Fashionable Travels ~ Dubai Adventure

Dubai is ridiculous. As in ‘awesome’ ridiculous. Downtown is like new age, you don’t really know if it’s real or not. It’s actually really impressive how this city was built in to what it is now in a matter of 2 decades. My family and I first traveled there in 1998 and at that time, Dubai was still a desert; simple life, old traditional customs and minimal infrastructure. Even the Burj Al-Arab hadn’t been built at that point. Crazy!

The city is on the water, which makes it rather humid. It felt like I was in the US/Canada – people of all nationalities and backgrounds. Definitely a melting pot of cultures with all the expat residents and tourists. I think the shopping there is phenomenal. You can seriously get lost in the malls. The food is delicious – they have it all. It just screams GLAMOUR. It definitely feels rich and it’s all about looking modern and innovative, fashionable and luxurious.

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We arrived late in the evening on Thursday, and the only thing we really did that night was – sleep. The hubby traveled to attend a 2-day conference, and I was just there for tourism purposes. I prepared a schedule for myself of all the things I wanted to see and do.

Day 1: Woke up at around 7 am. Booked movie tickets for the evening, got dressed, had some coffee and met Omar, who would be my driver for these two days, downstairs in the hotel lobby. Seriously sweet dude, and cool thing is – he drove a Lexus. So that just kind of added to the glamorous feel of it all. First destination on my list: Downtown Dubai.

The Burj Khalifa Skyscraper stands at the center and I believe it is considered to be the tallest skyscraper in the world. It felt surreal standing right underneath staring up at it. I couldn’t even snap the whole thing in one photograph. I walked around the tower, along the boardwalks, and along the main downtown promenade (#townsquaredxb).

I was getting pretty hungry by then since I hadn’t had a proper breakfast, I knew I had to start looking for some good cafes or restaurants well before starvation mode since I wasn’t sure if vegan options were readily available in the mall. At around 12 I needed food. So by this time I had walked in to a bunch of little coffee shops in Dubai Mall and checked out various menus. Eataly had some good options, but just didn’t want to risk it. So eventually I just went with a healthy vegan sandwich (zaatar and veggies). I ate two because that’s just how hungry I was. Hours of shopping in the mall, I mean the stores they had, I couldn’t even believe were there:

  • Bloomingdales (this brought back memories of New York City with my parents)
  • Galeries Lafayette (reminded me of my childhood trip to Paris)
  • Joseph (seriously felt nostalgic when I saw this – Montreal!)
  • Alice & Olivia
  • Molton Brown
  • Magnolia Bakery
  • Angelina’s Cafe
  • The Vogue Cafe

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There were more than 100 designer shops that included:

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Tory Burch
  • Chloe
  • BCBG Maxazria
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Cacharel Paris
  • Bvlgari
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Oscar De La Renta
  • Elie Saab
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Giuseppe Zanotti
  • Herve Leger
  • Mulberry

Other great stores that are more affordable for us mere mortals:

  • Debenhams
  • Massimo Dutti
  • Vince Camuto
  • Vero Moda
  • Miss Selfridge
  • Topshop
  • Oasis
  • Red Valentino…on sale I guess it can be affordable, maybe.
  • Reiss
  • Sherri Hill
  • Steve Madden
  • Ted Baker
  • Bebe
  • Kate Spade NY

Okay that’s enough. Literally hundreds of shops and boutiques. I can’t even. Got lost quite a bit, and found myself walking the same routes and then realized there were some areas that I never even managed to get to. The cafes are luxury or something – I mean Armani Cafe , Fauchon Cafe, Fortnum & Mason…to name a few.

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Did some shopping for a few hours and then walked across to the Souq Al Bahar which is a little shopping center that was constructed to look like the old souqs of the ancient Arab world. Found some nice art galleries and designer abaya shops in there.

So yeah, I was ready to go back to the hotel by 4:30 pm and so got back and waited until the hubby returned from his conference. We then made our way to the Mall of the Emirates to watch the new Tom Hanks movie, ‘Sully’. It was alright. We were starving by the time we got out of the theater and found ourselves at EatGreek for a quick Greek dinner. Yum!

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Day 2: Woke up bright and early. Had two vegan granola bars and coffee for breakfast and called up Omar for a drive to the Marina. Got there and walked for about 30 minutes. Although it was only 9:00 in the morning, it was pretty hot. It was a relaxing stroll though and honestly, all the buildings on the water is an incredible sight to see.

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Post marina walk, we headed towards the JBR, walked along the beach a bit and then took a stroll along the JBR Walk. It was really quaint and quiet which was wonderful. At first I was a little worried that this particular location would be packed with people, but it felt like I was the only one there. And to make this extra special I bought a refreshing coconut which was the perfect treat at that point.

 

I was kind of done with walking by noon, and really wanted to go back to Dubai Mall to have lunch at the Vogue Cafe (which I wrote about in a previous post). Enjoyed a warm cup of coffee as I flipped through fashion magazines. Relaxing afternoon before finishing the day off at the Mall of Emirates for some last minute shopping.

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Artsy walk way in the mall – umbrellas overhead. #Dubai

I bought a few things: Armani sunnies, a pandora charm, yellow flower earrings, a white Emirati cover up that I think would be a lovely coverup at the beach. What else? Oh yeah, a bloomingdales makeup baggie, two light-weight sweaters from Jane Norman and a few things from Victoria’s secret. Didn’t go too crazy…also this has been my first shopping spree in three months so no guilt felt.

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All in all, I loved my two-day vacay in Dubai. Lounging around, getting my steps in being in awe of the beauty around me. It was cool, and I’d love to go back there again this year if I find a proper excuse…need to convince the hubs. xx

 

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