This was our last day in Dubai and we woke up at a ‘normal’ time as in 7.30 – typical that it was our last day and we’d fully got used to the time difference. I always find when I go over to the Eastern side of the world the jet lag isn’t as bad when I come home but it does take me a few days for my body clock to adjust once I’m there – it was the same when I went to Thailand as well and they are 7 hours in front!
This will probably be a really short post as we didn’t want to overdo it on our last day and just wanted to make the most of our last moments of luxury. We started off with our usual trip to Khaymat Al Bahar for breakfast, where we were offered a fresh fruit juice – today I think it was strawberry and kiwi but they had a different one every morning, it was always a lovely welcome. Today the manager of the restaurant was here and Kimaarah wouldn’t say hello to him and was sticking her tongue out 😂🙈 talk about show me right up. He was so good with her and said come on Princess let me take you to your table, and led her by the hand and got her to choose where to sit. And then even lifted her into her chair! This was the sort of service that we came to expect, everyone was so kind and friendly and great with kids. But I thought to myself I’ve never been to a hotel where the staff, let alone the restaurant manager has done anything like that. It made us feel really special.
After breakfast we headed for the pool but today was not very sunny, and it did rain at one point only for about 10 minutes though. While it rained no one moved! We were all just under the umbrellas. Kimaarah met a little girl in the pool who was 6, and played with her for a little while (with my mum holding her as she can’t swim) which was lovely as we hadn’t seen loads of kids during our holiday with the exception of the kids club. There were a lot of people with babies too. I was told that October is very busy for the hotel and I would think October half term would be a really good time to return with kids – the weather would be lovely at this time too.
Whilst around the pool we ordered a pizza and a couple of cocktails as we still had some of our resort credit to use so this didn’t cost us anything where the pizza would have been about £17 and the cocktails about £15 each. I also took Kimaarah to the Scoops kiosk to get an ice cream, Kimaarah had strawberry and I had the cookies and cream which had bits of Oreo inside, delicious 😍 and this was paid for with the resort credit too. The ice creams would have been about £6 each.
Later that day I took Kimaarah to play at the kids club as the weather wasn’t great and she was asking to see more children. She is very sociable and likes meeting different children and the whole language barriers isn’t an issue for kids, I think it’s good for them to meet children from different countries as it teaches them to be more accepting of others. Kimaarah had a great time in there dancing along to some Disney songs they put on for her, they were also doing face painting and she got a butterfly design on her arm (I didn’t want her whole face done as we were going for dinner)
While we were in the kids club my phone battery died and as I needed to contact my mum (she had gone off to look in the souks) I asked the ladies if Kimaarah could stay in there while I went to our room to charge my phone. As she didn’t want to leave! And as I said before our villa was only just opposite the kids club so I was nearby if I needed to get her. And they would me when it was time for her to be picked up! I had to pick her up as she had a little wee accident – she couldn’t get her swimming costume down in time 🙈 but they dealt with it all for me and asked me to bring over some spare clothes, they were so lovely and I knew I could trust them over there as it was all run very safely and none of the children were left alone if they got upset etc.
That night we had a reservation at Shimmers On The Beach at the Mina A Salam as a special dinner for our last night, unfortunately while we were getting ready one of the butlers called us to say that Shimmers advise all their customers booked in that night to make other plans because a storm was coming, and they have literally no indoors space. Also a storm in Dubai can be a sand storm (sand in my food no thanks!) Either way we didn’t fancy it and decided to go to Hanaaya buffet instead, the butler gave us a few options of where we could go but as we were going to be up early the following morning, the buffet was the best option for us. It was a bit disappointing as we always like to have a special meal on our last night and of course I had saved Kimaarah a special dress to wear 😂😩 but it gives us a reason to go back again! As Shimmers is meant to be beautiful – it’s included in the half board with a supplement of around £30 per person (under 4 are free). That night at Hanaaya there was a kids corner with one of the ladies from the kids club who was doing face painting and making balloons for the children, after we had finished eating Kimaarah got a balloon flower made for her which she was over the moon with. The food was lovely here again I just couldn’t eat much as I was thinking about the flight home, I get a little anxious and have to psyche myself up a bit. After dinner we headed back to our villa, it was only about 8.30 but an early night was needed as we needed to be up at about 6.30am, ready for our pick up at 8.30!
So!!! I decided to continue this post on with a bit about our journey home and the next post I do will be my top tips and main points about Dubai! What I loved about the Dar Al Masyaf is the butler service, there were several butlers but all of them could seamlessly pick up where the last person had finished. Our butler who coordinated our transfer home was not there the morning of our departure but everything still went exactly to plan. We had luggage pick up at 8.10, golf buggy to take us to Al Qasr main entrance at 8.20 then our car would take us back to the airport at 8.30 – all ran like clockwork. Our transfer back was booked through the company I use at work and not through Jumeirah but they still organised all timings for us which was a massive help. We woke up earlyyyyyy 😴 and headed off for one last breakfast. I was so sad! My mum went to take some last photos of the beach but I couldn’t as I knew I would be even more upset! Does anyone else get like this on holiday?
Breakfast demolished, we packed up and left our luggage to be taken and then waited for our golf buggy who took us on the scenic route so we could take some last minute photos around the Madinat, he even took some photos of my mum that she wanted which I thought was lovely. We saw some of the camel statues and even some of the peacocks who live in the grounds! As organised when we reached Al Qasr our car was waiting for us with our luggage already inside. The front of house manager was there and asked us about our stay, we all agreed it was amazing and we couldn’t wait to return! Then all the staff waved us off, I feel actually a little tearful writing this as we were made to feel so special throughout our stay and this was the perfect end to a truly special holiday.
I did worry about our slightly late pick up time as I always advise people to be at the airport 3 hours before their flight but we would be there 2 and a half hours before, what’s half an hour I hear you say, well when you have to travel through morning traffic, get through check in, security, duty free, boarding, then every minute is precious! Also DXB airport is huge! Within the top 10 largest in the world when you look at how many passengers pass through each year. Boarding starts 1 hour before your flight is due to take off (as a rule) so at the very minimum you want 2 hours but as I’m a nervous flier I never want to feel rushed. The traffic wasn’t too bad and there was also not really a queue at check in which was a real bonus. As Virgin have different queues for Upper Class, Premium and Economy. At busier times like school holidays I would definitely recommend using the 3 hours rule if you are flying long haul. As the check in attendant took our suitcases she said to Kimaarah ‘can you blow?’ Kimaarah then had to blow on the suitcase and the lady made the conveyor belt move so it was like Kimaarah was blowing it along by magic which she loved! We went through security and then took a shuttle train through to the next part of the airport – this shows you how big it is, I like it as well as it’s all clear windows and you can see some of the different planes which Kimaarah likes to do too. We then did a tiny bit of duty free shopping, there aren’t loads & loads of shops just one that sells perfume, make up, confectionery, a couple of eating places and then one which sells all what I would call ‘tourist stuff’ like keyrings, magnets, chocolate, pens, bit of jewellery etc. No alcohol is sold in the airport! So you will need to get it from the airport before you fly to Dubai or get it when arriving back in the UK. Off we went to board and waited to be called up, even though we were in economy I actually got priority boarding because of Kimaarah as they let people with young children board first with the Upper Class and Premium people. A lovely lady helped me to carry Kimaarah’s Trunki as she was moaning she couldn’t pull it herself (bloody nightmare things they are, definitely do not recommend)
On the flight home me and Kimaarah were sitting by ourselves in a set of 2 seats and my mum was a little further down the plane by herself which she didn’t mind. Sitting as 2 definitely made me feel better as it was our own little space. And I got to sort Kimaarah out myself without my mum fussing about over her too. She was so good on the flight! Never complained just asked me occasionally if we were ‘up’ still and got on with watching her films & kids programmes. They forgot one of her kids meals so she had an adult one (beef goulash with mash and veg) and then they brought her some other treats like a box of fruit and some chocolate which she was happy with! She then had a couple of hours sleep, and then towards the end of the flight we were served an afternoon tea where she had a kids sandwich of cheese and turkey (which was deconstructed, broken up and eaten all separately in true Kimaarah fashion)
The flight went quickly with no turbulence and we landed smoothly so I couldn’t have asked for anything else at all! It was probably one of my best flights ever! Considering we were in economy and I was sitting in a window seat, which usually I hate because I feel like you can feel the plane moving more 🤢 Not this time however and I got an amazing video of our take off and landing if anyone wanted to see, please message me and I’ll send you them!
We landed in Heathrow and got through security quickly thanks to the priority family lane at immigration where I always get nervous and think I’ll be given the 21 questions about whether Kimaarah is actually my child, but all we were asked is where we were travelling back to, which I nearly forgot the answer to because I had all my other answers to imaginary questions in my head 😂 In my experience we’ve only been asked to show her birth certificate once or twice, she has a double barrel name so it’s easier, Ive never taken a letter from her dad saying he authorises me to travel alone, I feel like if they wanted to know anything they could easily just call him. Don’t take me for 100% on this as it’s just my personal experience! I’d always recommend reading the government guidelines before travelling anywhere as some countries do require Childrens birth certificates to even allow you on the plane (South Africa is one)
So that concludes my trip report of Dubai! I will of course do an overview of my last 2 trips and let everyone know my best bits and top tips. As well as my most frequently asked questions. I’m so glad of the response I’ve had and know it has been useful to at least some people! Most importantly I hope people have enjoyed these reports and I haven’t waffled on too much. Now it’s time for me to plan our next trip to Dubai! I wonder when it’ll be?