A Luxurious Week in Dubai

Last October my mom and I went to Iran and Dubai for two weeks to visit our family and friends. 

I'm Persian, and was born in Iran and moved to the United States when I was 2. While I grew up in America, I've always felt a deep connection with my middle eastern roots. I've always loved the culture, music, art and architecture. When I see anything that resembles the Middle East I feel at peace, and it makes me think of my home and my family. 

I grew up with very little family in the United States. My mom's sister lives here with her family, and then there's my parents and myself. I grew up with a very small family, but in reality have a very large family overseas. Since I was 5 years old my mom and I would take a trip back to Iran so I could grow up around my family and understand the culture. Because of these trips I can speak Farsi fluently and I even learned how to read and write Farsi (I'm just slow at it!). 

I'm very proud to be Middle Eastern, and I love taking trips every few years to visit. 

While the majority of my family lives in Iran, I do have a few cousins that live in Dubai (a city in the United Arab Emirates), and of course no visit would be complete without visiting them. 

I love Dubai. 

It's a luxurious city known for high-end shopping, modern and traditional architecture and a lively nightlife. Every single corner of Dubai is Instagram worthy. It's a cosmopolitan city and you wont' find another city like it in the Middle East. 

 
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This was my second trip to Dubai, and while I already saw so many of the places I visited my first time around, I was still taken away by the glittering skyscrapers and its metropolitan atmosphere.  

I highly encourage everyone to visit Dubai at least once. If you have a layover in Dubai's incredible airport, you should extend your layover by a few days so you can explore the city. Trust me, it's so worth it. 

If you want to spend the time in Dubai, I would recommend staying for 5-7 days so you can make a trip out to Abu Dhabi to Sheikh Zayed's Grand Mosque (something I still need to do!!).

Since I've been to Dubai twice, I've rounded up my favorite things to do and must see sites! There's so much to do in Dubai, so the opportunities are really endless. 

This travel guide doesn't include where to eat or stay. We were lucky enough to stay with our family so housing and food was free for us (nothing beats a home cooked Persian meal!).

Without further ado, let's dive in! 

 
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How to get there? 

Getting to Dubai is easy! If you have a US passport you don't need a visa to go to Dubai. So you can just book a flight with Emirates airlines directly. The flight from San Francisco or Los Angeles to Dubai takes about 16 hours. It's a really long flight, but flying with Emirates is very comfortable. Their first class is very fancy and bougie, and if you have five figures to dish out on a plane ticket, by all means do it!! Word is you get your private room, access to a shower and a bar. But if you're like, you'll travel in economy, and trust me when I tell you it's one of the best international flights you'll ever have. 

What to wear? 

As a tourist, you can wear your regular clothes. The only time you have to to wear hijab is when you're visiting the Grand Mosque (or any mosque) in Abu Dhabi. On my trip I wore everything from dresses, to tank tops, short rompers and jumpsuits. Dubai is very hot so you'll want to be wearing as minimal clothing as possible. You will also need a few pairs of comfortable shoes as you'll be doing a lot of walking. It also won't hurt to have a hat to protect you from the desert sun.

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What to pack?

  • Dresses, jumpsuits, rompers
  • Comfortable shoes (sandals, flats or sneakers) 
  • A hat
  • A light jacket or cardigan (only needed if you're going in the winter)
  • A portable fan (I love a beautiful hand fan)
  • Sunscreen!!!
  • Hydrating moisturizer and serum (the dry air can make your skin dehydrated)

What to see?

There are so many beautiful and jaw dropping sites to see in Dubai! There's truly no other city like this in the world, so take advantage of this modern cosmopolitan city and all it has to offer. From the world's biggest indoor malls, to the tallest skyscrapers ever made and old middle eastern architecture – Dubai has it all. 

Here are some of my go-to places to visit in Dubai. 

  • Burj Khalifa
  • Burj Al Arab
  • The Dubai Fountain
  • Madinat Jumeirah 
  • Jumeirah Beach
  • Dubai Spice Souk aka Old Souk
  • The Dubai Mall 
  • Mall of the Emirates 
 
 Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

 Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

 Dubai Spice Souk aka Old Souk

Dubai Spice Souk aka Old Souk

 Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

 Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

 Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

 Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

 Gold Souk

Gold Souk

 Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah

 

If you also have the time, you should try and book a dessert safari trip with one of the many tour companies that do them in Dubai. It's such a fun experience to be riding in the dessert in a jeep and going over the sand dunes at sunset. There's honestly nothing more beautiful than seeing the sunset across a dessert. These safaris start with the sand dunes that drop you off to a location for dinner followed by a show. It's an experieince you don't want to miss out on! 

 
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Dubai is so magical and out of this world, it's worth visiting at least once! 

Happy travels! If you have any questions about Dubai, feel free to comment below or send me an email at hibitabella@gmail.com

Happy travels! 

xo, B