6 Must-See Items in Dubai (& they’re free!)

Dubai List

I would argue one of the best things about Dubai, if not the best, is how much you can explore & simply see.  Without having to pay anything or work very hard.  Not without effort, Dubai sets records & created a visual piece of artwork.  You can fill your entire trip just driving around exploring the different landscapes – for FREE.  Sometimes paying for the view, isn’t as good as actually searching for it yourself.

I wanted to show you how to make a trip adventurous without spending a ton of money!  I feel like I’m a master at going on budget friendly trips, including Dubai.  Food & drink is expensive, but there’s SO much to do for free, or nearly free – if you can just get yourself there.  You wouldn’t even be able to finish this list in one trip!  And if you do, I can add to it 🙂

This is MY checklist when I go back – things to go stare at.  And they never get old.  Even when I lived there, going to stare at the items on this list was one of my favorite things to do.  And a way to ensure I won’t waste my precious money.

1-  Burj Khalifa
This twinkly building still takes my breathe away.  Because it’s right outside the Dubai Mall there’s plenty of space to go walk around the building & look at it yourself – without paying a dime.  Get yourself to the Dubai Mall & walk outside.  You can eat near it, shop near it, walk near it, or just sit down & stare at it.  The fountain show that plays outside the building at night will also take your breathe away.  Go check it out during the day & at night for completely different views.  Until Dubai builds their next world record setting building, this is the top spot for me.  And you absolutely need a GoPro to fit the whole damn thing in a photo, OR spend $$$$ to have a tourey sales man take one measly photo for you…

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DUBAI! Top 5 Pieces to Pack.

Dubai Fashion

There are 3 questions I get asked all the time: how I was treated as a woman in the middle east, did I feel safe AND “did you have to cover up the whole time”.

I hope I’ve done a good job clarifying, go to this post to see my answers to all 3 of those questions if you haven’t already.  (We went to the public beach on this trip & there were girls in thong bikinis & topless tanning, so I think people are comfortable doing whatever they please.)

For me, I wanted to fit in.  I wanted to act like I’ve been there before & I know what the fuck I’m doing.  There’s something powerful in that.  Also, for any destination, isn’t it fun to fit in?  Wear what they wear.  I think it makes you appear well traveled, like you know what you’re doing in you life.  So that was my goal this trip.  I stuck to coverage.  When I was living there, I pushed this boundary w my cut off shorts & dresses all the time, because I was bored of being covered & it was HOT AF.  Being that I was just visiting, I had a different approach this time.

The theme:  BLACK BLACK BLACK.  If this is the color of your wardrobe, you’re in luck!  I like bright colors, florals, sparkles, drama – so I had to go shopping.  An abaya & burka are black, so that’s the colors you’ll see a lot of when you’re out.  I asked someone why black?  Why not beautiful colors + design on the abaya?  I was told the original purpose of the abaya was to avoid attention.  Bright florals & colors will do the opposite, drawing attention to the people wearing them.  So black is the theme!

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Two Years Later – Visiting Dubai!

Dubai

The saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is terrible & true isn’t it?  I remember miserable days/years in different jobs, & man did time drag.  But, of course, when you’re having fun & enjoying all the parts of your life, time goes quick!  So, would you rather a boring yet long life or short yet exciting life? Ha!  Nothing like that awful question to wake you up on a Thursday morning.

I’m back from Dubai! Long story short, it was fun & it went fast.  Which in this case is better than the alternative.

Everyone that followed along on my Instagram Stories, thank you! That was fun to create.  If you missed it, I left a lot of the stories in my “highlights” section.  Click on my Instagram profile & right below the bio you’ll see the circle for Dubai & Bahrain with the stories while I was there.

If you’ve been reading for awhile you likely know this trip was a big step for me.  Last time I was in Dubai I left in a rush & didn’t exactly leave every relationship in it’s best place.  And that feeling strengthened even while I was back in the States, especially when Wafiq decided he was going to stay & begin the immigration process.  Needless to say my relationships weren’t in tip top shape across the pond.

Last year, I decided to skip the trip Wafiq took home for that very reason,  I wasn’t ready to walk back into my past OR the lions den.

This year I was ready.  Wafiq & I are both comfortable & confident in the choices we’ve made in the past & knowing we’re in control of the choices were going to make in the future – I felt like there was nothing to fear anymore.  No judgment or conversation or threat or whatever was going to hurt me.  And I don’t mean to paint the picture as if everyone was going to do just that, but when you’re struggling & feeling weak & not confident with yourself – it’s hard to defend decisions in front of anyone.  And we lived in that space for awhile so I had to protect myself.  But this time I was ready.

Right when we arrived, I felt like I was living in Dubai yesterday, but better.  And more comfortable.   Everyone was excited to see us.  The first days were filled with food.  Family. Friends. Kids.  And Food.  I definitely did not have a chance to pick up my phone & document anything.  But because those first days were easy, I immediately knew the rest of the trip would be too.

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How A Poem Cleared Up My Weird Travel Emotions

Did You Know?  1/3 of the world’s airports are located in the U.S. ( v i a ) I was looking through poetry the other day for National Poetry Day & the next thing I know 4 hours passed, I ordered 6 poetry books off Amazon, & I confessed to Wafiq that I’m going to become a song […]

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What To Wear – In Dubai

What can you wear in Dubai? Don’t you have to be covered? I get asked this question all the time – Traveling to the Middle East & figuring out what’s appropriate for women. I’ve previously written about women in the Middle East, and what it was like to live there as a woman… But this post […]

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Dubai – 10 Tips To Pull Off A Perfect Trip

Dubai Marina

Take notes ladies & gentlemen – Last week I shared your MUST DO bucket list for Dubai & in order to keep that list as short as possible I left out a lot of tips, tricks, & notes to bring with you. Here are your 10 Vacation Notes to get through a trip to Dubai in the best […]

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Your PERFECT Dubai Vacation Itinerary!

The Perfect Dubai Vacation Itinerary Must Do List

Dubai! Dubai! Dubai! One of the questions I get asked these days is recommendations of what to do while visiting Dubai. Shortly after – I realized I never made a useful list of what to do when you decide to vacation in Dubai, which is really stupid considering I lived there for a year and […]

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1 Year Later: Am I Still Happy I Moved To Dubai?

American-Expat-Living -in-Dubai

One year later, am I still have I decided to move to Dubai? Short answer – yes. If you want a longer answer with all my little thoughts, ideas, inspirations behind it then you may enjoy the following 🙂   Yes, I’m still happy 1 year ago I made the decision to pick up (throw away) […]

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Living in Dubai: 6 Months Down.

Dubai Expat

Well well well, I did it. I survived 6 months in Dubai. Does time fly or what!?!  In light of the what I would like to call a celebration, I decided to interview myself for you… And share some photo’s throughout my journey. Q: Tell us about your experience. A: Short version – my experience […]

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