How to escape the cold: My Dubai and Abu Dhabi Travel Diary – Part II

Dubai and Abu Dhabi_pt2

Hey there and welcome back to the second part of my Dubai travel diary. If you haven’t checked out my first part, I recommend you to read it first. But of course you can also start reading here if you like.
Last year, my dad and me experienced a great week in the United Arab Emirates and this is what this post is all about. Four incredible days are now behind us and now we’re about to start our fifth day.

Enjoy the read.

Day 5: Atlantis Hotel and Dubai Marina at night

On our fifth day we decided to spend some time at the beach. Although the temperatures were very high, we haven’t spent that much time in the sun and tanning, mainly because we always had to wear clothes that covered our shoulders and were at least knee-length. Dubai is just no typical beach holiday. This day we went to the beach quite early in the morning to shoot some yoga photos there. That way the beach was empty and not crowded at all. The hours we spent there were totally relaxing. I listened to the slight waves and collected some beautiful shells as you can see in the picture below.

Dubai beach shells

Dubai beach shells legs

Dubai beach Dubai beach yoga Dubai beach yoga

In the afternoon we made our way to the “Atlantis The Palm, Dubai” which is a luxury hotel resort at the top of the artificial island The Palm Jumeirah. I guess you have probably seen it on pictures before. This hotel is an attraction itself. It’s a beautiful construction and has its own aquarium and adventure waterpark. Funny enough, when I did an internship at a travel agency in Munich, I wrote some articles and advertising texts about this hotel so mentally I’ve already been there. I knew about the equipment of the hotel, its rooms, their dining opportunities and entertainment. Now I was standing in front of this huge huge complex, surrounded by palm trees, the ocean and a long promenade. We visited the hotel from the inside, but (of course) it was very touristy and crowded and to be honest “just” another hotel of the superlatives – but in the end only a hotel. When you have seen a few luxury hotels, it’s not that extraordinary anymore. All of them are kind of built in a similar way. I think to really have an incredible experience you have to stay there for the night and make use of their offerings. Nevertheless, I was so happy to be there and now I could tick it off my bucket list.

The Palm Atlantis Jumeirah Dubai Hotel

The Palm Jumeirah Dubai Atlantis Hotel at night

The Palm Jumeirah Dubai Atlantis Hotel The Palm Jumeirah Dubai Atlantis Hotel

In the evening we went to the Dubai Marina again, only this time it was dark outside which gave this location a very special feeling. I can definitely recommend you to visit the harbor both at day and at night to experience its beauty. Many skyscrapers were illuminated and the lightings of the buildings, the Mosque and ships – that were reflected on the water – gave the location a special extra.

Dubai Marina at night Dubai Marina at night Mosque Dubai Marina at night illuminated

Dubai Marina skyscrapers at night
Day 6: Our Desert Safari Tour and becoming friends with a camel

For our sixth and last day we planned something special: a desert safari tour. Our trip began early in the afternoon so we still had some time in the forenoon that we spent at the pool. May dad got comfortable at the pool lounger while I had some fun in the pool. I’m so glad I went in there, because what a wasted opportunity if I didn’t take a swim… What do you think? I always love to take swim – whether pool or ocean – when I have the possibility. I felt so refreshed afterwards and ready for our trip.

Dubai Novotel Pool Dubai Novotel Pool Dubai Novotel Pool

We were picked up with a shuttle (this time with other tourist from different hotels) and we made our way to the desert. When we arrived at an assembly point we were divided into white jeeps that took us to the camp in the desert, where we would spend our evening. As I saw in some videos, the ride there was very bumpy and an adventure of its own. Since my dad had a sensitive stomach he decided to go to the camp directly instead of doing the full desert tour in the jeep. So that meant no long rides and rollercoaster-like through the dunes for him. As we made our trip to the camp, we were already driving in the desert and it already felt a bit like a rollercoaster. The ride was pretty bumpy and to prevent sickness I decided stay with my dad at the camp as well and the other tourists in our car went on the dune ride.

Dubai Desert Camp

I was happy with my decision because as I said the ride to the camp was already fun enough. My dad and I as well as two other tourists could enjoy some quiet time before the hustle and bustle began and already explored the camp and its surroundings. Being in the real desert kind of seemed surreal to me. We were in the middle of nowhere, just sand and lots more sand wherever we looked. I took my shoes off, felt the cold and damp sand under my feet, ran like a child along the sandy hills and felt like having the time of my life. I was incredibly happy and felt such a bliss and freedom in my heart. I could have stayed there for a much longer time but after about half an hour, the other tourists came back from the dune ride and we walked back to the camp.

Dubai Desert freedom photoshoot Dubai Desert freedom photoshoot

Dubai Desert Yoga Dubai Desert Photoshoot Face

I took a ride on a camel which was a new and fun experience but honestly I would never do it again. As being a vegan I have a lot of compassion for animals and although I enjoyed this short camel ride, I felt that it wasn’t right. I guess these animals can imagine their life better than carrying tourists all day only for a three minutes ride. What was even better than sitting on this animal was the connection I had with this beautiful soul afterwards. While other tourists were still waiting in line, I kneed down next to the camel. Initially to take a selfie but as soon as I sat there the camel came closer and “hugged” me. My dad told me afterwards but he also had the feeling that I was the only one the camel had this close contact with. It was such a good feeling to feel his nose against my arm. I looked the camel in the eyes and saw a soul next to me – not just an animal. Comment below if you can easily bond with animals too. I’m curious to know. It was such a lovely experience and I could really feel its energy next to me.

Dubai Desert Camel Dubai Desert Camel Dubai Desert Eagle Dubai Desert Eagle Dubai Desert Eagle

We then explored other activities the camp had to offer such as having an eagle on my head, disguising with traditional Arab robes (the lady who offered us the clothing really had to laugh as she saw my dad – apparently he took his role very seriously, haha) and getting a henna tattoo. In the evening we sat down on cushions on the floor and enjoyed a typical Arab dinner. When it got dark we got to see a show consisting of an artist with colorful shining Hula Hoops and a belly dancer.

Dubai Desert Camp Dubai Desert Camp Burka Dubai Desert Camp Dubai Desert Camp food henna tattoo Dubai Desert Camp at night Dubai Desert Camp at night Dubai Desert Camp Artist Dubai Desert Camp Artist

On our way back to the hotel, our driver stopped at a little market to change tires and I really felt like in the midst of an Arab city, not touristy at all. It was a little shop, locals were gathering outside and you could buy fresh coconuts. Besides our trip to the creek, this was the first time on our trip where I didn’t feel like in a tourist at all. Kinda liked it. Or at least it was special. Something different. In many other places, Dubai is full of tourists and very crowded.

Dubai Desert Camp food henna tattoo

Day 7: Starting a productive day at the beach

Dubai Beach Burj Al Arab

The next day it was already our departure day but luckily our flight was only in the afternoon and not early in the morning. I’m the kind of person that loves to enjoy every minute and tries to get out the best of each day. That’s why we decided to go early to the beach and enjoy some warm summer sun before flying back home. As fate would have it, our last day was the warmest of all (31°C) and filled with pure sunshine and a blue sky. We got up at 6 a.m., had breakfast at 6:45 a.m. and were at the beach at about 7:30 a.m. How I love such “productive” days (Can laying at the beach be considered as productive? Haha).

Dubai Beach Burj Al Arab Back then I wasn’t 100% fully vegan and enjoyed some croissants as you can see at the photo below. At this point I have to mention how much I loved the buffet of our hotel. We had to choose from so many different dishes, some international ones and many local ones as pita bread with hummus. My dad tried out hummus for the fist time and loved it so much that he now compares every hummus to the taste of the hummus in Dubai (which was the best though). I also loved the fresh dates we got in the lobby of the hotel – so juicy.

Dubai Breakfast

Dubai Beach Burj Al Arab

But let’s talk again about the beach: the sun was already so hot, I finally got to wear a bikini and tanned. I journaled, took photos of the beautiful view with the Burj al Arab to our left and finally went for a swim in the Persian Gulf. The water was pleasantly warm, so turquoise and I had such a good time. What a perfect way to end our holidays. (I never went swimming right before a flight). I didn’t want to get out of the water but eventually the time has come and we had to go back to our hotel. I changed my clothes, took some last views out of our hotel window and we then made our way to the airport. Dubai was in incredible experience (it was my first time on the Asian continent), I broadened my horizon and gathered some new memories. So so thankful.
Nevertheless, in retrospect I have to say that our trip to Dubai was a bit exhausting. But only because of the fact that Dubai isn’t that typical beach holiday. A lot of Dubai is artificial and hectic. You don’t have a natural forest, a meadow with flowers or mountains. Dubai is modern, a big city and different but definitely worth a visit. But I remember that after our trip all I was craving was calmness and nature. So no more big city trips for the upcoming weeks or months.

Dubai Novotel Hotel View

Emirates Plane View Dubai Emirates Plane View Dubai

This was my Dubai diary from my trip in 2018. I hoped you liked it and gave you some inspiration, information and entertainment. If you enjoyed reading it, I would love if you could gave me some feedback, maybe in form of a like or comment under this post or anywhere else on my social media platforms. If you’re interested in watching videos,  make sure to check out my Dubai Travel Vlog on YouTube. It’s in German however but of the time I’m not talking anyway. So you can just enjoy the video or learn my native language, haha).

I’m wishing you a wonderful day and الىاللقاء

Love and light

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