• Andi Dela Torre- Griffiths

When in DXB: Dubai Diaries

The city of Dubai (which also sits on the emirate with the same name) is undoubtedly gorgeous. With its beautiful deserts, organized transport systems, and skyscrapers that keep increasing in number, one cannot deny that they have made a lot of progress that other countries wouldn’t have been able to make.

From the moment we stepped into the airports of Dubai, I was immediately amazed at how organized everything was. We had a hassle-free entry. Going around wasn't also a problem because of the government-regulated taxi system. It was easy to hail a ride, and the cabs were clean. Other options are available if you don't want to ride a taxi, like booking a car on Careem or Uber.


Today, I'm going to share some of the hundreds of photos from our trip. I'll share a few stories in between as well.

Al Seef District


My college roommate Irish was the person we met upon arrival. She picked us up at the hotel and then took us to Al Seef, a closeby promenade where you can shop, dine, or stroll. It has an old-world area where you can appreciate the charm of old structures (reminiscent of Aladdin’s Agrabah) and the modern one where the establishments are a bit more hip.


Filipinos in Al Seef, Dubai | Old Dubai New Dubai, Creekside Photo | Lifestyle Blog Philippines
Sul Fiume Italian/Lebanese Resto. Sul Fiume translates to "On the River" in English
Charming Al Seef, Old Dubai New Dubai | When in DXB Blog

For dinner, we went to Sul Fiume, an Italian Lebanese Restaurant and Café that served good food. We ate outdoors, overlooking Dubai creek, where you get relaxing views of the boats and the buildings on the other side.

Al Seef Dubai old-world architecture | Best places to visit in Dubai, UAE | Tourist spots in Dubai
Starbucks Coffee in Al Seef (Old) Dubai | When in Dubai | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

Sky Views Observatory


Visiting the Sky Views Observatory is a must-include in your to-do list if you’re visiting Dubai. It’s where you can try the Sky Glass Walk, Sky Glass Slide, or the Dubai Edge Walk. Since we were hesitant to do the latter, we only went for the glass walk and glass slide, which were still fun.


Sky Glass Walk, Sky Edge Walk, Sky Views Observatory Dubai | Glass Slide Dubai blog

I enjoyed walking on the glass floors and checking out the view from the observatory because everything looked gorgeous from up there. You could see everything. It was reflective in a way. Watching the busy roads reminded me that time doesn’t stop for anyone. Looking at the people below from the 52nd floor also made me realize how tiny we look in this big world; how nature is so much bigger than us.


View from Sky Views Observatory in Dubai | Sky Glass Walk, Sky Edge Walk, Glass Slide
Just look at this view. It's beautiful and inspiring
Sky Views Observatory, Sky Glass Slide, Sky Edge Walk Dubai

If you want to get the best deals, check out Cobone, it’s a coupon app/website where you can choose from a wide array of activities (recommended by Irish). The promo we availed from Cobone already included a drink from the bar.

Desert Safari Adventure


The desert safari adventure is one not to miss. A trip to Dubai would not be complete without this experience. With many operators offering desert safari deals, you won't have a problem booking one.


We went for the dune buggy ride and the dune bashing, which were thrilling in different ways (ATVs are available at an added cost). Bring as much water when you're trying these activities. It is advisable to wear comfortable clothes as well.


Desert Safari Adventure in Dubai | Sand dunes, ATV, dune buggy

Buggy Ride


Before jumping into the vehicle, the person in charge told us that we should follow the route of their tour driver for safety. Basic reminders include the following: no overspeeding, no overtaking, and no tricks during the whole session. In the rare case that a dune buggy flips over, there is a fine of 5,000 AED. That is around $1,362 or ₱80,460.00, depending on the exchange rate.

Dune Bashing


For the dune bashing, we had one heck of a ride. As the driver was speeding uphill and sideways, the car stopped. Everyone started screaming, and the pregnant girl beside me vomited on my pants. I got nervous because I thought something might have happened to the baby, but thank God she was okay. The driver told us to stay put, but we told him we needed to get out.


Since we were slanted, everyone was in an awkward position. The only way to move was to open the door to our right and slide to the lower portion of the desert one by one; that's what we did.


Help came after 40+ minutes, and we did not finish our dune bashing anymore because it was getting dark. We went straight to the show after that.


Dubai Desert Safari Adventure | What to do in Dubai | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

Final Stop


For our final stop, we went to a camp in the middle of nowhere. There were Christmas lights, low tables, and throw pillows. We all sat on the floor for the belly dancing and fire shows. That was also where the dinner buffet was. They had meat, vegetables, and middle eastern snacks. Coffee was available as well.


Meeting with Cousins


I have a few cousins that we had the chance to visit during our short stay. First, we spent time with Vina, her partner Oli, Scud, and Ranya. We played Smart Ass at The Six, a board game cafe in Burj Vista. It was a fun night; it was not too hot, and the vibe was pretty chill. Scud gave us triangle-shaped Uno cards as well (thank you!).


The Six Board Game Cafe in Burj Vista Dubai, Max's Restaurant in Dubai

We also met up with (the well-traveled) Kuya Julius at the massive Dubai Mall. We had burgers at Black Tap, visited the showrooms Roomours and Villeroy & Boch, then went to London Diary Bistro for dessert. Lastly, he took us to the Dubai Frame and the Museum of the Future to take photos outside. I wish we had more time to bond with Kuya, but at least we enjoyed the few hours we spent talking and eating.



We didn't leave empty-handed because Kuya got us some goodies from Roomours, a gorgeous store that sells home decorations, tableware, and the like. He asked us to get whatever we wanted from the store, and we chose Golden pineapple decors. We got big and small ones, both of which look beautiful wherever you put them. Thanks, Kuya!


Dessert at London Dairy Bistro | Villeroy and Boch in Dubai Mall

The next time we return, it would be great to stay longer as I plan to meet Marky and my former bandmate Kuya Dan. They have been working and living there in Dubai too. It would be nice to spend time with them.


What Else


Hmm. You'll see more DXB posts in the coming weeks. I'll write about the other places we visited and the random moments we enjoyed (the one about Jumeirah Al Qasr is now up). Of course, I'll provide some helpful information for you. I guess that would be all.


Souk Madinat, Jumeirah Al Qasr in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Souk Madinat Jumeirah - I have a separate blog post about this lovely place

If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for your time.

Until the next one, stay safe!


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