Summary: Dubai was the perfect choice for our ‘babymoon’ as I was keen for a bit of sunshine, but didn’t want to have to travel too far with a baby on board. The flight was much shorter than we anticipated, just six hours direct with Emirates from London Heathrow and there was no need to sort out visas or anything like that beforehand.
Dubai is the perfect setting if your temperature is a bit all over the place during your pregnancy as you can nip between air con-luxury to dry heat in an instant. This was especially handy for days when we sat around the pool.
We stayed in the glamorous Fairmont Dubai hotel, which is just a short journey from the airport, shopping mall and beach. The hotel oozed luxury and we certainly got that ‘holiday feeling’ when we learnt that there was both a morning and afternoon pool, complete with complimentary cold towels and bottled water.
Tom treated me to a ‘Heavy Leg Reviver’ massage in the majestic spa, which has an intriguing Romanesque feel, with a beautiful jacuzzi, steam room and ice cool foot baths, which would be nice if you had a friend along with you – being pregnant, I gave them a miss.
I felt all the more princess-like for being whisked away into the female only area and my therapist was really attentive, asking me to choose which oil I’d like, based on how it smelled. I chose a lovely relaxing oil and spent 30 minutes in pure bliss.
One of our favourite activities was taking a trip to the At The Top experience at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which allowed us to take in the sights of the city and desert from the 124th floor. It’s not too expensive, working out around £18 each, but if you don’t like lifts, it’s definitely one to give a miss as it goes straight from ground floor to floor 124.
The food was always sensational as each restaurant strives to have the world’s biggest, best or most luxurious plates on offer. We particularly enjoyed sampling the world’s largest burger in a small cafe outside of the shopping mall and we both can’t rave enough about the food in Raffles Hotel’s restaurant (recogniseable by it’s pyramid shape), complete with a dazzling city view.
Being able to eat in restaurants inside the different hotels gave us a good insight into where we’d like to go when we come back and it was nice not to feel that certain places were out of bounds as is so often the case with high class hotels around the world. We’ve definitely got our eye on Fairmont’s newest hotel, Fairmont the Palm, where you can walk from the resort straight onto the beach.
A cheap taxi trip along Dubai’s reclaimed land, The Palm, led to an afternoon relaxing by the sea on the expansive beach beds at the iconic Atlantis hotel’s Nasimi Beach (complete with cool beachside DJ), before taking in the array of shops and the sensational aquarium at the Dubai Mall (the world’s largest viewing wall in the world’s largest mall, of course!). The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is a must for a glimpse of Dubai’s traditions, food and dress. Plus, a trip on an Abra boat to the souks was a fun way to see a different side to Dubai – and if you’re after jewelerry or popular products like Argan oil, these are the places to go.
It’s fabulous to take a trip to the restaurants and bars around the mall in the evening too as a fountain display is put on every 20 minutes or so, all choreographed to music. It makes you feel like you’re at a New Year celebration, rather than just out for dinner on a Tuesday evening! It’s amazing to see the city lit up at night too, where you really get a sense of just how big some of the buildings are.
We had no concerns with the dress code – wearing appropriate clothing in public places – as this was as simple as slipping a shawl or cardigan over my shoulders and not wearing swim wear around the mall.
We would recommend Dubai as a babymoon destination and will certainly return when our child is older as there was lots on offer for children and families, too. The perfect break with lots of memories to share.
Fairmont Dubai rates start at £181 (including tax and service charge) for a double room, see fairmont.com/dubai.
Fairmont Dubai Spa, Heavy Leg Reviver approx. £38 for 30 minutes.
Fly Emirates from London Heathrow to Dubai from £447.34. Emirates fly direct to Dubai from six UK departure points, see emirates.com.