Nice place for a family vacation … [UAE]

About the Blog …

The blog is based on a 1-week vacation I had with my family in UAE, during December 2019.

Type of vacation …

Sedate family vacation

About Me …

Country Counter: Countries/territories I have visited so far …

Travel TipsTips based on my travels so far …

What I liked best …

(1) Safety

(2) Cleanliness

(3) Infrastructure

What I did not like …

(1) Crowds in Dubai Mall

Location in the World map …


With two major airlines (Emirates (Dubai) and Etihad (Abu Dhabi)) based in the nation, UAE is an easy place to get to and spend a relaxing week with the family. This was my umpteenth trip to UAE, but I just love the place. I find it very safe and relaxing. Yes, as with most countries, one has to follow the local customs 🙂

UAE has no dearth of luxury cars … From private owners to luxury hotel fleets, luxury vehicles are all over the place.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: A bad boy in front of Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: The lobby area of Atlantis is very nice … It gets quite crowded with every visitor to UAE showing up 🙂 Thankfully, the guest floors are way more quiet.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: The luxury shopping mall …
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: View of the Dubai Business District … From our Terrace Club Suite. One of the star attractions of the suite is the huge balcony. The views help as well.


Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: We did not get a chance to use the pool … It was either the pool or the Aquapark. We chose the latter. At the Aquapark, man, did I drink water 🙂 Some of the falls during the ride were quite steep.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Late evening … Dubai Business District looks like Manhattan, with the high-rises.


Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: As I say above, the guest areas are way less crowded …
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: From one of our suites, we had a nice view of Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Late in the night, the lobby was all lit up …
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: “The Lost Chambers” Aquarium @Atlantis … Very well maintained and a good way to spend a couple of hours.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Oh, the colors!
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: The water was crystal clear … With robust and healthy fish.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Dubai Business District, all lit up … Late evening.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Early morning view … Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab can be seen more clearly.
Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai: Taken during a stroll through the Atlantis campus …
Abu Dhabi Corniche: It is a real pleasure to take an evening stroll along the pedestrian walkway. There were quite a few bikers and skateboarders.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: We took the Desert Safari through Etihad’s Hala … We had a great time, mainly because of the driver/guide. One of the SUVs had a driver from Kerala and the other one had a Bulgarian driver. After many years in the UAE, the Bulgarian’s wife and son had gone back to Bulgaria last year.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: Sand dunes … You can see the tyre marks made by all the vehicles doing Dune Bashing.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: Photo taken during the Dune Bashing … I can assure you it was NOT easy to take photos like this when you are being thrown in all directions. But it was a lot of fun …
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: One of the Camel farms … Mostly migrant laborers work in these farms.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: We even tried the Camel milk … Supposedly it is healthier. I am not a “Milk” guy particularly.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: Unlike Emirates, looks like Etihad does not have a dedicated Desert Camp … The camp we were taken to was a common one, with many tour groups being hosted there. There were souvenir shops, henna painting stalls, camel rides, sand-boarding Etc. There was a buffet dinner followed by dance performances.
Desert Safari, Abu Dhabi: The belly dancer … Though she was energetic, her performance was a tad risque. It was a bit embarrassing, to tell the truth 🙂
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi: As always. a really majestic mosque. I did not notice some wear and tear though … Not surprising, considering the number of tourists walking through.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi: Huge chandeliers, pretty carpets, ornate walls Etc. The majestic mosque has it all …
Qasr Al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: The palace is a government building used mainly to entertain visitors and does not have anyone actually staying there. The palace was opened to the public only recently. We took the guided tour, which allows us to go to areas cordoned off for the others. The palace was just majestic! Especially the huge hall … I have rarely seen such a huge hall. There is an area dedicated to the official gifts given to Abu Dhabi (UAE) by other countries.
Qasr al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: How about this ceiling?
Qasr al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: What a room … Typically used for Head of States. We were told that Pope Francis was hosted here.
Qasr al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: A nice artwork … Very popular with the tourists. I had to go through a lot of trouble to be able to take this photo with just one person within the structure 🙂
Qasr al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: Qasr Al Hosn hosts an Islamic Library … The books were all neatly arranged as you can see here.


Qasr al Hosn Palace, Abu Dhabi: From outside …
Dubai Spice Souk: Was not very crowded when we went …
Dubai Spice Souk: A nice portfolio of spices …
Dubai Spice Souk: Another batch of spices …
Burj Khalifa, Dubai: The previous two times I have visited Burj Khalifa (2010 and 2015), it was during day time. For a change, we picked late evening this time around, partly because we could not get day time tickets (Note that December is peak season in UAE). The view from the “At The Top” 148th floor Sky-Deck (World’s highest observation deck with an outdoor terrace).
Burj Khalifa, Dubai: Compared to my previous visits, I must say the overall experience was not that great. A lot of it had to do with December being the peak tourist season in UAE, I think. The Dubai Mall was so crowded that even walking through the mall was a challenge. The queues at Burj Khalifa were very long. Also, the staff did not help with the amateurish way they handled the queues. Our tickets allowed access to the 148th floor, as compared to the basic tickets which allows access to the 124th/125th floors only. The way the queues were handled and the separate elevators we had to use were all so confusing … My recommendation: Try to avoid visiting Burj Khalifa during December 🙂 (Keep in mind that December is a great time to visit UAE, though)


Burj Khalifa, Dubai: The Big Boy … World’s tallest building. How long can it hold on to that record?
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): The bread was just yum … Went well with the Hummus.
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): Falafels!
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): Kibbeh … Made with lamb.
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): From the grill …
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): Ashtalieh … Loved it!
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): Ghazal el banet … Liked it. Kind of like cotton candy.
Dinner at Abd El Wahab (Lebanese restaurant, Abu Dhabi): Baklava with cream …


One thought on “Nice place for a family vacation … [UAE]

  1. Nice review.
    So you tried camel milk (did you like it?) and baklava ice cream, but have you tried camel milk gelato with Baklava or saffron flavours? 😉
    Since you have visited before, maybe you are familiar with Arabian Tea House in Al Bastakiya, Bur Dubai? My favorite restaurant, very affordable, with a relaxing courtyard where one can have – you guessed it – camel milk ice cream!

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