Our flight to Dubai actually arrived really early at around 5am. Since we had a boo boo going to arrivals, it took a while. We went to transfers instead which is a different area altogether. By the time we arrived at the luggage carousel, our luggage were already on the floor. Then we had to exit through immigration and customs, then get our money changed. By the time we went out, it was already past 7 in the morning.
Deira is probably the closest city to the airport. It will only take your roughly 10-15 minutes by metro. The metro is very easy to understand and navigate. They only have 2 lines at the moment, the red and green lines. Deira City Center is only 3 metro stops away from the airport.
Our hotel was Novotel Deira. I got what I thought was a pretty good deal online which did not include the taxes and service charges so I still had to pay for more upon check out. I belatedly wished that we had gone for a cheaper hotel since there are plenty of choices. I just wanted to experience the Novotel brand and thought that I can only afford it at that price. It was a little splurge.
We tried to check in but they said that we can’t. They said that we can try at 11am. We were really tired but the thing is nothing is really open around those time. The mall next door only opens at 10am. We had about 2 hours to kill so we sat at the lounge and used the wifi. They said we can go up to the pool. We actually did and slept on the pool chairs for an hour. We were dead tired. The pool was really nice. It is shared with the Ibis hotel next door.
The workers probably thought we were weird for lying there fully clothed and sleeping. We didn’t really care. Finally at 10am, we went to Deira City Centre mall which is just opposite the road and bought some groceries and lunch.
They had really nice display of spices and fruits, plenty of choices. There was even a section at the bread aisle where i saw a few filipino delicacies like leche flan and brazo de mercedes. We got some water, snacks, the local rice and roasted chicken at the grocery. None of the restaurants are open since it was Ramadan. If you wanted to eat, you would have to do it in private. So we had to grocery shop for lunch. The restaurants only open after sunset which is around 6 or 7 in the evening.
We went back to Novotel to check in our room and it was a good thing they had one available so we can finally take a rest and eat our lunch. The room was really nice. I didn’t take good pictures though.
The good thing about the deal I found online is that it includes breakfast whereas most of the hotels I looked at didn’t have that inclusive. The restaurant was really nice and it was not crowded at all probably because of ramadan. It actually looked empty. There were probably only 4 tables that were occupied. They had a pretty good buffet spread. I only had my phone with me so excuse the crappy photo below.
We decided to leave and explore late since the noon sun was really harsh and it was really hot. We also went to the Gold souk and the Dubai mall later in the day. We considered going to a safari but my cousin’s friend advised us against it because it is so hot and I really cant imagine a desert safari in the summer. I know they do it at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon but it’s still hot. It’s even hot at night.