Madinat Jumeirah, the Arabian Resort of Dubai, is what I’m calling the best resort in the world. Seriously- you can not fault it or beat it.
Featuring 2 incredible hotels, Al Qasr and Mina A’ Salam, 29 traditional summer houses in Dar Al Masyaf (where we stayed), 7 Malakiya Villas (complete with 24 hour butler and fully equipped kitchen, private pool etc), over 40 restaurants and bars (yes you read that correctly- over 40 restaurants and bars at the one resort!), a 1000-seat amphitheatre, Madinat Arena and the most incredible spa and fitness centre you’ve ever seen in the Talise Fitness centre (complete with high altitude training room- gah! Juddy was in HEAVEN).
Did I also mention that the resort has its own Souk and movie theatre? Oh and one of the nicest beaches with the most perfect water temperature and soft white sand. I know I keep going on but there is also a turtle rehabilitation centre which the kids loved and Sinbad Kids Club comes complete with indoor play rooms (for bubs, toddlers and big kids) plus a fantastic outside water playground with fountains and slides. Oscar and Billie both did some serious play time here. Finally (actually not finally, there’s more but I’m running out of time to keep gushing), Wild Wadi Waterpark is also part of the resort. Check it out here to see how awesome it is. Oh and the tennis courts, I can’t forget those! Mainly due to the fact that Roger Federer was there having a hit. Yep.
The facilities are interconnected by 3 kilometres of waterways and landscaped gardens. As our villa was quite far away from the main restaurant area we would sail on an Abra (an Arabian boat) to breakfast each day- as you do. We easily walked around the lush gardens of the resort but there are also on-call buggies which can scoot you around too.
Now lets talk service. Never have I experienced anything like it. We had the most GORGEOUS host at our Dar Al Masyaf Villa whose name was Fridah. She greeted us every morning with her lovely smile and organised everything we needed. We missed her when we left! Everybody from the gardeners, the cleaners, the Abra captains, the lifesavers, the concierge, wait staff, bell boys- EVERYONE was super helpful and wore nothing but a grin on their faces.
We visited Dubai in their winter so the temperature was much more comfortable than the 50 degree days in the peak of summer (but trust me, there’s plenty to do in summer indoors that you barely notice the heat. Skiing anyone?). It was around 24 degrees most days and super nice. We didn’t really need to leave our resort but Dubai has so much to offer that of course we got out and explored. A few of the many activities we enjoyed in Dubai were:
The Dubai Mall here: the biggest shopping mall in the world complete with indoor, enormous aquarium, underwater zoo and Kidzania. Not to mention every retail shop you could imagine. You could spend a week here.
Kidzania here: MIND BLOWING! Located at The Dubai Mall, watch your kids act out their childhood dreams, role-playing by mimicking traditionally adult activities. As in the real world, children perform “jobs” and are either paid for their work (as a fireman, doctor, police officer, journalist, shopkeeper, etc.) or pay to shop or to be entertained. The indoor theme park is a city built to scale for children, complete with buildings, paved streets, vehicles, a functioning economy, and recognizable destinations (like McDonalds! Yep, your kids can flip burgers all day and get paid for it ha!). Oscar was a fireman for the day and got to ride in a firetruck to a hotel which was on fire (fake fire) and he had a water hose and put the “flames” out. He was so rapt as he got paid for his work afterwards and was able to buy a toy car (you know, because he needed a new car, not).
Boat ride with my girlfriend: She has been a Dubai resident for over 10 years and has lots of friends who are Emirati nationals so some of them took us out on their boat one day and it was so spectacular to see Dubai from the water. There was also a sensational air show on display as part of the UAE ‘National Day’ celebrations. Think airforce jets doing crazy stunts and tricks above us while making patterns in the sky in the colours of the UAE flag. Oscar was FIZZING.
Dinner at China Grill here: Super modern, super yummy. Very swanky and delish. I highly recommend the crab dumplings.
If you would like more information on Madinat Jumeirah then head to www.jumeirah.com/en/hotels-resorts/dubai/madinat-jumeirah/
* Please note there are specific local laws and cultural customs when travelling to Dubai which you should familiarise yourself with before visiting. My hotel is a free dress zone but public places require women to cover the shoulders and above the knee. There are also laws relating to swearing, public displays of affection, medicines, Ramadan and photos to name a few. It’s a really cool and safe place but don’t get caught out when you visit and always be respectful.