My friend turned to me with her exciting news that she had gotten her first ever credit card, wahoo! Free money that we can pay back later, the first thing that came to our minds was a holiday in Dubai. We booked a 5-day trip to Dubai, while my friends mum lived there and she had always spoken Highly about the place. I was up to go anywhere. Once all booked, it wasn’t until 4 days before that we found out we were going during Ramadan. We read up on our dos and don’ts, as there are a number of considerations before heading off at this time of year.  So off we went a few weeks later.

swimming pool

Where I stayed

We stayed at . My god the hotel was amazing.  It had music playing from the first point I opened the door which, anyone who knows me will know this happens all the time, made me jump. On your left was the bath room which was so big and the bath tub was absolutely beautiful. They had a blind that you could pull open so from the bathroom you could see into the bedroom.  The bed was huge, nothing I have seen before with a huge tv right in front. I felt like I was in paradise.  The pool they had in the hotel was great, but because the lay in-between two buildings it trapped the heat and after two seconds of sun bathing we were back into the water.  Ordering food to our sunbed was a nice touch. They had a sister hotel that was a free shuttle away. The pool they had was open which was great and the view looking over at the building’s made it feel so surreal and it was also my first ever experience of an infinity pool. The service at the hotel was amazing, we would go back in a heartbeat.

room

Aquaventure Waterpark

I love water parks, but by far the best waterpark I went to was at the Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis. The place was huge and even had a Nobu restaurant inside. We went looking around the place before we changed into our swimwear. They had a big aquarium which we got completely lost in. I loved that they had traditional seating on the floor.  The rides were never ending. My favourite was this lazy river that you could move your ring to go on any ride. One point we went onto this crazy bumpy ride that had a due dip. At the end of the ride it went into an indoor part where there was a life guard. I was in front of my friend on this boat, while she was covering her eyes pointing and looked in shock. My friend began shouting, so I turned around in confusion trying to find the source of trouble to cause such a painful shriek, to find my friend with her bikini completely off. The embarrassment in her face was absolutely priceless, I shouldn’t laugh, but that’s what friends are for. Only in Ramadan that would happen. Let’s just say it was the funniest part of our holiday.

waterpark

 

Burj Khalifa

Of course, while in Dubai we had to see Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. We caught the lift up 163 floors; it could only fit me and my friend and the lights went low. It was very dark and the music was very intense and made you excited, but a little freaked out at the same time, however I think that’s me not knowing what will happen next I definitely watched too many scary movies as a child. You could feel how high you were going by your ears popping. We exited and walked to the outside top of the building area. The hot air hits you and the shock of what you can see was amazing. They had glass around the building, but it didn’t make you feel as safe as you would like. We took our pictures and looked out at the views, which at night was something more stunning than anything I have ever seen before. Right outside the mall they have the famous Dubai fountain, where they had a light and music show. Watching the water and the jets flow brilliantly to the music was mesmerising. The atmosphere was great and one of the moments you smile and know how lucky you are.

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Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai

We found out that you can see penguins in a mall in Dubai, well what more can I say, we were sold! We did however get a little lost as you do in all malls in Dubai as they are so big.  We walked up to a big snow globe inside the mall, where we walked inside and could see a huge ski resort. We changed into our warm overrules, which seemed bizarre considering it was 40 degrees outside but -30 inside. It was a shock to the system as soon as you walk in. They explain about the penguins and you get to meet two of them and feed and touch them. They seem to be looked after well and you learn loads by asking the tour guild any question that pops into your head.

ski dubai

Views and dinner

My favourite building was this building that twists around, called the Cayan Tower. I couldn’t stop looking at it! While walking around, we found a great place for dinner called the the Observatory. We got a lift all the way up to the restaurant, where there was music playing and the views from the large windows were breath taking. You can see all around and we went at night which made it that little bit more special. You can even see the views of the palm and Dubai marina. They had the most amazing Mexican food and the price wasn’t as bad as we expected. The service was nice, the tables felt private and it wasn’t too loud or busy, which I like.

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Going while it was Ramadan was hard for my friend as she smokes, and you can’t smoke outside. We couldn’t drink outside or eat as well and if we needed to then we would have to go into the tents provided. It was hard with it being so hot outside, you are nonstop thirsty. I did find it the sales people and customer service hard at times. I’m used to being friendly and polite, but we had some sales people walk off and didn’t want to serve us and the worst experience was being in a mall and ordering food and watching a cleaner just mop my friend’s feet. The guys behind the till, thank god, was nice enough to have ago at the cleaner. We always made sure we covered our knees and shoulders as I believe when you’re in another country, you should always go by their rules and show respect. I found looks that me and my friend got in public were off putting, but something you have to push through.  I loved Dubai and, looking back, it is an amazing place but its just a shame at the way the way they treat single women.

Written by | Raquel Mitchell

Travel is never far from my mind. My name is Raquel Mitchell and I live in brighton and have done since a little kipper, however I live to jump on a plane and see the world.