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!
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!
Spot the Burj Khalifa in the background!
After a few hours of swimming & sunbathing we headed back to the apartment. Although the weather is cooling down it was still at least 30 degrees, so we were feeling rather warm!
In the afternoon we made a trip to Dubai Mall, more specifically for a browse around Kinokuniya, which is the biggest book shop in Dubai, and probably one of the biggest in the world! Both of us could have spent all day there!
The next day I had a little treat planned for mum. Since we’d all enjoyed afternoon tea the past two times my mum/parents had been in Dubai, I thought it would the perfect excuse to try another one.
After checking a few reviews online I decided on Al Qasr, which is adjacent to the Souk Madinat, with a lovely view out to sea and of the Burj Al Arab.
After we arrived we were shown to our table, which was outside. Although it was beautiful, we realised that perhaps inside would have been better, as we were directly in the sun! A few obligatory photos with the Burj Al Arab in the background later, and we were ready to order.
We all chose the traditional afternoon tea, which is slightly pricier than some of the others I’ve been to in Dubai, but came with refillable pots of tea each, and a whole stand full of cakes, sandwiches and even a basket with warm savoury pastries.
Even though everything was delicious, it was far too much food!
Next the waitress brought out another huge stand, with more scones than you can possibly imagine! Along with the scones were little pots with clotted cream, jams and honey.
And just when you thought you couldn’t possibly eat another thing, out came a chocolate fondue pot with all sorts of sweets, marshmallows & strawberries to dip in!
If I’m honest it wasn’t really necessary, as none of us could manage more than 1 piece each.
Mum and I decided to have a wander around the hotel grounds (mostly to walk off all those scones!) and thought it would be nice to take an abra ride through the hotel, which has lots of canals and waterways. An abra is a traditional wooden boat usually found at the creek in Dubai.
The abra took us over to Souk Madinat, where we had another wander through at sunset. It’s lovely sitting on the abra and sailing through the canals, seeing some of the other parts of the hotel as well that you don’t normally see.
As it was already dark, mum and I thought we should probably head home.
As we were on our way, we had a change of plans and decided to head to the cinema! Since the film we wanted to see was only on in the “Platinum Suites” at the Dubai Mall, we thought we’d treat ourselves! Basically instead of a normal cinema seat, you get a huge squishy armchair which reclines, as well as a pillow and blanket, and a call bell if you want to order any food or drinks…only in Dubai!
The next day mum wanted to do a bit of exploring, so we took a taxi to old Dubai, an area called Bastakiya. You may remember if you’ve been reading my blog for a while that when my sister Lizzie and her boyfriend Jarett came to visit, we also came here.
So you may recognise some of the areas, we even got pictures in the same spots 😉
We strolled through, stopping at a little coffee museum that we stumbled upon. Turns out there was a tiny little cafe upstairs serving all sorts of coffee specialties. Mum ordered Ethiopian coffee to try something new – and it came with freshly made popcorn! I was boring and stuck to a good old cappuccino!
Just for the fun of it we decided to take another abra across the creek – you never have to wait more than a couple of minutes as there is always one leaving for the other side. And at a price of only 1 dirham it would be a shame to miss it!
Before we knew it mum’s short but sweet time in Dubai was over and it was time to head back to the airport. (This time we left with a bit more time to spare than last time, no running to the check-in counter needed!)
It’s a shame we didn’t have more time together, but my parents have been very busy recently packing up our whole house in Austria as they are moving back to England, after 9 years! I’ve actually got a string of nearly 5 days off coming up at the end of November so I’m hoping to pop back to the UK to visit them, as well as Lizzie & Jarett who are there at the moment. It will be very strange staying in the house I grew up in, but haven’t lived in for 9 years!
Thanks again mum for coming to stay! 🙂