A couple of weeks ago my best friend Lucy finally came to visit me in Dubai! What with me travelling most of the time and her working full-time in the UK, it’s never been easy to plan a visit out here, but we finally got our act together, I booked some leave and Lucy got hers approved, found some cheap(ish) flights and before we knew it, I was picking her up at Dubai airport ready for a week of adventures!

Since it was her first time in Dubai, I tried to plan a few things to show both sides of the city, old and new, as well as plenty of time for relaxing, just as a holiday should be.

After a good few days full of sightseeing and eating out, I surprised her with a trip to Fujairah, one of the 7 emirates of the UAE. I actually came here around the same time last year with my friend Kirsty, however it was only a day trip – this time we’d be staying overnight.

It’s about a 2 hour drive from Dubai,┬áso by lunchtime we’d arrived at our hotel ready for some sunbathing, swimming and cocktails!

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I chose the Le Meridien Al Aqah resort, since they offer a really great discount for Emirates Crew, which was very handy! It also had the best reviews out of all of the hotels in Fujairah.

Since our room wasn’t ready straight away, we popped down to the pool area and ordered a deliciously refreshing mojito, sitting in the sunshine in a gorgeous little cabana!

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As my 3 years in Dubai are creeping up, it was time to renew my contract, and along with it, my visa. Since this can take a few days at a time, I was rostered 3 days off in a row, and after swapping some flights, I had a nice little string of days off…perfect for a visit from my mum!

She flew out from Vienna and arrived late evening, just time to have a nice cup of tea on the balcony. Certainly makes a change from the chilly Austrian autumn weather!

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After a long breakfast on the balcony (now Dubai has finally started to cool down I couldn’t be without my balcony!) we decided a trip to the beach was in order.

We drove down to the public beach which is not too far from my apartment, and set up camp….quickly realising we should have brought a beach umbrella!

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After spending my leave at home, I still had a few days off which I didn’t want to waste. Kirsty, my lovely ex-flatmate who is now living in Hong Kong (once you’ve got the travel bug, it never leaves you!) invited me along on a little trip to Lyon. It was one of the places that she’d never got round to visiting in her four year stint in Dubai, so I booked my tickets and hopped on the plane!

Kirsty had already arrived the night before, so she gave me instructions on how to get to our hotel and came and met me outside. Just in time for a lovely sunset stroll and some delicious French food and wine!

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A couple of weeks ago I had some leave and decided to fly back to Austria to visit my family for a few days.

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I had a lovely time catching up with lots of friends and spending time with mum in the garden.

We drove up to the holiday house in the mountains and just look at the view! Luckily the weather was beautiful and we spent lots of time outside enjoying the sunshine. It’s too hot in Dubai to stay outside for long now!

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So, as I promised – here is part two of my little getaway to Athens.

I left off at a lovely little trip up Mount Lycabettus, which has an incredible panoramic view over the city and out to the ocean.

And the ocean is where we were headed the next day. Mum & Dad had asked me to plan a little itinerary for our trip, and I wanted to include a trip to an island. Obviously the famous ones such as Santorini, Mykonos or Crete are too far away for a day trip, so we decided on something a bit closer.

But first – coffee! Upon recommendation from a Greek girl I’d flown with, we found a hotel called A for Athens, which has a gorgeous outdoor rooftop terrace. We sat outside in the sunshine, admiring the wonderful view of the Parthenon.

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