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Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

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Belfast, United...
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Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Hi, getting really excited now - only about 6 weeks to go before hubby and I are off to Dubai!

I am in the middle of planning and booking trips and wanted to ask some advice re the following:

We'll be arriving in the early hours of Monday morning and after catching up on some sleep have got a 4-hour city tour booked for the afternoon. The question is - what to do in the evening? We could do an Al Mansour Dhow dinner cruise on the Creek (we are staying at the Hilton Dubai Creek so the departure point at the Radisson Blu would be close by) or we could ask our tour guide to drop us off at Madinat Jumeirah for an evening walk-about, a bit of shopping and dinner (and then make our own way home).

I must say, MJ does look nice lit up in the evening and I'd love some night-time shots of the Burj Al Arab all lit up in the background. Having said that, it does kind of remind me of a mini-Vegas (sorry all, I despise Vegas!) and from what I read, dining and shopping there is way over-prized... Also, we'd have to make our own way back to the hotel afterwards (remember, it'll be our first day and we will still be finding our feet).

Alternatively, the cruise looks nice and may well be the less stressful option although I am not sure just how spectacular the Creek looks at night (remember, we're staying at the Hilton so should have the Creek view from our hotel anyway) and if it's really worth doing. On the plus side, we'd have dinner included in the $50/pp price so it's most likely the cheaper option as well.

I'd really appreciate your opinions on what your preferred option would be - please, help!

Here and there
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1. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Madinat souk is lovely at night (even if a bit Vegasy 1) and if you could get dropped there then it's really easy to get a taxi back to where you are staying.

However, that's a 20 to 30 minute cab ride at the end of a long day.

You could, as you say, go back to your hotel and then go out on Al Mansour Dhow and the creek is nice to see at night but once you are on it you are on it for 2 hours and by then you might have run out of stamina.

As an alterntive you could have dinner overlooking the creek - Boardwalk terrace at the Dubai Creek Yacht and Golf club would get my vote for this. Then you can see the creek at night, leave when you are ready to go back to your hotel and get an earlier night if you are tired.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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2. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

I would choose the Madinat over the dhow cruise. You don't want to book a dinner cruise in advance only to find out you'd rather just go to bed. Or get stuck on the dhow when you're falling asleep.

The Madinat is lovely at night and the shops may have touristy prices but you don't need to buy anything there. Dinner is not more expensive than in other popular areas. It's easy to get a taxi back to your hotel.

I would leave yourself some flexibility and see how you feel on the day.

Belfast, United...
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3. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Latimer/Kali - thanks as always for the excellent advice and voice of reason!

I think I have got myself caught up in a bit of "over-planning" and should definitely allow for a bit more flexibility - especially as it's going to be our first day, after a long flight, 4-hours city tour and, not least, dramatic change in climate (as I am looking out the window there are heavy snow drifts in Belfast!!!) So let's just see how we feel...

The Boardwalk looks like a lovely option for dinner close-by. Could we actually walk it from the Hilton? Same if we did decide to go for the Al Mansour dhow - would we be able to walk to the Radisson? We are quite fit and it looks close enough on the map but as I have found out at my expense, these things can be very deceptive!!!

Any other nice dining recommendations (pleasant/casual, reasonable prices, all cuisines) within walking distance of the Hilton (I know they have the Glasshouse Brasserie and Table 9 in-house as well)?

Getting all excited (and definitely sick for a bit of sunshine!)... (-:

Many thanks,

Monika

Here and there
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4. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

You could walk but you may not want to in May - the Boardwalk is inside the grounds of the Park Hyatt hotel and I would think it's at least a 10 minute walk from the gate to the restaurant. I've never walked from the Hilton to the Boardwalk but I would estimate at least 25 mins, maybe more and I know I wouldn't want to do that in May in Dubai, especially if going for dinner.

From the Hilton, the Radisson is in the oposite direction so maybe 10 mins walk so yes, you could walk it but again may not want to.

You could try the Sheraton hotel which is closer and also the Radisson itself, which has some great restaurants.

Alternatively, get a cab to somewhere like Fesitval City Mall, Wafi Pyramids or Dubai mall as they all have areas to walk around and some nice restaurants; both inside and outside

Prestwick, United...
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5. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

We stayed in the Samaya in Nov which is right behind the Hilton. We walked to the Yaught club for breakfast, about 20 mins. Really good buffet with lovely creek views. Have also had a good dinner at Vivaldi Italian restaurant at the Sheraton, about 10 min walk. 2 years ago went on Al Mansour Dhow cruise, very good compared to the one we did this year. I would say it's the best dinner cruise on the creek. Madinat is also lovely at night, & if you have booked a restaurant get taken on an abra ride around the waterways of the Madinat. Went to a lovely Lebonese restaurant in Nov overlooking the pool at Madinat.

Italy
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6. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

I also wouldn't do the cruise as you need something to keep you awake, my personal choice would be the Madinat as it's lively and if you do get tired taxis are everywhere.

New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Another vote for the Madinat

scotland
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8. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Nobody walks anywhere in Dubai - it's not just the heat, it's designed for cars and there are no pavements in most places. Taxis are everywhere and are very cheap - don't worry that you'll blow the budget. The cost of fuel is so low that taxis are a very cheap way to get around and you won't waste your precious time there.

Belfast, United...
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9. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

Thank you so much again to everybody, very helpful. Janey, having lived in North Carolina for a while, I know exactly what you mean about "walking is just not the done thing".... we used to have to drive between the grocery store and the pharmacy exactly opposite because there was just no pedestrian facility for miles for crossing the road!

Looks like the decision has (almost) been made... Hubby came across the Meat Company's website in Madinat Jumeirah and is drooling as we speak! He thinks we Europeans are useless at doing steaks the way he loves them and can't wait to give the Angus (or was it the Australian?) rib-eye a good run for its money! It is his 40th birthday trip so who am I to argue....

Question: Will it be possible to dine outside in early May? The restaurant website offers "deck" as one of their seating options but isn't specific about whether this is available all year round. We would really love to sit outside as it is one of the things we miss most here in Northern Ireland (in a good year, you get about 3 nights when you could sit outside without zipping up your anorak!)

Thanks again to everybody!

Abu Dhabi
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10. Re: Dhow dinner cruise or Madinat Jumeirah?

I think in early may it will become a bit unpleasant to sit outside unfortunately!