Around December last year, a family from Sweden got in touch to ask about Privilee, as they were planning on coming to Dubai for a holiday and thought it would be nice to get a guest pass for the family. We liaised on and off for many weeks before their holiday – discussing about Privilee itself, which resorts to go to, where to stay, the covid situation leading up to their trip – and finally they made it here in Dubai in February.
Here’s a piece written by themselves on where they stayed, what they did, and more specifically – how they fully utilised their Privilee Guest Pass for their holiday here.
Hope this will be useful for those of you who are flying in as well 🙂
We are a family of four : Emma, Daniel, Odin (3 years old) and Mila (5 years old). We visited Dubai in February for an 8 day stay.
We visited Dubai for the first time in February 2020 just before the pandemic and ever since then the whole family has wanted to come back to Dubai again. We really love the climate, the hospitality, the beach and the whole atmosphere. The beach and the walk in JBR is amazing, but one thing that really has our heart is the Dubai Marina.
We feel that this place is extraordinary for everyone, no matter the age.
For me (Emma) who loves to run, I love starting my mornings with a run around the marina. It’s lovely to see everything waking up and saying hi to so many others who are out running or walking. Even more wonderful is to end the evening here, with a family walk at the marina where the kids love to play at one or all the playgrounds under the bridges.
The marina is beautiful, cool and extravagant, yet it is still a very calm and relaxing area. We would really want to live close to the marina again. This was our second time in Dubai and since we really enjoyed the area around Dubai Marina last trip, we decided to stay there even this vacation.
Where we stayed :
Pearl Marina Hotel Apartments
We stayed at Pearl Marina Hotel Apartments, a three-star hotel at the southern part of the marina, with a short walk to the beach in JBR. We recommend the hotel if you’re looking for a spacious apartment with great marina view and good service for a reasonable price.
- Pros: You can just step outside the door to the marina, and since it’s in the south end of the marina, it’s a calm area with not too many restaurants and people. The apartment was big and great for us as a family of four and the staff was really friendly. They had a great breakfast and also dinner buffet, which we ate in almost every night.
- Cons: The biggest con with this hotel, I would say is the location when it comes to going to the beach. Eventhough it is just about one kilometer you have to use the big car bridge and to get to JBR and to even come to the bridge you have to cross some traffic roads. Down from the bridge it was only stairs as well, so I would not recommend it to people with toddlers and a stroller, neither to people with disabilities. Still, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to JBR a couple of times a day.
Things we did:
We love this place, one of the best beaches we have visited (and Daniel and I have been traveling a lot). The water is great but most of all, it is a friendly and clean place where you don’t have to be bothered by salesmen and so on. You feel safe and the guards who look after the area are friendly.
This was the second time we did this and it’s always a fun experience.
One thing that was a big mistake though, was that the driver did not know “his traffic” this time and we ended up getting stuck in traffic and almost missed everything. We just made it in time to see the last of the sunrise and for us who is into photography – that was a bit of a shame.
Other than that, it is a fun experience for every age where you can ride a camel, go dune bashing and finish everything with a fire show and a big grill buffet. We felt it was a bit more stressful this time both before and after the buffet before we had to go back, so a big tip is to make sure to be there on time to make the most of it before the show.
For everyone visiting Dubai between October 2021 and March 2022, this was really something you couldn`t miss!
The expo is one of the most spectacular places we have ever visited! A big “playground” for everyone, with countries all over the world represented, showing the countries through light shows, waterfall, music, food…well everything! We had a really great night there and the hours just flew by! We went there with the kids, which was really fun, but we both said that if we have had the time, we had gone there again by ourselves and just walk around so much more to try to see as much as possible. The area was so big so it was impossible to see everything with to kids. But such an amazing place that we wish that we could have visit again.
Privilee 5 days guest pass
We got the Privilee guest pass, which we used over 5 weekdays.
Here’s a summary of which resorts we went to, and what we thought of it.
- Day 1 – Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort: A calm and nice hotel, but I wouldn´t say that it is the most family friendly one. The pool was better for bigger kids and the pool area was not too big. A big part of it was also in the shadow (and this was the coldest day when we were there).
- Day 2– DoubleTree by Hilton Jumeirah Beach: A great place for the younger kids with shallow pools, a calm area and a nice beach bar. I missed more sunbeds close to the pools though and the sunbed area didn´t feel very cozy.
- Day 3 – The Westin Dubai and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi: We basically have only one thing to say about this place: WOW, our absolute favorite place! The best water and the most beautiful beach, lovely and a big sunbed area, divided in so many different sections, several great pools that the kids really loved and also free entry to the waterpark. Beautiful, friendly, luxurious and just perfect for the family. This is the place you really want to spend the whole day at and all of our company who were travelling with, really loved it here!
- Day 4 – Sofitel Dubai The Palm: This was a really beautiful and luxurious place and we had a great day there. Although we felt that the pools and beach area was better and more appropriate for us as a family at Westin. I would recommend this place for those who are looking for the luxury atmosphere of the palm, but felt that we didn´t get less of anything at the Westin.
- Day 5 – The Westin Dubai and Le Méridien Mina Seyahi: We just loved it so much here that we wanted to go back!
We really had another great stay in Dubai and are longing to come back.
It was a bit different this time round since we had Privilee and the days flew but a bit faster (both good and bad). Mostly because we got to visit so many new wonderful places, but unfortunately also because it took us a while especially in the afternoons to get home from everything, where we ended up getting stuck in traffic. That is one big con with the infrastructure in Dubai, the kilometers aren´t many I you could easily walk, but it´s not easy to walk outside JBR or the Marina.
The highlight during this trip was definitely visiting the Expo and our favorite, The Westin! Other than that, we love the JBR beach and beach walk as well as the Marina and that did certainly not disappoint us this time either. We are dreaming every time of having our own place there, because the whole family simply love it. We are hopefully planning to come back soon again with my parents to show them all, but I think we will look for a place on the “right side” of the marina if so, just because it´s more convenient for the kids and older people. Next time we also want to go back to Burj Khalifa to see the wonderful lightshow there, who we skipped this time, and maybe also visit KidZania.
We learn every time and find new favorites and how to make every trip even more joyful, although it doesn’t take too much to really enjoy our stay there no matter the age. If you want a spectacular, friendly, sunny and relaxing place with all the convenience you need, we couldn’t recommend a better place! (Note, for me Emma, I have been travelling all over the world, but this is the only place I have been back twice and want to go back to again… I guess that says a lot 😉
Some things we recommend, even for those who are travelling on a budget:
- Stay near JBR/Dubai Marina. There are some good hotels that are not too expensive.
- If it is possible, get a Privilee Guest Pass.
- Some of the hotels in the Marina have great deals on half board.
- Burj Khalifa fountain show and Dubai mall.
- Desert safaris are nice and affordable.
- Look for deals on Groupon and The Entertainer.
- Use the metro, when possible, otherwise use the Careem App for good deals on taxi.
- Enjoy the JBR beach and just stroll around the Marina.
- There are plenty of good deals on take away food.
Emma Croner lives in Sweden with her husband Daniel, and two children.
We love travelling, exploring, relaxing and creating beautiful memories, both in real life and through the camera lens.
Daniel and I have been all around the world, but now with two kids, we love Dubai for all its convenience and the perfect climate.
A true favourite for all of us!
You can find her on Instagram here : @EmmaCroner.
To the Croner Family – Thanks so much for spending time to piece this together, and I am glad that I could be of help before and during your time in Dubai. Hope that you guys will be back again soon!
For a brief 7-day itenary that put together for our friends and family, have a browse through ' Dubai for Tourists.' Feel free to get in touch with me on Instagram if you have any queries.