Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Lifestyle: My Incredible holiday...day 1 of 9!

Just Before we could board..Masha'Allah!

My family (my husband and our two kids) and I left from Johannesburg, South Africa on December 5th for Dubai on a 10:30pm flight aboard Emirates airline. My husband and I felt that leaving at night meant the kids would sleep for most of the hours on the flight and so would we.

BOY, were we wrong about that!

My (then) almost 11month baby Ishaaq just managed to fit into the bassinet. He slept for a while, and we breathed a sigh of relief, glad he'd get some rest, until he realised he couldn't stretch any further. Had to take him out at that point.. He stayed awake for the rest of the flight...his curious eyes darting across at the flight attendants, and nearby LCD's flashing with the latest movies.

My eldest son Uzair was content and slept through the flight. That was entirely because he rested his head on my lap and his leg stretched out onto the passenger next to him every now and then, when he'd forget he was on a flight and not his bed. Luckily the man in question was very forgiving, helpful and understanding.

Sorry for the crazy detail, but thought I'd give you a more realistic look at travelling with kids;)

Craziness aside..it was a pleasure flying on Emirates airline. Food was great and I'm not joking...especially considering the food on flights to be notoriously unappealing. The attendants were also really helpful and especially courteous to families with younger kids.

Finally reached the Dubai Airport...we rushed to get our bags and avoided any delays shopping at duty free. We had our airport transfer to catch, he was only going to wait an hour at terminal 1. Terminal 1 as it turned out was a ridiculous walk from where we presently were, and it didn't help that we forgot to pack strollers for the kids.

Dubai Airport- the bits we could see;)

Dubai Airport

We quickly caught hold of the airport shuttles waiting outside and got to Terminal 1..only to find that our airport transfer wasn't there at all. Aware of the Arabian heat and humidity despite being Winter, we were exhausted and opted for a taxi instead.Petrol in Dubai is cheap and taxis are a dime a dozen, ac blasting, safe, comfortable and neat...I was wishing the taxi situation was the same in South Africa..maybe if they feared getting their body parts cut..lol..dark humour..sorry.

The hotel looked somewhat majestic with old fashioned luxury. We had breakfast while our rooms were pepared, we were about and hour early for check in. Breakfast was included with accomodation. The breakfast area was comfortable and had both sofa and chair seating with two indian cooks spinning dosas and preparing omelettes and fried potatoes. We readily noticed the very 'Indian' cuisine!...perfect!

The Regent Palace Hotel

We stayed at the Regent Palace hotel. The breakfast buffet was brilliant and indulgent...though we only indulged in cereal and tea, we were eager to rest a bit in our room and then head off to the 3 floored Bur Juman shopping centre which was walking distance and  opposite the road from the hotel. We had to buy strollers, two of them, Uzair would never walk for too long as would any 3yr old. We thought it would be pricey, but turns out we are ridiculously overpriced in South Africa. We got the strollers at Centrepoint's Baby shop alot like our Baby City and baby food and snacks from Spinneys, alot like our Spars.

Breakfast area


Hotel room

It was then Jummah time, so we headed back to the hotel whilst my husband visited the local masjid.
We then trekked back to Bur Juman and ate at Hetam Lebanese cuisine with a great view of the mall's water features. I loved it, I had the yoghurt lamb and you could taste the open fire cooking alot like braaid meat.Take out or restaurant meals are quite pricey and portions much smaller compared to South Africa and food takes much longer to be prepared. You can tell I live in Gauteng where people want and get their food prepared in 5mins.

One of the two water features of the Bur Juman mall
View from 3rd floor of Bur Juman Shopping Centre


We explored for a while. Bur Juman is quaint yet stunning and renowned for its exclusive boutiques. Most of the shops were designer labels ranging from Dior, Versace, Saks 5th Avenue, DKNY and even Victoria's secret. I also found out that Tag Heuer's most affordable watch is around 1400 dirhams and the most expensive being a jaw-dropping 400 000 dirhams. I have to say though the branded trainers we love in SA are so affordable there and they have the latest ranges as soon as they come in. You can easily pick up Nike, Reeboks, Sketchers at R150-R200 for relatively new styles.

Hetam Lebanese cuisine restaurant



That was it for us, needed a well deserved rest....until day 2...


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