Hello from Dubai, as many of you may know (if you have been following me since the beginning) this is now my 3rd trip to Dubai, and although I usually stay for a week, this time my partner and I have decided to stay for two!! We’re so excited because this is one of our FAVOURITE places in the world! And it definitely is a second home for us. I for one love coming back to Dubai because it really grounds me, inspires me, motivates me and helps me to connect with and focus better on my aspirations and goals and what I really want to be achieving in life! So much so, that I’ve realised I haven’t posted on the blog in a while and I’m so sorry! I know I used to post a few times a week like clockwork! However, recently I think I got lost in what I wanted, my goals, where I wanted to go, and just plain simply my drive was off. This was largely due to me having the wrong people in my life, and feeling like I’m doing the wrong things in life and anxiety just taking over completely!
I’ve learned that it’s really important to have a sense of self and a sense of where you’re going, and that where you think your headed is something you really want and that you’re content with it. For the longest time (probably since New York) I’ve been doing things for the wrong reasons, or not doing things that I’m meant to be doing or just plain simply letting myself down and feeling lost. And one day a light bulb went off in my head and I thought, ‘Francesca, you’re better than this’. Not in an arrogant way, but in a way where I could challenge myself to really pick up the slack and really motivate myself to get things done and push through the barriers of laziness, tiredness, fear, anxiety and self doubt.
Anyway, moving on…. so we landed last night, and there was a slight fiasco. So we called our hotel before we boarded the flight and told them that we would be landing at midnight, and asked if that was okay, seeing as check in is meant to be between 2pm and 6pm. At first they were very cold towards us, and sounded as if they didn’t really want to help. We asked to speak to a manager, and the manager gave us the all clear and said he would put a note on the system, saying that we would be booking in late! Anyway, we board our flight now from London Heathrow, slept, watched movies, talked and moaned about the little girl behind us (who coincidently was named Francesca too), as she was kicking the back of our chair constantly; however at this point we were so excited that we were still coming ‘home’. 6 hours and 50 minutes later we land, and go straight to baggage claim and get our passports stamped when Nikhil receives and email from the hotel saying they had cancelled our booking altogether.
Being the calm girlfriend, and considering we had just arrived to start our holiday, I really didn’t want Nikky to be stressed. “Nik, don’t worry it’s probably just an automated email and they haven’t realised. Just give them call” I said. But no. It was not a automated email after all, they decided to send us an email, asking us to update our card details WHILST we were on our flight. No wifi…. No Data…. No Reception…. Nearly 7 hours of no phone access. So why weren’t we asked by them, to update our card details while they had us on the phone before the flight? I don’t know, unprofessionalism maybe. But at this stage we thought we were well and truly F*CKED.
Imagine this, You’ve just landed in Dubai, in the Middle East, you had a hotel pre-booked that you were supposed to pay for when you got there. It’s now last minute and you only have a set budget for the hotel as you need to manage your spending money for the next two weeks. We were freaking out! What hotel is gonna take us at last minute for the same price and for two weeks!? Not to mention, actually being able to stay in a decent hotel, thats clean, accommodating and safe. And the answer is, No one. Not one hotel could take us for 2 weeks on the budget that we had set aside for our two week stay.
So here’s the deal. I’m not a snob, but from experience, and a few bad ones at that, I will only ever stay in a four star hotel and above. Usually they have all the amenities you need, no snakes charges here and there, they’re comfortable (no bed bugs!) and clean and safe. So I go onto booking.com and look for the nicest 4 star hotel, within our budget, one that had great reviews and a high rating from customers and boom bang. Before you know it, we went from being on the phone with them, to grabbing our taxi and checking in, in the early hours of the morning. But here’s the plot twist…. They still wouldn’t take us for two weeks for the budget we had. So we book one week with the hotel, because at this point we were tired, stressed and literally just had the shock of our lives when we thought we would have no where to stay for two weeks. But you know what? It’s not so bad after all. When I come to Dubai I often try my hardest to look on the greener side. And I realised, that I had a chunk of money coming in, in a weeks time and that we could then book into a different hotel and have the best of both worlds by experiencing two different hotels, in two different parts of Dubai on ONE holiday! So we checked into the room and looked at hotels straight away, and managed to pre-book a hotel in the Dubai Marina for the second half of our holiday.
So that night we walked around, got to know the area a bit. Had a Burger King because at this point we were really hungry and really couldn’t be asked. Did some shopping at the local supermarket (water, snacks etc) and headed back to the hotel watched a movie and went to sleep. Woke up this morning, got ready and went straight for the rooftop pool for some de-stressing and who do we run into? One of Nikhil’s mates who he knows from work at the same hotel! Not only that but he had just moved to Dubai because he got a job at Porsche. So maybe losing our original hotel was a coincidence? Needless to say, we have so many plans and ideas to do in Dubai with him now and we’re so happy we’ve run into a friend from London. After that we visited the Cuba Restaurant and Shisha Lounge at the Dubai Creekside Hotel.
The views were breathtaking and the food was yummy and it was honestly such a nice little spot to go to! Any bloggers out there that are visiting Dubai, I really urge you to visit this restaurant. And although I didn’t want to do shisha here I had the best Quesadilla and Sub Zero Apple mocktail, and took the most amazing photos. The views, combined with the interior and exterior design, plus the pool, music and amazing breeze made it the perfect place to unwind, and I think we finally began to actually enjoy ourselves. After this I really wanted to head to downtown, so we visited Arz Lebanon (right opposite the Burj Khalifa) and smoked shisha for a few hours and quenched our thirst with a few lemon mint drinks before going to do a spot of shopping at Sephora and touring through the designer stores, trying to make a decision on what exactly I’m going to decide to purchase at the end if the holiday. We got a cab back to our hotel, and had the funniest most amazing cab driver ever. (He was a real G). And now I’m sat here writing this blog post, before I get on to do some uni work! To see more photos and see more of what we got up to, please visit my instagram @stylebyfrancesca and watch my story in either instagram or snapchat @cescadiba. Nikky and I are in the process of filming a few vlog’s while we’re out here too so you won’t miss out!