Dubai. There is no way I’m going to try and write one, singular post about my week long trip, or maybe there is…
I started writing this post the day I got back from Dubai, which was May 4th, and haven’t touched it since. It’s going to be the mother of all posts, in two parts, but I hope you want to take the time, or two or three, to read through everything, and get the best gist of how amazing this trip was.
Lisa and I decided to get an early start to the day and take a taxi over to the Jumeirah Grand Mosque for a tour and some cultural education on Islam. I really glad this was the first activity because it gave me a different perspective on something I knew very little about; previously, all I had about Islam was what I’d learned from TV and the news, which can, at times, be very biased. I came out more knowledgeable, and full of camel milk ice cream, WHICH, is amazing, and I totally wish we had it in the states.
After the tour and ice cream, we headed to the mall. But this isn’t just any mall, it’s the Dubai Mall, which happens to be the largest mall in the world. So, obviously, we had to go. We surprisingly did very little shopping, but ate lunch, walked around for hours, and bought 1 iced tea so that we could use their wifi for an hour. Totally worth it. We also got our first, up-close view of the Burj Khalifa and met up with Rae Ann, our lovely host, for dinner and a fabulous water + light show in the fountains outside the mall and Burj Khalifa.
In our original plan, Lisa and I had talked about going to Abu Dhabi, but for a combination of reasons, we didn’t. Instead, we headed to Jumeirah Beach. We rented chairs and an umbrella and soaked up the sun for hours. The water was perfection, and if it hadn’t been so freaking hot, like, boobs sweating in the shade hot, we would have stayed forever. When we got back to Rae Ann’s, we showered, hung out for a bit, and then went to the Irish Village for dinner.
I love me some local cuisine wherever I’m traveling, so the one thing that disappointed me about Dubai was the food. Sure there was some traditional middle eastern food, but Dubai doesn’t have it’s own specialty so we ended up eating at a lot of American-esque restaurants.
We didn’t go to Abu Dhabi today either. Looking back I sort of regret not going even though I really enjoyed all the other things we did. Instead, Lisa and I used the Metro to get around Dubai and explore. We went to The Mall of the Emirates, which has an indoor ski slope (!), and the harbor. We walked around a ton in the scorching sun, grabbed lunch inside, walked some more around the harbor, and then hobbled back to the Metro. Lisa and I managed to persuade Rae Ann to go out with us on a school night and go to a ladie’s night at the hotel next to the Burj Al Arab. We each got two free glasses of champagne, and since Rae Ann wasn’t really drinking, Lisa and I each got 3.
Lisa and I took the Metro again today to the Dubai Mall for our first trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa. Unfortunately there were a couple of…setbacks.
There was a disgusting, burping woman on the Metro that had no concept of personal space. She was practically standing on top of me, which I could understand if the metro had been that full, but it wasn’t. At one point, if I hadn’t moved my leg, she would have be straddling it. In the middle of the ride, she let out a particularly loud, awful sounding burp. Lisa and I couldn’t help but laugh, because, who does that? That did, however, lead us to check the time of our tour and realize it was 30 minutes sooner than we had thought! I can honestly say I have never walked so fast in my entire life. Not only did we practically have to speed walk through the entirety of the LARGEST MALL IN THE WORLD, but we had to do it in 10 minutes. If it hadn’t been completely air conditioned we would have died from over-exhaustion in the heat. Luckily, or miraculously, we made it on time, with minutes to spare.
At the “top,” or 124 floors up, it was a beautiful view. Even with the glass surrounding us it was windy, but that made for some pretty fun windblown selfies. We also got the clearest day yet, so when taking pictures, you could actually see things!
After heading home, we changed and left again to go on a desert safari! We had our very own air conditioned vehicle to take us out to the desert and then ride sand dunes. I mean, come on. That’s awesome. We saw camels, spinning men, and a belly dancer. Dinner was more traditional middle eastern food with kebabs and such. There was also a henna tent. Obviously I got some. The woman got in on my nail, and it is still stained, but I can at least see how much my nails grow. I was a truly enjoyable experience, and I’m so happy to have done it.
Part 2 coming soon!