What a start! Dubai is one incredible city full of lavish and extravagant architecture, food and experiences. The flight over from Sydney was a killer. By the 12th hour I was pulling teeth although I did have the entire row to myself which was super lucky for my first long haul flight. Economy from here on in is all down hill. I arrived in the monstrous airport to the lovely Cubit family then it was straight to ‘the Mall of the Emirates’. This is the one with the indoor Ski Field. It was a sight to see thats for sure, unbelievable it was 40+ outside. These malls take days to get around, it was interesting to see that any brand you can think of has a shop of its own…
Day 2: Dubai Mall, largest in the world, it even has its own aquarium. Public transport is amazing here, the metro is super cheap and super easy to understand (2 lines). Also another great thing about travel, a taxi costs about $7 AU to travel for about half an hour, in the gong it would cost about 3 times this. The highways are pretty crazy… Fast, limited indicating and a lot of fancy cars! Also visited UOW Dubai campus. It is situated in ‘Knowledge village’. In Dubai all the facilities are clustered together, for example health city for the hospitals and dentist etc etc. Makes it really easy to find things.
Day 3: Big Bus tour Dubai. Got to visit the Burj Khalifa (biggest building in the world), Burj Al Arab, Palm Jumeirah, Old Dubai, the Gold Souk (so so much gold) just to name a few. The day was hot, my eyelids were struggling to stay open in such heat. About 43 degrees in the middle of the day… killer. I can definitely understand why there is such a big indoor culture… A/C is a must. I arrived in Eid, which is the celebration for the end of Ramadan. With the heat plus the current religious festivities, people sleep all day and eat and stay up all night. The stores open at around 11am and stay open till around 1am. With the jet lag I found it pretty easy to fit with this lifestyle.
Day 4: I continue to be woken by the first call to prayer (5am). I think it sounds beautiful, my family here have zoned it out, not even noticing anymore. We had a mani-pedi to start the day. I have noticed that most families in general have a maid and/or driver. My aunty and uncle choose not to, but it is evident everywhere of this. Sidetrack… We visited Atlantis hotel and water park today. The heat really started to get to me. I couldn’t wear sunnies because of the rides so I was squinting all day. It wasn’t busy luckily so you could get straight on to any ride you wanted. My two younger cousins were very excited about this water park. My favourite ride was called the leap of faith, a steep slide which then went through the aquarium and shark tank. Unfortunately you went so fast you couldn’t really see the sharks. The GoPro camera got a work out today and the footage worked out. Katherine heads off to Paris this evening, and I leave for Stockholm in the morning.
Overall Dubai is amazing, I would definitely come back, but I would come back in Winter when the sun doesn’t hit you like a tone of bricks every time you walk outside. Last thing, I swam in the Arabian Gulf. Even in deep water it is like a bath and it is extra salty in comparison to AUS.