When planning our trip to Bali from the UK the flights in total are 16 hours and we wanted to break up the flight with a stopover and Dubai was an excellent option as it did not increase the cost of the flights with Emirates..
It has always been on our bucket list, with numerous friends visiting regularly we heard many stories but mainly of the famous brunches which are a buffet of world class food and drinks. However, don’t do what we did and miss it! Brunches are held on a Friday as the weekends in Dubai are Friday/Saturday.
Dubai is very appealing as from the UK it is approx. 6hr flight and has year round hot weather. The service is second to none, standards are very high from the food, hotels to staff who are friendly and really look after you which makes the experience all the more enjoyable.
Arriving at Dubai airport and Getting a Taxi
The airport had no congestion and we glided through, collected our bags and followed the taxi signs outside. There was a long line of cars waiting outside however staff directed you to the taxis moving everyone through quickly.
The yellow taxis have meters and the luxury black taxis do not and require some negotiation. Most of the taxis offer payment by credit or debit card, although the one time I tried to pay with a card I was told the machine was broken so make sure you have cash with you. There are also pink taxi’s driven by women which may appeal to female travellers who are alone.
Whenever picking a hotel I always like to check the booking.com score rather that the trip adviser score (booking.com are verified purchases; you may only leave comments after you have stayed in the accommodation, however on TripAdvisor anyone can leave comments even if they have not stayed in the accommodation). Generally anything over an 8 is good and any over a 9 is excellent. Raffles at the time of booking scored a 9.2.
The hotel is just a short 20-minute taxi ride from the airport, which makes it perfect for a stopover to break up a journey (from the UK or Europe when venturing to another country like Bali for example)
From when we arrived at the hotel the service was amazing, the staff really look after you. On arrival at Raffles hotel the staff opened the taxi door, took the cases and bags (giving you a receipt) we were directed to the reception and were immediately checked in within a few minutes while being offered a local coffee for refreshment. We booked the signature room (which is a beautifully decorated large room with balcony, jacuzzi bath) delightfully they informed us that we had been upgraded the Presidential Suite, we struggled to keep our calm.. OMG – the suite was amazing and the best we have ever stayed in, 3 bathrooms, 2 outside terraces, jacuzzi, dining room, kitchen, living room, bar, bedroom with a four poster bed with walk in wardrobes.
There is an amazing Japanese restaurant on the roof of the with a great view of the Dubai skyline.
There is a shopping mall located next door to the hotel, however, it is on the small side and nothing in comparison to The Dubai Mall (See Dubai Mall section).
Sky Lounge Level 43 – Four Point Hotel by Sheraton –
Best place for an drink with amazing views.
For evening drinks (they also serve food) I would recommend Level 43 Sky Lounge bar. We entered the hotel and took the lift to the 43rd floor. We arrived in the afternoon and nobody was there, we were sat outside and it was 40c. Not only were we sweating but we were wondering what all the fuss was about. As dusk started to approach the place got busier and busier. When night finally falls and the city lights up, the views are amazing and the bar comes to life!
There is also the opportunity to stay at the hotel and the prices are a lot more reasonable than Raffles. There is also a pool on the 43rd floor for residents.
Barasti Beach Bar
Is a great place day and night. During the day you can sunbathe on the beach, enjoy a game of volleyball, sit outside under a parasol and enjoy some great food and drinks or sit in the bar area in the shade and enjoy the latest sports on TV.
At night the bar comes alive with the worlds best DJ’s you can dance the night away. Party time!!
Dinner in the Sky
I’m always up for doing different things so when I saw an amazing photo on Instagram I had to do it! We were driven along the marina and glimpsed a large crane holding a platform, you walked along the red carpet and sat in the seat (seatbelts secure you in). The platform is raised 50 meters into the air over the marina with spectacular views at night, it rotates occasionally so you get different views during the meal. The food was good (not amazing) and when the breeze died down it was very hot. Overall this was an amazing experience we will not forget!
To book a place at Dinner in the sky please visit the website
The Dubai Mall & Dubai Fountain
The mall is massive! It is the largest shopping mall in the world and we really enjoyed wondering round in the cool air-con for a few hours. You can get anything you need here but mainly we went to see the Dubai fountain show which happens every hour. It is an impressive display of the water dancing to lights and music. It was very busy as lots of people gather around the lake promenade prior to the show starting so make sure you get a good spot!
Burj Khalifa – The Tallest Building in the World
We accessed the Burj Khalifa through the Dubai mall we hadn’t pre-bought tickets so got them quite quickly from the front desk. Not realising we had bought the VIP tickets which fast tracked us to the top! We were took into a private lounge, the guide took us through the building missing all the queues (and there were a lot of people and a lot of queues!!!). The final lift to the top was really interesting as the walls were light up with the other tallest buildings in the world noting their height, so as you passed the empire state, the shard etc and then eventually arrived at the top of the Burj Khalifa you really knew how high you where!! We were greeted with drinks and canapes and enjoyed the views from inside and out.