As you know, I’m overseas at the moment and wanted to write about the short holiday in Dubai as I stopped over there on my way to Brazil. When I arrived the first things I noticed were the intense dry heat and the number of women covered in their traditional religious dress, which covered their bodies from head to toe.
I spent most of my time in Dubai enjoying bus tours that took me to different parts of the city. Highlights of the trip included:
The Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world)
We needed to book our tickets in advance to visit the lookout platform located on the 125th floor. The views of the city were some of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s a good idea to try and get there in the afternoon, as the mornings are usually misty making it hard to see the entire city.
I wished I visited the Burj Khalifa at night because the views would have been unbelievable. I can only imagine how bright their buildings would have been at night time.
There is a wonderful area located towards the first floor of the building that takes you through the journey of how this magnificent structure came to be what it is today. I recommend anyone visiting Dubai to check out this building; you will never see a view like this anywhere else in the world!
The Dubai Marina (a manmade marina)
This marina is a body of water located right in the heart of Dubai. The water is crystal blue, and when seen from the Burj Khalifa it sparkles like a gem. High-rise luxurious residential buildings line the water’s edge, and nearby laneways filled with high-end cafes and restaurants. For a second this Marina reminded me of where I lived in Docklands (minus the intense heat of course).
There was a lovely water show in the marina, which I thought was so romantic with fountains of water perfectly synced to classical music playing in the background. There was also a great photo opportunity near the marina with the Burj Khalifa as the background.
The Dubai Mall was massive and had an impressive 1200 boutiques located inside. Just to get an idea of how big this shopping centre is, Chadstone in Melbourne, the largest shopping centre in Australia, ‘only’ has 510 stores.
The Dubai Mall also included a zoo, a beautiful aquarium, an ice skating rink and a waterfall.
The mall is the largest and the most visited in the world and would you believe is currently being extended – why on earth would you want to make this even bigger!
Atlantis at the Palm
It was cool to see this resort in person. I remember watching on the Discovery Channel this palm-shaped island being built and I distinctly recall seeing the rocks, sand and large machinery used to start laying the foundation of what you see today. It was a surreal feeling driving right down the centre of the Palm and knowing that the entire island was man-made. Today luxurious residential apartments line the edges of the Palm and at the tip you can see the famous Atlantis.
Besides the major attractions above, there were also some other interesting things I want to share with you:
The heat – If you are not used to super-hot temperatures beware. The temperature was a scorching dry heat (hotter than anything I have ever experienced before in my life). It was so hot that it was impossible to walk outdoors in the sun. The streets are quiet during the day and things start to come alive as the sun goes down. I’ve been told that Dubai has an incredible atmosphere when the sun goes down, I didn’t have time to experience Dubai late at night and will make sure to do this next time I am here.
Things are expensive – Besides the heat, I found a few things to be expensive just as paying $8.00 for a cup of coffee.
The Big Bus Tours – These Hop-on and hop-off bus tours were such good value for money and were priced at only $90 per ticket and were valid for 48 hours. My bus ticket allowed me to use several of the different bus lines that drove around the entire city as well as some places outside of the city. The buses offer free Wifi and complimentary water.
Arabian Dates – I didn’t find the food in Dubai very fresh, but one thing that did stand out to me was the beautiful and large variety of dates. I love my dates! Especially with crushed up bananas, cocoa powder and coconut flakes. It was so hard not to binge on the dates, especially the ones covered in chocolates.
Mosques and prayer rooms – There were over 500 mosques and prayer rooms located in the shopping centres that allowed the people in Dubai to visit and pray 5 times a day.
I tried to keep this post as short as I could and will follow up with some other posts about Dubai in the next couple of weeks.
Check out my other posts about Dubai here: