Ever since I saw pictures of the stunning Burj Kalifa Hotel, I always wanted to visit Dubai. I’d heard very mix reviews about the city, some say that it is glamourous and the streets are paved with gold, and others say it has no soul. After searching the internet for a four day mini break away with my other half, we booked the 5 star Sofitel Hotel on Jumeriah Beach, an executive suite with a sea view and a 5 minute walk from Dubai Marina. As the seasons were changing into wet, rainy and grey skies in Cheshire, I was packing bikinis, kaftans and my four inch wedges for my four days of sun in the UAE.
We flew to the UAE with Emirates on a 777 and luckily for us the plane was half full, so we ordered a few bottles of champagne, kicked back and enjoyed a very smooth 7 hour flight to our sunny destination. After watching four back to back episodes of the Real Housewives of New York (my guilty pleasure!) and the Age of Adeline starring Blake Lively (a real tearjerker!) we landed safe and sound, with an extra four hour time difference added to our schedule.
After fighting with Dubai traffic on a Friday night, which is essentially their bustling Saturday night, we arrived at our hotel, checked in and took a romantic walk along Dubai Marina. The lights of the skyscraper hotels and buildings were twinkling along the beautiful marina, it was breathtaking. The marina is littered with an eclectic mix of restaurants to suit a variety of different palettes, we chose a Greek al fresco restaurant to sit back and relax with a colourful cocktail. To my surprise, it was only until we ordered our food we realised that alcohol is not served in restaurants…only hotels have a drinking licence! Well I’ve never eaten my food so quickly so we could racel back to our hotel for a chilled glass of vino! The next day we had planned to go to Blue Marlin Ibiza in Abu Dhabi, so plenty of cocktails and champagne to make up for lost time!
After missing breakfast, due to a long haul lie in, I managed to squeeze in a quick gym session in the fitness centre, then it was time for an even quicker change into my beachwear. It took an hour long car journey to Abu Dhabi from Dubai, and we arrived at Blue Marlin Ibiza just in time for lunch. We had reserved a beach front double sunbed for two and promptly order a pitcher of champagne sangria, a selection of sushi and tapitizers whilst people watching and sunbathing. The uplifting sexy house tunes created a relaxing and sociable ambience and the clientele of people surrounding us were super friendly, non-pretentious and from an eclectic mix of backgrounds, Holland, Spain, London and of course the UK!
After a hazy drunken afternoon of drinking, chatting, dancing and socialising we headed back to Jumeriah beach and hit Barasti Beach bar, which was bustling due to the football being televised. This bar is a hub for English tourists and Aussie beach bums, and was definitely a beer drinking place, so I opted for my favourite bottle of beer, Desperado – a tequila infused beer, with a wedge of lime!
After sitting on the beach and watching the sunset we headed back to the hotel and leisurely changed into a super glam attire for an evening out at the Cavalli Club. I wore a pearl and diamante bralet I had bought in Marbella this summer, a Topshop Vintage ra-ra skirt I’ve owned for years, a pair of black patent Louboutin’s and black clutch bag. Tonight was Halloween but I totally missed that memo (oooops!)
We arrived at our table in the Cavalli Club, were we order a bottle of our favourite rose blush wine and dine on sushi, tempura prawns an edamame beans, nothing too heavy, more room for the rose please! The DJ spinned some great floor fillers and we danced and chatted until 1am in the morning before heading back to the Sotifal for a nightcap.
I woke up the next day dazed but definitely not confused as it was time to hit the shops!! The Mall of the Emirates is a huge shopping destination which houses a multitude of high street and designer shops. My first point of call was Victoria Secrets, a sneaky peak into H&M to see if the new Balmain collection had landed (much to my disappointment!) and some gifts for my mum from Molton Brown. I love mixing and match designer and high street. Throwaway fashion is perfect for basic essentials such as tees, polos and comfies which I love from places like Zara and H&M, I like to buy items in as many colours as I can, so they need to be good quality and affordable. My love for high fashion designers are always aspirational purchases. Items I’ve saved for, and will cherish for years down the line. My oldest handbag is a Gucci logo bag which is 15 years old and is still in amazing condition even though its been worn to death!
I skipped happily back to the hotel with my lovely little purchases and decided to wear my new Victoria Secrets bikini to the next beach club on our itinerary for the afternoon. Another car journey away, was the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm where we were booked to spend the full day at Nissimi Beach Club. You literally spend half your time in a taxi in Dubai, nowhere is within walking distance and the taxi drivers become your new buddies! It’s Sunday in Dubai and it was super relaxed, super chilled and time to sip some more amazing cocktails, an apple shisha and enjoy the Dubai sunshine overlooking the sea. In October the sun sets in Dubai around 4pm so as the sun closed in, we jetted off back to the hotel as we had dinner reservations at Hakkasan. This first time I went here was in London 2012 so I was looking forward to another delicious pan Asian treat!
Some may call me a beach club addict, but its where I feel completely in zen. It’s a stark contract to my homeflife being a mum, running a business and having sleepless nights. Me and my partner made a promise before we decided to have a baby that we would have at least one holiday alone together. It’s very important to have our own time together, so we definitely aim to make the most of it! Todays agenda was the beautiful Cove Beach Club which is situated on The Palm, right next to the Burj Kalifa hotel….I finally got to see the beautiful beast of a building! In reality it was a lot smaller than I anticipated, probably because there are so many huge buildings in Dubai, they’ve outsized it! I didn’t get to visit the hotel this year, but it’s now on my list of things to do!
The beach vibes were super relaxing and but it wasn’t long before we had to head back home to the UK the next day. So tonight I was glamming up and hitting the Dubai Marina again for our last supper. We arrived at the Siddatra Lounge in the Grosvenor Hotel which as a fabulous rooftop bar with romantic lighting, soulful sounds and super cool people. We dined, we drank and we chatted away reminiscing on the holiday so far, planning to book our next visit, hopefully in 2016. Dubai you have a been a pleasure to visit, and we will see you soon!