An authentic and romantic getaway in Dubai

On a first visit to Dubai, the city impresses with its contrasts. Very quickly, it emerges as a romantic and authentic destination. Romain and Sanjukta, two travel-loving influencers, were able to discover these aspects over a 3-day weekend. From the old town to the futuristic city, they were surprised by the breathtaking architecture, the spectacular and sensational activities, but also by the charm of the old and the warm welcome of the locals. An unforgettable trip!

Traditional boat trip in Dubai

Traditional boat trip in Dubai

- © Sergii Figurnyi / Shutterstock

Day 1: Discover the old city of Dubai

After arriving late the day before, the first day begins with a visit to the Paramount Hotel. This surprising hotel with its cinema decor plunges travellers into an immersive world of the greatest films of the 1970s. This unique accommodation is located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, 2 km from Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa. With three gourmet restaurants and a speakeasy bar, you will have the opportunity to taste the cuisines of the world with Asian, Indian and European specialities.

Paramount Hotel Dubai Dubai

Paramount Hotel Dubai

A luxury hotel with the atmosphere of 1970s films. A vintage atmosphere guaranteed!
8.4 Very good
From
£126 / night
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"It was quite grandiose, we were immediately immersed in the atmosphere and we enjoyed being able to taste the breakfast of different nationalities! "

Romain and Sanjutka

Accompanied by a guide, the couple began their first day in the Al Seef district, which is rather lively in the evenings, but mornings are a good time for those who want to enjoy some peace and quiet and try a yoga class on the quayside. The shops, cafés and restaurants in the narrow streets are very pleasant, and the views of the new city are very pretty.

"The contrast is striking, with a view of the new town, which we really enjoyed. "

Romain and Sanjutka

At lunchtime, authenticity is the order of the day: head to Asma's in Bastakiya for a local meal. The Dubai woman warmly welcomes tourists to her typical house to share a traditional feast. Romain and Sanjukta have abandoned their cutlery to eat "local style, with their hands, sitting on the floor". A must for couples and groups alike, Asma speaks 5 languages and can accommodate up to 50 people. She welcomes her guests in her two lounges, one dedicated to men and the other to women, although this is not a requirement.

Bastakiya is a historic district of Dubai, ideal for a stroll, but also for cultural visits and souvenirs. For example, a few minutes from Asma's house, there is a calligraphy shop where you can discover Arabic writing and take home a frame with your first name on it, "a great idea for a souvenir for the couple".

Traditional Arab architecture in the historic Al Seef district

Traditional Arab architecture in the historic Al Seef district

- © Nick N A / shutterstock

To learn more about Dubai's culture, head for the Perfume Museum and Al Shindagha, which are located side by side. Scents are part of the daily life of Emiratis, who don't hesitate to use different perfumes depending on the activity they are doing, the people they meet or the different rooms in their house. Al Shindagha tells the story of Dubai and shows us the evolution from a small fishing village to the modern city we know today: fascinating!

Al Shindagha historic district

Al Shindagha historic district

- © frantic00 / shutterstock

To round off the day, the couple went to the souk on the other side of the river. After a typical crossing on board a traditional boat called an 'abra', they were immediately struck by the colours, scents and cleanliness of the spice market: "it was really magnificent, it's even more lively than elsewhere.

Spice souk in Duba

Spice souk in Duba

- © adil abbas ali / shutterstock

Day 2: a day on the river

Early in the morning, it's off to the Jumeirah district and its beach, where a water sports activity awaits the couple! Aboard a transparent kayak, they set off for a 1-hour paddle in the calm blue waters near Jumeirah Open Beach, where a guide from Crystal Clear Water Sports guides them through the different panoramas on offer. A little further out, the couple discover a unique viewpoint of the Dubai skyline, providing an opportunity to take some pretty pictures, but be careful not to fall in!

A lunch break is in order at Forever Café Rose, a 2D concept café offering a unique experience and "not very expensive" dishes.

The Dubai skyline after a kayak trip

The Dubai skyline after a kayak trip

- © Sven Hansche / shutterstock

In the afternoon, discover the luxurious little town of Madinat Jumeirah, an oasis of shops, souks, cafés and numerous hotels. With its river system, Madinat Jumeirah is ideal for boat trips (the famous abras!) and water sports along the private beaches.

Abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah

Abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah

- © Kiev.Victor / shutterstock

Back in Downtown Dubai, it's time to visit the Dubai Mall, the largest shopping centre in the United Arab Emirates. With its 1,200 shops, shopping enthusiasts can't fail to be amazed. You can enjoy a coffee on the terraces overlooking the famous fountains that we've all seen on Instagram! As well as being impressive to see, they light up in the evening from 6pm in a marvellous show.

The day ends at the Burj Khalifa for a majestic view of the illuminated city. At 828 metres high, it is the tallest tower in the world. Once you've reached the platform on the 148th floor, the panorama is breathtaking - a purely romantic moment.

Exterior view of the Dubai Mall

Exterior view of the Dubai Mall

- © dvoevnore / shutterstock

Day 3: enchanting places and sensations

For your last day, head to the Atlantis water park, known as the largest in the world, located on the exotic island of Palm Jumeirah. A sensational activity where you and your partner can try out the various attractions, the many slides and the private beaches. Memorable experiences await lovers in this sumptuous setting inspired by the world of Atlantis. The more adventurous can enjoy a shark safari in a lagoon surrounded by sharks, colourful fish and rays. For even more thrills, there are scuba dives among aquatic species and dolphin shows, where you can feed and swim with the dolphins.

Atlantis Park on Dubai's The Palm Island

Atlantis Park on Dubai's The Palm Island

- © Pit Stock / shutterstock

After lunch, it's off to the Museum of the Future. The architecture is "mind-boggling, and as soon as you step inside you're in awe". The building is one of the most spectacular in the city! Elements of Arabic calligraphy run around the outside of the structure, giving it an even more exceptional air. The museum plunges visitors 50 years into the future **and asks how society might evolve through technology and science.

A tip from the editors:

Buy your tickets in advance, as this popular museum is often fully booked several months in advance.

Impressive view of the Museum of the Future building

Impressive view of the Museum of the Future building

- © ElenVD / shutterstock

This activity is followed by the Miracle Garden, an enchanting world created entirely from flowers. There are more than 50 million flowers to be admired in various displays and floral sculptures. It's the perfect place to take a stroll with your partner or have lunch on the terrace. It's best to go in the morning to avoid the crowds.

To round off your visit, the Aya Universe offers a final glimpse of Dubai's extravagance. This experience plunges visitors into a spectacular galaxy, with sound and light shows, a subdued atmosphere and magical decors in each of the 7 rooms. There's also a gourmet restaurant where you can extend the experience and dine on site. It couldn't be a better way to spend your last evening.

by Editorial Team
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