Turning 50 in Dubai

When you realise that you turn 50 on the most depressing day of the year (Blue Monday), there is only one thing to do. Escape the UK and head for the January sunshine in Dubai.

Turning 50 in Dubai

This was our first visit to Dubai, and it was definitely the best place to celebrate a special birthday. We stayed for 4 nights at the Sofitel on the Palm Hotel, and I wanted to fill our trip with wonderful memories for my birthday. As with every holiday I started my research, came up with an itinerary, and booked a few activities before we went. So how did I celebrate turning 50 in Dubai.

Saffron Brunch at the Atlantis Hotel

Weekend brunches are huge in Dubai, and when I say brunch I don’t mean going somewhere for avocado on toast. Think of every food you can imagine, unlimited alcohol and great entertainment. Saffron Brunch at the Atlantis Hotel happens every Saturday from 1pm till 4pm, and we arrived a little earlier so we could have a look around the iconic hotel.

Atlantis Hotel Dubai

Once you are inside the Saffron Restaurant, you are greeted with every variety of food you can imagine, including a large Sushi Station, Roast Dinners, Chinese, Indian, a Cheese Station which was immense, and of course many varieties of Desserts. As well as food there were drinks carts dotted around, and you just went and helped yourself to beers, spirits, cocktails and shots, and this was a great idea as there was no waiting around to be served.

Saffron Brunch in Dubai

After 90 minutes the party really got started after they brought out cakes for anybody who was celebrating. Of course I was included as I’m never one to stay quiet about turning 50 in Dubai. The music was turned up, the entertainment continued, and everybody was up dancing.

Turning 50 in Dubai

It was an amazing 3 hours of fun and laughter, and I would hughly recommend it if you are looking for an adult only brunch. I was concerned that it might be full of glamorous young women, and we would be the ‘oldies’ there, but every age range was covered and we had a brilliant time.

Saffron Brunch - Atlantis Hotel Dubai

Saffron Brunch is on Saturdays 1pm till 4pm and we paid £110pp

Afternoon Tea at the Burj Khalifa

The Burj Kahlifa is the highest building in the world, and I got to experience Afternoon Tea on the 122nd floor of the iconic building on my 50th birthday. There are several Afternoon Tea options to choose from, and we booked the cheapest option at  £96pp, and what a decadent and luxurious experience we were treated to.

Turning 50 in Dubai

As you would imagine the views are breathtaking all around you, and the service we received was impeccable. The Afternoon Tea was almost too good to eat, miniature works of art displayed on a silver stand. Even the napkins were folded into the shape of the Burj Khalifa.

Afternoon Tea at the Burj Khalifa

The afternoon Tea at the Burj Khalifa

Mocktails - Afternoon Tea at the Burj Khalifa

Turning 50 in Dubai

Our Afternoon Tea included unlimited hot drinks and amazing mocktails, and we slowly made our way through the drinks menu. One tip, make time to visit the toilets for an amazing view over the Dubai Fountains.

View from toilets in the Burj Khalifa

Joes Cafe to watch the Dubai Fountains

We very nearly skipped watching the Dubai Fountains, but the evening turned out to be the best and one I will always remember. We decided to book Joes Cafe a few weeks before we went, and I booked a Terrace Table for 9.30pm. The more popular dining times of around 6pm/7pm get booked up months in advance.

Joes Cafe is located in the Dubai Mall, just along from the Apple Store, and from the outside looks a pretty ordinary cafe. But step onto the terrace and the views are breathtaking. This is the view we had from our table on the terrace.

The view from Joes Cafe - Dubai Fountains

The view from Joes Cafe - Dubai Fountains

Watching the Dubai Fountains

The fountains show is every 30 minutes in the evening, and we managed to watch four of the shows which were all different. As well as the fountains, the Burj Khalifa also puts on a show, and Joes Cafe was a fantastic location to watch. As well as the great views we were there for a meal, and I had a club sandwich and husband had a burger. It’s not a fine dining restaurant, it really is a cafe, but I thought the food was good value considering you are paying to sit in a fantastic location away from the crowds.

Our bill came to £62 for 2 meals and a few soft drinks each.  Please note that Joes Cafe does not serve alcohol.

The View at the Palm

The View at the Palm is a tourist attraction which gives you an amazing 360 view of Dubai, incluing the world famous Palm Jumeirah. We didn’t pre-book and we turned up around 5pm with no queue to purchase tickets. Before you get to the 52nd floor, you find out all about the history of the man made Palm which is fascinating.

Once you get to the 52nd floor you are free to spend as much time as you wish up there. As we visited later on in the day, we were also treated to the sun setting over the Palm which was incredible. We spent around an hour on the viewing deck, taking lots of pictures of course.

The View at the Palm

The View at the Palm - Dubai

There is also a cafe on the observation deck, and we stopped for a soft drink watching the sun setting. We paid £34 each for our tickets, which was the on the door price.

Sunset at the View on the Palm

Atlantis Water Park

I had a voucher for free entrance to the water park as it was my birthday (free entrance 6 days either side of your birthday), but on the day I decided to stay at the hotel and Hywel went by himself. He absolutely loves water parks, where I was just happy to lie around the pool at our hotel.

He got there for opening and managed to go on the big slides several times as there were no queues. One tip is to buy water shoes before you come, as it is hard going on your feet. He paid £75 for his ticket to Atlantis Water Park, which included 20% discount as we flew with Emirates. Below is a view of the Atlantis Royal Hotel which he took from the top of one of the waterslides.

Atlantis Waterpark - Dubai

Would I go back to Dubai ?

Absolutely. Turning 50 in Dubai exceeded my expectations in every single way, and it was the perfect place for a special celebration. Everywhere felt extremely safe, clean, and we experienced impeccable service from the hotel, restaurants and attractions we visited. Have I already been pricing it up so we can return… of course I have.

Turning 50 in Dubai


2 thoughts on “Turning 50 in Dubai”

  1. Oh wow! What a great way to spend your 50th! It sounds like you had the best time!! The brunch sounds amazing and so does the afternoon tea. I think if you go to Dubai you have to visit the Burj Khalifa. x

    • Aw thanks Kim. It really was the best place to spend my 50th and I am so glad I got to go up the Burj Khalifa on my actual birthday x


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