(DECLARATION: THIS WAS A PAID SPONSORED TRIP, HOWEVER, ALL THOUGHTS ARE MY OWN)
I was recently invited by the Dubai Tourism Board (DTCM) @visit.dubai to be part of an international group of bloggers to visit, discover and experience some of the highlights of Dubai.
Dubai is a remarkable place: a perfect mix of profound traditions and ambitious futuristic vision, wrapped into starkly evocative desert splendour. It is one of the most attractive destinations of the moment - a glamorous playground, a city full of energy, optimism and openness towards people from all over the world.
I was extremely excited about this as I had been on a press trip a few months earlier to Ras Al Khaimah but unfortunately did not have time to explore Dubai, so I was going to take every opportunity to see as much as I could whilst I was here on my four day stay!
We were booked in to stay at Atlantis the Palm @atlantisthepalm which of course I was excited about having previously visited Atlantis Bahamas the year before. I arrived quite late into Dubai so my first night was settling in, catching up with Lisa and Moritz, getting unpacked and resting after the @emirates flight from London.
Atlantis, The Palm is the premier entertainment resort destination in the region and located at the centre of the crescent of The Palm in Dubai. Opened in September 2008, the unique ocean-themed resort features a variety of marine and entertainment attractions, as well as 17 hectares of waterscape amusement at Aquaventure Waterpark, all set within a 46 hectare site.
Day 1. As we were booked into an Imperial Club room at Atlantis the Palm we had private access to the Club Lounge where we decided to take breakfast. There are two Club Lounges at Atlantis the Palm (one in each of the East and West Towers). Both are open all day for breakfast, snacks and drinks throughout the day, not forgetting Cocktail hour! This is all complimentary whilst staying in the Imperial Club Rooms.
We were then picked up by our Transfer to explore the Dubai Miracle Garden @dubaimiraclegarden which of course I was so thrilled about, having seen so many beautiful photos on Instagram!
The Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower garden located in the district of Dubailand. The Garden was launched on Valentine’s Day in 2014. The Garden occupies over 72,000 square metres, making it the world’s largest natural flower garden with over 100 million flowers! Entry is just 40 AED (approx £8) so well worth the visit.
Next we took our Transfer to visit Dubai Madinet Jumeirah to spend the rest of the day to explore. I had previously done some research and found a lovely restaurant right on the beach called @shimmersonthebeach. After our excellent lunch we captureed photos on the beach with the Burj Al Arab in the background!
Obviously another bonus for me is that Shimmers serves Greek Food which most of you know is my favourite being that Greece is my second home.
We were taken up in the Balloon by Chief Pilot Peter Kollar. Having flown in UAE since 2005. Balloon Adventures Emirates is one of the world’s most experienced hot air balloon companies with operations in the UAE and in Europe. A world leader in flying passenger balloons, it has world records to match!
The experience was like a magic carpet ride over a desert, with endless oceans of sand dunes and sparkling emerald green oases. A bonus was witnessing a falcon show from 3000ft in the air!
Once back on terra firma we were picked up by an historic open top 1950’s Land Rover to drive us through a private desert conservation reserve to an authentic Bedouin camp. Here we enjoyed a gourmet breakfast of caviar, smoked salmon, eggs Benedict, fresh fruit and more and captured more photos in the desert sand dunes! This was the perfect experience to see the Dubai dessert from above and below.
Our transfer then took us back to Atlantis the Palm for our private Ultimate Snorkel in the Ambassador Lagoon. We were able to gaze upon the ancient ruins of Atlantis swimming between the 65,000 marina animals, including sharks, fish and many species of rays through this huge marine underwater habitat.
We then headed straight to our lunch reservation at Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar @breadstreetkitchendubai located inside Atlantis the Palm. As I’m from London I know of Gordon Ramsay’s fame, so was exited to dine here. Our host recommended a variety of sharing starters including Gordon’s favourite Chicken Wings. I then went with the signature dish of Lobster Tagliolini with a ‘Try Harder’ Mocktail that was so refreshing! Lisa and Morritz both pointed out that they don’t normally dine like this and were as complimentary of the food as I was.
Next we took our transfer to the Dubai Mall to meet our host who took us up to the top of the Burj Khalifa @burjkhalifa. The tallest building in the world, it takes 90 seconds to reach the 125th floor by elevator, all whilst being entertained by an animated light show inside the elevator. We explored both the 124th and 125th floor in time for sunset to view Dubai.
We then headed down to the Dubai Mall @thedubaimall. We went into a couple of the shops and then out to see the water fountain show. Baker & Spice @bakerandspiceme with a view of the fountain was the recommendation for dinner, however we were all so tired from being up at 3.30 am and still full from our amazing lunch we decided to head back to the hotel, start editing footage. Next time I visit Dubai I think I would like more time to explore the Dubai Mall and open areas around the Burj Khalfia and of course try out the Baker & Spice Restaurant.
Day 3. A day at Atlantis! Today we were staying at Atlantis the Palm to explore the property and enjoy all the amenities. We were invited to view the underwater bedroom suites! These suites have three levels and at the bottom level, you will find your bedroom and bathroom completely immersed underwater within 65,000 marine life – amazing!!
I spent the rest of the day exploring the pools, the beach, the private Imperial Club Beach area and of course the Aquaventure Waterpark!
I also went on a tour in The Lost Chambers Aquarium. Lost for thousands of years deep beneath the sea, the ancient ruins of the lost city of Atlantis have finally been uncovered.
I experienced the myth of Atlantis up close and gazed at the 65,000 marine animals that now make it their home.
In the evening we enjoyed a dinner at Dubai’s best Lebanese, Ayamna Restaurant @ayamnadubai also located inside Atlantis The Palm. The food was amazing and the outdoor area so pretty with all the flowers and candles! We spent hours here dining on a fresh seafood platter, mixed grills and chatting about our time so far and plans for 2018!
Day 4. An early start again for a private underwater yoga session in The Lost Chambers before breakfast. A first of its kind in the region the session was set against the mesmerising tranquillity of the Ambassador Lagoon. An opportunity to rejuvenate and restore in a unique aquatic surrounding practising Hatha Yoga, a discipline that helps bring peace to the mind and body. I also took the opportunity to take some extra photos whilst the Chambers were empty!
Later that morning I took a transfer to the famous 7 Star Burj Al Arab @burjalarab, the most luxurious hotel in the World! Visit Dubai had arranged a special pass for me to visit for the day! My page is all about Luxury Travel and Luxury Hotels so of course, a visit to the Burj Al Arab had always been on my list of places to visit!
At Burj Al Arab I enjoyed a lunch at the Scape Restaurant & Lounge. This is a vibrant and chic venue serving Californian fusion cuisine and an eclectic mix of signature beverages set on the stunning azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. It is a remarkable, one-of-a-kind restaurant, pool, beach and cabana space, offering hotel guests and Burj Al Arab members the finest Arabian hospitality.
A breakthrough combination of creative marine design, ingenious engineering and guest-friendly planning, the terrace was built offshore in Finland and transported to Dubai by sea. The private 10,000 square meters outdoor luxury leisure facility now seamlessly stretches 100 metres out into the sea and is home to Scape Restaurant & Bar, two stunning pools, dedicated butler-serviced cabanas, and a beach area with luxury day and sunbeds.
I then headed up to the TALISE Spa in the Burj Al Arab, perched 150 metres above the Arabian Gulf, TALISE Spa is the ultimate destination to luxuriate, relax and rejuvenate. What an experience and I got to enjoy the spa pool with the amazing views all to myself!
Each experience at TALISE Spa has been carefully crafted and exclusively developed using the world’s most luxurious products to leave you utterly pampered. Bathed in natural light, this groundbreaking spa offers a sanctuary for guests to indulge in an extensive menu of pampering treatments – all designed to reinvigorate and restore.
From facials and organic body wraps to Chakra balancing hot stone massage, each treatment uses the highest quality products and latest methods in personal care.
The spacious TALISE Spa is housed over two levels and boasts enough luxurious serenity to calm even the most hectic lifestyle. You can leave the world behind and reconnect with your inner self in a space that inspires relaxation. A special shout out to Charles the Concierge on the door to Burj Al Arab who kindly arranged my transfer back to Atlantis the Palm.
I spent my last evening taking some photos around the property and dined at Dubai’s favourite steakhouse, Seafire @seafiresteakhouse also located inside Atlantis the Palm. I had the Asian Broth-Coconut, Lemongrass, Chilli Fresh Steamed Mussels to start filled by Atlantis Signature Black Onyx Beef Sirloin with Chimichurri sauce, I can honestly say this was one of the best steaks I have ever had.
It was now time to say goodbye to Lisa and Morritz as they had a red-eye flight back to Germany and I had to pack for an early flight back to London.
Dubai has now become one of my top city & beach destinations to return to in 2018. Although we were here for only 4 days we experienced so much in the fast packed schedule and there is still so much more I want to see and do.
Below are some photos from my trip with Visit Dubai.
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