Dubai with a Toddler

Talk about not being happy to be home! Just as the weather was dipping near zero, we returned from our fun in the desert sun!  Good time for a recap.

Dubai with a Toddler Dubai with a Toddler

We had a great trip and getting a break from the winter was just perfect. The temperature there could not have been more ideal - hot but not humid with lots of sun.

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For those that were wondering, it felt extremely safe. The rules around conservative dress were very lax from what I saw so my concerns about wardrobe were needless.

Dubai was extremely child friendly. Not only were children welcomed wherever we went but there were facilities for them. Playspaces in every mall, high chairs at every restaurant, changing tables virtually anywhere we wanted one. Because of that, it made for a very relaxing and enjoyable trip where we got to visit a new place and have lots of fun family time.

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Dubai was a lot more westernized than I expected.  There were more of the american + european chains than I ever expected to find despite anticipating the giant malls. As a result, it made for a very easy trip but not a particularly horizon expanding one.  That was totally fine by us but I think its important to note that this is probably not the most ideal place to visit if you want to get a taste of Emirati or Middle Eastern culture.   Not to say I couldn't have found more culturally important experiences if I had sought them out more strenuously but I think its safe to say Dubai is a city for foreigners.  Instead we relaxed into the tourist trap of it all and just had a fun time.

Sadly it was over too soon and we are back freezing our toes off in New York.  Countdown to the next vacation - DISNEY!


17 comments:

  1. Looks like an amazing trip. I would love to see Dubai, if only for the architecture. I imagine the extreme wealth in that country creates some experiences you wouldn't see anywhere else. And when did A get so big?? Love her outfits.

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    1. Even though there are some really stellar buildings there, its not the kind of city I would call typically beautiful when you look away from the beaches. I know the desert is nearby and Im sure that is gorgeous but its more the kind of place that is really easy to live versus being especially gorgeous to look at. I don't think the two exist in one place :)

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  2. Sounds like a fun trip! When are you doing Disney? Kind of an expert, and (no judging please) I own a time share there. We visit Disney World every 2-3 years like clockwork. Any info you need, just let me know!

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    1. We are going in a couple of months. Not really a full blown trip but rather we are doing a 3 day cruise (I'm so curious about them since people just rave and rave) and spending 2 days at the resort (with 1 day at Magic Kingdom just to do a little introduction)

      Would love to hear your suggestions!

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    2. We had a great time on the Disney cruise when my oldest was 2 (and my only!). It was wonderful, especially the time on their private island. Bring your own beach toys! I threw a bucket, a shovel, and a few molds in my suitcase (total cost maybe $15 at Target) and was SHOCKED to see similar things being sold for nearly $50.

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    3. My advice for cruising with beach stops---bring your own shade. The pop-up shade shack on Amazon cost me $50, fit in my suitcase, and was a LIFESAVER at a cruise ship's private island where they wanted to charge $200 for shaded pagonas. No sunburn to speak of and relief from the sun for the entire day. And then the next day we took it to another beach and got some use out of it there too. Coincidentally I combined that trip with a visit to Disneyworld (my first!) and I learned a lot. Biggest advice is to pack your patience and also book fast passes for the rides as early as possible. You will have fun no matter which way you choose to explore, though. Also---you can pack snacks to bring into the parks (which you should do!), but at Magic Kingdom the chicken parmesan at Tony's Tavern was really good and big enough to split. Love seeing the photos from Dubai. It's too bad you didn't see much of the culture there, but hey, sometimes traveling doesn't turn out the way you expect but it still invigorates you and gives you time to relax and reflect.

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  3. Did you take all of the pictures in the post with your new Fuji camera? If so, can I ask how well it works at catching young children? I am in the market for something more portable than my DSLR (don't own a smartphone either) and would love to read a review that isn't bogged down with technical details.

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    1. No I took it with my usual DSLR - Im not quite as comfortable with the fuji yet but Im working on it. I meant to carry both with me but it just didn't work out that way. I need to play with it more to feel ok leaving my DSLR at home.

      That said, its not as fast as a DSLR but its faster than a smart phone or ther point and shoots. And even my DSLR with a super fast prime lens has trouble keeping up with my toddler. So Id say its a good option if you don't mind sacrificing some speed and control for the much much lighter weight. I'd say the fuji will do fine for outdoor shots but inside not so much.

      Happy to share more once I've had more time to play with it. Or if you have questions feel free to drop me a line.

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  4. How do you get people to let you take their picture (like the man in the bazarre)? Did you just ask and he said okay but then the way he is standing makes the picture so interesting? Instead of him just smiling and posing. Basically I just love that picture as it gives an interesting story to the trip.

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    1. Depends on the photo. I usually ask and 99% of the time people will say yes but they smile a really fake smile...so it doesn't usually result in the most authentic picture. I absolutely love it when people look straight into the camera and don't smile like this guy b/c that is exactly how i found him and the image I wanted to capture. It doesn't always work but I'm very happy when it does.

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  5. oww very nice pics..
    i love your post.
    http://obatherbaltbcakutpalingampuh33.blogspot.com/

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  6. Great colorful photos. Of course this is on our list and other than flight times my husband thinks we can do it for a weekend trip. Do you think that is doable?

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    1. You certainly could do a weekend trip here. I think 3 full days might be better just so you could do one day in the city, one day at the beach and one day in the desert. But if you are energetic, you could squeeze all of that into 2 days for sure.

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  7. Nics pictures. We are contemplating Dubai in April/May of this year with a 3 yr old. Any special tips or places that you might like to suggest while in dubai?

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    1. Thanks.
      If your 3 year old loves Frozen, you might want to check out Ski Dubai which has a whole Frozen thing going on right now including singalongs and a snow track you can pull him/her on a sleigh.

      Every mall has at least one playspace and my daughter happens to just love those so I highly recommend trying them.

      Hope that helps!

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  8. Just curious how long you were there. I am just trying to get a sense of how long you need to spend there (and we have children similar in age so I am looking in the context of bringing a young child.) Thanks!

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    1. We went for 5 nights which was a good amount of time for relaxing and taking in the sights. I could have certainly stayed longer as there is plenty of fun things to keep you occupied but 5 nights was a good amount of time for us.

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