It seems like more like days, not hours since we left Tunisia.
Last night we managed to get a taxi but paid a hefty price, because it is Ramadan in Tunis. They are all eating their “breakfast” meal and so this means that taxis were scarce and more than double the price. After a round-about route for over two hours to get to the airport (it should have been less than an hour but the traffic was thick with an accident), we finally made it to the airport check-in with not a lot of time to spare.
We had trouble changing our leftover Tunisian money, as I had not kept the ATM receipts on me. I did have them but they were packed. I’ve never heard of this before. Eventually, I asked someone to “be nice” and she helped me change the money. Only then did we discover we ended it for departure tax and had to change some money back.
At around 3:00 a.m. they severe “dinner” on the TunisAir flight, followed by a breakfast was just about thrown at us on landing – I think the staff forgot to serve them! Many passengers landed with their food trays, and there was no safety landing check by the cabin crew, so I watched children jump about in their seats, and people land sleeping across seats. This was a first.
When we finally arrived at Dubai Airport, we were instantly treated really well by the ground staff and customs. The gentlemen direction passengers found out we were Australian and offered us the “residents” short line at customs. We breezed through with a smiling man servicing us. What a great start to Dubai!
There waiting for us was a private chauffeur. He helped us to the car with our luggage, and before we knew it we were checking in at our apartment hotel BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana.
We came upstairs to our hotel-apartment and instantly were awestruck with the beauty of the Dubai skyline we could view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. In addition, there was a private balcony off to the side, and even exterior automatic shutters.
We were right next to the famous BurJuman Mall, and also looked down onto the beautiful terraced area, and of course, Explorason spied the swimming pool. At 45oC outside, we couldn’t wait to use it.
Our apartment was huge. The bedroom had two double beds, and a separate closet corner and dressing area. What is great is that you get all the facilities of a hotel, and the luxury of plenty of room to move, and the feeling of home in a Deluxe Hotel Apartment.
This was such a modern apartment.
When we arrived in Dubai we were both surprised that it was 50% Arabic and 50% English and both were available, so we were delighted to find a great range of English TV programmes on the flatscreen TV.
Over the past few weeks, I really hadn’t done too much blogging.
Tunisia had been a tumultuous time for us, and I had decided that it was a time to plan our next chapter of travel (which will be an exciting one), rather than to write about what we were doing.
So I had a lot of work to catch up on, and I appreciated the separate desk area – just for me.
I suddenly hear a squeal of delight from the living room. Explorason has discovered some treats!
The kitchen area is fully equipped and this is why I like apartment hotels. We were pleased to even find a washer/dryer combo; a dishwasher; a microwave; basic cooking and also dining requirements.
It also contained a full size two door refrigerator, and inside Explorason had found fresh fruit and juices, along with some candies.
He laid them out on the coffee table with excitement.
Whenever I get to a new accommodation property I like to explore and find out all it has to offer. I went off with one of the BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana team to explore some of the property.
I discovered luxurious accommodation including duplex 3 bedroom Townhouses; an elegant duplex 4 bedroom Penthouse; and spacious 1 bedroom Classic, Deluxe and Premium Suites. There was something to suit small families like ours, or extended families traveling with grandparents and children. Each child-friendly suite is self-contained with ample seating area, a smart kitchenette, hot plates, washer, dryer, iPod players and much more.
And the BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana hotel even connects to the shopping center.
At this level, there is The Gallery Restaurant and we decided to dine here for lunch. I soon learned that during Ramadan, restaurants are screened off from the public, and only a few are available. In fact, this was the only restaurant or cafe near here.
We enjoyed a buffet style lunch and I so needed a coffee. I realized I’d had virtually no sleep in 2 days. But I didn’t want to sleep. Like New York, Dubai is a city that never sleeps. We were so excited to be in Dubai. We had deliberately selected BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana as it was so central for exploring. And exploring is exactly what we wanted to do for the rest of the day.
The hotel is annexed to the BurJuman mall, which is next to the BurJuman metro station. We got lost the first time but you can walk under the Burjuman Mall right to the Metro!
We decided we had to go and see the Dubai Mall. It is the most glamorous Metro station I have seen so far in the world. We purchase a Metro card each – kids pay adult prices and the card has a separate purchase fee. From BurJuman metro station, we took the red line metro going to the Jebel Ali platform. We stop at the Dubai Mall metro station – about a 10-12 minutes ride.
We arrive at the Dubai Mall stop and we pass the Shuttle Bus exit – next time we will definitely take that. It is a LONG walk on the overpass even with travelators.
When we arrive at Dubai Mall (the largest shopping center in the world) Explorason is so excited! We walk past a couple of Arabs in a store, and I thought they were mannequins. We laugh with them and end up talking to them and having photographs taken. Everyone here is friendly to us.
It is so nice to be in a clean and modern city again.
It is now the end of fasting for the day, and the food courts are busy.
We head out to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
It is also the area where you see the Dancing Fountains. Fountains that move and shoot water and literally dance in time to the music. These ‘perform’ every half hour in the evening for about 5 – 10 minutes.
Next day it is super hot. We need to use that magnificent pool downstairs! We decide to stay in and use the hotel and apartment facilities as I have to catch up on my writing.
So that evening we order with the 24 hour Room Service rather than heading out.
I think this is one of the loveliest meals I have enjoyed. The gentleman who served us was just delightful. It was really special.
Just look at the size of the dinner!
I was glad we had the apartment as there was so much food.
We could take our time and enjoy the delicious courses. And the leftovers were popped into the refrigerator.
Morning comes too soon and we were eating again!
It was back down to the Gallery Restaurant on the third level for breakfast.
‘Manakeesh’ is almost like a mini pizza.
We select from the different toppings and the lovely chef cooks the ‘Manakeesh’ for us. I chose three different ones.
Explorason loved the pancake machine. You could select how many you like and out they pop! With chocolate sauce – this was just great for him.
That afternoon we head out to the Traditional Souk area along Dubai Creek. It has a lot of Indian wares for sale. It also has a Historical Centre and is set along the river. We enjoyed dining out here too. This is a great area to visit. It was so hot though, we really just wanted to get back to our cool apartment.
Next morning was our last day at BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana and we wanted to make the most of seeing Dubai.
So we headed off on the Metro to Palm Island.
We had to take the Metro some distance, then swap to a tram, and then swap to the Monorail.
If you plan to visit Palm Island, remember your swimming costume. It is an island that really either needs you staying at the Atlantis Hotel to enjoy the benefits, or you need to buy a one day pass separately to enter. Unless you plan to dine at the restaurants, you can’t enter into any area so we felt a bit caught out.
We paid to go and see the Aquarium there, but with the size of the Aquarium in Dubai Mall, this might be a better option.
However Explorason enjoyed Neptune’s Throne at Atlantis Hotel in the Aquarium area, and we paid to enter.
We saw some fabulous sharks and stingrays along with some pretty colored fish. We also saw them being fed so that was really great.
Sadly we head back to leave and there is a lot more of Dubai to explore than what we cover. We’ve loved our time at BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana and I can thoroughly recommend BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana as a magnificent place to stay in Dubai and a wonderful location.
Accommodation Name: BurJuman Arjaan by Rotana
Location: Trade Centre Road, Crossing Khalid bin Al Waleed Street, PO Box 111397 Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 352 4444
Food & Beverage offers: http://roho.it/rrfgk
Escape Packages: http://roho.it/rrfgt
Dining Information: http://roho.it/rrfgm
Twitter: @BurJumanArjaan Instagram: @burjumanarjaan Pinterest: @burjumanarjaan
Date stayed: July 2015
Breakfast: Available via In-Room Service or The Gallery Restaurant
Wi-fi: Available to purchase separately and worked well in our apartment
Child-friendly: Yes – we met several families staying here with children