Welcome to the Turquoise Travel Diaries, a collection of interviews, stories, and excerpts from our fabulous team, as they travel around the world. Here at Turquoise we pride ourselves on unrivaled knowledge of the destinations in which we specialise, so that we can provide honest, expert advice to all our guests and fellow travellers. This week, our interview is with our Indian Ocean and Middle East product Manager Lisa Mason, who has recently returned from a Turquoise research trip to Dubai. Here, Lisa gives us her insider’s knowledge on the glittering emirate city of Dubai…
Please can you describe Dubai in three words?
Fun, unique and dazzling!
If you were to pick just one thing that makes Dubai a go-to destination, what would it be?
It is hard to pick just one thing but I would have to say the fact that it is a relevantly short flight with guaranteed sunshine – perfect for winter sun or a long weekend!
What was your absolute favourite restaurant and can you tell us your favourite dish you tried whilst out there?
Oh gosh, so many to choose from! I LOVED Asado Steakhouse at the Palace Downtown. Right next to the fountains and with views of the Burj Khalifa. We had a mixed grill to share which was absolutely amazing!
How long would you recommend in a Dubai? Do you think it’s a destination in its own right or would you recommend twinning it with somewhere else?
There are many ways in which Dubai is great for a holiday. You could go for a 4 night long weekend and winter sun. I love the city in its own right – why not stay on the beach for a week and enjoy a high end 5* hotel with top service? Or combine a few nights in Downtown Dubai for a city experience with some more time spent in the Indian Ocean!
Do you think Dubai is better suited for couples or families?
Honestly, both! Couples would love it for the top restaurants and bars and Friday brunch. Thrill seekers can go off in to the desert for some dune bashing, or skydive Dubai… Families would love the waterparks, the new theme parks, ice skating in the mall, the Dubai Aquarium and underwater Zoo to name a few! The hotels cater so well for both families and couples it’s the perfect holiday for both.
Can you tell us where you can have the most fun in Dubai and what would be your perfect day?
I would recommend some time at a waterpark as that would be super fun! I also think you need to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and experience ‘At the Top’! At night I would definitely head to Downtown Dubai and watch the fountains – they are spectacular and would be perfect to watch whilst having a delicious dinner! Then you can head to the mall and have a mooch and finish off at a cool bar!
What was your favourite hotel and why?
There are so many to choose from and I have lots of favourites for different reasons. I think personally for me I loved Madinat Jumeirah – Mina A Salam. It has a great beach so it’s perfect for relaxing in the day. It has a real buzz to the place with lots going on, lots of restaurants and bars, lots of people wandering around in the evening and has a lot of atmosphere. It also has great views of Burj al Arab and you can easily get to the Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence from there.
You’ve been to Dubai before, but did you see or experience anything which you didn’t do the first time around that you would recommend?
This time I was lucky enough to experience an open top bus tour which was really cool. It took around two hours but I could hop on and off whenever I wanted. A really easy way for getting around and exploring! I also watched a show called La Perle which involves 65 artists showing off skills from acrobats to aerial stunts! It was incredible and a must see!
Did you learn anything from this Dubai experience which you didn’t know before?
What I have noticed is there is always something new opening up. There are lots of new cool cafes and shops opening up so it’s hard to keep up with. The Dubai Frame is also new to us – a 100 SQM bridge with 360 degree views.