Restaurant review: Levantine at The Atlantis Hotel, Dubai

Whenever I visit Dubai I love making the most of the middle-eastern cuisine (it’s my FAVOURITE) – and on my most recent visit my Mum and I got to try out Levantine at The Atlantis Hotel which specialises in just that kind of food.

The menu is massive but we wanted to try a little bit of everything, so we ordered the set menu for 2, which means you get a selection of dips and starters, as well as a main course (kebab) and traditional middle eastern desserts. The amount of food was so huge that we had to ask for some take-away bags (no wasting in our family!) but it was so so delicious.

Prepare for some keyboard drooling…

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If you’re visiting from September – May then you can probably get away with sitting outdoors (as it won’t be too hot). In the summer months you might be a bit melty outside – so bear that in mind!

Oh and don’t worry about missing out on the in-house entertainment by sitting outside, the bellydancers do come and perform outside too. Photos of the amazing bellydancer further down the post!

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Here are the starters….

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I don’t remember what most of it was, only that it was delicious. The hummus was perfectly creamy, the tabouli was lemony and gorgeous, and the feta salad (which I totally need to learn to make) was so goooood.

The salad on the right in the photo below was also amazing- but I don’t remember the name of it! I do have a Lebanese cookery book at home so might need to search for it in there.

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The waiters keep you stocked up with bread too and never miss a beat. I could eat flat bread until I pop, so this was maybe not a good thing haha. But I loved it at the time!

Below is the kebab we had as the main course… Again, delicious.

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An Exclusive look: The closest you’ll get to the underwater hotel in Dubai

So you’ve come here looking for information about the underwater hotel in Dubai… Am I right?

Well I have good news and bad news. The bad news is, the fully submerged hotel is currently only a ‘proposed build’ and doesn’t yet exist. The good news is, The Atlantis Hotel (on The Palm) has some underwater hotel suites, which will give you the same effect, and is practically the same thing.

These underwater hotel suites (called The Neptune Suites), are some of the most exclusive in the world, and on my latest trip to Dubai, I was lucky enough to be given an exclusive look inside. And trust me, it didn’t disappoint. If what you’re after is a magical, once-in-a-lifetime, beautiful hotel suite – this is it. And then some.

I’m going to write this blog post using GIFs from the Little Mermaid to illustrate the various emotional states you go through when stopping in this hotel room. Because you know, it’s underwater. And so are mermaids. The connection is totally there, this isn’t just a lame excuse for me to include Disney GIFs in my writing. I promise. 

OK.

Let’s start.

This is what it feels like when you realise you’re booked into the Neptune suite….

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And then, when you check-in, you get escorted to the suite.

This alone will make you feel like King Neptune himself.

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It looks just like any normal room from the outside… but inside, it’s different. It’s amazing. It’s everything you ever dreamed it would be. It starts off at the top of a marble staircase. You proceed down the staircase to a huge living room, that looks like it was designed straight from the blue-prints of King Titan’s underwater palace. 

The attention to detail is impeccable.

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This initial living area isn’t yet underwater, you’re still above ground. You have to take an in-suite lift (yes – you read that right) down to the submerged section of the suite. It’s pretty epic – like a secret spy-lair from a James Bond film.

This is your view from the living room though – if you’re curious.

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But as soon as you take that secret lift down to the most exciting part of the suite… your entire view is underwater. And that’s where the magic begins.

This was my reaction when seeing the suite for the first time…

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It’s like…

“HOLY CRAP THIS IS AMAZING!!! IS IT REAL!? OH MY GOD A SHARK JUST WENT PAST THE WINDOW!” And so on and so forth.

The first room you walk into is the bedroom (which also has a desk area) and a seating area right next to the window. That where you’ll be spending all your time… sipping on Champagne and sitting in awe as hundreds of fish swim past the window inches from your face.

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The bed is a king-size four-poster bed. It’s pretty damn amazing. This will be your reaction to the bed…

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When you’re done sipping Champagne and staring out the window and rolling around on the luxury bed sheets you might want to venture into the ensuite bathroom.

I say bathroom, but what I mean is ‘magical underwater spa of gold’.

Every fixture and fitting in the bathroom is gold-plated, and it’s all finished to the most precise and beautiful detail imaginable. There is a walk-in shower room inside the bathroom, a toilet (of course) and then right in the middle of the room overlooking the window… a huge bathtub.

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I took a photo with the lights out too – because (for me anyway) that’s when the room looks most beautiful – and all the attention is on the underwater view. I mean that’s what you paid the money for right?

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This underwater hotel suite in Dubai is ALL about the view and the unique experience of being underwater. That’s what you’re paying for, and that’s why this room has been so popular in the news and why it’s had celebrities like Kim Kardashian stop there.

Those windows, with the fish, and the sharks and the stingrays – it’s just beautiful. The photos don’t even do it justice, it’s something else.

And even though those fish are behind the glass, you’ll feel like they’re following you around the room. Like this…

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Where else will you get photo opportunities like the below, as you blow dry your hair or shave your legs? Erm, nowhere.

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You’ll feel so smug and happy staying in this hotel room, you’ll find yourself walking around the hotel in kind of a daydream. Suddenly any other ‘above-ground’ view seems a bit boring. And when you head home to your normal house, with your normal views, you’ll start wishing you could see those stingrays again through the curtains.

Because it’s just not as awesome when your view isn’t underwater.

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Exclusive Photos: Burj Khalifa Afternoon Tea in Atmosphere Dubai

The biggest landmark in Dubai (and I mean that literally) – it’s quite literally the tallest building in the world, is the Burj Khalifa.

It’s totally unmissable in the skyline.

If you did go to Dubai and somehow missed it – it’s time to go to SpecSavers haha.

Towering 5 times the height of other skyscrapers around it – it’s on such a huge scale you can’t help but stare up at it frequently when you’re nearby. It’s a building I love, and the art/design-geek inside me just adores it. It’s elegant and fits so beautifully into the skyline.

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I got invited up to the At.Mosphere restaurant, located at the top of the Burj Kalifa, on my recent trip to Dubai and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see those amazing views. The Burj Khalifa Afternoon tea is one of the top luxury experiences in the city – so would pass up such an offer?

I’ve been to the viewing platform on previous visits, but enjoying a meal whilst overlooking the entire city – is taking it to another level of amazingness and the Burj Khalifa afternoon tea surpassed all expectations.

Our reservation was at 12.30pm, so we got to see the restaurant relatively early in the day when the views were all for us and we could explore without disturbing other diners. If you’re going to head there, I’d recommend doing the same, and trying to get in before anyone else – just so you can take as many photos as you want!

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The price for the high tea actually varies depending on whether you want a window table or not – and for the extra money – I’d say just pay the extra and get the top table with the incredible view. If you’re going to spoil yourself, go the whole way and make sure you have the window table.

Prices:

High tea (pp) with window table: AED580 (approx… £105, $157)

High tea (pp) with non-window table: AED530 (approx… £97, $144)

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I’ll get onto the food later on, but first off – let’s talk about the view. For me, the best view of Dubai is from up here. Which has to be a good reason to splash out. And you get to say you ate in the world’s tallest building – which is also pretty cool.

Believe it or not, the views we had whilst up there weren’t even as clear as they usually are. Usually (on a clearer day) you can see for another mile or so in each direction.

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I know I just included like a millions photos of the same view – but it was so amazing, I just wanted to take as many photos as I possible could. It’s the kind of view you just wouldn’t get bored looking at!

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Now, back to the food.

We opted for the non-alcoholic version of the high tea which included gold-infused sparkling apple juice. You can have champagne instead, but I liked the sound of drinking apple juice with speckles of gold inside, so we did that option.

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GOLD SPECKLED APPLE JUICE PEOPLE!!

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The high tea starts off with a palette cleanser of strawberries, raspberries and cream. Topped with gold flakes. Yes, you read that correctly.

It was yummy.

I probably could’ve just eaten that 10 times over actually.

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Next up is a little selection of salads and sandwiches. If you have any allergies they personalise this for you (for example, I couldn’t have the lobster roll so they swapped it out for something else).

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Once you’re finished with your mini-selection of bits, you are served your ‘main course’ which is basically a mini version of a chicken roast dinner. By this time I was already quite full – so I was glad the portions were small!

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And lastly…

THE DESSERTS!!

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There were macaroons, red velvet profiteroles (that’s a really hard word to spell by the way…. it took me 3 attempts!),  cheesecakes, chocolate sponge, plain scones and chocolate scone with loads of jam and stuff to put on them.

Oh and pastries on the bottom too – nearly forgot about those!

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After the sweets I decided to finish off with one of their (many) cocktails, which was a mixture of coconut, lime, mint and pineapple. I’ve decided to try and recreate this at home one day soon- because it was so amazingly yummy.

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So what do you think? Do you think you’ll be heading to the Burj Khalifa for afternoon tea?

My Instagram photos from Dubai #SUNSHINE

As many of you know – Instagram is my absolute favourite social network, and when I head away I tend to take more photos than I know what to do with. I thought I’d share some of my Instagram photos of Dubai with you – and don’t forget to follow me on there, if you enjoyed looking through them :)

There are so many beautiful photo opportunities to capture in Dubai – from the skyscrapers, the the beaches, to the misty, sandy horizons. It’s perfection!

So let’s start with the Skyscrapers…. 

 

Moving onto the beautiful beaches… 

 

The lovely, luxury lifestyle…

 

The incredible sunsets….

 

The transport….

 

Review: Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

You’ll have heard of The Burj Al Arab, even if you’ve never been to Dubai. It’s the world’s only 7* hotel, so it has a reputation is up there with iconic buildings such as The Empire State and Sydney Opera House.

In Dubai, it’s impossible to visit without marvelling at this stunning building at some point. It sticks out over the beach (on its own private island, no less) like a jewel in the sand – pun intended!

I have family who live in Dubai (hi Mum!) so I’ve been to the city many times before. It wasn’t until my 6th or 7th visit that I finally got to explore the Burj Al Arab though, and it was everything I’d expected and more.

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One of the only ways you can into the hotel (without booking a £10,000 per night suite) is by booking yourself in for a meal at one of their restaurants or booking in for cocktails or afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar. This is what me and Harriet did and we milked it for all it was worth.

I’d suggest turning up about 20-30 minutes prior to your reservation time at the Skyview Bar – so you can really explore the lobby and make the most of your surroundings. It’s something truly special and you’ll have never seen anything like it.

After you’ve taken a million selfies in the lobby – time to head up to the bar itself! There is a private lift that whisks you up there, so that’s where the experience begins.

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The photo above was taken in the private lift – as you can see, the luxury is simply everywhere.

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As you’d expect, the afternoon tea is served in the most beautiful room imaginable. The room has huge floor to ceiling windows giving you an all-round view of the city and the ocean, so wherever you’re sat you can see something.

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The dining is done in ‘seatings’ if I remember correctly – so the service is just spot on and faultless. I literally couldn’t give one criticism for this place if I tried – it was wonderful. Our waiter was the best waiter EVER. Each time we turned our heads he filled up our drinks seamlessly, whenever we got up out of our seats he would plump up the cushions and refresh our napkins.

It was perfection – I’ve never been anywhere quite so amazing since.

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As you’d expect, the food was delicious too! There are a few photos above, to help paint the picture for you – but honestly – it’s best left as surprise. If you’re planning on going – don’t google around too much, and just let the excitement and the unknown be part of the fun!

You can read the menu, by clicking here though – if patience isn’t your strong point!

What should you wear? 

Something smart. It doesn’t have to be formal suits, but don’t turn up in shorts and fliflops – because you won’t get admitted. For women I’d suggest a nice dress and sandals / heels. For men, I’d wear jeans, shoes (not trainers!) and a shirt. The official website says the following:

Smart Casual. Gentlemen are required to wear a collared shirt, full-length trousers or elegant jeans and closed shoes (no trainers or sport shoes). Ladies are required to wear a suit or dress, long or short skirt or dressy slack and top. UAE national dress is welcomed.

What does it cost? 

Afternoon tea costs AED 565 (about £95-£100) and it’s worth every penny. When else will you get a chance to go to a 7* hotel?

I’d go all over again without a second thought – it was totally worth the cost.

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Dubai nightlife: The best bars and nightclubs in Dubai

Dubai may not have the biggest nightlife reputation – but believe it or not, the city is a hub of amazing nightlife hotspots just waiting to be discovered. In fact, some of the most luxurious, beautiful evening venues I’ve ever been in, are located in Dubai – so prepare to be amazed!

Here are my top pick for Dubai nightlife… you’ll find suggestions for bars and nightclubs – depending on what kind of night you’re after of course!

Skyview bar – Burj Al Arab

Known for its afternoon tea in the daytime – this place turns into a classy cocktail bar come evening – perfect for a few drinks prior to any night out. As you’d expect, the cost is pricey and the dress code is ‘dressed up’ – but if you’re looking for somewhere tasteful and luxurious, you can’t get better than this. After all, it’s located in the world’s only 7* hotel!

Here’s Harriet enjoying a glass of champagne before sunset!

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Bar 360 – Jumeirah Beach Hotel

If you want a bar with an incredible view – look no further than this place. Found at the end of the Jumeirah Beach Hotel marina walkway, it’s a little island of its own – with 360′ views of the entire city. From one side you’ll see the beautiful Burj Al Arab, from the other you’ll get cracking views of the business district. The bar upstairs is open air, and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail (or two… or three) with the soft sea breeze keeping you cool.

Look out for ladies night, and happy hour – this place offer both!

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And below is the view I promised you!

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Cirque le Soir – Fairmont Hotel

For a star-filled night club, where you’re just as likely to spot a celebrity as you are an acrobat – this is the place to be. Modelled after its other name-sake in London, this place is fun, flirty, and for those who love late night and lots of dancing. It’s decadent and unique – so definitely somewhere to go if you’re after something a little different from home.

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Buddha Bar – Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina

If you’re after sophisticated drinks, and a nice meal to follow it – the Buddha Bar is a fantastic choice. It’s elegant, lively and HUGE – with the biggest Buddha statue you’ve probably ever seen (unless you’ve been to the place in Hong Kong!). We stayed for cocktails and the prices were reasonable, the crowd was friendly, and the wait times at the bar were great.

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The Madinat – Jumeirah

The Madinat isn’t so much a nightlife venue in itself, it’s actually a big shopping mall / hotel / eating venue. It’s packed full of various bars / restaurants and clubs so if you head there you could have a look around and choose the best one. My favourite thing to do here is sit in the amphitheatre seating and enjoy some sheesha, there are big leather sofas for everyone to sit together, and a lovely sweet smell in the air too.

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And let’s face it – the view isn’t bad either!

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 At.Mosphere – Burj Kalifa

As far as nightlife in Dubai goes…. This place is located on floor 122 of the world’s tallest building (this place has seriously credentials… can you tell?!) So if you want sky-high cocktails with a view, then go here.

You can eat here too – but I’d suggest saving your pennies, and enjoying a meal in the restaurants by the fountains beforehand – and then heading up to At.Mosphere afterwards for some post-dinner drinks. You can watch the fountains from up here too – which is amazing – and completely different from the ground floor view.

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Where are your favourite nightlife spots and nightclubs in Dubai? Feel free to leave any more recommendations in the comments!

If you found this blog post help – I’d love for you to vote for me in the Trespass Blog Awards. You can vote by clicking here :) Thanks so much! 

My Favourite Things to do in Beautiful Dubai

I have family in Dubai, so I’m really lucky in that I always have an excuse to visit. Dubai is deifnitely a ‘Marmite’ kind of city – and usually when I speak to people, they have either loved it or hated it.

For me, I love it.

Sure, it’s a very new city, and it is all about the sparkle, the glitz and the glam. But, if you take it for what it is, you can have an amazing time here. There is (believe it or not) culture to be found amongst the skyscrapers and luxury hotels, and there are tons of fun things to do too.

So with this in mind, I thought I’d write about my favourite things to do in the city. Enjoy!

1. Watch the sunset

The sunset is so beautiful in Dubai – and you’ll never witness a sky more orange and a sun so bright as you do whilst you’re in the middle east. Take an entire evening and go sit on the beach as the sun sets into the horizon. It’s magic.

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2. Watch the Dubai fountains

Made by the same guys who did the Bellagio fountains – but on a much bigger scale – I challenge anyone not to be impressed whilst watching them. I cried the first time I saw them (I know – get a life Ellie) because they were just so beautiful, and my favourite song was playing in the background. But anyway, just go watch them.

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3. Explore the shopping malls

 

The shopping malls in Dubai are on a huge scale and you can find just about anything in them, that you would need in life, ever. I could literally spend days in the Pottery Barn they have – it’s so big. In Dubai mall there is ice-skating rink and the world’s biggest aquarium (they don’t do things by half…!) and in the Emirates mall you’ll find an indoor skiing slope. Yes really.

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4. Take in some culture

Many people visit Dubai and stay in the compounds of their hotel – which is a total mistake. Get out and about and you’ll stumble across some beautiful buildings (like the one below). Head into Dubai’s old town and there is even a museum you can visit which will fill you in on all the old-ways of the city. The traditional gold markets and fish markets are also a lot of fun, as is the tiny taxi-boat across the creek (which only costs about 20p).

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5. Visit a water park 

There are plenty of water parks to choose from, but I’d go for either The Atlantis one (because they have DOLPHINS!!) or the Wild Wadi one (because they awesome rides). It’s a lot of fun and a nice break from the city life too. Plus you get to spend a whole day messing about in pools and on slides – which is pretty cool. And Dolphins. Did I mention the Dolphins?!

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6. Visit the Marina

I love the marina because it feels a little separate from other touristy parts of the city – and yet it’s just beautiful and bustling all the time. I love just wandering around during the evening and watching the day turn into night. Enjoy a nice meal outdoors and enjoy some people watching too. 

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7. Hit the beach

During the summer months (June – August) the beach might be a bit unbearable because of the sheer heat (my sister and I almost died once trying to walk for about 15 minutes along the beach in 50 degree heat. This sounds like an exaggeration  but I swear we both thought we would literally melt to death), but saying that during the cooler months when the temperature is gorgeous – the beach is the perfect place to be. Dubai has some amazing beaches, and the sea is calm and clean too – so it’s always a pleasure to swim in it.

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8. THE FOOD!

The Food in Dubai is pretty damn good – what with all the buffets, posh restaurants and lebanese / middle eastern influence. The below is my favourite kind of food to eat in Dubai. Just give me humous, and tabouli. Lots of it. Everyday. For every meal.

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What are your favourite things to do in Dubai? I always love hearing new recommendations! 

Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? If so I’d love if you could spare a second to vote for me in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014. Just click here to get to the voting site. Thanks a million!

We Can’t Much Get Higher Than This: Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Dubai is (and probably always will be) one of my favourite vacation destinations. There are few reasons for this; It’s like the perfect distance from UK (only 7 hours on a plane), it feels miles away from anything British, the weather is amazing and finally, it’s where my wonderful Mum lives.

One of my favourite things to do when I’m in Dubai is visit the Burj Khalifa. We don’t go up to the top every time (that would get expensive) but it’s such a beautiful building, and the area around it is so much fun – with the fountains, restaurants and shopping malls – that it’s always the place I want to go first. As with some ‘sky-high’ viewing platforms (where it’s not really worth the money) I still totally think, even after being up there 3 times, the Burj Khalifa is.

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Why?

First of all – Tom Cruise went there once (is that not reason enough?!) and secondly, it’s the tallest building in THE WORLD. It is the highest you will ever stand on solid ground, without being in an airplane. That always makes me feel a bit awesome, like…

“Holy Cow. I am so high up right now”

The views up there are pretty phenomenal and it’s hard not to stop your jaw dropping when you look over the side of the observation deck. It really puts things into perspective too – suddenly all those sky scrapers that looked so big on the ground, now seem tiny – and miles away from where you currently stand.

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The observation deck itself is very modern too – which means you actually get to enjoy the view and take it all in, the windows are floor to ceiling – which as a photographer I’m always grateful for.  There is an outdoor section (which is open air) and an indoor section, which is kind of nice, because being out in the heat can get a bit full on (especially when you’re that high up) so it’s nice to pop back indoors and cool down under the air-conditioning occasionally.

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When is the best time to visit?

Definitely in early evening / late afternoon – if you time it right (and trust me – it’s worth the extra effort to make sure you do) you’ll be able to see the view in the daytime and then through sunset and into the evening. Each different time of day and each kind of light gives something completely different and magical so, please, if you’re going up there try and time your visit so you can witness all three.

During the night-time you also have the adding bonus of being able to watch the fountains below – something you can’t really see during the daytime light.

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From experience – if you’re wanting to book during this time it’s much better (and WAY cheaper) to book in advance on their website. I think you save around 30% (don’t quote me on that though!) by booking online.

I just wanted this to be a quick informative post – as I think if you’re considering going up yourself – it’s best to just go and experience it all first hand. There is only so much the photographs can do – because when you see the views in person they are that bit more overwhelming. It really is a beautiful view and the sunsets in Dubai (being as stunning as they are) make it even more memorable. For any men reading – this would be a great place to pop the question… in case you were wondering.

As far as attractions in Dubai go, this is one of the best there is and definitely one of my favourites. It’s the world’s tallest building! How is that not impressive?

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Did you enjoy this post or find it helpful? If so I’d love if you could spare a second to vote for me in The Cosmopolitan Blog Awards 2014. Just click here to get to the voting site. Thanks a million!

My Entry: Capture The Colour Competition

Last year I never got a chance to enter the Capture The Colour competition – because we were way to busy with preparations for our move to New Zealand. But now we’re back in the UK – I can finally enter some of my own photos – so here goes….

YELLOW.

A photo that I’ve always loved, taken at sunset in Dubai with one of my closest friends (yay for self timer!). This part of the world means an awful lot to me as it’s where I was born, and it’s where my Mum has recently moved back to. It’s one thing being British, but I’m also very proud of my roots in this beautiful part of the world too.

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GREEN

This was the view taken from my balcony in Queenstown, New Zealand. I lived there for 6 months – and you can’t possibly imagine how incredible it was waking up to this view every morning. Whilst I think many people would look at this photo and assume it’s meant for the colour Blue – for me it’s the green that makes this image pop. I love all the little green trees and their delicate reflections in the lake below, and of course the huge tree in the foreground. I honestly don’t think you could find a more perfect outlook than this.

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WHITE.

I had a few photos I wanted to use to represent the White category, but in the end this is the one I opted for. This is the Dubai fountains, and every time I visit Dubai I make sure we go watch them at least once. The first time I ever saw them (coincidently – when I took this photo) I cried like a baby, because I was just so overwhelmed by how beautiful it was. I loved watching people’s reactions to them, the absolute awe and magic everyone feels when the water start dancing.

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BLUE. 

For me Blue is the ocean and the sky – and there is no need to be subtle about this colour at all. This photo is one of my favourites that I’ve ever taken, so I had to use it for this competition. I think it sums up the colour Blue for me, the freedom of the ocean and the neverending-ness of the sky. I like that.

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RED.

When we visited one of the floating markets in the Bangkok area, this lady (in the red coat below) took my breath away. She must have been about 85 (+) years old, and there she was, working in a tiny boat, selling fruit and even flashing us a cheeky smile. I was just bowled over by her, and for me she captures the colour Red brilliantly.

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As part of the competition, we also have to nominate 5 other travel bloggers to participate, so here are my nominations:

Samuel from Nomadic Samuel

Monica from The Travel hack

Lauren from Only Chasing The Sun 

Rusja from Roo Around The World

Giulia from Travel Reportage

6 Reasons You Should Love Dubai

Dubai, like many of the World’s major cities – is made of Marmite.

You either love it or hate it…. I love it.

We’re not in Dubai at the moment – but I thought this gorgeous city deserved to be written about. I’ve now been to Dubai many, many times; my Mum and my Godfather live out there (which is reason enough to visit) but the city always pulls me back for more for reasons than family, despite having been there countless times.

It’s a city that some people I know adore just as much as myself – but who others despise with a passion. Maybe they don’t like sand – who knows. Personally, I’ve been blinded by the lights of Dubai and have a rosy-attitude towards the place despite the construction work and sweltering heat. If you think you could manage to look beyond those two (teeny tiny) things – keep reading. Because you might fall head over heels for Dubai too.

This is why I love it there and why you should too:

1. The atmosphere

The difference in culture and atmosphere is something that unites a lot of Middle Eastern countries I’ve visited, and something that will always draw me back to that part of the world. I was actually born in the Middle East (Kuwait) so there’s a part of me deep down, which almost feels like I’m being welcomed home as soon as I see dessert and hear the call to prayer. I love this part of the world; I love the heat, the dryness, the sand, the lifestyle and the people.

2. The glitter

All that glitters in gold in Dubai (sometime literally). The city is on an ever-lasting mission to improve itself and this is something I love. I love going back within months of my last trip – and seeing more changes to the skyline – the city is literally never the same one day to the next. They don’t do things by half here, they do everything to the full and the finished product is incredible.

3. The Fountains

The Dubai Fountains are probably my favourite spot in Dubai, and deserve a little spot in this post. There is nothing I love more than sitting outside in the evening at one of the restaurants by the Dubai Fountains and just watching the world go by. The Dubai Fountains are designed by the same guys who did the Bellagio ones, and are by all accounts just as epic. It’s truly incredible just to watch them, and watch people’s reactions to them.

4. The food

If my heart belongs in NYC, then my stomach belongs in Dubai. Oh good god the food in Dubai is so good. I love Middle Eastern food. Hummus. Tabouli. Salad. Bread. Wraps. Cheese. Yoghurt. Mint. Just give me all the food and I will be happy. If you can bear the heat in Dubai during the summer then heading to one of the evening Ramadan buffets is truly an experience. The more expensive you go – the more overwhelmed you’re going to be. We went to the one on Jumeriah Beach and they had about 7 different rooms of food to choose from. Just WOW.

5. The sunsets

The sun is so big in Dubai and so orange, you can’t really understand it until you’ve seen it. Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in my life have been witnessed from the sandy shores of Dubai. They’re amazing.

 6. The variety

Dubai has something for pretty much everyone. If you like culture – there is the old part of the city full of temples, traditional fishing workers, markets and locals. If you want glitz and glamour there is the marina, the malls and the world-class hotels. If you want to relax by a pool and do nothing – you can do it (every hotel has a pool here). If you want adrenaline or adventure you can have that as well, there are sand dunes, skiing, sky-diving and snorkelling for that. If you want wild-life there are camels, aquariums and countless other animals. OH and if you want to spend your entire time eating the amazing food – they have lots of restaurants so you aren’t going to run out of options.