What I loved about Dubai – article in Sunday Times of Malta

Last month my husband and I decided to go on vacation to Dubai. It had been on my personal travel bucket list for a long time. I was also eager to go somewhere sunny in Malta’s Winter so we booked through our Travel Agency ROCS Travel, who have great expertise and a huge portfolio of hotels in this marvellous city. We booked our holiday and enjoyed a blissful week here. We travelled from Malta with Emirates airlines on a direct flight seven hours in duration and that in itself was indeed a pleasure. A relaxing flight with full access to a myriad of movies and video games throughout!



We stayed at the 5 star Jumeirah Zabeel Sarey on the Palm Islands. We were booked on bed and breakfast in a Deluxe King Palm view room which offered 46 square metres of Ottoman-inspired luxury with a private balcony with views of the Palm Jumeirah. It had a beautiful bathroom with an enormous bath tub and a balcony overlooking the beach side in view of The Atlantis in the distance. Excellent in-room facilities. Complimentary Nespresso machine, amazing tea selection, chic toiletries , good beds, fresh fruit bowls, chocolates and water bottles included. There was free wi-fi and at a decent speed too.

view from our hotel room at Jumeirah Zabeel Sarey


Dubai, a truly splendid city has an alluring combination of ancient charm and modern sophistication, making it an ideal tourist destination for all. The city boasts extensive beaches, a desert and towering modern mega structures. Aptly nicknamed the shopping capital of the world, people usually visit to stay at luxurious hotels and to buy everything from gold to electronics to designer clothes.

Skycrapers everywhere, beautiful attractions for tourists and locals alike, shopping malls to quench even the most addicted shopaholic’s thirst, safety measures to protect locals and visitors and business, amazing hotels for holiday and luxury properties for investment. You name it, Dubai has built it – and if something is not there yet, well I am so sure that it is on their list of things to be done within the next decade. I will need another half a dozen holidays here to discover all the attractions and the latest hip places to be seen at! However, here are a few attractions I recommend if you are visiting the first time like me!

Visit The Burj Khalifa

Speaking of skyscrapers, a visit to the Burj Khalifa is a must. At 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building and the tallest structure in the world. The first thing to do in Dubai is to go to the top of the Burj for a panoramic view of the city. The 148th floor observation deck is an excellent backdrop for photography enthusiasts. Every tourist grab your cameras and tripods and visit the observation deck to capture exceptional photos. If not, the deck also has telescopes that offer a virtual time travel experience for tourists. One tip I have for you is to either buy your tickets online in advance to avoid long queues or else go to the restaurant called At.Mosphere on the 122nd floor and take a few cocktails there instead of paying an entrance fee to the observation deck.

The Dubai Fountain<

The Dubai Fountain is a record breaking, musical fountain show located on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. Water is shot up in the air to an altitude of over 500ft and accompanied by classical & contemporary music from around the world. The fountain opened in 2009 but in 2010 the fountain’s length was increased to 275m. We went here after 4 hours of shopping in the Dubai Mall. Memorable experience for all indeed.

Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city built to encourage luxurious lifestyles through exclusive waterfront constructions along the Persian Gulf shoreline. These include swanky hotels, aristocratic residential palaces and extravagant shopping and entertainment centres. It is a lovely place to visit any time of the day and enjoy lunch or dinner in one of the cafes or restaurants there.


Overnight Safari

The ultimate glamorous camping experience in the heart of pristine dunes in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Tourists can take tours through the deserts and drive dune buggies through the sand followed by barbecues and parties on the sands. We did not manage to fit in this full day in our busy schedule but I’m really looking forward to plan it on our next trip later on this year!


My husband’s love for video games took us to this exciting indoor gaming destination at City Walk Dubai. It has the most innovative games and rides you can imagine including virtual reality and motion-sensored technology, to enhance your senses and give you an overall more exciting experience than your usual game. More than 70 % of the attractions found here are not offered anywhere else in the world. My husband enjoyed it very much!


Falcon Experiences

If you are a person who loves nature and birds and wishes to gain a better understanding of the traditional and noble art of falconry with a chance of close encounters with hunting falcons, you can do this at certain campsites and enjoy spectacular shows of the latest falcon training methods.


Hot Air Balloon Flights

If falcons, are not your thing, perhaps you wish to glide up and away in a hot air balloon over Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Take to the morning skies and as the sun starts to rise over the Hajar Mountains, watch the falcons fly up to 4,000 feet above the Earth in a trained demonstration. After an hour in the air, return to ground to celebrate the flight with a gourmet breakfast before returning to Dubai. Yes Dubai seems to have left nothing unturned.

When it comes to food, Dubai is almost so exotic. A heaven for foodies, there are restaurants serving virtually every national cuisine from around the world, including many specialising in Dubai’s own Arabic delights. Dubai does not have its own Michelin Guide, but instead it imports chefs or restaurant chains that have previously been recognised elsewhere to keep its standards at top notch level. Each restaurant featured here in my article is not simply somewhere to eat, but a destination for spectacular décor, amazing views and memorable culinary experiences.

Trendy Places to be seen at in Dubai

LA CANTINE DU FAUBOURG: Famous for the fashionistas that swing by, La Cantine du Faubourg is a popular Parisian import with groovy graffiti lining its walls. Its killer cocktail list and contemporary French menu make its tables some of the most coveted in Dubai.

MAYTA DUBAI: Founded in Lima in2 009 , world-renowned chef Jaime Pasque is known for using contemporary techniques to bring a new dimension to each of his dishes. Don’t miss its funky bar that showcases over 100 varieties of cocktails.
CATCH, DUBAI: A trendy seafood joint that hails from the legendary meat-packing district of NYC, Catch Dubai is an uber-cool restaurant and lounge concept that offers the perfect mix of great food and great vibes.


ZUMA: A two-level, contemporary Japanese restaurant, Zuma Dubai sports a mezzanine level dedicated to a trendy sake bar and a dining room immersed in elegance. From the hostesses coordinating diners to the welcoming and professional staff, this is a restaurant to indulge without worry. Based on the izakaya style of dining, the venue offers a small plate menu that is designed for sharing; seasonal menus boast exquisite sushi and sashimi, along with succulent grills.


coya dubai

Fashion Photography in Dubai

Last but not least, on this Dubai trip I enjoyed wonderful fashion photoshoots with a number of fashion clothing and eyewear brands including Plein Sud, Guy La Roche, Michael Kors and Versace for leading outlets in Malta including Rebelli, Luxury Outlet, River Island and Vision Opticians. We held a number of photoshoots at our resort the Jumeirah Zabeel Sarey as well as other locations where it was permitted to take photographs around Dubai City. With the expertise of makeup artist Jean Paul Zammit and photographer Mirjana Zigic Khairallah, we captured some amazing pictures to be used for my fashion and travel blog as well as a selective number of lifestyle and travel magazines.

Plein sud-2

Plein Sud-4

Plein Sudl-9

I fell in love with the impressive attractions and endless choice of things to do. For this reason, we will definitely be returning to explore it all the more!

Visit my blog at www.graziellecamilleri.com or www.facebook.com/BlogbyGrazielle

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One Comment

  1. Thanks dear Grazielle for sharing your amazing experiences with us about Dubai, it’s culture, environment and recent developments!

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