Dubai – Day 1

Hey guys,

I’m back! Myself and Mr Man took a little trip over to the sunshiney city of Dubai and it was pretty much incredible! I’ll be taking something of a hiatus from the recipes for the next couple of posts whilst I tell you all about our time away and how depressed I am to be back to this concept of reality.

We flew out a couple weeks ago on Sunday afternoon and got to Dubai airport in the early hours of Monday morning before hopping into a cab to our first home away from home, the Ramada beach hotel. We opted to spend the first few days in the quieter city of Ajman to kickback before heading on over to the busier, more happening Dubai. Although, to be honest, the whole trip was pretty relaxed.

We arrived at the hotel at silly o’clock and were upgraded to a one bed suite upon arrival, here are a couple of snaps:

Ramada Beach Hotel, Ajman - Kitchen  Ramada Beach Hotel, Ajman - Living Room  Ramada Beach Hotel, Ajman - Bathroom

Because I’m a bit of a numpty I forgot to take a little picture of the bedroom.

We had a little nap to recover from the overnight flight and woke up to a glorious view of the beach!

Ajman Beach, UAE Ajman Beach, UAE

After freshening up, we hopped in a cab to Deira (located in Dubai) to exchange our hard earned cash monies into Dirhams. We stopped off for some street food to go from Ashwaq Cafeteria, I know it looks like a bog standard little kebab shop takeaway but I assure you that it’s not worth turning your nose up at!

Ashwaq Cafeteria, Deira, Dubai.  Chicken Shawarma, Ashwaq Cafeteria, Deira, Dubai.  Guava Smoothie, Ashwaq Cafeteria, Deira, Dubai.

We both selected the chicken shawarma from the menu and whilst I went for a thick guava drink, Mr Man selected a fruit cocktail. The shawarma consisted of a slightly chargrilled chicken chunks cooked on a spit and sliced into thin chunks, a generous slap of garlic sauce, minimal shredded lettuce with a couple of fries thrown in for good measure, all wrapped up in a pitta pocket. It was served with a little bag of pickles, from which I hunted out the gherkins and disposed of the odd tasting pickled carrots. My drink was the perfect accompaniment to wash it down, a slightly sweet guava smoothie,  light but oh, so creamy! The texture was as if it had icecream in it!

As we got back to the hotel, we admired the beach a little more from our balcony before deciding to take another nap (I told you it was such a chilled break!) We woke up a couple hours later absolutely starved and with little else planned, we hopped across the road to the American chain, Hardee’s. This came with loads of recommendations although our experience was pretty mediocre. I went for the charbroiled Grande Fajita with mushrooms with a side of curly fries whilst Mr Man went down the Cheese Steak Burger road.

Hardee's Cheese Steak Burger, Dubai Hardee's Grande Fajita Mushroom, Dubai

Service was quick and efficient, slightly too quick almost! I had just about ordered and was busy pouring us a drink (Mountain Dew) whilst Mr Man found us a table, before I’d even made it to him, the food was waiting! The bread tasted slightly yeasty whilst the chicken screamed processed, mushroom sauce was decent, albeit, a tad salty and there was a lack of salad, which I wouldn’t normally care for but it did feel like the burger was missing something… Standard curly fries. Nothing special, at all. Mr Man summed up his burger with three words, “meh, very meaty.”

Probably not worth the time, effort or calories, to be honest.

Following dinner we went for a stroll down the beach and bumped into this cute little guy:

Camel, Ajman Beach

On our way back we spotted a little restaurant and cafe by the name of Arajeel’s and whilst the night was still young we headed in and chose to sit outside. We picked a little corner which tactically blocked the cold breeze and ordered some drinks (peach iced tea for me and another fruit cocktail for Mr Man) with a lemon and mint shisha. Service was attentive, it was pretty empty but the ambience was still lovely, decor was traditional and the shisha was one of the best I’ve ever had (sooo smooth!) despite being on the cheaper end of the spectrum! The only real downside was the view – of Hardee’s! Ha.

Arajeel Restaurant & Cafe, Ajman  Arajeel Restaurant & Cafe, Ajman  Shisha, Arajeel Restaurant & Cafe, Ajman

And with that our first day came to an end. A couple of recommendations I wanted to shout about before I forget, below:

  • The Entertainer – This company sell entire books (think Argos catalog sized) of BOGOF (buy one get one free) vouchers for Dubai and a few other regions. We got ours before we flew at a slightly pricey £72 (after discount), but you make your money back in no time and from there on out it’s all savings… I also recommend you order it before your trip so you can browse through it and get some ideas of what you want to get up to, where you want to eat and so forth.
  • Food deliveries – It’s common place to have all sorts of food delivered to your door in Dubai. Previously we’ve had the likes of McDonald’s ordered to our hotel room, super lazy I know, but so convenient!
  • Exchanging money – Better to do this once you get there as you tend to get better rates. Deira has a whole road dedicated to money changing shops and you can often get the exact rate that you will see on Google! If you’re changing a lot, these guys will sometimes even offer you a better deal. Definitely worth asking.
  • CityMaps2Go – Download the maps for where ever you’re heading before you leave and you can access them offline. Happy days. We did the same when we went over to Istanbul the previous year. You can also pin places, and discover new things through their insider tips.

That’s all for now, hopefully day two will be up midweek.

– Kay

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