Well, hello there! Welcome to my Dubai Diaries series where I’m sharing the travel logs of my 5-day Dubai trip. This is the fifth and the last part in the series where I’m sharing memories from the last and the best day in Dubai!
I spent the last four days wandering around the streets of Dubai, exploring the emirate, shopping, sightseeing and what not. As this was my last day here, I wanted to relax a bit before I moved to Abu Dhabi the next day.
Before I could do that, I had to leave my current hotel – Comfort Inn and move to J5 Rimal Hotel Apartments.
Moving to J5 Rimal Hotel Apartments
I had booked J5 Rimal for a night’s stay. My day began with packing the bag and checking out from Comfort Inn. After checking out, I took a walk to J5 Rimal, located at Murakkabat Street.
I reached almost two hours before my check-in time of 2:00 PM. I was allotted a room within 10 minutes and here I was, in a new hotel for a night.
After checking in, I spent some time with my laptop, took shower and had a nap. I wanted to relax at a beach before I visited Dubai Creek (which was postponed the other day).
I had around 5 hours before my pickup time of 8:30 PM and I decided to spend the evening at Kite Beach, come back and then go to Dubai Creek.
Related: Just so you know, my stay with J5 Rimal Hotel Apartments was no less than perfect. You can read my complete review if you like.
An Evening at Kite Beach
I left for Kite Beach in the noon. I took the bus from a nearby stop and reached Majlis Al Ghoreifa bus stop. After walking for about 15 minutes, I reached Kite Beach.
Oh, what a lovely place it was! From the moment I reached the beach, it felt like I had reached a whole different place. People were jogging, walking, riding bikes, sunbathing and enjoying their evening.
What made this beach the ‘Kite Beach’ was a designated area for kite surfers. Enthusiasts were enjoying kite flying. I could see how beautiful the sky looked with those kites.
I spent almost two hours here – sitting on the rocks and enjoying the sound of the sea. As I was sitting there, observing other people enjoying different water sports, I could not help but think about my fear of water.
Just so you know, my crazy little brain is home to this fear, which forbids me from getting close to water in large quantity. This fear has been there with me since I almost drowned as a kid and since then, I have never done any activity that involves large quantity of water.
PS: I have ‘fear of water,’ but not ‘aquaphobia.’ There’s a difference – a big one.
As the sun disappeared in the Persian Gulf, I slowly started walking towards the bus stop. I had to reach at the hotel before 8:30 PM and I had two and a half hours on hand.
Lost on the Roads of Dubai
After waiting for some time at the bus stop, I boarded a bus. Upon using the smart card, an ‘insufficient balance’ message came on screen as a surprise.
I wasn’t aware my Nol card didn’t have enough balance to board a bus and the driver asked me to get off. I got off the bus, confused. I stood there for a while, thinking what to do.
This card could be recharged at a bus station, a metro station or online. I didn’t have access to the internet and a bus station wasn’t around, either. On the map, I could see Business Bay to be the nearest metro station – which was around 7-8 KMs away.
A brief thought hit my mind – “Ask for a lift?” But my introvert and cautious nature didn’t allow me to do so. Those cars were moving so fast, anyway. And here I was, lost on the roads of Dubai.
“Let’s take a walk, Parvez,” I told myself and I began walking towards the station. I wandered for almost an hour on foot before I noticed bright light coming from a place. “What’s that? Where am I?” Myself asked me.
The place I had reached was ~drum rolls~ Dubai Canal!
An Unexpected Visit to Dubai Canal
“Wait, it’s Dubai Canal. I wasn’t expecting to reach here.” I told myself. The Google Trip app wasn’t showing it on the map. But now that I had reached here, I decided to enjoy there for a while. I still had an hour left to reach the hotel, and I didn’t know whether I would make it before that.
“Ask for a lift. There are so many people here. ASK for a LIFT, Parvez!” I was telling myself. But I knew myself. It wasn’t really easy for me to ask anyone to drop me at my hotel. I just couldn’t do it.
And here I was, trying to enjoy an unexpected, unplanned, unnecessary visit to Dubai Canal. I walked from the beginning to the end of the canal walkway – completely unaware of taking the footbridge to reach Business Bay station. After I reached the Sheikh Zayed Road-end of the walkway, I came to know there was no way I could reach the station from there.
I was standing under the Sheikh Zayed Road and there was no way to climb up and walk towards the station. This added more to my confusion and frustration. “You better make it to Dubai Creek, Parvez!” I was yelling at myself.
After wandering around like I was lost in a desert or something, I reached the parking lot and there I spotted a taxi near St. Regis hotel. This was the only taxi which was available and it sprinkled some shine on my dull (and tired) face.
“J5 Rimal, Al Murakkabat Street,” I instructed the driver. And this became my first ever taxi ride in Dubai – a ride I never planned to take.
My first taxi ride in Dubai ended up being lengthy and costly, but I finally reached my hotel just in time.
Ending the Day at Dubai Creek
In 10 minutes after reaching my hotel, I got ready for Dubai Creek pickup and went downstairs to wait in the lobby. A minibus came to pick me up and we left for Dubai Creek.
In the bus, I met a guy (can’t remember his name) and his wife who were from Turkey and were living in Germany. It wasn’t long before we reached the creek where a huge dhow boat was waiting for us.
I could easily notice that everyone in the boat was either with a partner or with their family. I was asked by three different staff members whether I was visiting alone. “Am, yeah, I’m alone. Traveling solo, you see.” I explained.
Once at my table, I noticed a guy at the table next to me, and he was alone, too. “There! We got ourselves partners,” I told him and we started talking.
Enjoying Tanoura Dance, Dubai. Tanoura Dance, a form of Egyptian folk dance, is performed by Sufi men in colorful skirts on tunes of soulful Sufi music. Tanoura dance – a type of Sufi whirling, is directly connected with spirituality through which, the the performer aims to reach the inner purity. One has to abandon his ego and personal desires by listening to the music and focusing only on God. The best part? After spinning continuously for a long time, the performer shows no sign of dizziness at the end of performance! #sufi #sufism #dubai #mydubai #arab #arabic #folk #tradition #tanoura #lonelyplanet #huffpostgram #natgeotravel
I’m not sure about his name (Shantnu?), but he was from Kolkata, India. We had a detailed conversation about many topics including food, Kolkata, business etc. This discussion paused at least thrice as he went on the deck to smoke.
Besides my informative conversation with this guy, I also enjoyed being on deck. Slightly cold wind was blowing in the creek, and many boats – big and small – were sailing around us. Sitting on the deck, I went completely blank for a while – forgetting about everything. I just sat there, enjoying the moment as it passed.
I went back to my table after a while just before the dinner began. The international buffet was deliciously wonderful! Soup, salad, starters, main course, desserts – oh boy, everything was plain amazing. I almost forgot how tired I had been after that long walk as I enjoyed my dinner.
This whole Dubai Creek experience turned out to be very relaxing. It was nice to talk to someone for such long time, too.
My day ended with my bus dropping me back at the hotel.
Dubai Diaries Day 5: Summing Up
If I had to choose the best day from my 5-day Dubai trip, I will definitely choose the fifth and the last day.
This was the day when I had such relaxing time at Kite Beach, where I sat by the sea, observing the spectacular sunset and thinking about overcoming my fear of water.
This was the day when I boarded a bus, just to be asked to get off thanks to ‘insufficient balance’ in my Nol card. Thanks to this, I got a chance to know myself better and realized how difficult it is for me to talk to strangers and to ask favors.
The unexpected discovery of Dubai Creek was a pleasant surprise, too.
This was the day when I took my first taxi ride in the city – looking at the watch and the taxi meter.
This was the day when I almost missed my Dubai Creek trip but at the end, it all turned out to be a great experience.
But if you ask me how come this was my best day in Dubai, then I guess I will have no definite answer. Maybe I can’t describe in words what this day meant to me, and how I discovered myself – a newer self, in fact. This day brought me closer to not only the emirate of Dubai – but to myself, too.
I wish someday I will achieve the mastery of explaining my experience in a way that the listener/reader end up being a part of it. Until then, I will keep my memories to me – cherishing them at every stage of my life.
That’s it, folks! This was the fifth and the last part of my Dubai Diaries series. I hope you enjoyed reading my travel log and I would like to thank you for reading.
If you haven’t already, I would like you to read previous entries of my Dubai Diaries series, too.
Until next, this is Parvez, signing off from Parvezish.com.