on the beach in dubai


one of the many perks of staying at the movenpick deira hotel is access to oceana beach club on palm jumeirah. a shuttle bus picked us up at the hotel and dropped us off at an infinity pool overlooking the ocean and the dubai marina skyline!

^^ yes, we are aware that we are really, really white. ^^
^^ and that this picture is pretty ridiculous. ^^

we had such a relaxing and fun morning at oceana beach club! it was pretty cool to be on palm jumeirah, which is a huge man-made island shaped like a palm tree jutting out from dubai into the waters of the persian gulf and dotted with resorts and luxury hotels (only in dubai would something ridiculous like this exist!). oceana wasn’t anything too glitzy, just right. we swam in the pool and then in the ocean, which is super calm there since the branches of the palm island break the waves.

while we were playing around in the sea, the boy’s wedding ring slipped off his finger! it was a true (and panicked) adventure to look for and a true miracle to find! i was grateful so to the people at the pool who lent me their goggles! :)


after our relaxing morning at oceana, we went to a different beach spot in an attempt to the the burj al arab – the infamous seven-star hotel. it was kind of a struggle to figure out where we were going and the best place to go, but eventually we found a great spot! that sail-shaped building is so cool. we had to take some photos with our super awesome tshirts that the wonderful folks at movenpick deira had given us.

^^ not sure exactly what’s going on with our poses here… ^^
^^ i walked out along a pier to see this view … a good one showing off the different sides of dubai – such a unique place on earth! ^^

that night, we went to the mall of the emirates to see the indoor ski resort and enjoyed some more familiar food (we had avoided american chains our entire trip but felt that eating at them in dubai is actually part of the experience because they are everywhere!). then, ian really wanted to find a place to see the dubai skyline dominated by the burj khalifa all lit up at night. we really struggled to find what we were looking for and it was one of those times that come along while traveling when things just aren’t coming together and it’s pretty frustrating! here’s the best we got:


ian is holding his phone with its flashlight up to shine on his face so we could get a picture that showed both him and the lit-up buildings behind him – haha! dubai night skyline fail. but already a fun memory.


a desert safari


the boy noticed long ago that i had a peculiar item on my bucket listbe somewhere where all i can see on the horizon is sand. i don’t know…i just have always thought it would be really cool to be quite deep in a sandy desert. when the boy realized that this frivolous little dream could become a reality in dubai, he was all about making it happen. (bless him! he’s the best at making my silly and serious dreams come true.)

we went on a desert safari, which included “dune bashing” in land cruisers, digging our bare feet into endless luscious sand, a camel ride and henna tattoo, and dinner with a show at sunset. it was suuuper gimmicky and so crowded with tourists, but we loved it nonetheless. my bucket list item got a big ole checkmark next to it and we just had a really nice time out in the desert.

^^ the dune bashing was pretty intense sometimes. it was like a really bumpy, and really fun, roller coaster. we both had a blast while it lasted but were pretty glad when it was over because our stomachs were ready to be still! ^^
^^ the boy had this idea to throw sand at the gopro while the self-timer was going. we have about twenty funny pictures from trying to get the sand in the picture just so. i think both of these (above and below) are pretty cool! ^^
^^ ian loves this pose. i’m not complaining. ^^
^^ the dinner camp. kind of magical. ^^
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^^ gotta love the atvs in the background of these photos! ^^
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^^ the camel ride was pretty hysterical. we waited in line for quite a long time in order to get a ninety second ride in a camel chain with a bunch of other tourists furiously taking pictures. we were giggling about the experience (or lack of?!) the whole time. ^^
^^ aaaand, our picture came out pretty blurry to boot. haha! ^^
^^ but this camel selfie makes any long wait for any short ride worth it an hundred fold, am i right?! ^^
^^ this may be a top ten photo from our trip. i snapped just as ian was moving away from giving the camel a little pat. the camel wasn’t too keen on it! ^^
^^ this guy put on a pretty amazing traditional show. he was constantly twirling. it was incredible. and then his costume continued to morph even up to lighting up like crazy. pretty cool. ^^
^^ and a henna souvenir from our desert safari. ^^

it was a very sandy dream come true!

{side note – in that first picture in this post, ian and i were not very happy with each other. we had had a difficult day communicating and decided to put our happy faces on for the desert safari. we got over it pretty quick and really did have an awesome time. but just a note that traveling with someone 24/7 can be difficult, even if that someone is your dearly beloved. we sure learned a lot about each other on our eighty days abroad!}


the perfect place to stay in dubai – movenpick deira

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when we arrived in dubai, we were really ready for a comfy bed and a shower. we had gone straight to the airport from shark diving in south africa and flew overnight. our beautiful room at the movenpick deira hotel was a sight for sore eyes! a nap, some snacks and a shower felt so luxurious, especially because everything in our room was top notch.

our entire stay at movenpick deira was completely delightful. we loved the location of the hotel – near to the airport, away from the craziness of the malls and downtown, but really close to a subway stop, making the entire city so easily accessible. the service was impeccable – every member of the staff was incredibly kind and very helpful in not only ensuring a comfortable and happy stay at the hotel, but also a great time in dubai (they helped us find our way around and discover the coolest things in the city). the amenities were plentiful and the food was so delicious.

it can be overwhelming to decide on a place to stay in dubai – there are so, so many different hotels in lots of different parts of the city. we highly, highly recommend a stay at movenpick deira.

^^ we were tickled pink by the fact that the hotel had given us personalized t-shirts as a special souvenir. and that note! it says “welcome to movenpick deira. wishing you a pleasant stay as you #charianaroundtheworld.” they even picked up on our instagram hashtag! ian is obsessed with this t-shirt with his name on it in english and arabic. you’ll notice it in lots of pictures in blog posts to come!^^
^^ and this super lovely spread of food was waiting for us – yum! ^^
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^^ our room was really perfect. just the right amount of space. and i’m a sucker for hotel rooms that come with bathrobes! ^^
^^ our first morning we ate breakfast in the lounge on our floor, and the spread was wonderful! ^^
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^^ the gym at movenpick deira is fully stocked. it was so nice to get some good workouts in after having to get pretty creative in exercising on our travels! ^^
^^ and the rooftop pool! i had the most relaxing morning here while the boy was working on some things in the room one day of our stay at movenpick deira. ^^
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^^ there’s also a sauna and beautiful locker facilities next to the gym & pool. ^^
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^^ we also got to see the beautiful meeting rooms that are available at the hotel. i wouldn’t mind a conference here! ^^
^^ especially with this outdoor space on the side! ^^
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^^ movenpick deira has two restaurants, and they are both gorgeous! options by sanjeev kapoor serves indian dishes in an chic atmosphere, and jigsaw provides a bright spot for yummy dining. ^^
^^ the spectacular breakfast buffet! there are few things in this world i love more than a breakfast buffet, and movenpick deira does it right! ^^ as you can continue to see below…
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we had an amazing stay at movenpick deira! look no further for the perfect place to stay in dubai.

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{this post is in partnership with movenpick deira. all opinons are purely our own!}
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