate myself😦
I bought a 48 hour ticket so it expires midday on Sunday (which is fine as I have a desert drive thing at 3pm on that day)
The ticket cost about $95 NZD which isn’t too bad I guess with the exchange rate.
My first stop I went to was Dubai Mall. Which I know sounds a bit lame as I just came from a mall.
But I just wanted to have a quick look to see how big it really was and figure out how much time I’d need there later.
Well “being quick” turned into 2 hours. My sightseeing ticket included The Aquarium at The Dubai Mall so I went and checked that out while I was there.
I thought it would be bigger than what it was (like more to see) but it was still interesting to look at if you like the Sea life.
I’m not a big fan of marine life. Unless it’s a cute dolphin or some baby penguins so I didn’t spend a lot of time at The Aquarium. However, there were some penguins I took photos of! 😙
When I was finished looking at all the seafood, I went across from The Aquarium to the very large and colourful candy store!
I was going to buy my brother some caramel popcorn but I knew it would just end up getting all crushed in my bag so I decided against it. I actually left the store with nothing which is a first for me!
This year I did 8 months without candy and I actually don’t feel like it as much as I always used to. 🍬🍭 so that’s a great thing!
I decided to get some lunch so headed upstairs to the food court.
And wow was i spoilt for choice! I can never make up my mind about anything because I’m scared I’ll get one thing and then end up wishing I got something else so this was hard for me 😯
Anything you could probably ever imagine wanting to eat was avaliable at the food court. And to think they still had a whole other level of restaurants in the mall was just crazy!
I ended up getting a Thai curry as I hadn’t had one in awhile.
I should have gotten something else though because myself and like 5 other people waited ages for our meal. I was standing there as 2 other people pretty much yelled at the counter worker because they’d been waiting for over half an hour for their meals.
Eventually I got my food and it wasn’t even worth the wait. 😧
Even though it does look pretty good in that picture, there just wasn’t enough flavour and spice for me.
I didn’t want it to get too late so I hopped on the next Sightseeing bus and headed off to see some more places. We passed Union House which is where the documents were created and signed which created the Arab’s world’s historic federation of the states (The UAE).
Then we passed the Jumeirah Mosque which is the only Mosque in Dubai open to the public. And one of the most photographed in the world.
I didn’t actually stop here, I think I assumed since it was a Friday it would be closed (as Friday in Dubai is like our Sunday)
We then went through Kite Surf Beach, Suqeim Public Beach and Burj Al Arab which is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
When you think of Dubai you usually think of this building.
Unfortunately I didn’t get the beeest picture of it because the sky wasn’t super clear but I tried!
The next stop I got off at was one of the many Souks Dubai has. A Souk is a traditional market where gold, jewellery, spices, textiles, womens garments etc… are sold.
It was nice to walk around the Souk I went to because it was kind of inside a small mall type area and it was nice and air conditioned! Haha.
Can I just say also, the amount of people that shop in Dubai is insane. There’s literally so many people coming to and from malls in their fancy cars and hoards of shopping bags. Do people not work??
I checked out Atlantis At The Palm after the Souk. It’s basically this amazing resort where I would absolutely love to stay at!!
I’ve looked into it before and it’s so bloody expensive I can’t believe I was even allowed to enter it without being told off for breathing in rich people’s oxygen.
It was the first resort to be built on The Palm back in 2008 and has 1,539 nautically Atlantis themed rooms. It also has two accommodation wings, also referred to as The Royal Towers which are both linked together by the Royal Bridge Suite. (That’s where you want to stay if you ever stay there! Haha)
It also has the Aquaventure water park and a beach called Nasimi Beach which frequently has concerts and other events. 😍
I checked out the mall downstairs when I was there but couldn’t really afford anything so left and waited for the next Sightseeing bus.
I ended my journey back at The Dubai Mall (the one 15 minutes from my hotel) as I wanted to watch The Fountain Show. The Fountain Show started at 6pm and goes every half hour after that. It’s the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake which is right outside the Dubai Mall downstairs. It was built at USD $218 million and made by the same company that did the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.
I didn’t actually get to see the fountains until about 7pm coz it took me forever to find them going through that great big mall. Plus I got distracted in Victoria Secrets along the way….
Eventually I saw them and it was really pretty to watch. Very very crowded though so I’d defiantly get there a bit earlier to be up the front if you ever went. Personally I didn’t want to stand outside in the heat so happily watched it from behind hundreds of people haha. The perks of travelling solo, doing whatever you want.
Update: I finished writing this blog when I got to my hotel
Once I finished my bagel that I was eating at the start of this blog, I decided it was probably time to head home so grabbed a taxi about 11pm.
Thank god I had some cash with me because the ATM wouldn’t accept my card when I tried to get money out. I think it’s because the magnetic strip had come off and it only had the chip so the ATM’s wouldn’t let it go into the machine. It that makes sense…
Anyways, cabs here don’t do card so I just had the right amount to take me back to my hotel!
(These were not the fountains by the way, these were other small fountains outside the front entrance)
When I got back, I went and got some ice-cream after putting all my bags down in my room. What a day of shopping I’ve had!
I got up really early this morning so I could be at the airport on time for my 10.20am flight.
My hostel room mates were probably thinking wtf is this girl doing, she’s up at 6am but has been sleeping in until 10am for the past two days haha.
Anyways, my alarm went off and I got myself up and out of bed.
I had a shower, cleaned my teeth and moisturised my skin in preperation for that very air conditioned flight I was about to embark on.
Being in a metal tube dries your skin our guys! You have no idea how dehydrated I get. Everything from my eyes, lips and legs get dry from flying. 😣
I’ve been using this Johnson baby moisturiser (don’t even ask why, I think it was the only thing they had at a store in Croatia) but it’s really not doing the job so I’ll have to go and invest in another one.
I was all ready by 7am so loaded my bag onto my back without falling over. Grabbed my smaller backpack and my Victoria Secrets duffel bag and was on my way to check out at the hostel reception. I got my €5 deposit back (I borrowed a towel as I left mine in croatia) and proceeded to walk to the Termini (the train station in Rome)
I bought my ticket from one of the self -ticket kiosks and then kind of wandered around looking at the boards trying to figure out what train I was meant to be on. I’m not gonna lie, it was a bit confusing for me!
After confirming with someone, I found my plat form and stuck my ticket in a machine so it could get ‘validated’
I didn’t even know you had to do that, I just saw like 5 machines at the platform and stuck my ticket in which then put a stamp on it. I didn’t see anyone else do it so I hoped I hadn’t cancelled it or something.
Funnily enough, when I got on the train and the ticket guy came round clipping everyone’s tickets. He told off half of the carriage for “NOT VALIDATING YOUR TICKET!!”
But in their defense, they don’t make it very obvious to know what to do.
So just a heads up when you go on the train in Rome, if there’s these green ticket readers on your platform when you’re waiting, stick the bar-code bit of your ticket in there 😉 and you’ll be just like a local!
The train took about half an hour to the Airport.
When I arrived, I got out and found my check- in terminal easy enough. As I’d already checked in online I just had to drop my 2x bags off and collect my boarding pass.
I went quickly through customs, (they seemed very laid back in Rome). And then I had a look around duty free but didn’t buy anything.
I’m kind of waiting to buy some perfume at the duty free when I leave Dubai as I hope it’s a bit cheaper.
I did get this yummy croissant for breakfast though 🙂
I boarded about 10.20am and left Rome about 11am.
I’d never flown Emirates before but even before I flew with them they’ve been one of my favorite airlines haha. (I read too many blogs of girls working for Emirates doing flight attending I think)
We got hot towels at the beginning and end of the flight. The movie choices were great and the cabin crew were really nice and friendly.
The only downfall was whenever they had a PA announcement it’d cut into whatever you were watching and it was SOOOO FREAKIN LOUD.
I got a fright every single time and had to quickly pull my earphones out when I was watching a movie.
I decided to watch the Disney Movie ‘Inside Out’ which didn’t capture my attention too much.
I got half way through it and then switched it over to The Notebook for something more serious. I swear will never get sick of that movie 😍😍
Even if it does make me cry I love it.
We got served this roast chicken and broccoli dish for lunch which was all good. Also some little crackers and cream cheese and peri dip stuff along with some pesto pasta and a chocolate mousse for dessert 🍪 all very edible!!
We didn’t land until 6.40pm Dubai time but we all got off the plane pretty quickly.
I’m so dumb, i assumed I’d have to find my way to my hotel and was wondering how much a taxi would cost when I hear “Miss Horner!” And saw some lady holding a sign with my name on it.
I was like “um yes, that’s me!” Thinking I was in trouble for something.
She then proceeded to take me to this desk and gave me this welcome booklet along with directions on where to get my luggage and where to meet afterwards for my car to take me to my hotel. I completely forgot I had organised this with the travel company Student Flights before I left. Hahaha. I’m such an idiot.
Oh well, It took some stress off me! I should have done that with all the countries I’ve been to but I guess it’s a good experience taking public transport in new cities. Because it’s nearing the end of my trip, my bag is getting a touch too heavy so I appreciate these taxi’s.
I was dropped off at my hotel which is really close to the Mall Of Emirates. I thought that was the main mall but it turns out it’s not, The Dubai Mall is the MAIN one and The Mall Of Emirates is the second largest one in Dubai. 😯 so much shopping to do!
As soon as I’d checked in, I put all my stuff on the floor in my hotel room, spritzed myself up a bit after my 6 hour flight and headed over to the mall. It was around 8.30pm by this stage but apparently the malls don’t shut until midnight here. (Apart from on Friday’s, that’s like their Sunday so they shut early I think)
When I went outside, phew it was humid. I think it was about 29° degrees here and that was at night time. The heat kind of reminds me of Thailand.
The mall was actually really close so in about 5 minutes I was inside and away from the heat.
I went and grabbed some dinner first, I was going to go to The Cheesecake Factory as I never went when I was in America! But decided that was more of a ‘don’t eat much during the day to prepare’ type of meal so headed upstairs instead to the food court.
I then had the hard decision of eating at the good ole’ American Shake Shack for the first time (as I missed then when I was in the USA as well) orrrr…. head to Burger Fuel where I know their burgers are just great as we have it in New Zealand.
I decided on Shake Shack haha. I can wait until I get back home for Burger fuel though.
I ordered a Shack Burger – which is basically their most basic cheeseburger and some crinkle cut fries.
Along with a black and white shake for my drink (and mixture of vanilla custard and chocolate fudge)
The burger was tasty, nothing to rave about but I’m glad I can say I’ve had it now! The fries were really good too.
When I was finished, I decided to explore the stores. I had a look at the new Samsung Note 5’s they have out at the moment. I’m tempted to buy one even though there isn’t anything wrong with my phone right now. I just think it’s time for a little bit of an upgrade… haha. Plus the camera on my phone is terrible at night time that it’d be nice to have a better 18 mega pixel one 😉
I went to the Nike store as well and bought 2 new gym tops. I need some motivation for when I get back home to hit the gym hard! Even though I think looking in the mirror will be enough motivation 😣
I also checked out their big supermarket/tech store/warehouse type store they had. I think it was like a Dubai Walmart really haha.
I bought some chocolate for some gifts back home and then went off to Sephora to have a browse. I actually ended up getting my eyebrows done at the Benefit Brow Bar as the hairs were in desperate need o being waxed off. I also bought a Sephora Branded eye mask.
I really really want to buy the Glam glow mask Sephora sells, it’s just so expensive! But it plays on my mind every single time I’m in Sephora. I’ve just read lots of great reviews that I really want to try it 😍
By midnight, I was still at the mall trying on bras in Victoria Secrets. (which I didn’t end up buying as they didn’t have the colour I wanted)
I decided to leave after that but couldn’t really find the entrance I came in at. 😕 I walked around the mall for ages and left out one entrance then realised it was the wrong one. I had to ask 3 different people to point me in the right direction to my hotel. It was all just so confusing!
Eventually I made it back just before 1am haha. Apparantly I was on the opposite side of the mall in comparison to where my hotel was located. Silly meee.
Now I’m in bed, I’ve had a shower, scrubbed my face with my wonderful MAC exfoliating ash and I’ve got my Origins overnight masque on with my Sephora Eye Mask around my eyes haha.
Feeling very hydrated right now!
Tomorrow, I’m gonna set my alarm and try and make the hotels free shuttle at 11am for the beach!