Dubai holds a very special place in my heart as for the most part I have always dreamt and talked about visiting Dubai. When the opportunity came in October to visit Dubai, I knew I was in for an amazing Dubai travel experience. Preparing for my trip in November, I surfed the internet for every bit of information from what to wear, where to stay, things to do in Dubai, currency change etc. and only a few tips came in handy.
I found Debwrites blog post on travelling solo to Dubai very helpful as she recently got back from Dubai. I was in and out of her dms and calling for any information. While applying for visa can be easy, you need a return ticket to get a visa to Dubai and apply at least 2 weeks before your travel date. If you are like me wondering what my Dubai travel experience was like, allow me to indulge you.
Bags packed, I ensured I had my e-ticket, visa, hotel reservation and international passport ready to head out to an amazing Dubai travel experience. My flight was scheduled for 12:25pm. Few minutes past 10am, I was headed to the airport. I got to the airport at 10:15am, as my house was about 30minutes drive to the airport. Checked-in, filled immigration and customs forms and headed for Immigration check.
Here are few questions to have in mind, most especially travelling alone as a young woman:
- Is this your first time travelling?
- Who is sponsoring your trip?
- Where do you work?
- How long are you staying?
- How much do you have on you?
I answered their entire question except that I was expected to travel with a minimum of a $1000. I told the immigration officer I had only $600 in Dirhams plus a working card. She obliged to let me through at first. I told her that, travelling with $1000 will make me spend all my money plus I had my card in case I needed extra money. Then she said she is letting me go because I am a blogger just as her daughter. Make sure to have your return tickets with you and hotel reservation while you answer all their questions. Moved past Customs handing over the form filled to them and headed to the waiting lounge for boarding.
Connecting flights from Addis Ababa, I could not sleep throughout the flights. Thank God, there were movies to watch as I indulged myself until I arrived at 2:00am in Dubai. Another immigration check that was hassle free and involved taking a picture of your face and stamping of your passport. I then headed to the carousel to pick my bags.
I knew I needed to make calls and use data for work and getting a new sim card with call and data subscription cost 150 Dirhams, which is approximately 15,000. To avoid call and data issues, I got a Du sim card at the airport with call and data subscription that would last me through my stay.
Headed to the exit of the airport, picked a taxi to take me to the hotel I was staying. I checked into the hotel with my reservation and got a room, exhausted and hungry at that time which was about 4:00am. Laid in bed all morning after I unpacked and had my bath. I was so tired, I could not sleep but I had to force myself to sleep after searching for how I was going to go on skydiving. Sky diving was going to cost 1650 Dirhams which was outrageous; I had to cancel and slept afterwards.
I stayed in Hyatt Place which was 200m to Deira market. When I woke up in the evening, I strolled to the market to see what it was like and where to get things. Food are quite affordable in Dubai and I was lucky to find a place to eat, an open buffet for 25 dirhams. I ate what seem to me that I knew and headed back to the hotel.
I chose to use metro because it was the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to move around Dubai City. I got the metro card for 20 Dirhams and loaded it with 70 Dirhams, which was more than enough to take me from one place to the other throughout my stay.
I woke up fully energized. I did my daily morning routine and headed Deira market to search and buy things on my shopping list. Thereafter, I visited Deira City Centre and Dubai Mall for other items I needed to buy. Knowing myself, I was not tempted to buy what was not on my list. Instead I was looking out for good bargains.
After shopping, I took a tour around the Mall; every store had a designated level it belonged. The Fashion Avenue was my favourite level as it had unprecedented collection of global fashion brands. Got yoghurt from Yogurtland and headed to the world’s most spectacular fountain – The Dubai Dancing Fountain, which I missed!
What to wear in Dubai
It seemed not be a problem as you would only see few people (tourist) dressed in outfits above the knee. Just as you dress in Nigeria not exposing parts of your body, you dress in Dubai. Other than that respect yourself, locals, and dress decently. My signature outfit for this trip was T-shirt/blouse and jeans/pants and there was no worry.
I wanted to visit Dubai Miracle Garden. After studying the map for 2 hours, I got ready and headed out to visit the Dubai Miracle Garden, taking note of stops and asking questions how to locate the garden. I came along with clothes made for me by LW Couture which I intended to shoot but ended up with just shooting just on outfit. To get into the garden, I paid an entry fee of 50 Dirhams. I was in awe when I got to the garden, who would not? – The garden came out from a place that used to be a desert. it is a seasonal floral theme pack and it hold 3 world records.
After that, I had to go the Dubai Mall to catch the Dubai Dancing Fountain. It was a breath-taking extravaganza of water, sound and light with different water expressions set to musical pieces. It was a delight to watch and capture the memories.
Planned to go on a Desert Tour but first I had to do few stops at some shops in Deira market as some people had sent me money to get things for them. Waited in The desert tour scheduled pick up time for 2:30 pm. At 3:00pm, we were on our way to the desert. Our itinerary was visit, the desert karting, desert ride, and dinner in the desert, watch belly dancing and fire display, dressing up in Indian attire, riding on a camel.
At 7:00pm, we were back. My Dubai travel experience has ended. I freshened up and packed my things, rested for 3 hours and checked out of the hotel by 11:00pm to catch my flight back to Nigeria.
Departing Dubai was easier than leaving Nigeria. All I needed was to know the terminal point I was departing from, identify the check in point for my class, as there are various check in points for different classes (platinum members, business class and economy). After getting my boarding pass, I proceeded to immigration check to confirm my passport and boarding pass. Make sure to confirm the gate number and sit close by. The gate number on my boarding pass changed, thanked God I sat close to the information screen, I would have missed my flight back. Also, make sure to identify people who are likely going through your route.
Dubai is a city filled with different things and places to explore. 5 days was not enough time to explore in Dubai. For things to do and places to visit in Dubai, I shared a post on BookingsNigeria.com. In the meantime, you can catch up on Instastory, the highlights of my Dubai trip.
You can contact BookingsNigeria for your bookings: call +2348189416000, social media handles: @bookingsnigeria or visit their website on: www.bookingsnigeria.com
Have you been to Dubai? What do you love about Dubai? Is Dubai a city you would love to visit? What experience do you look forward to?
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