Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Dubai

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Dubai


What a crazy weekend. There are times when this expat life is hard hard hard. But there are times when it really isn’t and this was one of those weekends!

Where to start… We left after work on Thursday so picked up Mr Wanderlust and headed straight to the airport. As I mentioned in my post on Friday, we had a pretty straightforward trip. Straightforward these days still means ridiculous amounts of luggage, kids not doing what they are told and a minimum of 5 tantrums. Still we were all excited about the weekend to come so we managed to get through with distractions of what was to come (and a few threats of it not happening for bad behaviour).

Where we stayed

We stayed in the Marriott Marina for this trip and once again we were really happy with the setup. They offer apartments in a hotel setting. So there is a bar and restaurant and breakfast in the mornings. A 2-bedroom suite is pretty much ideal for us at the moment especially as it even has a maid’s room. We are lucky enough to enjoy a great corporate discount through Mr Wanderlust’s company so that sweetens the deal even more!

What we did

Thursday night

We are lucky enough to have a nanny who we took with us for this trip (I have a whole other post in my mind about that). Once we got everyone settled and the kids asleep we headed to the bar for dinner and drinks. Next time we would head to one of these fabulous rooftop bars in Dubai. But for the purposes of this trip we stayed in the hotel. The weekend was organised around a Guns ‘N’ Roses concert so there were 4 other families with us for the same reason. Inevitably they all ended up in the bar with us. As you know from my last post, a late night, drinks and kids who wake up early does not a good combination make… But that was our reality on Friday morning. Little did I know how much worse it would be the next day…

Friday daytime

We headed to breakfast all ready to go straight out so as to maximise time in Legoland Dubai and maximise we did.

Dubai - wanderlust family in front of Legoland entrance
The Things liked Legoland so much they wanted to go twice!

Almost 6 hours of trekking around and going on the rides was exhausting but super fun. So fun, in fact, that this is the second time we have been to Legoland. The first time Mr Wanderlust was probably the most excited out of all of us. This time the kids had begged us to take them back.

It was a great day out second time around and the kids loved it. I don’t know if I need to take them back for a third visit though! Luckily we have prepped them for a summer visit to the Legoland water park next door which also looks amazing. On the note of a return visit I would say it was only just cool enough to go on this occasion. Any later in the year (and further into the searing temperatures that Dubai gets) and I think we would have melted.

Thing 1 was absolutely in his element as he is tall enough to go on most of the rides. Thing 2 was a little short for some rides but still more than happy with what she could go on. It did mean we leant towards things that we could all do rather than splitting up and doing things separately. They might pretend to hate each other half the time but the Things always prefer doing things together. We wondered aloud if children older than 8 might find it a little boring. I’m reliably assured by friends with older kids that it was awesome for them too.

Friday night

Having suitably exhausted the Things (and ourselves), we went back to the hotel to get ready. We kicked off with drinks in another apartment and then wandered outside to find a cab. Thank goodness we did! Shortly later friends started messaging that the traffic to the venue (40 minute drive away) was horrific. They said we were looking at a 1.5-2 hour journey! Uber was on surge pricing and we stared to get a bit worried…

Luckily our taxi driver agreed to have 8 of us in his 7 seater car and  followed our directions (Waze is a fantastic addition to my app collection). He did some awesome off road desert driving to bypass a load of the traffic which was exciting! He was even tipped off by a friend about the official taxi route which took us off road again and directly to the stadium passing loads more traffic as it went. I must say I wasn’t that bothered to go to a Guns ‘N’ Roses gig but Mr Wanderlust had been super keen so there we were.

I am so glad we went.

Dubai - selfie with me and my friends at the Guns N Roses gig
SUCH a good gig!

VIP tickets to see an epic gig with our friends – it was an absolutely brilliant night! I will never again hear Sweet Child of Mine without being instantly transported back to the Autism Rocks Arena where Slash played a 7 minute introduction before 30,000 of us sang along to the classic song. Just amazing!

Early hours of Saturday morning

We had arranged no transportation to get us back to Dubai. At midnight we found ourselves pitched out without a plan to get home. Obviously the next logical step would be to hijack someone else’s bus and hope that they give us a lift…. And they did (begrudgingly!). As luck would have it they were headed to Dubai Marina as well – SCORE! Unfortunately the traffic was a mess so 3 hours later we finally arrived back at the hotel. Probably a bit too rock and roll for me these days especially when Thing 1 came into our room ready to start the day at 4am. I mean seriously, kid, you’re supposed to be jet lagged!

Saturday daytime

We finally got going at the late late hour of 8am (thank goodness for iPads and nannies). We grabbedg breakfast and packed before grabbing a taxi to take us to Mall of the Emirates where the delights of Ski Dubai were waiting for us.

Dubai - Mr Wanderlust with the Things in rubber rings at Ski Dubai
Ready to slide!

If you are going to be hungover, this isn’t a bad way to spend the day and the kids absolutely loved it. We didn’t even have time to go skiing or snowboarding but there are loads of other activities to do in the snow including zorbing, sledging and tubing. We had booked to see the penguins at the end which was ok but freezing. I always think I will enjoy these things and wish I had trusted my instincts. Animals in captivity just never does it for me and this was no exception. Lesson learned.

From Ski Dubai we went straight to the airport to come home. We were all beyond shattered but thrilled after an incredible weekend!

Want to experience a different side to Dubai? Check out Wanderlust Family’s Bab Al Shams Desert Resort review! And if you have already been to Dubai and are looking for something else to do in UAE you simple MUST check out Our Globetrotters’ 100+ Family Things To Do In The United Arab Emirates!

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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