IATA #NDCHack (hackathon) and IATA WPS (World Passenger Symposium) took me on a business trip to Dubai. This was the perfect opportunity to explore the city! Although my free time was limited, I think I made the most of it.
Many business travellers fly via Dubai -Dubai airport being a major hub in the Middle East- as part of a connecting flight / stop over or a conference. If it is your case, it is worth settling in for a few days.
Tip: make the most of your trip! In Dubai, sunshine is guaranteed (even though extreme summer temperatures are not ideal). You will be blown away! Dubai is not just about bling bling.
I was so excited, it was my first flight on board the mythic A380!! It was a great experience! The upper deck is dedicated to the First and Business Class, and you will find the bar up there 😉
I must admit I stayed there 3 hours during my night flight from Paris to Dubai. The cabin crew was awesome! We were no less than 5 nationalities. I even got my personal picture in ‘Emirates flight attendant’ mode!
Tip for travelers: for those who have a Business Class ticket (of First), you are entitled to a private transfer from home/office to airport + from Dubai airport to hotel/office for instance. It is complimentary. Remember to book your transfer in advance.
JW Marriott Marquis in short: 355 meters high (1,165 ft), 1200 rooms, 2 majestic towers, panoramic views of the city, marble bathroom… I enjoyed my bath in the highest hotel of the world – WOW effect guaranteed with the view!
Indeed – my room was located on the 65th floor. You can imagine how exceptional it was, with windows that made me feel like I was in the sky!
JW Marriott Marquis is by far one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in: exceptional service, 14 award-winning restaurants, great pool, well designed public areas.
Note that the hotel hosts a large conference center. The only drawback is to have to move from one floor to another for breaks and networking times.
If you’re staying at the JW Marriott Marquis, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall are just next door. The tallest building of the world (as of January 2017) is 828 meters high (2,717 ft). Its very modern architecture melts perfectly into Dubai skyscrapers landscape.
The best time to hang around is at night. From the Dubai Mall, you can head to the water basin at the foot of the building. The fountains show is definitely worth it! So are the animations of the Tower with its LED facade… I loved this modern geek touch!
It is one of the most popular beaches of the city. Literally. No bling bling there. Water temperature reaching 32 degrees Celsius, in end October. Large stretches of white sand… Sun! It feels good! The beach also offers a very nice view of Burj Al Arab hotel. My advice: stay there until sunset, it offers great panoramas.
During my free day, I decided to opt for a desert safari with Arabian Adventures. My driver Nadir took me on a 4×4 ride to discover the dunes. We even bumped into camel herds!
Anecdote: did you know that camels have the ability to smell water at a distance of 3 to 4 kms?! Their price can go up to 500 million dirhams for the prettiest of them.
This area is called Shargah desert. We drove to the mountains – beautiful landscapes! I saw a fossil rock dating back from 200 million years. My driver was lovely and shared a lot of stories of local life.
Dubai Mall cannot be missed. It is known for its giant aquarium with sharks! I definitely advise you to spend a few hours in the mall: it is an opportunity to discover the cosmopolitan bend of the city. It intrigued me to walk in the alleys of the luxury boutiques, and its emblematic architecture is worth a tour. It is less interesting for shopping though, as in France we have the same luxury boutiques, and it is “cheaper”.
Of course, Dubai is also Palm Islands, Atlantis etc. But I barely had time to stop in that part of the town.
You should do so when you are around, and share your pics!
You don’t want to miss my Bleisure adventures?