Sunday Spotlight: Dubai

If you’re travelling to Europe from Australia, or indeed Africa from Australia as I was in 2009, it’s hard to go past one of the Emirati Airlines because the trip is nicely portioned into a 14-hour journey from Dubai or Abu Dhabi to Sydney or Melbourne, plus a shorter trip to the other two continents. If you take Emirates, you’ll be flying through Dubai, one of the more forward thinking (design wise) cities on the planet.

From a boat on the water. Old boats in front of modern buildings.

From a boat on the water. Old boats in front of modern buildings.

I had a great few days there in 2009 on my way to and from Ethiopia and Jordan. There’s lots to see and do and I fell sick on the day I was heading to the desert sadly so there’s one awesome thing I didn’t get to do to save for my return, whenever that may be. Simply there’s tonnes to see and it’s pretty easy to get about, and really not THAT expensive either.

This was pretty much the first time I booked myself into a full-on nice (ish) hotel for more than one night. I stayed at one of the many Ibis hotels there, and it was great. I know a lot of people are not fans of the Ibis Hotel Chain, it is very ‘samey’, but they are usually reasonably priced and in Dubai, where the weather was at least 36 degrees Celsius every day, I think it’s air conditioned inside was often a major relief.

dub6 dub8

There’s an okay public transport/rail system, combined with buses. I was near a couple of malls and sometimes took taxis which weren’t so expensive although they didn’t like the short trips at all. The Mall of the Emirates is one such example of the many malls of Dubai, and is perhaps the most amazing. It’s simply huge for starters, and it contains more shops than one can imagine. Oh, and then there’s Ski Dubai. Yes, a ski world contained inside a shopping mall.

Ski Dubai.

Ski Dubai.

dub 94

I got rugged up in the gear they supplied and walked into an amazing winter wonderland with shoppers watching on in amazement. I went tobogganing, for a bit more money, you can hire skis and there’s a ski run and a big hill with chairlifts. Let’s be honest, it’s pretty insane.

Ice Skating in a Mall.

Ice Skating in a Mall.

An Aquarium in a mall!

An Aquarium in a mall!

If that doesn’t take your fancy, one mall has an ice skating rink and an aquarium inside it. Oh yes, and of course there’s shopping! But if that is all a bit too fake for you, or too commercial or too anything really, there is an interesting museum and boat rides to have as well. Or you can just marvel at all the stunning buildings there are, such as the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, sort of shaped like a… like a… well I’m not so sure but it could be a wave I guess.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

At least I know that the Burj Al Arab is shaped as a sail! And it’s pretty beautiful to be honest. Both buildings are right near the Wild Wadi Water Park, which I have to be honest about. I spent an entire day here, on my own as a solo traveller! It was awesome! So many rides, so many slides. I basically followed a circuit of slides that took you to the next one. Some were designed so that you could go UP! Okay, so not everyone’s idea of a great way to spend a day, but I loved it!

A view over Wild Wadi.

A view over Wild Wadi.

One of the cool waterslides at Wild Wadi.

One of the cool waterslides at Wild Wadi.

Perhaps the scariest ride at Wild Wadi.

Perhaps the scariest ride at Wild Wadi.

That is a quick summary of my few days in Dubai. It really is worth spending a few days there, it makes a really interesting if hot and muggy stop over. Sorry for not posting for a while but I have been insanely busy and when I sit down to the computer I already feel zonked. I’ll do my best to keep them coming for the rest of the year, 2-3 a week if I can!

The waterways of Dubai.

The waterways of Dubai.

 

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