One thing travelers don’t tell you is how exhausting travelling can be. I had planned a wonderful (and rather busy) itinerary for my time in Dubai, but sadly upon my arrival it went straight out of the window (OK … slight exaggeration, maybe I just rearranged it). Usually, when I arrive in a new place, I am filled with apprehension and excitement to get out and explore. Yet there I was in Dubai, with no energy or desire to leave my bed. Even now, I still have no idea what caused me to feel like that. Maybe it was jet lag or just exhaustion from doing so many exciting things in Singapore.
My photographer managed to coax me out with the promise of vegan sushi (those who have followed me for a while will know, I never say no to food!). We all have bad days when life all of a sudden seems too much and hiding is the best option. But, I always find it’s best to get outside and making the most of the simple things in life. As I was feeling so nervous, I decided to start with something small and explore the area around my hotel. Jumeirah Beach Residence is nestled in between Dubai Marina and the Persian gulf. I chose to aim for the coastline as I find the ocean a very calming place, it’s also a great place to find beach treasure (note from photographer: beach treasure is shells).
After going down the escalator from my hotel to the walk, my photographer and I went straight onto the beach. I think the human I travel with is part mermaid as my photographer is always happiest in or near water. I was happy enough to sit on my beach towel on the white sand. I even found a tiny friend scurrying about. I chose to sit on the beach near the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort, though I wasn’t able to stay long as a friendly security guard told me it was a private hotel beach.
Starting to feel a bit more like myself, I made my way further along the promenade. It is a lovely flat place to walk with great views and lots of places to sit and enjoy them. I managed to get my first glimpse of the Burj Al Arab hotel and the Palm. I walked all the way to the end, which brought me to a bridge. I walked over the 260 meter long pedestrian bridge to find myself in the new Bluewaters Island. The water underneath was so clear, I could see lots of fishies swimming about.
Bluewaters is the new and upcoming destination in Dubai, most of which I don’t think has opened yet. But that made it nice and quiet for me to wander around. I found it to be a really chilled place close to the busy centre of JBR. The Ain Dubai is incredibly tall, but you don’t need to go to the top for incredible views. The promenade has really arty Volkswagen camper vans which have a great background of skyscrapers from Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Heading back across the Persian Gulf decided it was time to escape the heat and visit the Walk. It is 1.7 km long and filled to the brim with coffee shops, restaurants, art and other entertainment. During my visit it was the Dubai food festival, so I was treated to firework displays on an evening. I’m yet to find something the Walk doesn’t have, there is everything from very clean public toilets to a sign with all of the rules. I like all of the little street vendors selling fresh coconuts and coffee, so you can sit on a bench and enjoy the atmosphere.
I found a few really great places to eat whilst I was here (more about the food in a separate post). The thing which took my breath away, other than the sheer amount of super cars, was the art. Walls in England are decorated with often naughty graffiti. But the Walk is lined with incredible paintings that give the illusion of animals coming out from the walls. My favourite was definitely the rag doll sitting on the staircase.
I had walked all the way to Skydive Dubai before I knew it! By the time I reached the bottom of the beach I felt so much better. Happily choosing the beach route back to my hotel, ready to watch another beautiful Arabian Sunset.
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