Tuesday, June 25, 2013

You should try Dubai

Our less-than-three day stay in Dubai was like a Cole's Notes version. We definitely needed one more day as I didn't get my feet in the Persian Gulf or sandy beach. I really wanted to do a desert safari and we didn't visit the Palm Island or the gold or fabric souks. Maybe that's two days...

We forced ourselves to wake up around 10:30 to try to make our free breakfast! 5.5 hours of sleep and a 4 hour time change was a little rough. We decided the best way to try to wake ourselves up was to first hit the roof top pool before doing anything else. Turns out this was a great idea and has become the theme of the trip. It was already about 35* and the pool was excellent. A light breeze at the top kept us comfortable and the heat was very enjoyable.

First things first - let's go skiing!!! So we swam outside in Iceland and we're skiing inside in the desert. Funny! Ski Dubai is located inside the Mall of the Emirates, a *largeish* mall in Dubai. To be confused with the Dubai Mall, the other *largeish* mall down the road. Inclusive in your 2 hour ski pass is your full ski suit and equipment rentals, we had brought our own gloves. The best way to describe skiing inside is that it felt like an ice rink. That same feeling of artificial cold air and man made snow. It continued to refresh us and get the blood pumping through our jet lagged bodies. We all had fun and even saw some penguins!

The Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest manmade structure, allows tourists to get to the 124th floor to get a view from the top. You book your times ahead of time and are allowed to purchase your tickets online up to 30 days in advance. I did that, taking the risk of choosing a time not knowing what we'd be doing that day. All the write ups online and even the BK website says to pick your times carefully because the line (from when you check in with your ticket) to actually getting to the top can be about 1.5 hours. Along the waiting corridors they have information and pictures about the construction of the building to pass your time. Learning this I booked 5:30pm in the hopes we'd hit the top for the approx 7:15pm sunset. We finished up our skiing just before 5 and booted it over to the tower. By the time we'd figured out the sky train route and paid for it we were at the tower at 5:55. Thankfully they still let us up which I'm guessing was 5 minutes away from not happening! The sign said all the times were sold out until about 8pm so I was also thankful I had bought those tickets ahead of time! However, for some reason we sailed right up the corridor and were at the elevator gates minutes later. The view from the top is quite spectacular though the smog was pretty bad - I'm guessing that's a usual site. We did get to see the 6:30 fountain display from above and took lots of pics of the surrounding city.

We ate dinner in the Dubai Mall (at the foot of the BK) and slowly made our way back to the hotel checking out shops along the way.

We slept pretty well and planned to hit the Wild Wadi Waterpark the next morning.

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