Wednesday 1 May 2024

Dubai Day 2: Desert Adventure Day Tour

I had a really good sleep last night due to the amazing memory pillow that the hotel provided! Wish all hotels did the same for side-sleepers like me!

After a good night's sleep, I woke up to a beautiful view from our window! 😍

Breakfast was served at both the Mezzanine and Level 12, and we decided to check out the latter.





Breakfast was limited but food was generally good. What I disliked most was that they only served Lipton tea, which is one of my most hated tea brands! Without my usual tea in the morning, one can say I was not in the best of moods! 😫 

The plan for the day was for us to join the Evening Desert Tour that I had booked via Klook for $41.25 per adult and $32 per child. The package included dune bashing, camel riding, belly dancing, henna painting, fire show and BBQ dinner but excluded the quad bike/dune buggy ride.

Our tour guide/driver sent a WhatsApp after breakfast informing me that he would pick us up at our hotel at around 3.30pm. 

With a lot of time to kill until then, we decided to go for a swim at the pool on Level 12.

You can see the Burj Khalifa from the pool (it's so tall that you can hardly miss it if you're in the area 😆)!


After our swim, we washed up and walked to the nearby Gate Avenue in search of food and a supermarket.


We walked for a pretty long time but could not find a supermarket. We decided to have a simple lunch at Pret A Manger, which reminded me of the Pret we had in Scotland.

We ate soup, salad and a sandwich, super healthy! 😁 On our way back to the hotel, we stumbled onto a supermarket! It was a pretty atas supermarket where we found Asian instant noodles and other snacks for the Littlest Girl, who did not care at all for the 'clean' food at Pret! 😅 She was so pleased with the Koka cup noodles that she slurped it down very quickly! 😂

At around 3.15pm, we headed to the lobby to wait for our tour guide to pick us up. The tour guide arrived in a 7-seater MPV and we shared the car with a Hong Kong family of 2 senior parents and their daughter.

Our first stop of the tour was a quad bike / dune buggy rental facility. Do note that you'll be taken to the facility and given time for this activity, regardless whether it is included in your package or not (ours wasn't included)! You'll have to wait in the waiting area for 45-60 minutes should you decide not to pay for this activity.

We decided to go for it and paid AED 800 (approx S$300) for a 4-seater dune buggy. Although it was expensive, it was for the unique and interesting experience!



We had to drive in a single file and follow a guide at all times. The Hubby drove while the Littlest giggled excitedly! She is the only one of all my children who takes after my adventurous and dare-devil spirit!




Our group stopped at one of the sand dunes for photo-taking. A man holding a falcon walked up to us and encouraged us to carry his falcon. At first I kept declining but the Hubby eventually gave in. The man also asked the Littlest to carry it and surprisingly, she did! The man then asked for tips but when I gave him AED 20, he countered with AED 60! We eventually settled on AED 50 but I still didn't think it was worth it!

We continued on our journey and returned back to the rental facility.

The staff asked if we would like to buy a photo at AED 50 and we agreed as it was a nice momento.

Our next activity was dune bashing, which is a thrilling, off-road ride in the Dubai desert and involves a skilled driver's ability to swerve up and down the sand dunes. You have to wear your safety belt and hang on because you'll be thrown left and right (if you have motion-sickness, you may want to take medication or skip this activity)! It felt exactly like a rollercoaster, which is probably the closest I'll get to thrill rides this year since I won't be visiting any theme parks this year (super sad 😢)!

Our tour guide was an expert driver! The Littlest and I had the best time! 😁

Our tour guide found a nice spot in the middle of the desert for us to take photos with the setting sun. Besides being an expert driver, it turned out that our tour guide was also an expert photographer! He took so many beautiful photos of our family!




Our tour guide dropped us at the campsite, our final stop of the tour.

There were free camel-riding and sandboarding activities just outside the camp, although the free camel ride was just a small 50m circle (if you'd wanted to go further, you'd have to pay). 

The Littlest wasn't interested in the camel ride so we gave it a miss and let her run up and down the sand hill before looking for a table to settle down inside the camp. 

The camp was generally divided into 2 sections: VIP and regular. The main difference between the two was that the VIP folks had better seating (sofa instead of cushions) and a well-decorated area to get their buffet dinner, which was served as soon as they entered the camp. For the rest of us regular folks, we had to wait until after the first performance, which was belly dancing, before we can get our BBQ dinner from the shabby-looking tents. To be honest, I didn't regret not paying more for the VIP experience because the food (same for both) wasn't great!

The entertainment, on the other hand, was quite good! We enjoyed the belly dancing, illuminated twirling and fire acrobatic performances!

The Littlest also got her hands painted with henna, which she was really excited about!

Since we didn't really eat much from the BBQ dinner, we paid for ice-cream separately. It came in rolls, which was something unique that I've never seen before! Taste was great! 

Besides the food, the thing I hated most was the super dirty toilets! The only clean toilet cubicle in the ladies couldn't be locked (that's why it was clean I suppose!) so I had to do a ninja move of holding the door shut with one foot while doing whatever I needed to do without my foot ever leaving the door! 

After the fire show, we departed the camp and returned to our hotel. We arrived at our hotel at around 9.30pm.

The Hubby was still hungry so he ordered room service again! 😆

Food was good but it was probably not a good idea to order carbonara so close to bedtime (too heavy)! 

We had a warm bath in our bathtub and soon were sleeping soundly in our bed 😄


Continue to >> Dubai Day 3: Shangri-La Dubai Horizon Club
<< Back to Dubai Day 1: Gevora Hotel

~~~~~~

Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
as well as other travel itineraries!


Please also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels!

Tuesday 30 April 2024

Dubai Day 1: Gevora Hotel

We love to bring our kids for solo-kid trips so that they can enjoy quality time alone with us. It was the Littlest Girl's turn to travel without her siblings for the first time! We bought our Singapore Airlines tickets in Sep 2023; cost $618 per adult/child (inclusive of free seat selection), which was reasonable for a flight that's more than 7 hours.

I worked from home that morning before heading to Changi Airport Terminal 3 with the Hubby and Littlest Girl. We arrived at the airport and completed check-in with time to spare.

Our flight departed Singapore at 3.30pm as scheduled. Once in the air, the cabin crew served us our dinner. I ordered the chicken with noodles but I would much rather have had the kids meal that my girl had! 😆

We were also served ice-cream for dessert and a pizza as a snack before our arrival in Dubai. Food was good, no complaints there.

The flight time was about 7 hours and 15 minutes, which wasn't long by many standards but felt like an eternity to me as I had to find ways to entertain my girl who had refused to take a nap! I thought she would be well-occupied by the onboard entertainment system (she seems to love watching Paw Patrol The Movie more than once!) and the many activity kits I had brought. However, she soon got tired of watching, colouring, drawing and pasting stickers and we ran out of things for her to do! 😫 I was elated when the captain finally announced for the cabin crew to prepare the aircraft for landing! 😅

We arrived at Dubai International Airport Terminal 1 at 6.45pm, Dubai time (Dubai is 4 hours behind Singapore).

We cleared customs relatively quickly and collected our luggage. We headed to the taxi stand and realised that there was a super long queue! We joined the queue and I lamented to the hubby about not pre-booking an airport transfer so that we didn't have to wait (mental note for our next trip).

After waiting for about 30-45 minutes, we reached the front of the queue and got into a taxi. We were finally on our way to our first accommodation, Gevora Hotel, which has achieved the World Record for being the tallest hotel in the world! 

However, standing next to other extraordinarily tall skyscrapers, including the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa), Gevora can look rather meek. When brightly lit at night though, you can easily spot it from far away! 

From the photo above (taken in the taxi), Gevora Hotel is the building with a fully lit triangle at the top, while the Burj Khalifa is blue building on the left.

The taxi ran by the meter and we paid our driver AED 67 on arrival. Concierge took care of our luggage while the hubby checked in. 

We headed up to our Premium 1-Bedroom on the 39th floor. We booked it at $188.50 per room per night (inclusive of breakfast, details in the next post), which was value-for-money considering the room size, amenities and convenient location.

A large living area greeted us when we entered our room. We had more than enough space to lay out our luggage!


The hotel decorated our bed with towel swans as I had informed them that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary! 🤭

The room also came with a separate large fully-functional kitchen next to the main door. It even had a full size fridge, washing machine and stove!



In contrast, the toilet was small but it had a good size bathtub for soaking! 🛁


We had a great view of the famous 14-lane Sheikh Zayed Road and the Burj Khalifa from our room on Level 39!


It was only 8pm in Dubai even though it was already 12am in Singapore! No wonder we were exhausted and ready to call it a day! 😅 The girl and I enjoyed a warm bath while the hubby ordered room service as he was hungry 😀

Food was good and about the same price as in-room dining in Singapore hotels 😊

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I discovered that it was a memory pillow! As a side-sleeper who has hated all the mega-soft pillows that give me neck aches, this is the first time I've had a pillow with good support in a hotel! Needless to say, I slept really well that night! 😄


Continue to >> Dubai Day 2: Desert Adventure Day Tour

~~~~~~

Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
as well as other travel itineraries!


Please also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...