Travelling to Dubai, travelers guide, JBR, Marina Dubai, the walk by the beach
The flight from Beirut international airport to Dubai international airport (terminal 2) took us around 4 hours with Flydubai airways. We arrived around 5PM Dubai time (+1 Lebanon time). We caught the Dubai taxi which are the best taxis in Dubai. Note that all airport taxis' counter start at 25 U.A.D. The ride to our hotel, the Hawthorn Suites hotel, was smooth and interesting; it took us around 35min on a Thursday afternoon.
The hotel receptionist was so welcoming and nice, we checked in and headed toward our room on the first floor. We had booked a suite, the room was nice but didn't have a nice view since our balcony overlooked the restaurant terrace. Staying in a room on the first floor has some advantages when you're staying in a hotel of 30 floors, quick access to your room. However, the only disadvantage was the noise coming from the restaurant terrace and from the staff early in the morning.
The hotel pool is small, I expected it to be a lot bigger since the images seemed to show a bigger pool. The gym room was ok, but it didn't have a chest bank.
Our booking included daily breakfast, which I can assure you is rich and varied. You can have anything from eggs, omelette, cheese, pancakes.. You need to make sure to be there before 9.30 as the kitchen closes at 10 and they usually ask whether you need anything from the buffet before they remove the food.
Since the hotel was in the JBR/ Marina region, we took advantage of the cool weather in the evening to explore both JBR and the Marina.
We walked around the JBR district, it's the main hub for tourists and food lovers, it contains various international food chains and has access to the beach if you are willing to sit in the heat in October. It is well organized and quite exciting since it caters to everybody's needs, you can find really cheap eateries and some very expensive restaurants. It is also kid friendly, especially The Walk by the beach as it has games and activities for the little ones.
The next day we headed towards Atlantis and Dubai Mall. Atlantis was a beautiful hotel with a great aquarium, but be sure if you go there on a weekend, it will be overcrowded and you might not necessarily enjoy seeing the variety of fish due to the crowd.
The mall is huge and it has a lot of interesting things to do or watch. The shops are many and varied, you can find many restaurants and coffee shops, as well as an imitation of an Arabic Zouk where you will find jewelers, a soap market and their very own kind of perfume usually made of 'oud'.
Once you step outside the mall, you can see the Fountain, and Burj Khalifa. Make sure to go in the afternoon or evening to avoid a heat wave and really enjoy the view.