ITTN’s Shane Cullen reports from Dubai having enjoyed a four-night tour with Visit Dubai to discover what the country has to offer Irish travellers. Beyond the endless sunshine, there is an abundance to see and do with state-of-the-art attractions, exhibitions and experiences. Equally, the architectural marvels, both new and old, are a sight to behold. Find out more about Shane’s experiences at the indoor rainforest at Green Planet, at the interactive exhibition at Infinity Des Lumieres and on the dessert safari at Arabian Adventures.
The Green Planet
The Green Planet is an immense bio-dome housing a tropical indoor rainforest. The dome is split into
- Creatures of the night
- Flooded Rainforest
- The Forest Floor
- The Mid-story and
- The Canopy
This is home to over 3,000 plants and animals. including cockatoos and macaws, sloths and lemurs, anteaters and anacondas, flying foxes and lizards.
Unique Experiences at The Green Planet
Unique experience does not do justice to what’s on offer including the opportunity to snorkel with piranhas, experience a tropical rainstorm (less of a novelty for us Irish) or perhaps the more appealing “zookeeper for a day” (I know which I’d pick).
Entry to The Green Planet
Located at the City Walk, Al Wasl in Dubai, this is a fascinating and interactive experience with animals roaming freely throughout the biosphere.
It is open daily between 10am and 6pm. Entry at the gate is from AED 170 (eq. €43) and there are various encounters such as sloth or reptile you can purchase starting at AED 300 (eq. €75) for a close encounter with reptiles, Zookeeper experience to get up close and personal with the wildlife and shadow a biologist for the day – from AED 410 (eq.€104).
Pre-book experiences as spaces are limited!
Infinity Des Lumieres
Courtesy of Visit Dubai, Shane visited Raise Vibration in Infinity Des Lumieres. This experience is a visual, immersive exhibition inspired by Gaudi, Kandinsky and Klee. Wander around a kaleidoscope of colour as guests view works of art projected onto vast screens in a large exhibition space.
The exhibitions are not permanent with previous experiences being Van Gogh, Dreamed Japan and Verse. Check out the website to see current and upcoming events – https://www.infinitylumieres.com/exhibitions-dubai/.
Entry to Infinity Des Lumieres
Located in The Dubai Mall on Level 2, this takes about 60-90 minutes. Opening hours are 10am to 10pm Monday to Thursday and extend to 11pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Adults prices start from 110 AED (€28) with child tickets starting from 70 AED (€18) and it is cheaper if you pre-book online. Pre-booking also gives you a timed ticket which will help avoid queues at peak periods.
Arabian Adventures offer award-winning desert safaris. The group were treated to an evening desert safari which departed from the hotel mid-afternoon till nightfall.
Drive through the sand dunes, soak up the Arabian sunset, enjoy a camel ride then retire to the Bedouin-style camp to enjoy dinner and traditional entertainment as part of the desert nightlife experience. What’s on offer may vary during Ramadan and other religious holidays. This was a step above any of the many desert adventures I’ve enjoyed on my travels around the globe. The experiences, food, beverages and service were exceptional and there were plenty of options in terms of activities to keep guests entertained. I would highly recommend it. All the above was included in the package with varied options available.
The company offers various products including overnight desert stays, desert buggy adventures, horseback rides and more, check them out here – https://www.arabian-adventures.com/ae/english
Shopping & Strolling the Streets of Dubai
Highly recommended by the guides and locals is The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence. This is a seaside promenade where you can shop, dine and stroll in the Dubai sunshine. For those more stylish than I, this offers everything from the highest high-end fashion, international labels, handicraft shops and local boutiques. There are plenty of eateries and cafes along the promenade.
Top Tips for Dubai
Pre-booking is highly recommended, in particular, for some of the more unique experiences. Also, there can be a discount for booking online. Check the calendar for when you are travelling as religious holidays may mean the offering of experiences differ, however, having travelled at the start of Ramadan, the city is still open for business and welcoming visitors.