Next Stop: Dubai?

Since I got some really great suggestions when I shared I was planning a trip to Korea, I'd love to get some collective wisdom again.  Next stop: Dubai!
photo credit: momentary awe via national geographic

Having only visited one other middle eastern country before (Jordan which I gather is quite different), I'd love to hear any and all suggestions on what is not to be missed. Dubai seems to have some great toddler friendly spots but there are so many I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed! Not to mention my wardrobe angst.

for those that are curious, you can read my Jordan trip recap here and here.


28 comments:

  1. For me, Dubai had the best people watching in the world. The men with their gorgeous skin tones look great in their birkas (not sure if that's what they're called), and the women are exotic in their birkas and expensive designer bags. Most of the things to do revolve around shopping malls. We rented a car so we could spend time in Abu Dabi. There's a billion dollar (plus) hotel there, and we had afternoon tea there. Have fun! It's hot!!!

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  2. Look out the cultural museum in Abu dhabi . Really nice and a piece of normality in a busy city.They want you to see the bling and the money but the museum looks at how the countries used to be not so long ago Also spend time in the desert. We took a BBQ and watched the sun go down . Very peaceful

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  3. We flew Air Emirates from JFK to Dubai with our 2 year old and it was an amazing flying experience. So kid friendly!!

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    1. Thats always good to hear. Sadly we aren't flying Emirates but hopefully we will get just as lucky. We've had a lot of luck so far with her but you know how this age goes - they have a different personality daily :)

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  4. The indoor ski deal at the mall might be fun for a two year old as think they do sledding also. The seven star hotel has an amazing high tea but not sure if that is child appropriate. The beaches are really nice. I loved Dubai - I think I went 4-5 times while living in the middle east as always a fun weekend getaway. The friday brunch's are killer. They last several hours and have a bit of everything. I also really enjoyed shopping at the souk.

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    1. Thanks Melissa. Any brunch you recommend in particular? I'm seeing so many recommended but hard to get a sense of which are family friendly.

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    2. If it's still there. The cultural museum was family friendly

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  5. Great pick! Dubai is great. Lots and lots of shopping. I was amazed by the shopping malls even though I'm not much of a mall person in the US. They're especially impressive in contrast to the souks along the creek, which are more amazing. Be ready to enjoy excess, since that's the city's MO. Hop on the banana boat, stop and stare at the aquarium in the Dubai Mall (little ones love this, and it's a much nicer option than Dubai Zoo, which is worth skipping).

    Wardrobe angst is something to consider, especially for your daughter. It's quite hot, but you need to cover up if only for the sun exposure, but then everything indoors is heavy air conditioning (in my opinion). Think light layers that won't wrinkle in a tote bag, plus a scarf. And while it's a conservative place, you don't have to completely cover up, and you will be fine in a swimsuit on the beach. The only time you really have to cover up is to visit a mosque.

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    1. Thanks Dina. Thanks for the tip on the zoo/aquarium.

      Did you have a go to outfit for going around town? I'm struggling more about what to pack myself than anything.

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    2. I tend to wear light capris or a skirt with a short sleeved top. I carry a scarf and hat in my bag so I can cover up more in the sun or if the air conditioning feels cold. I always cover my knees and tops that cover my shoulders unless I'm at the hotel or beach... That way I'm mosque approved in case I want to duck into one. My swim cover is a long gauze tunic that covers up. it just feels more confortable to me since covering up is the social norm over there.

      Have a great trip!

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  6. What fun! I've never traveled there with the family, but I lived in Abu Dhabi for a month for work a few years back. The Atlantis in Dubai has a massive aquarium/fish tank and beautiful glass sculpture in the lobby that would be great for adults and kids to see even if you're not staying there.
    I second taking a day trip to Abu Dhabi. The Emirates Palace is the beautiful hotel, and the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (really on the way from Dubai to Abu Dhabi) is amazing and a can't miss.
    As far a wardrobe, you will be comfortable in your regular outfits as long as you're covering your arms and legs (not fully...you could wear short sleeves and a skirt/pants, 3/4 sleeve dress, etc.). I personally would avoid strappy tanks or sleeveless. It's more a matter of comfort and respect. If you go to the mosque you will be asked to wear an abyaa and hijab. That's the only time I wore one, and they provide them for visitors. Have a great time!!

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    1. Thanks! I don't think we'll visit any mosques just because I don't have much of a desire to chase a 2 year old around during someones sacred prayers. So that's good to know that I don't need any special clothing generally.

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    2. Oh, you really should get inside at least one Mosque while you're there! There are a few that are especially beautiful and don't worry about having a toddler... Just visit at a more touristy time of day instead of during prayers. And remember that they have kids, too! You'd be hard pressed to find quiet 2 year olds no matter where you travel. Here is a link to prayer times in Dubai:

      http://www.islamicfinder.org/prayerDetail.php?country=united_arab_emirates&city=dubai&monthly=1

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    3. Thanks Dina. I've actually been inside several mosques in our travels. I'm sure the public ones in Dubai have their own unique elements but my prior experiences in even a well touristed mosque make me uncomfortable bringing in a child. I'm sure the locals would be very understanding but I always personally feel a bit uncomfortable when gawking at people praying even when I can be perfectly quiet and respectful. My daughter is generally very well behaved but Im sure my own discomfort would inspire her to decide to see how loud she could scream at the most inopportune time :) So I'm okay with waiting until she is a little older so we can revisit religious sites when she can learn from them as well.

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    4. Shame because the one in Abu Dhabii is absolutely stunning decoratively. Very different to others I ve seen

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  7. I wrote a pretty extensive review of our trip there last March. Enjoy! http://marriedtoginger.blogspot.com/search/label/dubai

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    1. Thanks Katie. Off to read it now.

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  8. Check out W1. She just moved to Dubai with her toddlers!

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    1. Thank you! Off to read it now.

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  9. Love all the pics of Korea. Trust me it is better to take your daughter with you. If not, you really can't totally relax and you'll just be thinking of getting back home to her. My best trips to China was when I had kids with me. As far as the LONG flights, even my little ones were so excited about the plane, and airplane food :- ) that the flight was actually fun-for them at least.

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    1. There really is no alternative for us anyway. We don't have anyone we could leave her with even if we wanted to. But we actually enjoy traveling with her so its not an issue for us.

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  10. Can't wait to hear about this trip. It is on our list.

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  11. Never been in Dubai! Can't wait the post about the trip :)
    rubbish removals

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  12. Can't wait to read your post from Dubai! I've never been there but my jaws always dropped down when looking pictures from there.

    House cleaners Chiswick

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  13. I've not traveled to Dubai with any children, but I can tell you what we enjoyed. We stayed at the Grand Jumeirah Hotel (http://grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com), and it was fabulous! Here is a link to the 1st of 4 posts I made on my blog when we traveled there in 2008.
    http://courtneycraig.blogspot.com/2008/09/en-route-to-dubai.html

    We thoroughly enjoyed our day/evening trip out to the desert. We rode in Toyota Highlanders and cruised the sand dunes with deflated tires (probably not to do with a 2-year-old), and it was exhilarating! Afterward they took us to a little Bedouin style camp, and we had dinner, tea, and silly tourist stuff that was still pretty fun (henna dye on hands, dressing in robes, riding camels, etc.)

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  14. You are much more experienced at traveling but you can at least see what I wore during our trip :) I never felt out of place or uncomfortable in my clothing.

    http://halfofvamh.blogspot.com/search/label/Arabia%202012

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  15. Dubai is beautiful, if you go there in the winter - from October to April. In the summer it's too hot.
    The Not Perfect Housewife

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