This year’s itinerary took us through Dubai. A place I’ve never been. So of course it called for a short layover to explore.
How do you describe Dubai? Is there a word the means ‘Wow’ but times 10? I usually travel in places that are 2nd or 3rd world countries; places where the wow-factor comes from seeing what people can do with so little, or when farm animals out number people on the bus.
Dubai is definitely a different wow. It is a city of bright lights, tall buildings, 5 star hotels, expensive cars and over-the-top at every corner. It’s a place the prides itself on setting world records. And not longest flag pole sitting or most hotdogs eaten; more like tallest building, largest mall, longest fireworks display (1hr 55minutes for New Year 2014!).
Dubai is sometimes referred to as the ‘playground of the Arab world’. And a playground it is…if you’re in the elite status that can afford it.
Thanks to having friends in high places (a friend from way back when I worked in the hotel industry) we got to experience some of this high life that is Dubai. Some things that might be attached to the sentence ‘If I win the lottery, I’ll…..’
Me at the fancy-smansy Fairmont Dubai 5* where, thanks to my friend, we got to stay. Gorgeous hotel!
Me in front of Atlantis The Palm Hotel
The Burj Khalifa: tallest building in the world. (take a moment to look at this picture and see how small the high-rises are in comparison to the Burj.)
The Burj Al Arab: '7 star' hotel, World’s tallest suites hotel.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, built in the shape of a wave.
Built within sight of the Jumeirah Beach hotel, which is designed after a wave from the sea, The Burj Al Arab is designed after the sail of a traditional Dubai boat a Dhow.
It was a real experience to get a tour of this hotel This is how the rich of the rich live. Every little detail is looked after. Every colour carefully chosen, everything in the design refers back to the history of Dubai. This place is huge. You could fit the entire Effel Tour, in the lobby (with room left over). The gorgeously coloured fountain in the lobby was designed by NASA engineers. It does a beautiful water display and not a drop sprays out onto the audience.
Looking down into the Burj Al Arab lobby. The circular mosaic is the fountain.
View from the highest suspended restaurant in the world.
living' the high life.
Also part of the mall experience is the world’s largest indoor skating rink and a water fountain show, that in keeping with the record setting, is bigger than the Bellagio's.
I’d say I felt more comfortable in the ‘Old Town’ style of Duabi where markets are called Souks and the atmosphere is more Arabian than upscale with small stalls selling handicrafts, spices, silks and of course souvenirs.
This is an electronic advertising sign in the mall that switched to this message at Muslim prayer time.
Now off to Thailand….where I can read a price tag without emitting an unconscious gasp.
Where farm animals do often join you on bus rides; life is a little easier on the pocket book but no less fun.