Monday, March 05, 2012

Dubai Dubai

Picture this - Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda sashaying down the streets of Dubai and the desert in their designer wear and Manolo Blahniks.. That movie surely made loads of people dream about flying to Dubai to enjoy life and lay by the beach and do nothing but be served... It sure made me feel like doing that with my girlfriends. Only thing - Dubai is EXENSIVE! The hotel they stayed in? That cost a bloody fortune! So a thought remained a thought, never realised until recently... A business trip took me to Dubai! Was a little excited about it, exploring a place I would never dream about going..
1st thing to know, their work week is Sunday-Thursday, weekends on Friday and Saturaday. So landing on a Saturaday, I was faced with a horrendously long queue at the immigration which took almost 2 hours to clear. Apparently, that is not uncommon. Heard from my colleague that you can opt for the Marhaba service (USD25) where you will be personally escorted from the point you get off the plane and whisked through immigration to the taxi stand. Definitely worth it..
It was winter when I went. Yes, there IS winter in Dubai, where temperatures hover around 15-25, more cooling in the early mornings and night time. You don't have to be fully covered Head to Toe, but you are only allowed swimwear on the beaches and no public display of affection (recall Samantha??)
Weekend came and I went for the much talked about Desert Safari. For a fixed price, you are driven about 45minutes out of Dubai into the desert and go through a thrilling dune bashing ride! It was awesome! I was famished before the ride started and glad that I did not eat anything! It will make you puke if you were on a full stomach.
Then a stop for pictures! It was very sandy...And rather chilling...After which we stopped by the campsite for R&R, camel riding, henna and just chill (literally). Went on a camel ride, was fun..The 'exciting' part was when the camel was getting up and getting down. Wooh!Got myself a henna drawn on my hand..and had a good BBQ dinner. The food was good! And we were entertained by traditional dances.
Explored Dubai a little too. Went to Souk Madinat (Souk is their local market), which is close by to Burg Al Arab. Burg Al Arab being the only 7-Star hotel, and you are NOT allowed entry unless 1) You stay there; 2) You made a reservation to dine there. Yes, the toilets are gold crusted.. So I was not able to get in cos 1) I'm not staying there unless someone pays me to; 2) I can't afford to eat there it's too bloody expensive. But being in Souk Madinat was close enough to get pretty great views and photos of the Burg Al Arab!The Souk madinat is a pretty beautiful place! It's along a river stream and the buildings are beautifully designed. Shopping wise - nothing much though...But it was a lovely day to stroll along the river stream and sit and stare into nothingness...That's Burg Al Arab, also known as The Sail...
Also went to Old Dubai for a look see..Took a 1 Dirham boat ride across the river to the other side...Had lunch in one of the restaurant along the river..Just chilling and eating...

Then off to Dubai Mall, THE biggest mall! And i'm telling you it IS big!!!! THere's an aquarium, a zoo, an ice rink, waterfall and whatever you name it in there!!!
The aquarium costs you 100AED to enter through an inner walkway, but you can view pretty much most of it from the outside at a distance! Yes, big fish in there - Sting ray, sharks etc etc..Shopping is tax free in Dubai but Dubai mall is considered a more upper class shopping venue, and I wasn't in the mood for shopping (though I did pop into H&M to check out the prices). Then it was off to Burg Khalifa for my trip up to the top! FYI, to save cost, book in advance online. It is AED100 vs AED400 if you buy it instantly on the spot. Also, you book a timeslot but you can arrive earlier than your allocated time spot!
Pretty amazing at night up there! With all the lights and stuff. If you're up there at 630pm, you can even see the Dubai Fountain show from above!Went down for the Dubai Fountain show. It was awesome! Lasted probably about 3 minutes or so. Great show!

Dubai was alright. Overall impression is it's a very modern city, with tons of skyscrapers. Like Singapore but more buildings, taller and bigger infrastructure and roads. The architectural aspect of buildings is really amazing. It's very very clean and you feel safe in Dubai! It is a little yellowish, probably due to the tons of construction still going on there. The beaches are alright, but hey it's a nice respite from the city - beach city distance is probably only a 20min ride away. But i guess it's more a destination for families & couples. Or slightly older crowd with a bunch of friends. Not really a place for youngsters or backpackers (hey it's an expensive place to stay in). I kinda like it, but I probably would not be going back for a holiday.

1 comment:

dimas geel said...

it's so beautiful. :D

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