Flashback Friday: First Trip to the UAE

November 2015

Warning to my friends: if you move somewhere, I will come visit you.  This is not an empty threat.  Some friends who had relocated to Dubai found this out first hand 🙂

After a late arrival (or early morning depending how you look at it) my friends picked me up at the airport and I promptly crashed for a few hours to catch up on sleep.  After waking up and reorienting myself, it was off to explore Dubai Marina (the area where my friends lived)! This, of course, included a stop at Starbucks. It was actually not too bad outside(I was expecting crazy heat,) and we ended up wandering along the water for the morning. We then went for lunch at a great Lebanese restaurant and then headed off for our Desert Safari!  We had lucked out and found a great deal on groupon.  It was an interesting tour that included some dune bashing (aka driving around like a crazy person on the sand) and then heading to a “camp” for some camel riding, henna, dinner, and entertainment! It was surprisingly good! After the festivities came to an end, we made our way back into the city full and tired and went back to the apartment to relax.

Day two started off fairly leisurely; we made a visit to the old town for some exploring. We hit up the coffee museum (of course!) and wandered over to the Dubai museum but arrived there right as about 2 bus loads of tourists showed up, so we decided to skip it… But the old fort was quite interesting from the outside. Then we took a water taxi over to the souks and took a stroll through the markets. We didn’t end up buying anything and the sales people weren’t quite as in your face as in other places, like the Grand Bazzar. In the end we wandered back over to take a taxi back and made out way to the Dubai Mall.

The mall is huge. No, that’s an understatement. The mall is ginormous! A quick lunch at the rainforest cafe and then we want to see the aquarium, the dinosaur(yes, there is a dinosaur in the mall), and crazy fountains! And I bought a little stuffed camel :). Then it was time to head up the Burj Khalifa! As engineers, I may have geeked out, just a little bit.  Hard to believe you’re on the 125th floor and still only 2/3rds of the way to the top!

After watching the sunset from high above the city we went to hang out at IHOP to watch the fountain show. It actually has a great view of the fountain from the balcony so you can watch without being in the crush of people. Then it was back to the apartment and out for one final drink at a local watering hole before packing up and heading back to the airport to catch my 3am flight. I took the metro, which made it pretty easy since it was a direct line right to the terminal.

Dubai was great and I would recommend going, but you really don’t have to spend too much time there in order to feel like you’ve seen most of the city. There are one or toe things I would do the next time I was there, but I feel like I really got a chance to see a lot of what the city had to offer.

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