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Dubai Part 9: The Compilations/Wrap Up

Leaving Dubai soon and we are currently at the airport. First and foremost, thank You so so much Ya Allah for the beautiful one week I had here with Your greatest blessings for me – my family. 

I believe in the saying that when God wills, things will flow smoothly. That said, this vacation has been nothing short of smoothness and convenience. The flight, gorgeous and spacious family suite, food, tours, people and all else. Best thing was we got almost all great deals when we least expected them. Alhamdulillah. 

Truth is it’s been a hectic few months for me and this trip has brought up my spirit to a new level. I know life = continuous cycles and while it’s happy now it may be the opposite the next second but I’m learning to ride on and be grateful for everything. That way I’m sure I’m a happier person.

Anyway to wrap up my Dubai trip postings, the last 2 days in Dubai were spent on shopping and sightseeing around the hotel area. The hotel is located on Jumeirah Beach which is just a walking distance to the famous The Walk JBR. I was so busy doing other things that I sort of missed out on the nearest attraction to me. Apparently The Walk is one of the best spots here in Dubai. 

The rest of this post would be a compilation of photos that I took using my iPhone and Nikon J4 (and from my BIL’s camera too). J4 was my 22nd Birthday present from my family in support of my part time blogging ‘career’. I usually carry it around when I travel out for holiday purpose.




Going to miss our daily gym routine and then straight to breakfast lounge. 




Wake up uncles! 








Power couple 

The Walk 

Will miss this amazing amazing hotel. Almost zero complaint. 


Thank you Dubai for your hospitality! I promise I’ll be back someday. 

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Dubai Part 8: Desert Safari 

Ooookay, it won’t be a long post again but we are at the most interesting part! 

I think everyone who plans to visit Dubai will include Desert Safari somewhere on top of your to-do-list. It’s the same for me and in fact I’ve been saying I want to go for Desert Safari experience for ages already. I’m very thankful to Allah indeed that I finally got to come to Dubai as it’s one of the cities that I’ve always wanted to visit and I’m grateful that I got to tick off Desert Safari yesterday. Alhamdulillah.

It was only my mum, brothers and I going for it. My dad didn’t want to join for both reasons that it didn’t interest him and it wasn’t a good idea for his wellbeing (a bit rocky and bumpy experience). Initially it was my sister’s spot but because our mum actually wanted to go but didn’t want to say it (Hi Ma tak mengumpat), we made her follow in the end. My BIL was firm about not wanting to join as both him and my sister had gone there during their honeymoon trip. 

There are many tour agency websites that offer Desert Safari tour and they have a few range of tours. The differing part I suppose is the number of activities involved. The more there are the longer the duration. I took the shortest one – 5 hours but trust me that it covered almost all already. The price for one person was less than 200 dirhams which I thought was reasonable. Oh, I prebooked from getyourguide.com website again. 

At 2.40pm the tour guide came with the Land Cruiser (very punctual) and then we went to fetch 2 other members for the same tour at a nearby hotel. At 3pm the driver started the drive to the desert site. It took roughly 45 minutes to get to Sharjah and we stopped near a small shop for a quick break. Anddd we came back to the 4wd looking like these..


Ya habib ya maulana


My mum wore mine because my dad wanted to see how she would look like in it. We thought you could pass as an Arab, ma. Hehe.

What happened after was the start of the fun. They called it dune bashing. It was a little bit nerve wrecking but the joy surpassed that. My mum was holding on to me for quite some time until she got the tune. I think I laughed throughout because of how bumpy but fun the 25 minutes of the desert-driving was. 

Some photos we took in the desert: 







After the photo stop, the driver made the way to the camp site. There were many other tourists around the area too and all of us were from different tour companies. 

My brother did the ATV ride and it costed 100 Dirhams for 15 minutes. The pathway that they could use was rather restricted and small so only if you wanted the experience of ATV I would suggest for you to pay for it. 



There was free of charge camel riding and my mum wanted to do that. I’m naturally scared of animals and I was frightened at the sight of it but I did it anyway, thanks to my mum who kept convincing me that I should. I thought that would be my first experience so that helped too. 



Weird feeling inside me but yay for ticking this off! 

It was only 5.30pm and we walked to the camp area to have light refreshments before the free BBQ dinner. However, my mum and brothers didn’t want to stay until 8pm so we missed out the dinner, belly dancing show and such. My mum had a tooth pain too so we really wanted to go back to the hotel. I asked around and the driver was so kind for wanting to drive us back before the finish time. 




That’s how the camp looks like basically. You sit at your designated space and then enjoy the BBQ dinner there. 

I’m going to leave this post with a video (as always) I took of the 4wd drive/dune bashing. I’ll come back with another one or two final posts of my Dubai trip as it’s coming to the end already. 

Thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend! 

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Dubai Part 7: The Yellow Boat Experience 

A short post today but it’s about one of the highlights of my trip in Dubai – the Yellow Boat. It was a really really wonderful experience and my suggestion is that everyone should do it (or any other boat experience). 

I saw the modern Dubai from a different lens and it was a gorgeous view. The tour guide also explained a couple of history behind the structures in Dubai.

My family and I spent the morning in the Mall of the Emirates for shopping and then we headed back to the hotel to get ready for the Yellow Boat Tour at 3.30pm.

Zachary, his grandparents and Uncle Man didn’t want to come along so it was the rest of us going then. From the hotel, we took a taxi to the meeting point which was at Dubai Marina. 




It costed us 200 Dirhams per person for a 75 minute tour. My BIL and sister went to the hotel concierge to book but they wanted to charge double the amount for one person so my BIL decided to check the rate online. Again that got all of us a good deal. Tip: Always buy online, they really have the cheapest deals. 

The following photos were taken while we were on the boat. 






Atlantis the Palm in the background located at the apex of Palm Jumeirah. It opened in 2008 and the opening ceremony costed USD200 millions. It showcased 100,000 fireworks and famous celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, Charlize Theron, Michael Jordan attended the event. 


Burj Al Arab the 7 star hotels in the background. The hotel rooms are gold plated. There are also underwater rooms and underwater restaurant here. 

Hope I’ve given some ideas of the yellow boat ride. I’m going to leave this post with the video that I’ve shared below. Enjoy!​​

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Dubai Part 6: The Lost Chambers @ Atlantis the Palm and Souk Madinat Jumeirah

It was my sister’s conference day which meant she wouldn’t be around (and my BIL too). She had a paper to present at the World Finance Conference and apparently it went great, alhamdulillah. Kakak, if you’re reading this, I want to say thank you for making us proud yet again. 




While they were idle, my parents and my brother (as well as me) went to the Lost Chambers Aquarium to entertain Zachary. Note 1: There are 2 aquariums in Dubai – Dubai Mall and the Lost Chambers. The experience I believe is almost the same. 

The Lost Chambers Aquarium is located on the Palm Island or in exact, inside the Atlantis Palm Hotel. There you can find the famous huge waterpark too as well as Dolphin Bay, Sea Lion Point, Aquaventure, PADI Dive Courses and Marine Animal Adventures.

The ticket to enter I would say is quite pricy for the short experience but that’s how it is in Dubai. Everything is pricy and with the drop in MYR currency value that the exchange gap is wider. 

It was 100 Dirhams for one adult for the full experience and it was free of charge for Zachary (free for 2 years and below). I bought the full experience tickets but my tip for you is to purchase just the half experience ticket which costs 35 Dirhams. It’s really not much difference and you can see a lot already with that experience. To add is that to explore the whole aquarium takes about 30 minutes. 

‘The Lost Chambers Aquarium in Atlantis, The Palm takes visitors through a series of mazes and tunnels as they explore the underwater ruins of Atlantis. This imaginative aquarium houses some 65,000 aquatic animals, including 12 species of rays and sharks.’ – Viator.


On the taxi to Atlantis. Chubby cheeks.










​​

​Zachary really had a good time there! He looked really fascinated although he got frightened if we brought him too close to the aquarium. He warmed up soon after though and it was cute to see him looking bewildered and at the same time stunned. Zachary Zachary, your grandparents’ love for you is overwhelming and you are one lucky boy. 

We then visited the Mall of the Emirates after the aquarium for lunch. This mall is already huge itself and just imagine Dubai Mall. 


It has all the shops you need so if you find to move about Dubai Mall takes too much effort, you can head to Mall of the Emirates. 

My sister and BIL came back to the hotel at around 5.30pm and my BIL suggested us to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah for light shopping, dinner and photo oppurtunity for the Burj Al Arab. 







‘Souk Madinat Jumeirah combines traditional Middle Eastern shopping culture of stands, barrows and stalls with a mix of boutique brands, home accessory stores, souvenir gift shops, luxury fashion and jewellery. It is also the home to over 24 restaurants offering cuisines from all over the globe, including Italian, Asian, Indian, Persian, traditional Arabic and Lebanese, French and American. All Souk Madinat Jumeirah restaurants and cafés have picture perfect views of the Arabian architecture, waterways or the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.’

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Dubai Part 5: Burj Khalifa

Okay, I’m back for Burj Khalifa post. 


The tour started anytime between 4.30pm until 6pm. I prebooked the tickets from getyourguide.com in KL so all I needed to do was to convert the voucher to valid tickets. My parents didn’t want to go up because of their fear of heights so they told us the young ones to carry on while they took care of Zachary. It was my BIL’s third time and my sister’s second time. My BIL suggested that we should opt for the evening/sunset session. It costed us an extra of RM800 than the other slots but it was worth it. Guys, if you plan to go on top of Burj Khalifa I would suggest you prebook your tickets. Getyourguide.com got me again the lowest deal than other tour websites (about RM200 cheaper). 

My parents and Zachary left Dubai Mall at 3.30pm. We stayed on as the entrance to Burj Khalifa was inside the Dubai Mall itself (note: Dubai Aquarium is also located inside Dubai Mall). We went for prayers first and and then to optometrist to collect my brother’s spectacles. They offered the ready-in-one hour glasses for customers so yay for that. I also want to add that the prayer rooms in Dubai Mall are everywhere. Literally at every corner. 


Got our tickets! 


The elevator to go at the top of Burj Khalifa. It’s on the level 125 (& level 124) and it takes 77 seconds to ascend up there.

And after 77 seconds..





Magnificent view of Dubai from up! 




At 5.30pm the sun set down and alhamdulillah all praises to Allah for the opportunity to watch it from Burj Khalifa. The building is 828 metres tall (830 meters with the tip) and that makes it the tallest structure in the world.




My BIL recorded the sunset and I’ve shared the video below.

​​​Watching this video again, I want to say thank you Allah for your blessings. You send worries and sadness but you also send light and happiness. It’s part of life and it’s what keeps life meaningful. I learn and learn and learn and I can only conclude that You are the Greatest. 

I’ll write about the Lost Chambers Aquarium soon. Thank you for reading and have a lovely day. 

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Dubai Part 4: Dubai Mall

Soooo, yesterday was all about Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa (I’ll come back with another post on this). We were around the area literally almost the whole day. If I can say one thing, it’s that Dubai is just amazing. 

Anyway to start with… Zachary’s jet lag  – It’s only 4 hours time difference which is not bad compared to UK but because Zachary is only a little boy, he really feels it. Hehe. He woke up at 3.30am yesterday and that meant Mummy had to wake up too. They came to Mama Ya’s room at 4.30am so I  woke up too. 

Breakfast started at 7am so we entertained cheeky Zachary and went to the gym first. The gym I must say is tip top! 




My BIL.


Adik the bodybuilder.



Spot mama the athlete. 

Then it was breakfast time! Breakfast selections yesterday were great. 

Belum mandi face.






Full sea view from the living room. 

We started getting ready after breakfast and this little one was the most excited one. 



Nice outfit you got there.

To get to Dubai Mall from Jumeirah took about 20 minutes. My brothers called Uber but the drivers got lost so they cancelled it. We got the normal taxi and it was cheaper than the price Uber quoted. 55 Dirhams than 65 Dirhams quoted. Best part was we only took one 7 seater taxi instead of the initial 2 Uber rides. 


Hello Dubai Mall.



It’s the largest mall in the world and they have literally every shop/restaurant/cafe you need. Just name it basically. It’s also customer-friendly and provides convenience at every step of your way. Remember Zachary’s stroller story? We were worried about how to carry the 10kg Zachary around and then I googled about stroller rental after my BIL mentioned about it. True enough they had such service and it was free rental! Just head over to any information counter and they would assist you with it. You just have to leave your ID cards (they don’t want passport) and sign a form. It’s rent-able until midnight. 



Sorted!

We had lunch at Souk Al Bahar which was just next to Dubai Mall.





While having lunch, the famous dancing fountain show came on. The restaurant that we had lunch was overlooking the fountain and Burj Khalifa so we got a good view of the show. It runs every 30 minutes and it is different show/tune everytime. 

​I also managed to capture the evening show. 

Just amazing. 

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Dubai Part 3


And we landed safe and sound in Dubai at 8.30pm local time! 

Everything on the flight was indeed smooth and to conclude, it was worth every penny. Not going to compare with Emirates or Qatar as they are on a different level but Thai Airways, you were good!  



We didn’t have to wait for the luggages too, they were already on the carousel belt. Despite the all good things, we have a bit of a problem too whereby Zachary’s stroller is now stranded in Bangkok. We kept checking but it still happened. However, they have promised us that the stroller will be with us by evening time the next day so I guess that’s sorted. Tip No 2: Landing card is not needed in Dubai. The immigration is also not strict so yay for that. 

Done with the stroller, it was time to head to the hotel. We booked a family 3 bedroom suite at Doubletree by Hilton, Jumeirah Beach (about 25 minutes drive from the airport) and we are so so happy with it now that we are in it. The suite is in all its literal meaning humongous (can stay here for a month no problem) and indeed follows what is shown online. Why Jumeirah Beach? Well, we initially considered downtown but that was all about it. My sister and brother in law had been here before and they thought it would be nicer to stay at the beach area because of the view and the fact that we could do evening walks and activities. 




Greeted with the cookies as always. Doubletree’s trademark, really. Thanks for your hand adik.

As we arrived at night, the quality of photos that I shared below didn’t really do justice to my positive remarks above. I just extracted a few photos from their website to give you an idea and to compare. 

Online:




Real life:


Doorway to kitchen and living room


Doorway to the 3 rooms


Bedroom 1


Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3


Living room 


Living room 


Kitchen (there’s also washing machine hmmm) 

This hotel suite was also a form of blessings from Allah as we got a fairly good deal for it again. Oh, I’m sharing Bedroom 3 with my brothers so good luck to me. They asked me to sleep outside -.- funny not funny bros. But well I got one bed to myself now. Hehe. 

It’s 12.15am now, I have unpacked, refreshed and about to sleep now. Good night and stay tuned to more updates from me tomorrow! 

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Dubai Part 2

And we landed in Bangkok safe and sound! 


 Zachary: I’m awake now, I’ve charged up and ready for action! 

Overall flight to Bangkok was good although my brother lost his spectacles on the flight, thanks to me. Lucky it was the cheap one but it still means we need to make a new one for him. Offered him my contact lens but he refused *tolak rezeki*. 

We got off the aircraft and we had about 1.5 hours before the next flight so we went to the lounge to pray and eat more. I managed to publish my previous blog post thanks to wifi.This photo speaks: Wifi is everything when abroad.. Anti social everyone except for Mama and Zachary. 

The lounge was huge but that was expected. We brought Zachary to the playroom and I captured these shots for memory.

This photo speaks: Wifi is everything when abroad.. Anti social everyone except for Mama and Zachary. And Mama Ya too who was clearly taking photos all the time. 



This boy eats everything… Even a wooden block. Hmmmm. 



And then we were ready for departure to Dubai. 

I’m now on the flight again and there’s wifi onboard. The seats are comfortable and the best best thing is that food served from Bangkok to Dubai are all Halal (and so so good I’m not kidding). There’s also soup and rice for babies so yay Thai Airways. To top those off, flight attendants are very attentive and friendly. I had been on many MAS international flights and MAS really definitely needs to improve in all aspects. For example: seats and food. The spaciousness and the variety of food selections were much better on Thai Airways flights than MAS for the same seat/cabin class. 

Note: If MAS has Maggi soup for the all day dine that you can request anytime, Thai Airways offers you Pad Thai with prawns yum yum!


Zachary and Jiddi. When there’s Jiddi around, goodbye everyone. 






It’s still a few hours till we land and I’m going to watch a movie. Will come back with more stories and photos tomorrow. Have a good evening everyone! 

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Dubai Part 1

And I’m back after a few months of long silence! Assalamualaikum hello, I hope everyone’s well! My blog fans, ie, my parents passed a comment saying I hadn’t been blogging and they asked if it was because I was out of idea of what to blog. Well, partly yes.. But it also had to do with me temporarily losing the courage to write. At 23, I’m busy (sometimes I don’t think I’m busy but I feel busy) and forever in a rush to do things. It’s vacation week this week so I want to blog and share as much and hopefully it will help give some guidelines to those who want to travel to the destination that we are going to. I aim to blog everyday and let’s see if I keep to it! 

Guess where I am now? 


Yes, I’m on the flight. Where to? 


Now to Bangkok and we will have a short transit there before continuing our journey to Dubai. Why Dubai? Because some of us haven’t been to Dubai and also because my sister has to attend a conference there. As she’s now a mother, Zachary’s always in consideration. My parents offered that we should all go together and that it’s a great holiday opportunity. It has been way too long since our last complete family trip and so alhamdulillah that the day is finally here again.

We are flying with Thai Airways (which explains why the Bangkok transit) and this is our first time on it (MAS doesn’t fly to Dubai anymore). Tip No 1: Guys, if you want to save cost then you should try Thai Airways. It gave us the most reasonable deal. I was on Qatar Airways checkout page already but I decided to check the rate for Thai Airways and was I surprised. The service is good to so far and it was nice to be greeted with ‘Sawadeekha’ hehe. The Muslim Halal meal was also good. 

I will update more when I land in Dubai in shaa Allah and for now I’m going to leave this post with the random candid photos that I took earlier before the flight. 



It’s Zachary’s second international trip after Singapore.



Uncle Mee the butler. So thankful when he’s around. 



Zachary: I don’t want to sit in my stroller, what are you my uncles for anyway?



Zachary: Good luck taking care of me Jiddi, Nenda, Mummy, Daddy, Uncle Man, Mama Ya and Uncle Mee. Hehe. 

They have their own lounge at KLIA and I find that that’s pretty cool!



Zachary: So so hungry I finished my food. Bibik would be happy to see this.



And we are off, bismillah!



Zachary: I’m sleepy and I’m feeling grumpy and I want to sleep but I’m unable to. Help me, Mummy! 

10 minutes after…

(Daddy and Mama Ya fanned him while Mummy rocked him to sleep)



Zachary: Zzzz… In my dream world now, I’ll be right back fresh and active!

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23


I published only the title so that I could mark the date of my birthday and blog later. Two weeks after and I finally found myself back here to continue my writing. 

I would like to say that alhamdulillah I had a splendid 23rd. It was more than what I imagined it to be and I was and am still thankful for the people that made my birthday a special one.  

I feel very touched everytime I think of how much I have grown as a person. The obstacles and the wonderful things that have been befalling me, I am thankful for each and everyone of them because they made me, me. 



My 23rd birthday wish is to grow more and I am curious to see what awaits me in the future. To my darling parents, I love you both so much. Thank you for raising me up with sincere love and care and for giving me the best in all. Indeed, I am who I am today because of you. 


May I continue to have Allah’s guardian in all that I do with the presence of the people who matter most to me. In shaa Allah. 

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