Raman Narayanan added a twist to his Christmas celebrations by taking his family for a trip to Dubai. To make his trip smooth and hassle-free, he booked a package through TravelTriangle. The package was inclusive of his accommodation, all tours, tickets and transfers, airfare (economy class), visa and OTB at a price of Rs.1,50,000 for three travelers. Having made the festive season memorable, here is what he has to share.
In order to make the best of my Christmas celebrations, I decided to visit Dubai — a destination that attracts thousands of tourists in the festive season. From the Desert safari, to the top of Burj Khalifa — our experience turned out to be simply mind-blowing.
To make the trip work, I began searching for an accommodating travel agent, who would allow comparison and customization. My wishes were answered when TravelTriangle got me connected with various travel agents. Selecting the best quotation, I was good to go.
Day 1: A Christmas-y start
Reaching Dubai on Christmas was certainly exciting, but was accompanied with enormous festive rush. On landing at the airport, we were left waiting for over an hour for our pick up. When we somehow managed to call our travel agent to inquire about the cab, we got to know that it had gotten late due to the Christmas rush. Apart from facing this issue on arrival, the rest of the trip went quite smooth. Moreover, to compensate for the missed pick-up, our travel agent offered us a refund, which was a nice gesture on his part.
We took a cab from the airport and reached hotel Smana Al Raffa, which wasn’t very far. After freshening up at the hotel, we prepared to leave for the desert safari. Despite the Christmas rush, the Safari authorities had managed everything pretty well. We were first taken for Dune bashing in a land rover, which was followed by dance performances and buffet dinner. The Safari turned out to be a great way to celebrate Christmas. After returning from the Safari, we also paid a quick visit to one of our relatives living in Dubai and returned to our hotel.
Day 2: Exploring the tourist places in Dubai
After the much needed full night’s sleep, we geared up for a half-day city tour in Dubai. The combined bus tour took us through the city, making brief stops at the Dubai Museum, the Jumeirah Beach, and certain other famous tourist spots in Dubai.
By the time we reached the Dubai Museum, it started to rain. We explored the museum and when the weather cleared, proceeded to the fantastical Jumeirah beach. Amidst the bright sands and a beautiful tree line at the beach, we had a really good time. The tour further took us through the narrow lanes of the Spice Market, the Gold Souk Market, some huge malls, Atlantis hotel and passed through the gigantic Burj Khalifa.
In the evening, we were booked for the Dhow cruise. The cruise offered a buffet dinner, dance performances and featured a view of various prominent sites. The cruise turned out to be an average experience, since the food was average and we had already witnessed a similar dance performance on the day of the desert safari.
Day 3: A day out in Abu Dhabi
Although we had only 5 days in hand, we managed to sneak in a visit to Abu Dhabi. Our tour-bus was on time, but we were delayed due to a tyre puncture. When the problem could not be fixed, we were transferred to another bus. Our first destination in Abu Dhabi was the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. With intricate designs on the walls, beautiful carpeting, and elaborate chandeliers – the intricate detailing of the mosque kept our attention captured, throughout.
Post-lunch, we were taken to the Ferrari world – a visit that my son was eagerly waiting for. The amusement park was fully crowded and there was a long queue for the entry. Luckily, our time got saved when my family was allowed entry through a special gate. Inside the park, we indulged in a lot of rides and had so much fun, that we were willing to get our tickets upgraded (to spend more time at the park). But, the festive rush thwarted our plans and we headed back to Dubai with happy memories.
Day 4: Festivities in the air
We woke up to the leisure of a free day ahead. Utilizing the free time, we visited Bur Dubai. As festivities were in full swing, the market was brimming with people. We also became a party to the festive spirit, shopped around and had fun.
Having spent all these days in Dubai, the best was yet to come. In the evening, we were to visit the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa. The Dubai Mall was overflowing with visitors and we were excited about visiting the top of the most sought after tourist place in Dubai — Burj Khalifa. After waiting in a queue for an hour and a half, the visit yielded its worth. The view was breathtaking and the experience, unparalleled.
Day 5: Home sweet home
Having had a great time in Dubai, the day of our departure arrived. Our flight was to take off in the evening, and we had the day to ourselves. We requested some extra time at the hotel, since we had decided to visit the Miracle Gardens. Although not very famous, the Miracle Gardens was a great place to be and I felt that it should be included in a Dubai tour. In the evening, we were dropped at the airport a little early and we left Dubai to spend the New Year at home.
High Point: The visit to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa definitely stole the show.
Low Point: The long wait that we were subjected to, because of our missed pick-up from the Dubai airport, was a turn off.
Tip to future Travelers: There are a lot of things to explore in Dubai. One must not restrict oneself to shopping malls.
Looking forward to a similar experience? Travel Dubai with TravelTriangle!