DUBAI

Whenever I mentioned to my friends I was going to Dubai the response was always the same.

Dubai? Wow! You can do Sex and the City. Camels! Kaftans! Beach!”

Dubai is the quintessential home of sand, sun, skyscrapers and shopping. A century ago, it was a tranquil town where lived Bedouin traders and pearl divers. Today the merchants have gone international and science-fiction skyscrapers stand alongside mosques and wind towers of Old Dubai.

Barely 20 years ago, few would have imagined that a small little desert settlement, from the Persian Gulf, would be transformed into this amazing metropolis it has become today. Even though Dubai means different things to different people, there is something about it that deserves much respect. I know some people swear to stay away from it…But I didn’t! …and I fell in Love with this incredible and different arabian world. From the dizzying heights of its skyscrapers to the lows of the desert dunes, and all the shopping in between…There is still much left to be desired. While the dust of the Arabian desert settles on my thoughts and impressions, I leave you with some pictures from in and around the city of Dubai.

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Dubai is truly a unique destination and it’s famous for his grand opulence and level of hospitality. Situated in United Arab Emirates, halfway between Europe and Asia, is the World’s 31’st popular tourism destination and 1’st popular in the Arab World. Dubai is both a dynamic business hub and a tourist paradise. The Emirate offers so many attractions, starting with luxury shopping, fine dining to desert safari and riding camels, than virtually any other destination on the planet. In 2012, Dubai welcomed over 10 million visitors from around the world and I was among them.

It was also ranked on the 8th place globally in terms of tourist spending in the same year.

From the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souks, the city presents a fantastic ensemble of attractions and activities for its visitors and residents. In a single day, one can experience everything from breathtaking dunes to white sandy beaches, from dated villages to luxurious residential districts, and from traditional houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping centers.

With its cloud gracing skyscrapers and consumer culture, the opulent Dubai Emirate attracts tourists from all over the world. Dubai has become a city of superlatives to see “the fastest”, “greatest”, “highest”, “Executive”, “the most …”. The largest shopping complex in the world (Dubai Mall), the largest tower in the world (Burj Khalifa, with a height of 828 meters), the most luxurious hotel in the world (Atlantis Hotel), the largest artificial island in the world (it cost 12 billion dollars), best computer underground world, the tallest building in the world (Burj Dubai) and the list doesn’t stop here.

I’ve heard so much about Dubai famous buildings, crazy sand dunes and luxury shopping. For that reason coupled with my insatiable wanderlust, in March 2012, I packed my bags and boarded a plane towards Dubai. I can’t explain in words my excitement about this trip, properly documented. Of course, Emirates was my choice of airline, simply because it’s the most luxurious airline in the world. So… I started my Arabian holiday in the best way possible. Eating well and drinking your favorite Rose Wine is an essential part of the Emirates travel experience. Riding Emirates means I had to stop over in Istanbul for some hours and spend some quality time shopping in one of my favorite airports ever. When I finally reached Dubai in the evening, I was so surprised to find this amazing city. From the moment I put my foot on the ground I was like ‘WOW’ every time I turned my head. Even Dubai International Airport it’s huge and has the same opulence. My first hour in Dubai I spend it in a taxi going to Dubai Mall where my best friend was waiting for me.

Looking on the window I already knew I will love this glittering city!

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Who goes to Dubai without taking a Shopping session?

Dubai is ranked the world’s second most popular destination for shopping after the US. From souks to shopping malls, Dubai has it all: duty free, gold, electronics, textiles, cars… It’s a true shopper’s paradise. Perfect for Shopaholics like me and for a good dose of retail therapy! My first day in Dubai I wanted to spend it on Jumeirah famous beach but I didn’t have a swimsuit! So…together with my friend we get up early in the morning and we stopped in Mall of the Emirates. Second biggest mall in Dubai is so huge, it incorporates several multi-level department stores (including Harvey Nichols and Debenhams), a 14-cinema complex, over 85 restaurants, over 450 stores, and the world’s largest indoor ski slope. Oh, and two five-star hotels. In other words, if you can’t find what you’re looking here, it probably doesn’t exist. That day I knew it was gonna be a hot day, so I opted for really comfortable denim shorts and a colorful Zara blouse. One of the things I didn’t know about Dubai and nobody told me, is that they are very strict with dress codes. In public places they really ask you to cover up before you enter. That morning I figured out that I packed an entire suitcase of sexy dresses, shorts and beachwear and only one jacket to cover myself. 🙂 My friend was so amused about this, because all locals were staring at me in the mall being amazed I wasn’t covered. I knew I could get away with dressing however I wanted, but truth is, it was really fun to be different than other women.

We spent a few hours inside the mall, just because there was so many amazing shops and I couldn’t decided. While walking around the mall, Dubai’s luxurious crowd was even more evident. Everyone I saw was wearing at least one designer item, and most of them had it on head to toe! I learned so much about their culture which I can’t wait to talk about in the coming days. But before this article gets any longer and I bore you to death with all the rich locals of Dubai info, let me show you impressive Dubai Marina virtually instead. The Dubai Marina is a man-made canal, the largest one in the world, located at the foot of Palm Jumeirah stretched along 3 km of Persian Gulf shoreline with a lot of skyscrapers. When the entire zone will be done, it will include more than 200 high towers and skyscrapers like Ocean Heights, Dubai Marina Towers, The Marina Torch, Infinity Tower, Princess Tower, Number One Dubai Marina, Marina Terrace, Le Reve or Horizon Tower. In particular, the twisting Cayan Tower is eye-popping. The Marina Walk is the place to come for pleasure cruises around the surrounding Palm Island and a great place to go jogging.

From Dubai Marina you can easily reach Jumeirah Beach Residence with the most popular beach and The Walk, which features plenty of juice bars, burger joints and gelato counters. A day out at JBR remains many Dubaians’ weekend staple. If you want to relax and enjoy a natural beauty this place is the best for it.

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Ok guys, get ready because a lot (and I do mean a lot…) of pictures are coming up.

I was so excited to share with you guys my trip because I can’t even describe how much I enjoyed it. Everything was so different from Romania and you know how much I love new discoveries! It’s a place to see and I encourage you to see it at least once in your life. Well first of all, let’s start with the weather! The temperature was great, not too hot and not too cold, because in March is still winter in Dubai. Indeed on my first day it was a little bit windy and in the afternoon it started a sandstorm. I confess that I had the chance to stay at my friend’s house, she’s living here for 3 years and was so kind to welcome me. And now for my first day in Dubai some beach pictures are essential!

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After a relaxing day on amazing Jumeirah Beach, we went to eat something at JBR Walk. This day was perfect after the cold ones left behind in Romania.

More pictures on the beach are coming up tomorrow and new post about my visit to the most luxurious hotel in the world – Atlantis Hotel!

Kisses & have a great evening!