Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dubai- Around the World Stop #1

As we were preparing to travel home to the US for the summer, from China, hubby wondered if it would be cost effective to travel all the way around the world. It was and so we did!

First stop: Dubai!
When I travel to a new city for the first time I usually like to hop on a tour bus. In this case we only had one day to sight see so this was the way to go!
It was HOT! The thermometer sat around 110 degrees the entire time, but this 110 felt like 125!
Wafi City Shopping Centre
 The arabian architecture was magnificent!
You may ask why we wanted to go to Dubai. It is not a hugely popular destination for Americans, but it is for Europeans. Being in China we see commercials for Dubai and Abu Dhabi all the time. The architecture and opulence peaked our interest.
I have heard Dubai compared to Las Vegas a lot. I didn't think it was much like Vegas. My impression was that the wealth was more subtle, but you definitely knew it was there. 
Not so "in your face". 
An example of a beachside mansion.

Many of the "over the top" attractions are inside malls in Dubai. We hopped off our bus at The Mall of the Emirates. This was pretty exciting to all of us because it was more of an American-style mall than what we see in China. We stopped for a treat at Krispy Kreme Donuts and headed to the main indoor ski resort!

There is plenty for everyone to do inside this ski resort. If you glance to the top left corner you will see that the mountain continues up to more advanced slopes. We enjoyed a yummy lunch while watching the "bubble balls", snow boarders and tubes come down the mountain.

The next mall we hit was The Dubai Mall. My opinion between the two of these malls is that this mall has more "locals" but is a little more "high end" than the other. 
The famous three story water fall inside The Dubai Mall.
 The next portion of our bus tour was the "beach region" of Dubai. It was exciting to see the Persian Gulf, after hearing about it so much. The hotels out here are, by far, the most impressive hotels in the world!
Burj Al Arab
 The Burj Al Arab hotel (above and below) is quickly becoming an icon of Dubai. I have to say, seeing this hotel (modeled after a ship sail) was super impressive in person. Pictures cannot do it any justice! The Burj Al Arab is known for being on it's own island and can only be accessed by helicopter or submarine. As a matter of fact, if you look closely on the left side near the top floor, you can see a circular helicopter pad. Guests can take a helicopter from the airport directly to the hotel. I'll tell you, with this type of resort you will not need to see anything else in Dubai nor be affected by the heat!

Near the Burj Al Arab is another amazing architectural resort called The Jumeirah Beach Hotel. It is shaped like a wave and I urge you to google pictures of it to see how it is lit up at night. Amazing!
 We then headed out to the Palm Island of Dubai. For me, this is what I had been looking forward to the most! But you will have to wait for my next blog post for's a biggie!

The one thing I will show you now is what the beach houses look like on the "palm frond" portions of the island. Because of the shape of the island each and every home is a beach front property. I would love to live here, for even one week!

 One of the highlights in Dubai is the TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD! I had psyched myself into going to the top and found out you need reservations! We got a time on our last day at 10am. It was now or never!

 This picture IS NOT from the internet. Hubby took it and it is amazing. The Burj Khalifa is 124 stories and almost a half a mile tall. More than three times the height of the Eiffel Tower!

Watch this short video below to ride the very entertaining elevator ride to the top with us!

The view of the desert from the top!
Proof I actually did it. Although I was not happy to be near the edge.
The beautiful landscape at the base of the building.
 Another popular icon of Dubai are the World Islands that are being built. Below you can see what they will look like from space. Very rich people can purchase a "country" island. 
pic courtesy of Google 
 Look closely you can see the "world islands" from the top of the building. 

Dubai was very impressive. It was nice to peak inside another culture that I really did not know much about. The women, adorned in their burkas, demand much respect for their faith and modesty. Oh how many issues could be resolved if we were covered head to toe (body issues, modesty, fashion obsessions...)

 Stay tuned for the creme de la creme of Dubai...
The Atlantis Resort on the Palm Island!


john:and:aim said...

How awesome! Thanks for sharing your adventures with us :)

Heather said...

My oh my how Dubai has changed in the last 20 years since I last visited! Love all the photos. I did want to make one comment, however. Gulf women refer to the burka as an abaya and believe me, it would be nice if it did indeed prevent the many issues you listed. The abaya is worn when outside the home, but when you're with you're gal pals in private, they come off and underneath those abayas the women are just as fashion-obsessed and body-conscious as women the world over.