The good thing about Middle East is that countries are separated only by mountains that serve as boundaries. And these so called boundaries do nothing to hinder travelers to jump into exploring one border to another. With this in mind, a day trip in Middle East’s hippest city is likely to happen. Dubai is a two hour drive from Abu Dhabi city. Known to be the favorite city among expats and even locals, Dubai rose to fame around 2006. Construction of high rise buildings and luxurious hotels were booming until the world was hit by the great recession. Most of the ongoing constructions in Dubai stopped, buildings no longer have occupants and foreign-invested companies began to close down, but despite all the downside of the recession, Dubai continues to glitter like the jewel of Middle East.
The trip started around 7:00 am, but the waiting took almost an hour, we left Abu Dhabi around 8:00 am already. The convenient part of this road trip is that we have our own car and driver who knows the road both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. For those who would like to take a day trip to Dubai, you can take the bus. The bus terminal is located at Muroor Road – Taxi Stand. Bus fare is AED 25.00 per person. Unlike private drive, the bus will take 2- 3 hours drive. Also, note to the driving public, when going to Dubai from Abu Dhabi, make sure you have your Salik ready. Usually found on windshields, this stickies are prepaid stickers that automatically deducts when it passes through the tolling gate.
The first part of the road trip is to visit the Dubai Outlet Mall. This semi-warehouse mall houses many brands for apparels and shoes that are factory priced. If you are into sports visit the Addidas, Nike and Puma Outlet shops. If you are into designer clothes, outlet shops are everywhere. Bags and shoes for Nine West and Naturalizer also have their place in the mall. Make-up and perfumes range from 10 AED and up. I bought this Wet n Wild diamond glitter lip sheener which only costs AED 10. Good buys. A day in this mall is not enough. The top level also has a food court wing where you can eat and rest while taking a break from shopping. The Mall opens at 10:30 am.
Next stop, is the Palm Jumeirah beach. We took our lunch there, too bad though because we got there around 1 pm already so the beach was packed. Good spots were already taken. But then, any spot is perfect for the hungry travelers, we settled for on bench near the walkway with no grass to sit on. Boohoo.
Our driver was enjoying taking us around so he took us to Atlantis the Palm. The hotel has this big arc in the middle that truly shoes the culture where the hotel is located. It was a masterpiece. Plenty of people visit the hotel just to have the hotel as a backdrop for picture taking. Facing a serene beach, the hotel is one of a kind.
The last stop was, Dubai Mall. After a long day being under the sun and bombarded with the summer heat, the cool interior of the mall is a welcome relief. Packed with weekend shoppers, the mall was a buzzing mix of cultures. Expats and locals come in and out the mall with one purpose only – to be entertained. In this mall, a splendid aquarium attracts adults and children alike. If you want to take a closer look with the fish, packages are available at the counter. If going under the tunnel it costs AED 50 per person. If you want to be inside the aquarium it will cost AED 150.
Outside this mall, the perfect view of the world’s tallest building can be viewed – Burj Khalifa. Coffee Shops are open where you can bask in the beauty of the structural masterpiece. And when dusk comes in, the dancing fountain will light up the night.
A day in Dubai is not enough to visit every good spots. Save the rest of if for another visit like during the Summer Festival Sale.