So you want some sun, sea and sand when it’s cold and wet in England. Only seven hours away on an Emirates flight from Londons Heathrow sits Dubai.
We’ve stopped here a few times on the way to further flung places, so it was exciting to see what the place looke like outside the airport terminal and away from the images on TV and Film.
Getting into the city is easy using the metro from the airport and from here you can get pretty much anywhere you need to (possibly with a short taxi ride, or walk).
So you’ve got a few grand burning an unsightly hole in your designer trousers pocket? Well the Dubai Mall can help unburden you. With nothing in particular to purchase we topped off the caffiene tanks and went forth.
There is no better sign of wealth in a desert than water, and the first attraction we encountered was the vast aquerium, not something you see in your local John Lewis. Complete with sharks, rays and fish of all kinds you could lose quite some time watching. Until of course a ticket bot complete with fin siddles up and trys to tempt you inside.
Plenty of fountains are also in evidence and of course at the same grand scale as everything else here.
Don’t forget to look up there is plenty to see everywhere that doesn’t cost a penny to enjoy…
… Like this giant dinasour, because, well why not?
No time to loiter enjoying the view (not yet anyway) we had an appointment to keep. Water isn’t the only symbol of wealth here, you can’t go far without some vast tower of glass and steal. We were here to go up the tallest of them all the Burj Khalifa
The lift up is somewhat sureal, there are no windows and you only know you are heading up because of the rapidly changing floor counter, and then you are out looking over the ever growing city of Dubai.
Photos taken, its time to head on down and off to out next stop. The Jumeirah Palm. Humans are fairly unique in the way they change the environment to suite themselves and the Palm is an excellent example of that, why simply reclaim land in the boring old way when you can shape it to look like a palm tree. Like many of the things to see in Dubai the Metro appears to be closer than it is, until your walking that is. Stopping at Internet City, then walking over to get the monorail sure looked closer on the map (just glad it was only about 30 degrees rather than the high 40’s it can get too).
Passing by the fronds, which are covered in stunning villas, the Atlantis hotel waits at the end of the monorail and it looks like an Arrabian Nights version of the Disney Sleeping Beauty Castle. Residents of the hotel benefit from access to the beaches and water park here. You needn’t leave the resort as it has shops and restaurants enough to keep you occupied. Sadly as visitors on a limited budget (time and money) we made do with enjoying the view before carrying on.
Across the road and your on a huge boardwalk that looks out into the Persian Gulf and has plenty of vans offering all kinds of tasty treats.
Back on the mainland and under the less oppresive heat of the afternoon sun we walked down King Salman Bin Abdulaiz Al Saud Street, towards the Burj Al Arab.
Taking in the palace on route, and stopping off at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a modern take on the classic Arabian souk, with a market like feel mixed with Dubais high end style.
Its fun to get lost amongst the various alleys but eventually fatigue began to kick in and we finally gave in to using a Taxi, which dropped us at the Mall of the Emirates. Where we grabbed some dinner at the Cheescake Factory, one of the many restaurants on offer, and then back on the Metro to our Hotel for some much needed rest.