CoffeeCakesAndRunning I don't want you to come to Dubai ....

I don’t want you to come to Dubai ….

I don’t want you to come to Dubai …

and leave thinking that Dubai is all about Five Star Hotels, VIP Experiences, pristine Hotel Beaches, Expensive Night Clubs, Shopping and the Desert !

I want you to come to Dubai and see it all !! See Dubai, the place I call home, for all that it has on offer from Seven Star to No Star there’s absolutely something here for everyone.

Getting Around

Take a taxi, the metro, the bus, the tram, or a private car, the open top bus tours and explore the breadth and depth of Dubai.

Take an abra across the Creek, Take the ferry from the Marina to the Creek,  Go on a boat trip around the Marina or further a field, hire a yacht and pretend to be rich for a bit (yes it’s possible and not too expensive), go fishing and catch your own dinner, heck you can even paddle board or kayak and see Dubai from the sea.

Take a seaplane, a balloon trip, a parachute jump over the Palm or in the desert, or even, if you are lucky a zip line through our famous fountains and see Dubai from above.

Walk, run or jog through our many parks or along the beach or even around the neighbourhood you’ll be amazed at what you can see. Hire a bike and enjoy a dessert ride at Al Qudra or book a sightseeing trip and zip through the city on the back of a Honda GoldWing or Harley.  Leave Dubai and go hiking through the mountains, yes we have mountains too !



We’ve something here for everyone ! From Seven Star to No Star, with over 700 hotels there’s bound to be something here to suit your budget.

We’ve got Heritage ! We’ve got chains (from high end to low end) ! We’ve got boutique through to budget and even super budget with an Easy Hotel ! Hotels not your thing then try AirBnB or Couchsurfing ! We’ve even got BackPacker and Youth Hostels and if you know someone in Dubai there’s often the use of a spare room, sofa ! Come and be a guest ! 



Leave the comfort of your accommodation and explore !

Take a tour of Bastikiya and the Museums and learn about the heritage and history of Dubai, Pearl Diving, Calligraphy etc. Walk around the souks, with gold, fragrant spices and so much more to see and buy.

Learn about arabic culture and history at the Cultural Centre, visit a Mosque and take a guided tour, enjoy breakfast at a Majlis beside the Mosque and sample arabic hospitality including camel milk, dates, etc

Enjoy a vivid and growing Art scene – you’ll find it mostly in the galleries of Al Quoz and the Design District but there’s plenty of other stuff going on too.

Take a trip into the desert ! But don’t just see it in a 4 x 4 ! Explore on a quad bike, go trekking, stay over and go camping or glamping, go cycling, go walking, spot a camel and a falcon or two. See the sunset, watch the sunrise, cook over a camp fire, escape the hustle and bustle and watch the stars.

Go shopping ! But not always in the Malls, go to the souls, the night markets, the day markets, the Farmers Markets (yes we have them too !), go to the pop up events.  Visit the busy streets of ‘Old Dubai’ and see Dubai from a different perspective.


Play sport, watch sport – indoor, outdoor we have it all !  from the Rugby7’s, Golf, Camel Racing, Horse Racing, Polo, MotorSport and all the usual sports you can imagine and then probably a few more ! When it’s hot we do it indoors or very late or very early – come and see and join in too.  There’s something for everyone’s budget.


By all means enjoy the comfort of the hotel beaches and drinks served at your lounger, but there’s so much more to see and a lot of it is absolutely FREE ! yes – FREE !

Visit Black Palace Beach, Kite Beach, The Beach at JBR, Al Mamzar –  we’ve miles and miles and miles of beach front waiting for you – and it doesn’t all belong to the hotels!  It’s yours to enjoy for free.  Hire a sunbed or umbrella if that’s your thing, bring a towel, a picnic, bring yourself and enjoy! Run, walk, build sandcastles, eat ice-cream, sunbath or people watch – the choice is yours ! All we ask is that you leave it how you found it ready for the next person to enjoy.

If sport and exercise on the beach is your thing then we have you covered!  Volleyball, kitesurfing, kayaking, surfing, paddle boarding, swimming, bootcamp (we have a ton of those), yoga (sunrise or sunset are a must).  Waterparks in the sea, child friendly supervised waterparks – there’s so much to see and do !

Go Crazy and Be Wild !

Ski, Snowboard, feed penguins, at Ski Dubai. Swim with Sharks, Feed the Rays, Meet crocodiles at Dubai Mall. Swim with Dolphins, or feed a friendly Walrus at The Atlantis, Go indoor skydiving, Watch a movie and dine on food prepared by Gary Rhodes at Vox Cinemas. Take a ride on some of the scariest and biggest water attractions at Atlantis and Wild Wadi – or if you are sedate enjoy the lazy river !  Feed Turtles at Mina A’Salam and if you are lucky see them being released into he wild.  Watch 3D, 4D and even 7D movies and literally feel the earth move below your feet.  Take a quick drive to Yas Island and ride rollercoasters at Ferrari World, zip around the autodrome at high speed! Visit the World – virtually ! Yes that’s right – dine and shop around the World at Global Village or see the World by sea on the World Islands.

Bragging Rights !

Take a trip up the highest building in the World ! Burj Khalifa and enjoy the view. Visit the highest starred hotel in the World ! Burj Al Arab. Dine at the Highest hotel in the World.  Take a ride on the longest driverless metro in the World on Dubai Metro. Buy Gold from a Gold Vending Machine ! Visit the largest Apple Store in the World ! Watch one of the biggest Fountain displays in the World, Visit the largest Mall in the World, Ski in the largest indoor ski slope in the World – you get the picture !

Dine Dubai

We’ve every experience known to man and then a few more … and something to fit absolutely all budgets and I mean all budgets !

By all means dine in your hotel, we’ve got some stunning restaurants with a wealth of Celebrity Chefs even some with Michelin star credentials !  But leave your hotels too and explore ! With over 200 different nationalities we’ve plenty of cuisines for you to try ! Try Emirati food, it’s a must ! Try Street Food ! Take a Street Food Tour ! Try the independents homegrown concepts, they are pretty good and who knows maybe one  day they will be coming to you too ! Dine on plastic chairs and eat locally caught seafood at Bu Qtair ( fish shack on the beach) with a view of Burj Al Arab behind you, Hunt out a Food Truck or two ! Try dining in the Dark ! Enjoy a Secret Supper ! Take a stroll along the creek and eat in some heritage restaurants ! Take a dinner boat tour along the creek, or the marina ! BBQ in the Parks, Picnic on the Beach – we picnic at night time too !

Shop at the Farmers Market or RIPE Markets, Puff on shisha and watch the world go by if that’s your thing!  Grab a shawarma, some chaat from a chaat stall or freshly cooked falafel straight from the pan and dine street side as the locals do ! Do brunch if you must ! –  after all it’s a bit of a Dubai institution – but open your mind and eyes to new experiences and to seeing a more authentic Dubai – it’s a Must !

Sample Cocktails, Mocktails and enjoy brightly coloured juice drinks from all hues of the rainbow. Sip freshly made mint lemon ! Sip coffee at one of our Speciality Coffee Shops or our very own Coffee Museum ! Enjoy authentic arabic Gahwa or Turkish Coffee – a specialist item in the region ! Dance your night away at a nightclub – we’ve got the VVIP ones with dinner shows and the likes through to karaoke and Pub Quiz Nights, A thriving standup comedy scene, some amazing Wine Bars and Speakeasy’s through to MeetUps and TweetUps at various locations around town.

Come for the Food Festival, The Food Carnival, Taste of Dubai, the BBC Good Food Show – we’ve a real thriving dining scene with plenty of authentic homestyle food from around the world.


And save ! We’ve plenty of dining offers around, get the Entertainer App, Enjoy Ladies Nights, Gents Nights, 2 for 1 deals, voucher deals etc – don’t be afraid of saving some cash and booking ahead.

So in summary, because this is quite a long post ! I don’t want you to come to Dubai without experiencing at least some of the above, there’s so much to see and do here from heritage to modern, from seven star to no star, it’s a place for all budgets and for everyone to come and see.

I started writing this post after meeting a lot of Travel Writers at TBEX who said they wouldn’t come to Dubai as all we have on offer is Desert, Beaches and expensive shopping, and also in response to some articles in the UK and US press recently which hit a chord.

Dubai is not perfectly, tell me somewhere in the world which is, but I’m proud of Dubai and all that it has achieved so far and for the amazing plans for it’s future.  I want to be part of that future and play my part. 

Dubai is the place I call home

  • I live here
  • I work here
  • I’ve made some amazing friends here 
  • I travel from here
  • When I’m away I miss here
  • Here is Home !
  • Here is Dubai !
  • It’s been seven years now and I am proud to promote #myDubai.

There’s so much more to see and do, and apologies if it’s not all here – this is just a short summary of why you need to #DoDubai Yalla, please come !

  1. Well said - such a great post. I feel that people who only look at the limitations of Dubai are limited in themselves. On the sport front you could have watched test match cricket last weekend, England vs Pakistan, for about 10 aed at Sports City.
  2. Lovely post. Yes, I am all for the different facets of Dubai. I am linking this up to my post...
  3. The funny thing is that everywhere has its challenges and charms. I have often written about that. When I told people I was spending a month in town in Bulgaria a few months ago they were shocked. I thought that that was the essence of the traveler vs. tourist debate.. aren't traveler willing to explore and go beyond what other people say? To judge a place without visiting or leaving the airport, is the same as judging a person by the colour of his/her skin or a book by its cover. It's not always an accurate assessment of lies within. Everywhere has it's beauty, because for me, I see the beauty of the people, the uniqueness of their culture and the the grace of whatever land God blessed them with. There is beauty in everything but the perception of beauty truly resides in the eye of the beholder.
  4. Thanks Sally. We are spoilt really, so much to see and do. I want to shout it out from the rooftops so more people come, even if they don't have a huge budget.
  5. Thanks for the link. I rarely write about Dubai as a destination but will start again after hearing so much negative feedback about how expensive it is and there's nothing more than beaches, desert and shopping malls.
  6. Thanks for commenting and sharing on Social Media. I'm like you, love travelling and exploring and appreciating places for what lies below the surface. This post was partly in response to THAT newspaper column (the lovely guy who never left the airport terminal) and another one where a British Journalist had found some Dubai "Hidden Gems" in places like Okku and Cavali Club *slaps head - there's so much more to being here than that. Lets keep on spreading the word :)
  7. Fabulous post Debbie and absolutely spot on. I hate the folks that always whinge (even some out here). I says what Sally said, they're limited by their imagination. We definitely should have a long chinwag!
  8. True! people might think Dubai is just another city... but some call it Home. Great job in laying out those wonderful activities and places to visit.

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