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Dubai hotels and advice please!?

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Jan 11th, 2003, 06:48 AM
  #1
LouiseUK
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Dubai hotels and advice please!?

We are flying from the UK to Bangkok and returning with a stopover in Dubai for four nights in April. Do you think four nights will be enough, we love shopping and also fancy doing the dune safari. The Taj Palace hotel is doing a very good rate at the mo, 370 dirhams per night and I wondered if anyone can advise me what it is like. Also, is it easy to get around, would we need a car or can we get everywhere conveniently using public transport?

Any help to fill in the gaps would be much appreciated together with any other info you think might be useful!
 
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Jan 11th, 2003, 09:42 AM
  #2
Nick
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4 nights is enough. Taj Palace I think (Taj Group is pretty good) is OK and not a bad rate.Ok location for shopping. Not many tourists I think go by public transport -mainly get taxis which a pretty cheap - but you have to be wary of finding that you can be going relatively long distances with taxis (e.g to Jumeirah Beach) - which then becomes a bit more expensive. I would not hire a car - some of the driving there is a little dodgy - the Indian taxi drivers will give a colourful description of the local Arab drivers - rightly for the most part as there is a tendency not to look before changing lanes etc. For shopping you can ask the hotel for the nearest big centres -the big ones are pretty serious affairs. Also check out a Carrefour supermarket there - amazing selection of food - British stuff, French, US, Indian, Arabic - biggest range you are likely to see in the world. Gold souk for jewellery. Automatic is a good local chain of Arabic/Lebanese food - good value portions, assuming their new owners have kept the same value. For great manicure - go to The Club. Women only, served by one of 20 Filipinos. Your husband will not even be allowed to wait in the reception. My wife thought it was fantastic value at 98 dirhams for manicure and pedicure - 1hr 45 mins or so. This is one of the busiest places in Dubai with women coming and going all the time - my wife went to one located in the smaller shopping centres on Jumeirah Beach Rd but there are a few - ask the hotel. If you check out Burj el Arab hotel it will cost you about $60 I think - get it back of you eat there. Some people I know think the undersea restaurant is good, others think very mediocre and poor value. Be wary of prices - Dubai is not bargain basement anymore (articles in Daily Telegraph confirm this), so really check out what you want and prices in UK before - quite likely to get better prices in Bangkok now. Be also wary of returning customs if stocking up. Any small economies could be wiped out if you have to or choose to declare - as I am sure you will!
 
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Jan 11th, 2003, 10:02 AM
  #3
LouiseUK
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Thanks for the info. I like the sound of The Club - it is my birthday whilst we are there, so I might treat myself. I also want to buy a nice ring too. I was reading earlier about the undersea restaurant, that sounds pretty cool, I think I will investigate!
 
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Jan 11th, 2003, 11:01 AM
  #4
steve
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louiseuk- i have lived in dubai for the past 3yrs and would strongly advise staying at one of the beach resorts. dubai is not the kind of city for walking around and exploring day and night as most of the restraunts/pubs are located in hotels.

as for the taj, i have no idea where it is located which probably says alot. as for nice hotels, i would first recommend the royal mirage. while some would say it is way out of town, it will take you no more than 20mins and $10 to take a taxi to the center of town. after that, you could try the dubai marine beach club (small beach but very close to town and great nightlife in the complex..also you must eat at cappanna nouva on the edge of the sea) or even emirates towers hotel (also in town).

definately do the dessert dune drive and also spend an afternoon in the souqs. starting at the textile souq, then taking an abra (water taxi) across the creek to the spice souq and then to the gold souq.

enjoy the trip but also enjoy the beach. the weather should be great then.
 
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Jan 11th, 2003, 11:32 AM
  #5
LouiseUK
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Oh dear Steve - you have ruined my plans!! First of all I was looking at staying on the beach at the Oasis Beach, but then I read that it was quite a way out of town, which is where I should imagine we will spend most of our time! I was just about to book the Taj but I will reconsider now!
 
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Jan 11th, 2003, 11:25 PM
  #6
steve
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louiseuk -

didn;t mean to ruin you plans! it really depends want you want to get out of the trip. as for taking advice from residents, sometimes good, sometimes bad. we live a different type of life.

personally, after a week in bangkok, i would want a bit of r&r, while also being able to enjoy a bit of the arab culture. dubai is not huge on culture and is very cosmopolitan. that is why it attracts so many expats.

if $$$ is no problem, look at the jumeriam beach CLUB (not hotel). it is small, beautiful, classy and in a neighborhood area of beach road (i put my parents here). shops are close as is a gorgeous mosque. it is also only about 10 mins from the center of town. royal mirage has a very arabic feel for a luxury hotel and is where i put people who are visiting for the first time. 20mins isn;t far and if you ask the cab driver to take beach rd, it only takes a few more mins and is a nice drive. i add the extra mins taking this route to work everyday. in town, the sheraton creekside has been redone and would allow you nice views of the creek and you would be in the heart of the "old" part of dubai called diera.

i would think you could do desert safari (hotel will arrange,leave at 3pm back at 11pm)one day. another day in town amongst the souqs along the creek. the other two at leisure. shopping malls are shopping malls and too fancy here to give you a flavour of dubai. as the other poster mentioned, dubai is no longer the place of deals (with the exception of jewellery) that it used to be.

restraunts - skip the burj's underwater restaurant. they have a new beachfront one called majlis al baher which will be a special event. a little less pricey also. plus, you can then see the burj in all its glory. also, the restaurant from a previous post is my fav in dubai. finally, lunch at boardwalk (creek golf and yacht club is a must).
 
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Mar 13th, 2003, 01:48 AM
  #7
 
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Hi

We discovered that it was pretty easy to take the bus around town when we were in Dubai in March last year. But it is also quite cheap to take a taxi around. We stayed there for aout 10 days and we had a great time. I have posted a long travelogue with some pictures from the trip on my homepage www.gardkarlsen.com. Maybe you can find some more infor there. We also went to Thailand last year and I have also posted a travelogue and pictures from this trip on the page.

Have a great trip

Regards
Gard
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