Dubai is one of those places that you have to visit, even if its just once. Did I always think that? No. In fact, I’ve travelled through Dubai so many times, it never once struck me to step out off the airport. Not until June of 2019.

Planning a European trip during the June/July period is not the wisest, at least not for me. It is summer time, which means that every place will be crammed with bustling tourists. If you did not know, I am agoraphobic, so as much as I enjoy being a tourist, I prefer off season periods. It just means less crowds and low anxiety levels.

The first stop was Dubai, and because I have heard so many incredible stories, I decided to stay there for ten days. Travelling with my son means that I prefer vacationing in a resort type of environment for ease and accessibility of various activities.

The resort of choice was the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. As South Africans, traveling to the UAE means that we need to apply for Visas. The good news is that many of the hotels assist you directly with the application. One less stressful task you don’t have to worry about.

Dubai is known for its grandeur of everything, from the lavish lifestyle, breath taking architecture and insatiable shopping. However, there are certain things you need to know before getting to enjoy Dubai life.

Things you should know about Dubai

  • Dubai is extremely hot. During my visit, the temperatures soared at between 38 and 45 degrees Celsius making it difficult if not impossible to be outside during the day.
  • The UAE is one of the most expensive cities that I have visited to date, however baring in mind that I did stay at the Atlantis. There are most certainly cheaper accommodation if you are on a budget.
  • The religious view is that of Islam, so keeping that in mind consider carefully what you pack. It is acceptable however in resorts and tourist areas to bare a little more however in public areas, lack of modesty is shunned upon.
  • The Buraj Khalifa is the worlds tallest building and is without a doubt a sight that can not be missed.
  • Night life is Dubai will leave you gobsmacked. Although it is an Islamic city, Dubai is home to some of the most vibrant nightclubs. I however did not get to visit any of the clubs because of my son but I have been told that you need to dress to impress if you want to gain access.
  • I took Alex (my son) on a Desert safari, and honestly, this was the highlight of my trip. Apart from riding the dunes, the Arabic themed evening with the dinner and belly dancing was astounding.
  • I love travelling but there are places that I have visited where the cusine was not exactly my cup of tea. I most certainly did not have that problem in Dubai. And travelling with the most fussiest eater in the world was a breeze.
  • I definitely enjoyed the luxurious offerings of Dubai but I equally enjoyed the Old city which was filled with night markets.
  • Dubai Mall is every shopoholics dream. You can shop until you drop, literally.


One of the most luxurious resorts I have stayed in to date. The gigantic resorts boasts a “no need to leave the resort” attitude. I found myself in a constant daze. As soon as I thought that I have seen the entire resort I walk into a wing that I’ve never been in.

It is a very expensive resort, and tight budgets will most certainly not work here.

The suite that I stayed in was spacious, overlooking the the pool as well as the beach. The staff were all efficient and friendly.

In terms of adventure for you and the kids, the Atlantis has the Lost Chambers Aquarium, the Adventure water park, you can swim with the dolphins and even go diving. Alex and I opted for snorkelling, this is more our expertise level.

The resort also boasts home to a few celebrity restaurants, Nobu and of course Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen and Bar. Eating at these Gourmet outlets can be extremely expensive but on the flip side there are many “cheaper options available.

My stay at the Atlantis was a memorable one and I can highly recommend this resort. The only down point was having to wait four hours to be checked in, but this being said, I will definitely be going back.

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