This was our second visit to Dubai having previously stayed at Mina a Salam in July/August where we basically didn't move from the Madinat Complex ! ......... This time it was a more earthy (and cheaper) stay in Bur Dubai at Goldend Sands, with the plan of spending the money saved on the top night venues - so heres what we got up to - hope it gives some of you some help:
Day 1 - Arrived about an hour late on Emrites flight from Brum and after procurring some duty free booze from the airport we finally arrived at Golden Sands at about 2.00 am - thought we;'d be in GS3 but re-directed to GS 5 - first impressions good: helpful proffesional staff and studio apartment looked recently renovated. Buzzing and up for a welcome drink we asked the reception where was open and near - we were directed to "Rumours" at the Ramada !!!!!!! ......... Terrible place - Got in for free but only a third full and those that were there had got stiuck in an 80's time warp - strong feeling that the very dressed up (and seriously drunk) women were ladies of the night but kept that thought quiet from the Mrs ! - We had a laugh though but would never return ! Returned to our apartment glowing from the thought that we were back in Dubai !
Day 2 - Deserved lie in (well we are on holiday) - decided to just chill at roof top pool in GS 5. Views not great because of other tall buildings but a nice way to ease into the holiday - temperatues and humidity much more pleasant than in August !!!!!
Early evening took a cab to Min a Salam (about 20 mins) - exciting drive down Sheikh Zayed Road. For the first drink we headed for the terrace at the Bahri Bar - What a Fantastic spot this is. Amazing view of the Burj, brilliant atmosphere with everyone sitting outside everywhere (certainly didn't get that in August !!!) - it really was a moment to treasure !! ........ The waitress even recognised us from our previous visit which was a nice touch - really could have stayed there all night but had to eat - not quite as easy as we thought !!
After a quick one at the left Bank we tried to get a table at a few of the Resturants nearby - Italian and also Meat Company but both said up to an hour and a half untill they could serve us !! Pisces said they were full but she also noted my casual attire (jeans / trainers) so we booked it up for the following night. Eventually just as our ambient mood was under threat Segretto (of all places) came to the rescue and quickly found us a table (jeans an all !). We'd dined here twice previously and it was as good as we'd remembered - Fantastic Food, great service - Special place......... Doesn't half pump up the bill when you have a bottle of wine though - we'd forgotton that !!!!!
Missed courtesy bus to Jumeira Beach Park (as we were to do EVERY day !) so we a got cheap taxi at a time that suited us - I was well impressed with JBP - Beatiful stretch of Beach (and gardens) - Great facilities and whilst busy, plenty of room for everyone AND not a crane in sight. Sea was a lot clearer than in August and not like hot soup which I prefered but my wife liked the hot bath type feeling of the summer sea - Lovely day, spent sunning and dipping. Taxi back to GS was cheap and quick - at this stage I was beginning to think people grumbling about Duba's horrendous traffic was far fetched .................. at this point !!
Night time and it was back to the Madinat Jumeriah and Pisces - We were shown to our beautiful terrace table where we quickly ordered two Diet Cokes to which we added a large dose of smuggled brandy - You've got to beat the system ! ...... Everybody has raved about this resturant on this forum and no wonder - Absoluty fantastic food and loads of extra's inbetween courses. In no particular oder we had: Crab leg, Tuna Carpaccio, Scollops, Fois gras - All in a fantastic Romantic setting - Deserving of all the praise it gets !!!
Finished of the evening in the fablous Kooba bar at al Qasar - I say fabulous with respect to the ambiance and the views but i was charged the equivalant of about 8 GBP for a beer which i think is ridiculous but perhaps it was Dubai Karma for the brandy racket !!!!!!
Decided to "Beach Club" it today and compare the DHS 100 to the DHS 5 that JBP charge. After advice on here we headed for Club Mina at Le Meridian Mina Seyhai (I think thats what it was called) - Bit of a longer trip in the taxi and although not beseiged by construction work it was still very visable, particulary as you looked out to sea to which I presume was one of the Palm projects being developed. I've got to say whilst I understand you can ignore construction, its not my idea of paradise or relaxation to look out on construction sites so i preferred the open sea outlook of JBP to here BUT the facilities were great with nice infinity pool, jaccusi etc and we enjoyed the day (but didn't return).
Lunch was great - we had the curry mix which was Tusdays special. Fantastic Lamb and vegtable curries, with rice, nan, popodams etc. all eaten on a beautiful terrace overlooking the ocean - filled us up for the nights activities ! .......... After an afternoon spent in and out the pool, sea and on the sunbed we retired to the Barasti Bar for happy hour, which had an even better view as we watched the sunset fuelled by cheap (by dubai standards) beer and Pina Coloda's - this was definatly what we worked all year for !!!!
At about 7pm we decided to venture home and get sprussed up for a night out (prompted by the ending of happy hour !!!) - Quick taxi ride back, shower and back out again...................... one and a half hours later as we pulled up outside GS5 I now believed what people had warned me about on this forum - when Dubai traffic hits grid lock your F****d !
No mater - quick turnaround and of to Emrites towers (There has to be more to Dubai than the Madinat !!) - And there is - What a great night ! Spent a couple of hours at the Vu Bar on the 51st floor ..... WOW - what a view. Really underlines that your in the middle of a thriving, buzzing metropolis - Smugggled brandy again coming into play !!!!!!
We then ventured into the depths of the towers and Harry Ghatto's Karaoke Bar - where the singers seemed to take themselves a bit seriously but it was a pleasant enough stop off before dancing the night away in scarlets - where the Mrs even got two free drinks for ladies night !!!!!
We stagerd back to GS at 4 am drunk, tired but happy ............ Promptly ordered a pizza from the 24 hr cafe and were reminded that not everyting in Dubai is perfect !!!!!
Hope i've not bored you all to tears - will try and finish with part two soon
Only 3 days to go !!!!!!!!