Although we had driven to Abu Dhabi the day before, we hadn’t had a proper tour of Dubai. So a little exploration was on the agenda for day 5.
We got picked up in a bus that could accommodate the 11 of us and we made our first stop at the Dubai Museum. There, we got to take a deeper look at the history of the country and it helped that our tour guide Nahim was so knowledgeable. Our next stop was on a shore where we hopped on a tiny boat for about 5 minutes to cross over to the other side of the water for a little shopping. I purchased some rose water which was so refreshing when sprayed on our faces in the heat, got some Argan oil for my hair and a kajal which is a really dark eye liner. There were plenty of souvenir shops, spices, and endless other vendors. Nahim showed us the Gold Souk which we planned on coming to the next day. We drove some more around the city and saw one beautiful mosque after another.
We made our next stop at SAGA where they sell jewelry and velvet wall arts which totally took my breath away. They were truly works of art that had real gold and real stone embellishments in the most beautiful designs. Pictures were not allowed but if you follow me on snapchat (@versicloset) you would have seen the beauty I speak of. The price tags were upwards of $1,000 dollars for a small frame and about $9,000 for a life size canvas. I was quite flattered that the salesmen thought we could afford those things but for now they’re only goals for the future.
After leaving SAGA, we made a stop at Jumeirah beach where we were able to get a good view of the 7 star hotel that is gold plated on the inside: the Al Arab. We were told by our tour guide that in order to get in, we’d have to at least buy a drink. A cup of tea in there costs nearly $100 US but since it is served in a gold cup, I guess that explains the price.
Our next stop was at the Atlantis. Similar to the one I’ve visited in the Bahamas, it is quite massive and filled with different shops, restaurants, water parks and a gold ATM. Yup! You can withdraw real pieces of gold at the ATM. They also have an aquarium there similar to the one at the Dubai Mall.
We left and headed to the Marina walk which gives a good view of the city and its skyscrapers and also had an array of restaurants along the boardwalk. We made a mental note to return at night because we knew the views would be even more breathtaking in the dark.
Our last stop on the tour was at Dubai’s version of the White House which is the Sheik’s palace called Za’abeel Palace. As mentioned on day 2’s recap post, the Sheiks are very well loved and respected in the UAE. Since there are 7 ‘states’ in the UAE, there are also 7 palaces but the one we saw was the palace of the Sheik of Dubai. There were pictures of these rulers on the streets, in our hotel, at the butterfly garden, everywhere we went. Their palace was extraordinarily large as expected and were guarded by policemen who drove G wagons and are compensated about $20,000 US a month according to our tour guide! Somehow, we’re told that the prince sometimes drives himself around unguarded. With a crime rate of 0%, I can see why he wouldn’t need the equivalent of the US secret service watching his every move.
The tour was a pretty informative and we got to see so much so I would definitely recommend one on your first day there. Considering howmuch we got to see, no wonder it’s nearly impossible to keep these recap posts short but I hope you guys find them enjoyable. Part 2 of this post will be live tomorrow with more pictures of our boat cruise and fun times exploring the Marina after sunset.