Dubai! Oh My!
Remember Christmas Day 2014 when everyone was going insane about round trip tickets to Dubai for less than $200? Well I was one of the lucky people who got their hands on a ticket. I remember waking up Christmas morning to 6 missed voice calls, 3 FaceTime requests and about 10 text messages from the same person: my cousin Naa (she was my Plug). Thinking something was wrong, I frantically read through her text messages prior to calling her back. The first message read “Wake up Jo, I’m trying to put you on this flight glitch to Dubai”. Apparently, Etihad Airways had mistakenly priced roundtrip flights to Dubai for less than $200.
I immediately posted the glitch on IG in hopes to find a travel buddy. My girlfriend Lashawn FaceTimed me with the airline site already opened up and a credit card in hand, she’s about that life. After trying a series of different dates in order to get the lowest price, we decided to book the trip for a later date in order to properly plan and save (because I am a planner and a perfectionist). Roundtrip flight for November 3rd to November 10th of 2015, the best decision I ever made. The flight including travel insurance (just incase they tried to play us) totalled $212. Shortly after, I received a direct message on Instagram from 2 colleagues who saw my post and purchased tickets for the same week. My Dubai Squad was set.
The upcoming months leading to our trip, I made it my job to do all research about both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Luckily, both my twin sister, and cousin Naa, had already visited Dubai in the months between January and November so,I was able to gather information and notes from each individual's trip. By August, I had an excel spreadsheet filled with the best Dubai hotels, Dubai activities, Dubai fashion and sights to see. I also knew how much to budget for and what to expect from the culture. Booking a hotel for a trip is always the easiest part since I am able to get a family discount on all Hyatt Hotels. We decided to stay at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, the Grand Hyatt Dubai and the Viceroy on Yas Island, but you can’t go wrong with any four or five star hotel in the UAE.
Before the trip, my twin sister advised me to book all of our tours and excursions with Groupon for the best pricing and to call ahead of time for availability prior to purchasing anything. Our time in the UAE would be well spent.
Here are some things to consider when booking your trip to UAE:
Top Airlines in 2016, Emirates being #1, Qatar Airlines being #2, & Etihad being #6, all offer direct flights to the UAE.
When booking hotels, keep in mind that most of the hotels offer European twin beds as opposed to the American doubles.
Make sure to map out location of tours and excursions, as taxis in the UAE can be expensive. Luckily, uber is available.
The common myth is, you are required to be completely covered in Dubai. Most places in the city allow you to dress as you would like but i suggest always carrying a scarf just in case. Regardless, it is always respectful to be considerate.
Lastly, Groupon is the REAL MVP. I suggest booking all tours and excursions on Groupon.UAE
Stay tuned for more on Dubai Hotels, Excursions, Culture, & Brunch Life.
How did you plan Dubai? Please feel free to comment or ask any questions.