Dubai Adventures | Part One - B Loved Boston

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Dubai Adventures | Part One

For me, Dubai always seemed like a faraway land with an abundance of wealth and something for everyone - I was right!! It's like they picked everything good about every major city in the world and plopped it into theirs...that's seriously the best way to describe it. We arrived in Dubai on Friday, which also happened to be Gary's 35th birthday!! Part of the reason we extended our trip was to celebrate and celebrate we did!! I decided to split the Dubai posts up into two - there are tons of pictures and I had the time of my life - so I didn't want to limit it to just one and leave something out! The difference between these posts and the India recap, is that this will have a lot of tips & advice on things to do, see and book if you have the chance to visit! 


Accommodations\\


Narrowing down a hotel in Dubai was harder than expected, not because there weren't enough to choose from, but for the mere fact there are almost TOO many to choose from! After about 3 weeks worth of research, I let the travel book do the picking and landed on Centro Barsha, a Rotana hotel. We tried to google the location before, but couldn't really tell distances, but when we got there it was about 25 minutes from the airport, 15 minutes to the Burj Khalifa and about 15 minutes to the marina area. To say it was centrally located would be an understatement, it was perfect!!  

 The room was bright & airy - super clean and exactly what we were hoping for!
The food was impeccable, the service outstanding & the staff incredibly friendly!! We stayed a total of 4 nights and I wish it could have been longer!!  

That's pure & organic honey right there for the breakfast buffet!

We actually ate at the hotel quite a bit because we opted into the buffet breakfast (outstanding) and had  lunch twice and dinner our last night there! 
Anne Cole bathing suit similar //Sunnies
The pool was welcome in the heat, especially on our last day because it happened to be the hottest! I was surprised that there weren't many people up there, but then again it was a Monday! 
I didn't realize when booking (and neither did Gary) how close the hotel was to the Emirates Mall!! Lucky for me, not so much Gary. Totally lucked out on this because it was so centrally located that we were within walking distance of the mall (5 minutes), which was a hub for a bus tour I'll be talking about later! 

Birthday Celebrations//

Turning 35 is a big deal, so I wanted to make sure that Gary had an incredible weekend, which started out at Buddha Bar in the Grosvenor House. Before talking about the food, I have to rave about the incredible service I received before even entering the restaurant!! 
It's a hot spot in Dubai, one of their top rated restaurants and when I tried to make a reservation online about 3 months out, they were completely booked! I had my heart set on it and emailed the management team and explained that we'd be celebrating a milestone birthday and would there be any chance of a table becoming available!! 
They immediately responded with an amazing reservation time and even a surprise birthday cake for Gary!! Like I said, incredible service!! 
The food was melt in your mouth delicious~ I think by now we all know I have a thing for lobster and their lobster dumplings were so good that we ordered two helpings! We had the best time and spent over 3 hours at dinner, never once feeling rushed and the whole time staring in awe of where we were!! I can see why this is one of, if not the best, restaurants in Dubai!
Huge thank you to Buddah Bar for an outstanding dining experience! 

Safari Desert Tour/

If you visit Dubai one of the first things people tell you to book is the safari dessert tour. I booked ours through Viator, which was then locally done by Orient Tours. I pre-booked about 3 weeks out and chose the standard experience. One of the drivers picks you up from the hotel and then its about an hour drive into the desert. 
Some of you may have seen the snaps of sand duning in the desert, but I assure you it's about 10x more fun!! 
After about 30 minutes in the dunes (trust me you don't want any more) they take you to visit a camel farm and then over to the Bedouin village where we enjoyed dinner, belly dancing and some other local fare.  

The camel rides did leave a little to be desired, I felt like it wasn't long enough, but it was still fun! 


Its a long day, your pickup is around 2:30 and then you don't get back to the hotel until close to 9, but it's so worth the experience! Our entire group (6 people total in our car) had the best time!! 
One more camel photo because, why not!! 

Next week I'll be sharing all about the shopping & how to see all the sights in two days! 

107 comments

  1. Ugh you are making me want to go to Dubai SO bad! I love that it has something for everyone. And your hotel could not have been more perfect. That pool... I want to be there now! And that's so awesome about Buddha Bar! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  2. I've been looking forward to your post on Dubai. My husband and I live here and have for two years now. In fact, I am heading home Friday for good (very excited to get back to US) Was curious what someone thought who only came for a few days. It's so different actually living here. You probably did everything here there is to do in that short time. One of our complaints is there isn't enough to do here. Others may disagree but a lot of people do brunch on Fridays and clubs and those aren't really our thing. The malls are spectacular though and we spent a lot of time in those.

    You were in Dubai during the winter so even though the weather may have seemed warm to you, believe it or not a lot of the locals probably thought it was cool. Well, for them I guess it is. It's the coolest time of year so I suppose it's all relative. Had to chuckle when someone commented to me recently that it was cold out. It was 70! (haha) I noticed the pool in my building is also rarely used during this time of year.

    It looks like you all had a wonderful visit and will have great memories. I look forward to reading about the rest of your Dubai visit. I'm happy to have had this experience but I can not wait to get home!

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  3. Amazing!!! I love living your trip vicariously through your posts. Really seems like the trip of a lifetime. Can't wait to hear more!

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  4. I am so dreaming of Dubai now!!!! Wow!!! And hello swimsuit model, that pic should totally be in a magazine, what a gorgeous suit and love you in wet, straight hair too, fabulous!! Hotel heaven, variety galore, what's not to love!! PS, come link up your utility jacket post from yesterday with us today, it'll link with 14 blogs so all can see your fab style and head over to one of my all time favorite blogs!!!!

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  5. Love your description of Dubai, lady! I think you did a fantastic job making Gary's bday special. And wow, a camel ride, how cool!!! So happy you had a wonderful time!

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  6. This seriously sounds like the trip of a lifetime. I love hearing that you received great customer service. That is so important while travelling!! Happy birthday to Gary!

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  7. That sounds like an amazing trip! Plus it's so nice of the restaurant to fit you in to make sure Gary's birthday was celebrated the way you wanted it to be!!

    Christina :: Simple and Delish

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  8. This trip has looked awesome since I saw all of it on your Snapchat. So glad that Gary's birthday was so fun and special--how could it not be in Dubai! We have friends who live over there right now, and get to see so many cool things about Dubai--I'm glad you had time to see and do so much!

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  9. What an amazing trip Biana! This certainly was a trip of a lifetime and after seeing your pictures, I hope to one day get to go to Dubai!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  10. This trip looks like a blast!! Y’all have to frame the picture of you guys on the camel. It’s such a cute shot and the lighting is perfect! Why can’t more hotels offer organic honey like that with breakfast??

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  11. Ahhhhhhh - what an ah-mazing trip!! I loved seeing it all through your photos!

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  12. It looks like it was an amazing trip, I love all your pictures! And how lucky about the hotel?! It looks gorgeous and so perfect that it was centrally located! What a fabulous experience!

    xo, Rachel
    A Blonde's Moment

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  13. Such an incredible trip! How amazing that the restaurant was so accommodating to you guys for Gary's big birthday! Being so close to the mall would have been dangerous for me, and that dessert tour looks like a must do <3
    Green Fashionista

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  14. Looks like such an amazing time! It is definitely on my list and so glad to see how accommodating they were! We met a couple in Greece that live there and they invited us to come, this may be persuading me more and more!

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  15. What an adventure! All the food looks so wonderful and scenery is just gorg! So many awesome memories!

    www.rosyoutlookblog.com

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  16. Ahhh this looks like an amazing time! Dubai is definitely a bucket list destination!

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  17. I've always wanted to visit a desert.. this is exactly how I imagine it'd be! I'm sure it's even more impressive in person though

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  18. Uh-mazing! How fun is that desert tour... it's like a movie! (SATC maybe :) ) Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

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  19. Looks so amazing, I'd love to go to Dubai one day! That organic honey at the breakfast bar is so cool! And that food looks so yummy!

    Laura | Laura Aime Vous

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  20. Uh-mazing! How fun is that desert tour... it's like a movie! (SATC maybe :) ) Glad you had such a wonderful trip!

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  21. Omg I think you just convinced me I need to make a trip to Dubi! Everything looks amazing from the food to your hotel and riding a camel! Haha! Seriously so awesome! Love your swimsuit too!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  22. oh, wow! i never really thought of dubai as a place i'd want to visit, but this looks amazing. how cool is the honey at breakfast - and so awesome that the restaurant were able to help you celebrate gary's 35th! that is awesome. the food looks delish!

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  23. Wow! Incredible photos...especially love the one by the pool! Dubai looks like it has everything you need...great food, luxurious accommodations,shopping, and a desert tour! Sign me up!!

    Taffeta & Tulips

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  24. loved reading about your dubai adventures! can't wait for part 2!!

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  25. This whole post had me going, "Wowwwwww." I love all of the details!

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

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  26. Dubai is definitely a bucket list place for me and I love that you were able to go! I'm so excited for the mall recap!!

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  27. oh my gosh, it looks like you had an amazing time :)

    Xo, Megan, www.TfDiaries.com

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  28. I'm so jealous of your trip!! That pool (and your swimsuit!) look amazing!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

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  29. Amazing!!! I've always wanted to visit Dubai!

    Laura
    www.blackcoffeebeautiful.com

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  30. Love this post, was planning on Dubai trip for so long, this is really helpful !!
    We shd connect with each other :)

    New post - http://www.sapphireziva.com/2016/03/5months-preggo.html#comment-form

    xo, kanchan

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  31. After reading this, I am definitely adding Dubai on my list of future trip ideas! Looks incredible!

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  32. WOW, what a awesome trip! That honey - amazing! And what a bombshell pic of you at the pool lady - gorgeous! Glad you both had such a great time! xx

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  33. Oh my goodness how fun!!! These pictures are great and I loved reading this post! Can't wait for the next one!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  34. Wow, it looks like you really had an amazing time, Biana, and I'm sure Gary had the best birthday ever! I mean, he spent it celebrating in Dubai of all places! I love your style of sharing your travels, as you don't just do a hotel review or something vague, you address questions and concerns that people actually have about traveling and booking, which is incredibly helpful, thank you! Oh, and I must say how gorgeous that bathing suit is, it looks amazing on you! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you're having a great day so far, beauty!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    www.thestylecontour.com

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  35. What a trip! Looks like it was a wonderful time. What a great way to celebrate your husband's birthday!! I love how close you were to the mall. That must have been amazing. They have everything in that mall.

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  36. Dubai is a bucket list place for me - it looks amazing! Your entire trip so far has completely given me a travel bug!

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  37. I've always wanted to travel to Dubai. Looks like you had an amazing time! Thanks for the recommendations!
    ~Samantha
    http://goldcoastgirlblog.com

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  38. what a unique experience! I've always wanted to travel to Dubai because the pictures are just amazing! Just curious, how hot was it there? We flew into to Qatar last year and when we stepped off the plane, I know it had to be at least 110 degrees. Can't wait to hear about the shopping!

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  39. Looks AMAZING!! The food looks even better than what I imagined after you described those lobster dumplings!! My mouth is salivating! And that pool is gorgeous-- you look like a swimsuit model!! Make today work, Rachel -CubicleCouture

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  40. This looks amazing! I love that picture of you in the swimsuit. I really need to visit someday!
    ~~Megan~~
    http://www.poshprime.com

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  41. I've been so excited to hear all about your trip as Dubai is a place that seems so exotic to me! I love hearing about the culture, hotels, food & adventures and it looks like such an amazing trip! I guess I will have to add it to my bucket list :)

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  42. OMG y'all on the camel – amazing!! It looks like such a cool place to visit!!

    Annie Reeves

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  43. Gorgeous pictures! Seems like you had an amazing time! I've never visited the city, but it's on my list!

    xo
    https://thepinkporcelaindoll.blogspot.it

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  44. Ahhh, looks like you two had the BEST time! Sounds like the restaurant is amazing and they went above for great service! You look spectacular in all of the pictures...the pool pic is amazing....looks like a magazine cover!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  45. & now I'm convinced that I need to go visit Dubai! Looks like y'all had a great trip from the 35th birthday celebration to the camel rides to the shopping :)

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  46. Your photos are incredible!! Definitely frame that one of you two on the camel. I love your comment about turning 35 being a big deal haha. I know ALL about that! :-) Your hotel looks lovely and that restaurant looks amazing too. I'm so glad that you enjoyed your trip. :-)

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  47. What an awesome trip! Seriously, once-in-a-lifetime status there. That restaurant looks so cool, I'm glad that you were able to get in! And, happy belated birthday to Gary!

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  48. Dubai seriously looks out of this world! I bet you felt so fancy your entire stay. I know I would. (; Everything seems so lavish! How ADORABLE is your suit?! I sort of hate buying swimsuits. Most prints are just horrific. I LOVE this one! Totally checking out your links!

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  49. Biana, I'm in serious awe of all the beauty and great things you did. That hotel looks amazing and how amazing of the restaurant to do that for you. Good customer service doesn't go unnoticed...that dinner is something you will remember forever I'm sure. I love all your outfit choices too, so so beautiful! I can't wait to hear more...it all looks so perfect.

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  50. oh wow! now i want to go to dubai!!

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  51. Well now I'm dying to visit the dessert and ride a camel because why not?!!! You two look like you had the BEST time! :)

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  52. I wouldnt want to ride the camel but I'd pay just so I could sit by him & hug him for awhile.
    That picture of you sitting by the side of the pool? That needs to be a magazine cover somewhere! GORGS!
    I just saw on the news last night where they have started a straight flight there & I instantly thought of you :)

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  53. Oh my gosh, the camel ride!! How amazing! The desert tour looks like such fun too! The pool area looks fantastic as does really this whole setting!

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  54. Love that pic of y'all on the camel! I hope you decide to frame it!

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  55. Dubai looks amazing! What a great way to celebrate turning 35! Not sure how he'll top that when you hit a milestone birthday haha

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  56. your hotel was def in the perfect spot! what a great night out to celebrate garys birthday too. you two on the camel? seriously bucket list item! need to do it. now i can't wait to hear bout shopping! hehe

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  57. Sounds like an amazing time so far! That dinner looks delicious. I did a camel ride in Morocco and let me tell you - you don't want to be on those things that long anyways! lol. Can't wait to read more!

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  58. This looks like an amazing trip. That pic of you and Gary on the camel needs to be framed immediately, so cute. What a way to celebrate turning 35!

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  59. Amazing photos, you look so great dubai is such a beautiful place. I'm happy you had a great time there.
    http://artadorned.com/

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  60. This looks so amazing!! The camel ride would be fun, but bummer that it was not a super long "event"!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  61. Looked like so much fun!! Gorgeous scenery!!
    Kisses,
    Sarah
    EverydayStarlet

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  62. Biana, this is SO. COOL. The accommodations looked amazing - I am completely in awe over the fresh organic honey dripping right off of the honeycombs. Unbelievable. And oh, that picture of you guys on a camel! So awesome! I know that the ride didn't do much for you, but at least you have a picture of yourself on a camel! Haha.
    Lindsay - Lindsay's Sweet World

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  63. It sounds as amazing as I imagined it would be. I will definitely be keeping this post handy for the future. So glad you guys had a blast there.

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  64. What an incredible trip! Every single picture made me just a little more jealous ;) I'm so happy the Buddha Bar hooked you guys up with a reservation-- never hurts to ask!!!!

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  65. Dubai looks so amazing! The safari looks like a great time... and the camels are so cute! As always love the outfits you chose here as well!

    Annessa / www.seekingsunshine.com

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  66. You got to ride a CAMEL! That's so cool! The hotel you picked sounds amazing, and you can't beat it's central location! That picture of you at the pool is gorgeous! It looks like it's for a magazine shoot or something!

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  67. Wow! this trip looks amazing and I am pleasantly surprised that they were able to accommodate the birthday reservation. The food looks really good too.

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  68. oh my word!!!!! That camel!!!!!
    Looks like you had an amazing time
    I might have to put this one my travel wish list!!

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  69. Your trip looked amazing! Such a great way to celebrate a 35th bday. Love the shot of you at the pool, your swimsuit is adorable.

    stay styled,

    Lindsey

    IG: stay_styled
    BLOG: http://staystyledblog.com/

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  70. First of all, you look amazing, love your outfit choice! Secondly, I am glad everything worked out so well for you and that you came home and shared it all with us! The hotel was gorgeous and I love when I visit a place I'm unfamiliar with to have everything close at hand so it sounds perfectly located. The restaraunt looks amazing and I am so glad they could get you in for Gary's birthday - you're an awesome wife! Loved reading this! XO -Kim

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  71. Completely delightful! Your photos were amazing (as were your descriptions, so detailed and informative!!) You looked GORGEOUS in these photos and Gary is so handsome! (Belated Happy Birthday to him!) I just loved every minute of this and if I am ever lucky enough to visit Dubai, I will return to YOUR posts for tips! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  72. It seriously does look like a different world! Everything looks so nice and I can't get over your dinner-- amazing! Love your swimsuit-- sitting by a pool right about now sounds perfect!

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  73. Pictures are beautiful and definitely a different world. My husband has been to Dubai for work so I have experienced it through him in the past. Definitely another land. I would LOVE to ride the camel. You are a sweet wife and it looks like a great birthday.

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  74. Okay so I know I've said your weekends are always so cool but now seriously your vacations are AWESOME!!! I would love to go to India one day and take a desert safari ride!!! That must have been soo surreal!!! =)Wow!!

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  75. Oh my gosh, seriously trip of a lifetime!! This is incredible. LOVE the picture of you guys on the camel! And how amazing of that restaurant to fit you in for Gary's birthday! Hope he had an awesome one!

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  76. The food at Buddha Bar sounds amazing! I want to go to Dubai just to eat there lol. What a fun night celebrating Gary's 35th in style. The photo of you two on the camel is a framer!

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  77. Love that swimsuit!!! Sounds like you guys just had the best time!!! The food sounds amazing and I love that you got some VIP treatment at that restaurant to make his bday extra special. I want to ride a camel!!!

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  78. I love when a restaurant is outstanding for special occasions. Great choice!

    I'd be fascinated with the camels.

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  79. All of this sounds amazing-the hotel, that restaurant, and the sand dune experience! Riding a camel sounds like so much fun! :)

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  80. Holy amazing!! The hotel you stayed at seems beyond fabulous! I can't believe that honey, for real.
    Brooke
    pumps and push-ups

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  81. This part of your trip seemed incredible!!! Loved the snaps!!!! Isn't it amazing how great service totally changes a trip?? I feel like that is something other countries do REALLY well!! Love that they got you a restaurant reservation! Side note - Grosvenor House London is one of my favorite hotels!!

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  82. Ahhh that photo of y'all on the camel is picture perfect!! Dubai is definitely on the "to-visit" list for Ryan & I and I'm glad to hear you guys had so much fun :) Can't wait to read part two!

    xo, Kristina

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  83. Ah it looks amazing! Dubai is definitely one of the places I want to visit.

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  84. I can't wait to read more! Love all of these photos and definitely going to remember this post for recommendations if we ever go!

    Zelle
    Southern Style

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  85. So beautiful!! Love it! xo
    http://publiclivessecretrecipes.com/2016/03/apple-pie-layered-cake-recipe.html

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  86. What a great post! So full of information and photos. I have always wanted to visit Dubai it just looks amazing. I love your bathing suit by the way. Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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  87. I'm so jealous of this trip! Like you said Dubai just seems like a faraway land and I seriously hope I get to see it one day. As I mentioned on your IG I loved watching your snaps while you were there, it was fun to get a little taste of it! Great recap.

    Shannon
    Clothes & Quotes

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  88. WOW so cool!!!! Looks like an amazing trip and can't wait for part II!

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  89. What an incredible experience- Dubai sounds amazing, lady, and I can't wait to hear + see more! :)

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  90. Stunning photos. You had an amazing trip. I have read a lot about Dubai and now I start dreaming.

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  91. I love this! WHAT an incredible trip!! I'm so glad you all had such a great time - everything looks amazing.

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  92. Love your pics! And that bathing suit... to die for!!

    Xox Dana Ivy // www.iadorewhatilove.com

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  93. What a great post! Love your pics! I have always wanted to visit Dubai it just looks amazing.
    Have a great day!
    xo Erica
    www.ericavoyage.com

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  94. This looks so amazing!! Love the photos!

    xo Lauren
    http://www.earthtostyle.com/

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  95. Looks incredible!! I'd love to visit Dubai one day :) Thanks for the tips when I do!

    xo Annie
    www.laircake.com

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  96. Really enjoyed reading this post, thanks for being so informative! Looks like you guys had such an amazing time!!

    Paula
    Thirteen Thoughts

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  97. Thanks for the mini travel guide! It looked like you had SO much fun, I can't believe you rode camels too! Did you try the dates there? My friend brought dates back from Dubai and they changed my whole life!


    Chelsea
    Chow Down USA
    Instagram

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  98. Great photos! Love Dubai!!
    Xoxo,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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  99. Seriously... this doesn't even look like real life! Simply amazing! A camel ride?! How awesome is that!!!! I love your swimsuit (and the picture) at the pool! And that honey at the buffet looks heavenly!

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  100. Great post! I love all of the pictures but especially the one of y'all on the camel. So cute!
    Traci
    waltzmetoheaven.com

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  101. Your trip looked AMAZING! I love reading all the details and seeing all the incredible photos.

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  102. Seriously, this is awesome! Love that hotel and how fun is that camel!!! Your outfits are spot on, too! xo, Champagne&Suburbs

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  103. What a beautiful and thorough post. The hotel and all the food looks amazing and so cool that you were so close to a mall. I bet Gary enjoyed his 35th birthday. You looked so stylish for his big night and the outfit you wore on the safari tour couldn't have been more perfect. Please come share some of your latest outfits from these recent posts in my linkup. Thanks.

    By the way now I want to go to Dubai more than ever.

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  104. Looove your recap of Dubai girl! Can't wait to read the second part. I've never been, but my aunt actually just got back from there and was talking about how amazing it was there! That hotel sounds perfect too!!

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  105. this trip looks awesome!

    www.katelynryan.com

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