Guest post by thadeus_d3
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
Day 1: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
After landing in Abu Dhabi, I picked up our rental van, which only had 1/4 tank of gasoline. One thing that surprised me was the lack of gas stations there were in such an oil rich country. When we managed to find a gas station, the line for full service gas stretched for 5+ cars. Eventually, we visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It was breathtaking and so large that it could be seen from miles away. Unfortunately, we arrived when the mosque was closed and it didn’t reopen for another 5 hours. We snapped a few photos of the exterior and opted not to wait for it to reopen. Tired from our long flight, we decided to go to our hotel and relax. We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite at the Naia Breeze hotel (now rebranded as DAMAC Maison De Ville Breeze) in the business district of Dubai. The hotel was affordable, perfectly located and offered an amazing view of the Burj Khalifa from the balcony. The hotel also offered a free shuttle to the Dubai Mall.
Day 2: Dubai
- Dubai Marina
- Jumeirah Beach
- Old Dubai (Gold Souk)
- Abra Marine
- Burj Khalifa
- Dubai Mall
Since we knew the beach would be crowded during the afternoon, we decided to head to Dubai Marina & Jumeriah Beach first thing in the morning. We parked near The Walk at Jumeriah Beach because it was a free beach that had public restrooms. In Dubai, a lot of beaches require admission that stretch upwards of $30 per person. It was also near a boardwalk with a lot of shops. The water in the Persian Gulf was extremely warm and clear. Looking from the water, you could see the Dubai Marina skyscrapers in the background. It was unlike any beach I’ve ever seen.
After leaving the beach, we went to Old Dubai and took the Abra to visit the textile, gold and spice souks. The Abra is a long traditional wooden boat and costs about 25 cents for the 15 minute ride. The textile, gold and spice souks is the best place to shop for tourist items and keepsakes.
That evening, we took our free hotel shuttle to the Dubai Mall. The mall was massive and featured many high end boutiques, a skating rink, an indoor aquarium, ski slopes, and a massive arcade called Sega republic. We did a bit of shopping and visited Sega Republic to let the kids play some games. Then, we caught the show at the Dubai fountain which happens at the top of every hour. It was just as impressive as the fountain show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. After the fountain show, we went to the Burj Khalifa for more photos before returning to our hotel.
Traveled in October 2015