Guest post by my fabulous Mummy!!
On the 21st of December, leaving my two dogs and my house in the loving care of my friend Colleen, I set off and arrived in Dubai. Daughter 1 met me at the airport and after a light tea we went to bed ready to start our adventuring the next day.
You might be forgiven for thinking that our holiday revolved entirely round food and places to eat. This is only partially true! We did eat our way around Dubai (I was impressed I didn’t need an extension seat belt on the plane on the way home!) but the truth is it gives us chance to talk and enjoy our time together with as little shopping and hassle as possible, while exploring new places.
First place we visited was the amazing Kite Beach. What appeared to be miles of sand and sea with lots of sitting stops plus coffee (and food of course). This was really quite peaceful, not too many people around and all with the backdrop of the Friday call to prayer. If you live with it you may not be as aware of it, but I always love to hear it. It reminds me of where I am and makes me count my many blessings. This time it was the chance to spend the Christmas with Daughter 1, and by the power of FaceTime and Skype, I was still able to talk to Daughter 2 and grandchildren every day all while knowing the dog and the house were being well cared for.
While I was on this trip I went to three beaches. Kite Beach, La Mer, and Cove Beach – a complex next to the Jumeriah Beach Hotel. I loved it all but they were three very different experiences. The openness of Kite Beach, the carefully and thoughtfully planned La Mer and the luxury of Cove Beach (including an amazing sunset while drinking cocktails).
On previous trips I’ve fancied doing the Big Bus Tour but never quite managed to fit it in. This time we did it. It was fun and I was really excited for Daughter 1 when she found somewhere she had not visited before, namely the Khan Murjan Souq. What a beautiful place. Egypt, Morocco, Syria and Turkey represented in the various shops and in stunning and representative décor. All the brochures show Dubai as the incredibly beautiful, glitzy place that is obvious when you visit, but there are other sides and this souq, the museum, and our trip to the Creek shows a very different but equally fascinating view of this country.
Thinking about the glitz though I was awe struck by the Dubai Glow Gardens, with fabulous lit displays, the incredibly educating and fun Dinosaur Park and the Ice Park. I’ve recommended this to so many friends now with young children but in reality all grown ups that have even a splinter of child left in them would enjoy it.
As Daughter 1 has explained, even trips to the cinema here are luxurious and I loved the experiences in both theatres. Comfort, food service and good films with her company made for very relaxing fun time.
The other theatre trip was of course to see La Perle. Not originally on our list but a friend of hers took poorly and their loss was definitely our gain as we had their tickets. Fantasy, amazing choreography and circus like acts all based round a story that you can make up as it goes along. The scenery is some sort of digital trickery that fascinates as it’s so real. The whole thing was a total extravaganza and left me wishing I could see it all again.
As said earlier it does seem that we ate our way around Dubai. It felt like we ate our way round the world actually, with food from North Korea, Greece, Chinese, Arabic and Italian to American and English type foods.
Food wise though nothing could beat the amazing Christmas dinner at Al Qasr. The surroundings were spectacular. So often before I went I was asked if Dubai ‘did Christmas’. Without being rude, they ‘did’ it better than most places here. There was not an area in this hotel that wasn’t decorated. Huge Christmas trees and displays, a sleigh and sparkling reindeer, ice sculptures and a Santa lodge where Santa made an appearance with gifts for the children. They had champagne and food to suit all cultures and tastes. It was all quite sumptuous. It took us a while to start on the food as there was so much to see both aesthetically and food wise but once we started we enjoyed a proper traditional English Christmas dinner before venturing into other food styles!
We walked a little of our Christmas indulgence off by exploring the Madinat Jumeirah shops and then taking an abra ride around the resort. As I said earlier, I was asked if Dubai ‘did’ Christmas and they did it fabulously but of course it is not one of their holidays and for many, like the shop keepers and Abra ride hosts, it was business as usual.
All these wonderful experiences and hospitality from Daughter 1’s friends made the weeks fly by. There is no point in me commenting in detail on all the things she has so eloquently written about, but I need to say I had the most amazing three weeks.
Anyone who has family and friends living abroad will understand how precious time spent together really is. I quite selfishly enjoyed every minute of the time we were able to spend together and can’t wait to go back to see her and Dubai, and to visit my all-time favourite, never to be missed… the fountains! Whether it’s during the day or in the dark when the lights, music and fountains make a magical backdrop to everything. I love it and it makes my holiday.
Thank you Daughter 1 for the fabulous break and for the blogs recording them. I can relive my holiday every day.
Mummy on the Move