Monday, October 26, 2015

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

As I said on INSTAGRAM the Grand Mosque is too beautiful for words, so please just enjoy the pictures. 

**Simply Chic Travel Tips: Sheikh Zayad Mosque**
Visit the mosque right around sunset. It's quite spectacular to watch against the white building and going around this time will allow you to see the mosque in all of its night time glory.

Also, women will be provided with an abaya to wear, but I think if you are fully covered from head to toe you don't have to wear what they give you. I wish I would have brought my own scarf for my head because the hood on the abaya kept blowing off.

 On another note, I HIGHLY recommend Rosewood Hotel in Abu Dhabi. I'm a self proclaimed hotel snob and this was by far the most, luxurious and high tech hotel I have ever stayed in. The whole room from the curtains to the lights to the television was controlled by the touch of an iPad (see the video) and we won't even talk about how fabulous this tub is! I'd go back just to stay here. No lie. 

(room tour)
(iPod controlled rooms)

let's get social
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Monday, October 19, 2015


Abu Dhabi is a cool little city! I only spent a day and half here so I didn't get to see much of it, but I did take time to indulge in Afternoon Tea at Emirates Palace. This hotel is not personally my taste. I like a more modern accommodations, but it's definitely worth a visit to check out this 5 star property. 

Emirates Palace is beautiful, but I was more impressed with the Bab Al Qasr Hotel being built across the street.

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The 24 karat gold sweet potato fries (breaded with cornflakes) are a must!  They were delicious and how many other opportunities will you get to eat gold?
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So much food! 
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This outfit makes me want to play tennis! Sans the heels of course. 
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Jumeirah Etihad Towers + Bab Al Qasr 

**Simply Chic Travel Tips: Emirates Palace**
They say the only way to get into Emirates Palace is with a reservation, but I don't think that's true. We walked right in and no one stopped us, or checked our names. So if you want to check out the hotel without being forced to spend money, just try walking in. 

The tea is affordable (around $45 compared to $109 at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai) and the food was good, but I've had better tea experiences, so I wouldn't say it's a must. But if you're feeling fancy, note that they don't allow same day reservations for tea, so book ahead or do what I did and make a reservation for lunch/dinner and ask if it's too late to switch to tea when you get there :) 

Lastly, there is a dress code, so be sure to ask ahead or check online. Women must cover their arms which I didn't know, so I just threw on a pashmina.

let's get social
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WEARING: 1.State skirt set (love this brand & THIS SKIRT), ISOLA BRIANNA SANDAL ON SALE FOR $60

Monday, October 12, 2015


I didn't do a good job of taking pictures with my Canon this trip (except at the fabulous mosque I keep mentioning) but here's a look at Dubai via my iPhone/Instagram, along with a few Canon pictures sprinkled in. Enjoy! 
Desert Jump! My favorite part about the desert safari was the dune bashing! I thought it was going to be scary (I don't do roller coasters) but it's not scary at all, just pure fun! I booked with HORMUZ TOURISM
Before heading out into the desert we stopped at a little convenient store and the men in the store dressed me like this! I wish I would have bought the head scarf :-/ whomp whomp
Peace in the Middle East
Safari Sunset
Views for the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, tallest skycraper in the world. 
It's not that expensive to go to the top, but I found a Groupon deal for a really good price. 
The Burj Khalifa is fittingly connected to the largest mall in the world...the Mall of Dubai. I spent 6 hours in here and probably only saw 80% of it. 
I didn't eat at the Vogue Cafe but you should! 
Or if you're in the mood for Shake Shack, they have one of those in the mall too.
Selfie in the souks! They say whatever price they give you start negotiating at half that number and work your way up. It didn't work for me, but I didn't try that hard. It was too HOT outside to haggle.
You need several hours here. There's so much to see, and also go by the spice souk! O and if you wear extensions, this is also the place to get some good hair, for a good price. I wish I had brought some back :-/
I got to sight see on this yacht. Definitely a highlight of the trip!
I could get used to this life.  
The ladies of the boat. We did not intentionally plan our outfits to match :)
And last bit not least, another view from the boat. 

Overall, I say Dubai is a cool city and I am beyond grateful for the experience and I had a really, really good time but I don't feel the need to go back and I wouldn't say it's a place someone MUST go to. If it's on your list, keep it on there and make SURE you spend some time in Abu Dhabi, and if you're really lucky try to go to Qatar and if you're really, really lucky take the 4 hour flight to the Seychelles! 

Monday, October 5, 2015


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I'm back!!! And if you follow me on social media, you already know I spent some time in Dubai & Abu Dhabi, and I must say I quite enjoyed myself. It took me up until it was dang near time to leave to get excited about the trip, because it's a long flight and most people I've talked to seemed to like it, but not necessarily love it because of the lack of culture you get for the distance. I can see that with Dubai (although I really liked it) but Abu Dhabi is a must for the Grand Mosque alone. I can't wait to share those pictures, but first let's talk Dubai. 
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I stayed in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) at the SOFITEL, and I think everyone should stay in this area because everything is at your fingertips. You get the opulence Dubai is known for with cars too fancy to name on every corner, at least 30 restaurants & hotel bars within walking distance, culture in terms of seeing Muslim men and women in full garb, and of course the beach! And not just any beach, but a beach with camels!
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This area kind of reminds me of a much more sophisticated version of South Beach with the exception of women sitting around in full burqas in 100+ degree weather, and mostly men in the water as of course the women must remain fully covered in public. 
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I had planned on laying out on the beach but I didn't have time, plus I wasn't sure I was comfortable given the culture differences, but rest assured if you want to, you can! Just maybe nothing too skimpy. So I stuck to my little feather dress that I scored at H&M for $10 just before leaving and left my bikini for the hotel's infinity pool with swim up bar! 
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**Simply Chic Travel Tip: Dubai**
Pack and dress modestly. I left all my super short, shorts at home. In fact, I left all my shorts at home and I saved my crop top for when I was out in the desert. There are no rules on how non-Muslim women should dress in Dubai, however you might feel a little uncomfortable in  your daisy dukes standing next to a woman in her burqa. Also be sure to keep a pashmina with you. Because it's so hot outside, everywhere indoors has the AC at full freezing blast. 


let's get social
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