Dubai: Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat & Palm Jumeirah
March 20, 2020
Today we are going to talk about another three main attractions in Dubai. They are Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat Jumeirah, and Palm Jumeirah.
Burj Al Arab
The first thing that I have to tell you is that I have a picture of Burj Al Arab on my vision board for 2019 as it has been my dream for a very long time to see Dubai.
I was super excited to visit!! Burj Al Arab in person looks huge!!! I didn’t expect that!!
It is located on its own artificial island that is connected to the mainland with a private bridge. The shape resembles the sail of a boat and the entire structure looks out of this world.
I love the helipad located at the very top (and yes they do use the helipad as a tennis court for special guests).
Not only does Burj Al Arab have its own island and a private bridge, it also has a private beach on the other side of the building (facing the water).
The world’s only seven-star hotel
If you haven’t guessed it by now Burj Al Arab is a hotel – it is described as the world’s only seven-star hotel.
Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed inside unless you are a hotel guest (obviously) or you make a reservation at one of the restaurants.
We were planning to go to Al Mahara which is a seafood restaurant. It features a huge aquarium and looks like you are eating underwater.
However, it was so expensive that we decided against it.
We tried to stop by the entrance to the bridge just to take a picture of the building but the security told us that we couldn’t stop there and told us to leave.
Burj Al Arab looks huge in person
What I’m trying to tell you is that I don’t have pictures from the inside (we weren’t allowed in) or any pictures close to the building (they told us to leave).
That means that I’m going to be using stock photography for this section.
I have some pictures from Souk Madinat where you can see Burj Al Arab in the distance.
However, even the section of Souk Madinat that was closer to the Burj was not accessible to tourists (booo).
In this blog post, you can read about Kite Beach where you can also see the Burj from the other side but again pretty far away.
So I have picked some stock photos to show you guys just how beautiful Burj Al Arab is.
Burj Al Arab
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
It’s a recreation of a traditional Middle Eastern bazaar. It has many shops, stalls, and restaurants.
Keep in mind there will be a lot of tourists here. It seems like the tour groups get dropped off for people to do their souvenir shopping.
Personally, I think it’s better to shop in Old Dubai for souvenirs, spices or textiles as the prices here are way higher (most likely due to the many tourists).
I really like this marketplace – it is very pretty and there is an outside and an inside portion so if you get really hot you can go inside.
They were offering Abra rides (traditional, wooden boat) but the prices are way higher than if you enjoy an Abra ride at Dubai Creek.
If you want to know more about Old Dubai, the souks and crossing Dubai Creek with an Abra, then check out this blog post.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah and one of the many restaurants
There are many restaurants and cafés to stop and grab a bite. We had lunch with traditional Middle Eastern appetizers overlooking Burj Al Arab.
I find Souk Madinat Jumeirah to be one of the cutest little spots. It has this man-made pond that just flows through the whole property.
If you have reservations about going to the souks due to the increased attention and constant offerings of the sellers then Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a good alternative.
Here the sellers were not as persuasive and most of them would just say hi.
Keep in mind the place is quite a maze and we ended up going in circles a few times.
View of Burj Al Arab from Souk Madinat Jumeirah
I believe there is a hotel attached somehow to Souk Madinat Jumeirah. I think that because there were certain areas where only some people were allowed to go so I am guessing they were hotel guests.
Not a bad place to check out if you’re already in the area to see Burj Al Arab (it’s just five minutes away). Also, if you need to grab lunch/dinner and do some shopping.
I do have to say that it does feel a little bit fake, once you see Old Dubai and the souks area. That is because those are the authentic markets and this is a recreation.
Still worth checking out, even just to walk around and take pics. It is free!!
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island that looks like a palm tree with a crescent on the top. On the “branches” of the palm tree are luxury hotels and private residences and beaches.
In the middle of the crescent, you can find the famous Atlantis the Palm which is one of the fanciest and most expensive hotels in the world.
There is also one located in Nassau, Bahamas (I have seen it from very far away as you need to pay to even enter the grounds) and they are building a third one in Abu Dhabi.
The good news is that Atlantis the Palm is accessible to people that are not staying at the hotel.
There is a highway and a monorail that connect the hotel with the mainland.
Here are two videos of us driving towards the Atlantis. You can see the monorail on the top left and the Atlantis straight ahead.
The main building of Atlantis the Palm
The hotel did have visitors parking, which is connected to the main lobby via small buses (don’t worry they are free). Once you get to the lobby you can walk around.
There are a couple of stores and restaurants that everybody can enjoy.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to go to either of those. I really wanted to do the waterpark but my hair was colored red and it would have leaked all over the pools and slides lol.
Keep in mind that anything in Atlantis is extremely expensive.
You can access the aquarium and the waterpark through the main lobby (the bus will drop you off right in front of the door).
Other than enjoying those two attractions, eating or shopping there is not too much else to do in the building.
View of the Persian Gulf from the middle of the crescent on Palm Island. Atlantis is behind me.
You can walk to the boardwalk where you can take some pictures of the Persian Gulf and pictures of the main building (see above).
This is pretty good, considering the fact that Atlantis in the Bahamas doesn’t even let you get anywhere near the building without paying – no access to the lobby or even see the buildings.
On our trip we drove to the Atlantis, then we drove a little bit on the crescent and then we went back.
Here are two videos of the hotel and the Persian Gulf.
Atlantis the Palm
From what I saw, there are security booths at every entrance to a “branch”. I’m not sure if tourists are even allowed to go on the “branches” at all.
There might be some restaurants and hotels that if you have a reservation they might let you through. The whole area is very, very fancy and preserved for very rich people.
A fun fact is that Atlantis the Palm has two underwater hotel suites (if you’ve ever wanted to swim with the fish here is your chance lol). However, keep in mind that if you want to stay in one of those it will cost you an arm and a leg.
Maybe I will stay there one day when I become a successful blogger lol.
There you have it!! Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat, and Palm Jumeirah!! Burj Al Arab and Souk Madinat are in the same area and I suggest you visit them on the same day.
Palm Jumeirah is close to the Dubai Marina which is not super far but you will need a car/taxi to get to it. I hope you enjoyed this blog post!!
If you have any questions, comments or concerns let me know in the comments below.