Travel Diary: Dubai City Tour

I hit 600 WordPress followers a few days ago and I am absolutely buzzing! Thank you all for the continued support I really, really appreciate it!

Although it’s been a while since I left Dubai,  I’ve finally gotten around to completing the mountain of posts just sitting in my drafts and I thought it would be nice to share this today. I hope you enjoy!

The Dubai half day city tour is a roundup of all the famous attractions and places in Dubai in 4 hours or more. It goes by pretty quickly but it is actually impossible to see everywhere in such a short period of time! The tour started with the driver picking us up from out hotel and taking us to a tour bus filled with other passengers.

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Our first stop was the Dubai museum where we got to experience the history of the city of Dubai. It shows how the people of Dubai lived 100’s of years ago before the discovery of oil that lead to the growth of the city.  There were sculptures depicting how people sold gold, travelled with these tiny boats along creeks, fished and entertained themselves. It was amazing to see how far they had come! Although I enjoyed the museum, I would suggest visiting it on a separate day because it is too big to see everything in one afternoon.

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The area where the museum was located was coined “Old Dubai” because this area preceded the Dubai city we know now.  The difference between Old Dubai and New Dubai is very clear. Old Dubai has beautiful quiet small buildings and not many skyscrapers around while New Dubai is filled with large intricate buildings and bridges with interesting designs. It is a truly modern city.

People always say that each time you visit Dubai it always looks different. This is true because they are constantly building new structures and roads. All the popular structures, buildings and the surrounding towns were all built in less than 25 years. The growth of Dubai is amazing.

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Next up was a photo-op at the Jumeirah mosque. It is one of the most photographed mosques in Dubai city and for good reason!  I would have loved to enter the mosque and do a separate tour but because our city tour only lasted for four hours we were not scheduled to do that.

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Next stop was Burj Al Arab which is probably one of the most recognised structures in Dubai. It is a famous 7 star luxury hotel that has a very peculiar structure, similar to a ship. It has outrageously expensive rooms with extravagant architecture. I would really love to see the inside one day!

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The pictures of Burj Al Arab are taken on Jumeirah beach so there are many people relaxing, enjoying the view and eating. I got this delicious coconut water from a nearby stall in the area. The seller was a man from Kenya who started talking about his sister who married a Nigerian and now he never sees her anymore but she’s balling on Facebook and driving nice cars. He said Nigerians have too much money. It was an absolutely hilarious conversation.

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At the end of the day we booked a dinner cruise on the Dubai Creek. The Dubai creek separates Deira from Bur Dubai city. The boat circle the creek while we are served dinner and listen to music while we take in the beautiful Dubai scenery! I really enjoyed this activity because it was relaxing and allowed me to really sit and observe my surroundings. The only thing that was very a bit disappointing was the food. I don’t think a lot of effort was put into making the food so it tasted dry, chalky and cold.

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All in all, it was very nice seeing Dubai City in a day and it is a beautiful place with so much history. My favourite thing I did that day was visiting the museum. My love for museums is already evident on my blog but is somewhere I would definitely want to go to again!

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500 Followers Milestone + Questions!

So I have 500 blog followers now! It is such an amazing blogging milestone to reach. Thank you so much for following this little corner on the internet! I truly think this is the fastest growth I have ever experienced on any social media platform. WordPress.com is great and I’m really enjoying the community here. Thank you all so much!

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It’s getting pretty hard to know everyone that follows me but I will try as much as possible to keep engaging with everyone that follows me. I see so many different followers on my page. Where are you from? Comment below!

For those stumbling on my blog for the first time, Hi! My name is Pearl and I’m a 20 year old from Nigeria. I have a Bachelors degree in Biomedical Science and I am starting my Masters in Biotechnology at McGill University this fall! Although I am a big lover of biology, I have many other passions like music, movies, beauty, reading and travelling. I mostly blog about beauty, travelling and lifestyle on my blog.  Take a look around!

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Travel tag 

A few days ago I hit 400 followers on The Pearly Life! My current tally is 431 followers and I am humbled that 400 of you follow and enjoy reading my posts. I love the continuous support and I hope to grow more with you all. Thank you so much!

So I was nominated by Oriana Notes to do the Travel Tag . Thank you so much for the nomination Oriana! I am fortunate to have travelled to countries like South Africa, The Netherlands, U.K., U.A.E and U.S.A. It’s an amazing experience to travel and study in different countries and I will answer some questions about traveling in this post. Enjoy!

What is your favourite place that you have visited?

This is such a difficult question because I love different things about all the different places I’ve gone to. However if I had to choose I would say Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. I have visited Florida almost every year since 2002! I have been going to Florida for 15 years and I still look forward to going there every year. I have tried other cities like Atlanta and New York but we realized that Florida is the perfect place for us. Florida is my home away from home. In fact, we loved it so much that we bought a house there! It’s so peaceful, nice restaurants and there are so many theme parks like Disney World (That has 6 separate theme parks), Wet N Wild and Universal Studios! It’s the perfect place for family.

Dubai was also one of my favourite places to visit. It is the most regal city I have ever visited and I had a unique experience. I loved living the Arabian lifestyle for a few days and I would really love to go again. Check out some of the posts I did on my trip to Dubai.

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If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Also a difficult question but I would pick Italy if I had a choice. I’m absolutely obsessed with the thought of going to Venice and Rome. Italy is teeming with history and romance. I think it would be amazing to experience it myself. A bit of context here; my parents were still dating when they went to Italy, which I think is sooooooo cute! I often joke to my parents that if my boyfriend takes me to Italy that that’s how I’ll know issa husband! LOL

IMG_3572.JPG[Mum and Dad in Italy – Early 90’s]

Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Definitely a city holiday! I’m not a very outdoorsy person and I have lived in cities my whole life so it is something that feels like a second home to me.

My top three holiday essentials are…

I did an extensive post on this here! My top three essentials are my Canon camera, iPhone and obviously my passport!

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Are you an over packer or an under packer? 

I’m definitely an over packer! I just can’t stand the thought of forgetting something important so I overcompensate when I pack. This usually results in me discarding things that I packed in my destination country because I don’t have space for the new things I bought!

What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

I love the change of scenery, the people and the culture. One of the first things that usually excites me when I get to a new destination is driving in the car, looking out the window and just realising that I’m in a new country.

Would you rather go on holidays with family or friends?

I’m going to be one of those odd people that prefers going with my family than friends. I haven’t reached a point with any friend where they will understand what I enjoy during a holiday. What my friends would probably do in a holiday will not interest me. I also enjoy my family’s company so I wouldn’t mind going on a holiday with them.

What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

The most adventurous dish I tried didn’t have to come from another country. I experienced it in the comfort of my house! I’m going to say edible worms from my home country Nigeria.  It looks like maggots and smells really strange but it’s actually pretty good!

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[Photo Credit: Sisi Yemmie ]

However, what I consider adventurous in Nigeria is child play for many people here. Nigerians eat snails, worms, insects, crocodiles, tortoise, horses, monkeys, snakes and some eat dogs! Any time my parents say they have eaten some strange animal I’m always in awe. My mother said the best wild meat she has tried is a tortoise! It’s less common in the city area to find these dishes, but it’s more common in smaller towns. However, snails are readily available in a lot of restaurants.

I also find it funny how snails are dramatic and expensive abroad (escargot) but we’ve been eating this in Nigeria for as long as we can remember. Come to Nigeria and eat peppered snails please. It’s absolutely delicious!

Who do you want to do this tag

I nominate

Deb Writes Blog 

Styled By Mckenz

Kimberly Loves

Life of Angela 

Thank you so much for reading! Check out my social media accounts.

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Dubai, City Of Gold: Visiting The Gold Souk

Although I visited the Gold Souk almost daily with my mother, I didn’t actually realise that I should blog such an interesting place until the last day we went there. So criminal! A market is called a “Souk” in Dubai. So a gold souk is a market that sells gold! The Gold Souk in Dubai is a long street consisting of hundreds of shops left and right which sell gold, diamonds and other precious stones and metals. Even if you plan to not buy gold when you go to Dubai, you should definitely visit the Gold Souk.

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Outside is usually hot in Dubai but there is an ample amount of shade on the streets to prevent sunburns and excess heat. The inside of the shops are just absolutely breathtaking. There are different varieties of gold that come in shapes, sizes and thickness. Gold is sold by weight and although Gold is relatively cheap in Dubai, you will have to haggle to get the desired price you want. In true African mother fashion, my mother haggled gold prices that were originally advertised as $45 per gram and got them down to $38 per gram! I don’t know how to haggle for the life of me so I just watched in awe. The craziest haggling I experienced was when they told my mother that they would clean all her gold for $600. By the time the conversation was done, my mother was paying $200. I don’t know how it happened. She is superhuman.

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Gold is a pretty hefty investment, so when I saw some elaborate gold on display in the shops like the one above I just wondered to myself who is the person that will buy this massive, intricately designed, heavy gold? Can they adopt me? Are they taking job applications? Just kidding. Not really.

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In addition, we also got invited upstairs to the room where they clean and design the gold! It was behind a hidden door in the store that acted like a shelf for the jewellery. We climbed up the stairs and entered a room where there was a line of people hard at work cleaning, designing and repairing the jewellery. It was a stark contrast from downstairs which is kept at an impeccable standard. This room was gritty and showed signs of wear and tear. It’s interesting how beautiful things are made in very unlikely places.

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That is my experience at the Gold Souk! It’s a really awesome place and I bought my first gold item! It’s a really cute bracelet and I am very happy with my purchase. Every time I wash my hands and I am wearing this bracelet, I always giggle to myself because I know it can never fade once it touches water. The concept blows my mind. Lol don’t judge me.

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Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!

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DUBAI: My Desert Safari Experience

Desert dune bashing, Camel riding and belly dancing, I had a very authentic Arabian experience at my Dubai desert safari. Check it out!

The Desert Safari is a popular tourist activity in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. My Desert Safari included 3 activities; Desert Dune Bashing, a Camel ride and and a BBQ dinner with a desert camp experience. I booked through Golden Treasure Tourism which did my visa, tourism activities, air ticketing and hotel bookings. To begin the day, a driver picked us up from the hotel with a group of 4 other people and drove us to the desert.  Before I travelled to Dubai, my travel agent had told my mother that sand dune bashing is very scary and if she doesn’t want to have a heart attack she shouldn’t do it because it’s similar to a roller coaster ride. Because of this, when it was almost time for dune bashing, my mother told the driver that she didn’t want to drive on the “fast car” but she wants to come down from the car and drive on the “slow one”. This got lots of protests from the second group. Unbeknownst to her, the slow one didn’t exist.

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The driver just completely ignored her, smiled, turned on the car and proceeded to give us the wildest ride of our lives.  I have never been driven so fast in my life! I have also never screamed so loud in my life either! The car was tilting and swerving at a 45 degree angle over steep sand cliffs while we were bouncing and holding on for dear life. I literally thought the car was going to topple over and have an accident. The driver later told me that the second group had paid him to drive extra fast and that was why he was the most extreme dune basher among all the other drivers! But he was such a nice soul who took good care of us and I became good friends with him later.

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Although it was so scary at first, I started to have so much fun! The adrenaline was coursing through my veins and I started laughing and taking videos. There is also nothing like a seemingly near death experience to bond everyone in the car. I and the other group soon became fast friends and I learnt a lot about Dubai, camels and the Afghan culture from them.

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After dune bashing it was time for the camel ride! Camels are beautiful, tall and calm creatures. It is pretty easy to get on a camel but when it is getting up you can easily fall over so hold on tight!

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The next activity was the desert camp experience! There are so many things to do like henna, trying on traditional Arabian clothing, sand art and eagle handling. I tried everything but the eagle handling because there wasn’t enough time. The entertainment included a belly dancer, an illusionist spinning-type dancer, and a fire breather. The food was also pretty good. There was BBQ chicken, beef, rice and lots of salad and bread. I had a lot of fun!

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Most days are rarely perfect. I think the day of my Desert Safari was perfect and it is easily one of the top three experiences of my life. I loved every single thing about this experience, the people I met, the new things I tried and I am so happy I got to experience it with my mother. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed my post!

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Dubai: At The Top, Burj Khalifa

I have a love for visiting the worlds largest things so it was impossible for me to visit Dubai without seeing the worlds tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Standing tall at a whopping 828m with over 160 floors, it is a truly unique building. When you drive around Dubai, Burj Khalifa is one of the first buildings you recognise because it is so tall and it towers over everything. No matter where I was, I could always spot this building, be it at the hotel, the market or the mall.

I read that it is better to book viewing tickets online than buy upfront because it is cheaper and quicker to move through the line. I ordered my tickets from atthetop.ae for the 5:30 viewing. However, the best time to visit Burj Khalifa is around 6:30 pm because that is when the sun is setting and the view is amazing then. Because of this, 6:30pm slots where fully booked for 2 days! so try to think about that before you book in advance.

Getting up to the top was surprisingly very quick, Burj Khalifa has the third fastest elevator in the world. The floors where moving like seconds and you couldn’t notice that you were so high up in air. We quickly got up to the observation deck and the view was amazing! There was also a little area after where I got to see the history of Burj Khalifa’s making and the people behind it. It was awesome.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get a picture of the building from the outside because you go through Dubai Mall to enter the building but here are some of the pictures I took!

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Thank you for viewing and I’ll see you soon! xx

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My Travel Bag Essentials: Dubai Edition 

I am travelling to Dubai! It’s my first time going to the UAE and I am very excited. Whenever I see Dubai on TV it looks absolutely beautiful. I am travelling with my mother and I am very happy I finally get to see it in person. I plan to do all the basic tourist stuff like visiting the Burj Khalifa and having a desert safari ride. One thing I am really looking forward to do is riding a camel in the desert. It is such a unique experience that I’m sure I will always remember.

This will be an extensive post where I will cover my clothing, makeup and gadgets that I must have on this trip so grab some tea and enjoy!

Clothes

 

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In true tourist fashion I will mostly be wearing shirts and jeans. The main theme is a short-sleeved blouse, jeans and gladiator sandals. This outfit is pretty light and will be able to keep me cool in the hot Dubai weather. I also plan to carry a pashmina, to adhere to the Dubai dress code incase I am in a place where I need to dress more modestly.

Makeup

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My essential makeup items include lipstick, powder and eye makeup.  I already live in a very hot temperate climate (Nigeria) so I will easily adapt my makeup style to the Dubai weather.

Mac’s Ruby Woo and Taupe – My essential lipsticks include a nude lipstick for casual looks and a red lipstick if I feel dressy. I am carrying my absolute favorite lipsticks from Mac’s which are Ruby Woo and Taupe. These are my go to lipsticks that look good on any outfit or color.

Mac’s Mineralized Skin Finish Powder – Although I’m going to be wearing foundation, in hotter weathers it is good practice to carry a blotting powder for when you get sweaty and need to touch up your face. Mac’s Mineralized Skin Finish is perfect for this job!

Sleeks Mascara and Jordana’s Fabubrow pencil  – My essential eye makeup includes my eyebrow kit and my mascara! I am carrying my L.A Girl Pro concelear in Chesnut and my Jordana’s Fabubrow eyebrow pencil in Midnight brown. I am also using Sleeks Mascara.

Gadgets

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Canon 600D and Canon PowerShot SX700HS :-  I will be using these camera’s to shoot beautiful tourist-y pictures! I love my compact digital camera (Powershot) for a quick on the go picture but the DSLR (600D) will give you the perfect shot. Unfortunately the 600D has been discontinued but you can get the Canon PowerShot SX700HS on Amazon.

iPhone 6 and 5 :- I will be using my trusty iPhones to edit photos, post pictures on Instagram, Snapchat and listen to music! My favourite travel apps include

  • Uber – Whenever I need a Taxi I usually call an Uber but I will most likely be using Careem because I read that it is used more often in Dubai.
  • Trip Advisor – Gives reviews and tips on the best sights to see what to do when you’re in a destination.
  • Spotify – I love listening to my favorite music on the go. I utilize the offline features a lot when I’m traveling because I may not have access to Wifi in some places.

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Kindle :- Possibly one of my favorite gadgets and best £100 I ever spent, I can download a massive amount of books which will keep me company in long plane and car rides.  It’s such a great investment if you’re an avid reader of books. It is currently £89 and you can find it here. I am currently reading “The Shack” by William P. Young and it is so good!

Those are my travel essentials! I may be off the blog for a week while I enjoy Dubai but if I have time I will definitely do a travel series! Thank you for reading and I will see you soon!

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