Saturday, 4 October 2014
With another English Summer drawing to an end, the opportunity to head to the sun at the end of September came along and I jumped at the chance to wear a bikini once more....
Dubai is one of those destinations that has only recently crept into my 'must visit' list. In 2010 the airport was the stopover en route to and from Thailand where I was very impressed with the showers in the toilets but not so much the grumpy airport guards. However, as I do want to see more of the world and my tan from Sal had finally faded I booked myself a ticket to join The Boy on his business trip.
Dubai is like nowhere i have been to before. It's a sprawling city that seems to appear out of nowhere. Actually, its a sprawling city that rises out of nowhere.
With temperatures forecast around the 38 degree mark, the heat hit us the minute we left the cool confines of the airport. The heat, even at night, is like a Kiln oven. It's the kind of heat that you have to just let yourself melt into as fighting against it is futile. Something that during my time i found very easy to do.
After a manic few weeks at work, my body sure let me know that it was time to switch off and relax. After checking into the Melia hotel and being wowed by our room, we headed to the rooftop bar where we were greeted by an amazing view of Downtown Dubai. As we sipped a cold glass of wine, I couldn't wait to feel the day on my skin.
I started my time with a glorious full body deep tissue massage on the Monday morning. I was kneaded to such an extent that i found it hard to walk out of the treatment room afterwards. Every knot that had build up over the months had been banished and after an invigorating cup of ginger tea, I felt more relaxed than i had done in a while.
I spent the next 4 days lying on a sun-lounger around the rooftop pool, basking like a lizard in the sun. I have never napped so much in my life, which was nothing short of glorious. The evenings were spent visiting some key sights around the city and grabbing some food for dinner. I must admit, eating gluten free in Dubai was rather difficult but I guess if you eat in the high end restaurants, you will have more luck.
The Burj Kelifa was a such sight to see up close. The fact that man has built a structure that high is amazing. Sadly, we didn't get time to actually brave the dizzy heights and go up the Burj but it's on our list for next time. The Fountain show that took place under the shadow of the looming Kelifa by the Dubai Mall was also amazing its a shame we don't do something like it in London.
We made like true tourists one afternoon and went on a desert safari trip where we were thrown around the dunes in the back of a 4x4 before enjoying a bbq under the stars. The desert is amazing. It doesn't seem real as you look around you and see nothing but the orange dunes. I half expected to see nomadic Bedouin men come towards us with their herds of camels... it was amazing.
Our final night was a trip to the Jurmeirah Hotel for some gluten free food in the shadow of the famous Burj al Arab. My gluten free bread had an actual crust on it. Yes, you know that i got far too excited about this! Our planned cocktails were off the menu as the eve of Eid had started and so Dubai became a dry state for 24 hours so we retreated back to the hotel to pack before a manic day of travelling home.
We spent more time in the local taxis than anything else during our visit, but ended up seeing more of Dubai that way. If you are planning to go to Dubai, bring plenty of cash for cab fare but don't be worried about the cost too much- it's so so cheap to get around in one.
I cannot rave about the Melia hotel in Dubai enough. The room was comfortable, clean and luxurious (we had a rain shower... yeah, I KNOW). The Pool was perfect for what we needed, it was small and clean with attentive waiters. The staff were so friendly and can't do enough for their guests.
I will be returning to Dubai one day, and will be sure to check out some of the more decadent eateries as gluten free eating on a budget wasn't easy at all when relying on the cheaper options.
Oh and before i forget, we flew by Emirates and once again cannot fault the service we received. The airline makes even economy feel plush and they really did have a good go at offering a gluten free meal. Okay the bread and afternoon tea options left much to be desired but the hot main dish was healthy, clean on the palate and edible- what a winner!
For now my suitcase is packed ready for the journey back to London tomorrow. I must say, I will miss the heat of the Dubai but cannot wait to have a cup of tea and some food from one of my favourite Gluten Free eateries in L Town!
Lots of Love
xxx TTN xxx