We spent our 4th day in Sharjah. In fair, we were able to visit 3 out of the 7 emirates. Also, Desert Safari was scheduled for this day.
LOULOUA BEACH RESORT
Ok, I only have good feelings for this resort. Everyone was so nice to us – I think it helps that Celine’s cousin works here so everyone treated us warmly. But I did read reviews and most guests also said the same thing so I think they are really amazing when it comes to customer service. During check-in, we were welcomed by some cold towel, drinks, and I think there was a snack, too. (I can’t really remember for sure.) The doorman was also really helpful with our things and also called us a cab when we left.
We wanted to nap for a few hours and just a few moments after checking in, someone knocked on our room’s door. It was one of their staff with a cake, because it was our birthday! That is such a nice surprise and that was really heartwarming. We weren’t expecting that all. That was the only thing that happened during our first night because all we did was slept.
The next morning, we had more time to explore the resort before checking out. We had a free breakfast along with our booking so we truly took advantage of the breakfast buffet. Then, we changed into our swimsuits so we can swim in the sea and the pool. The weather was not so great that morning, but we still did some swimming for a few hours. We also got to relax a bit on the lounge chairs. Too bad, we really didn’t have a lot of time because we had to leave at noon and we were planning to take the ferry from Sharjah to Al Ghubaiba Station. But I think it was enough to have some fun at the beach and despite having a lot of beach plans in our itinerary, we werent really able to enjoy any of the public beaches in Dubai. This was our only swim time and we did it in Sharjah.
I no longer know how to add warmth to these photos, this was at 9am but it looks like they were taken late in the afternoon. It almost never rains in UAE but it did on this day. Well, it didn’t stop us from taking a dip in the cold water 😅
The room was really nice, we had a view of the sea and pool. We had a bath tub, spacious bathroom, a bed that’s big enough for both of us. But I think one thing we couldn’t figure out was the television, so I didn’t particularly enjoy that. Hahaha. We really wanted to do a room tour, and I did that while Celine was taking a shower. I have never seen the footage though. Haha.
We didn’t get to explore Sharjah but passing through the roads and some place while coming from Dubai, one would really notice the difference. Less buidlings and they are much lower in height. I don’t know, you just notice it that yes, we have passed the border. I do think though that there are some places to explore. Maybe next time.
This is their website: http://loulouabeach.com/.
TRAVELLING FROM SHARJAH TO DUBAI
Ok, so our original plan was to take the Dubai Ferry from Sharjah Aquarium to Al Ghubaiba Station, so that’s what we told the driver. But then, we were suprised because I feel like nobody knows about it. Not the doorman at the resort, not the cab driver. So we thought, let’s have the cab pass by the Sharjah Aquarium but there was nothing there! So we thought of just taking the cab to Dubai, to the nearest red line station and then we’ll take the metro from there. It was not such a bad idea.
The original plan: Cab to Sharjah -> Ferry to Al Ghubaiba Station -> Metro to BurJuman Station (Green to Red Line) -> Metro to Dubai Internet City Station
What we did: Cab to Deira City Centre Station (nearest Red Line station after the toll bridge, I think)
Taxi fare to Deira City Centre Station: AED53.50
Metro fare: AED 7.50
While we were on the metro though, it started raining. We found it hilarious because it rarely rains in Dubai, and it rained on the day we had to commute to our hostel with our luggage! Hahahaha, lucky us! LOL! Instead of walking to our hostel, we had to take a cab because it was raining. It was near so we just paid the minimum fare of AED12. It was crazy though because we didn’t have an umbrella – I didnt bring one because I didn’t think I’d need it in Dubai. I used my raincoat though but I still got wet a little bit, and so were my bags. It flooded quite fast as well, so we had to go through a flooded entranceway in the building where our hostel was.
Like what I mentioned in my first Dubai blog post, I really like this hostel’s location. And finally, on our last night, we were able to find a shortcut – accidentally. What I don’t like about this hostel is that they have semi-permanent guests, who I think are already working in Dubai, or looking for a job. I really dislike that because they made us comfortable, they act like it’s their place. Specifically, there’s this one girl who kept talking to someone late at night in her language and she plays the audio messages on speaker. Girl, don’t you have a headset? There were definitely several arguments during our 3 nights there. There were people waking up in the middle of the night due to other roommates listening to music loudly. I didn’t have any good night sleep in that room. So I don’t really recommend it. I am used to staying in hostels, because I often stay in those especially when I’m travelling solo, but this is not it.
But yes, the location is really good. There is a nearby metro station, it is near a mosque with a park and convinience stores around. We went to DPR from here and that’s far if you are coming from somewhere near Bur Dubai. This is just like 5 stations away from IBN Battuta Station where you can take the bus to DPR and Abu Dhabi. (Which made me think a bit that we should have put the Abu Dhabi day trip towards the end.)
Lunch buffet: AED50
It was raining, but we still wanted to eat something before our Desert Safari experience so we found this cafe in the next building. We just got there so we weren’t aware of what’s around. There is actually a cafeteria in the first entrance, but it was closed. We were then led to another cafe, that looks a bit fancier I think most of the people working there are employees from MCN because it was in the same building. We were confused as to how it works because there is like a buffet area, and no menu. So we asked the server and he explained, he just said to get some food and then we pay later, but we never got to ask how much it was. Until one Filipino server came to us and asked us for our drink order. So then, we got to ask how much, it was AED50! That is almost as expensive as our cab fare earlier that day. Upon finding out, we ate to our heart’s content – the food was great actually, it’s Western cuisine so I truly enjoyed that. Before we left, we were told we had coffee along with our meal (so apparently, you get one cold and one hot drink), so we had it to go and drank our coffee while waiting for our driver for the Desert Safari.
We booked this Desert Safari tour on Klook, which I linked on my very first Dubai entry. Ok, we waited a long time. The driver told us that our pickup time was between 2:30-3:00 pm, so we made sure to return to the building around that time. I dont remember what time we were picked up, but I even texted them on WhatsApp at 3:00 pm because they were still not there. Apparently, since it rained earlier, it was super traffic because it was flooded everywhere. Of course, we had to pick up other people on the same Desert Safari tour as well. Then, we had to drive to the desert, which is way inland so I think it took us about an hour to drive there as well.
We started the dunebashing right before sunset and since I was in the passenger, it was such an amazing, fun experience because I could see clearly where we’re going and I really enjoyed that. It’s advised not to eat few hours before dunebashing, but I think it’s not really stomach churning that’s rollercoaster levels. We stopped at some point to take photos, but way too short! Our driver slash guide took photos of Celine and I with some really hilarious concepts. (Btw, our driver looks like an older, Middle Eastern version of Richard Gomez. He’s quite goodlooking!) Desert Safari is one of the best experiences of this trip so far! Each day has been pretty epic but this is something that we simply can’t do in my country, or anywhere close. It was so fun, I took a video but nothing compares to experiencing it for real.
We had time to explore the waiting area where you could see the sunset, ride the camel if you’d like, take photos with the owl, but all of those had a fee. When you get to the desert camp, you can experience all of these, too and it’s included in the package you paid for. I just think that if you’d like to capture the sunset while riding a camel then you can pay to do it there.
After the sunset, we then drove to the desert camp, which was not too far from where we did the dunebashing. The desert camp activities include: camel riding, henna painting, belly dance, fire show and tanoura show, shisha, etc. I think I was only interested in the camel riding so we looked for it and found that it was outside.
I thought hard if I will do this, but I really wanted to experience it even for a short time. I did my research. Of course, I would never find out what goes on behind the scenes, but I can assure you that based on what I’ve seen during the few minutes we did this, the camel was treated well. The man assisting us was speaking to the camel really gently and he was literally calling him “Camel.” in a really nice way.
At the end of it all, I’m glad I did it. They are really sturdy and it wasn’t scary at all. The tricky part is getting up and down, you just need to hold on really tightly and not freak out. I experienced a lot of firsts during this trip and this was one of them. This is another experience that I won’t get to do in my country.
I think the Desert Safari tour is pretty organized and aside from some scary misters trying to take over our table, it was pretty okay. I wasn’t too crazy about the food, I barely ate, partly because it was our third buffet that day and I was really full. We watched the different shows during dinner, and once they were all done, it was time to go home as well. If ever you find yourself in Dubai, I totally recommend doing the Desert Safari tour as well!
It was freaking cold in the desert, I was so not prepared because I didnt bring my scarf. I only had my gray thin-ish jacket, but at least I was wearing pants. I slept through the entire ride back home and only woke up when we were already close to our building.
And that is the end of Sharjah slash Desert Safari day.