After showing the girls around KSA we wanted to take them to see another side of the Arabian Peninsula. And what better place to go to then DUBAI, the place where there is only one size and that is super sized. Everything is done on a grand scale in Dubai, nothing is held back, there are no limits. Because of Sheikh Rashid and his remarkable vision and foresight Dubai has emerged as a global city and business hub of the Persian Gulf region. It has become a world destination! It is now rated one of the best places to live in the Middle East.
Dubai was the last stop on the girls Middle East trip and the timing was perfect. Also visiting Dubai over the same weekend was Clare and Al who did a detour from there European vacation to fly down to Dubai to see us. Clare and M.E. were college roommates and have stayed in touch ever since. Plus the girls cousin, Cara flew in from Jordan for the weekend to visit with the girls too. She is doing an internship in Jordan. So on top of all the sightseeing we had a reunion of sorts and what better place to be then in Dubai!
We arranged for an action packed two days. First up was a morning tour on The Yellow Boats around the Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab. The Palm Jumeirah is the world’s largest artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. It currently has over 4000+ luxury villas built on the fronds and 29 hotels around the Crescent. The Burj Al Arab is the world’s most luxurious hotel and the only 7 star hotel in the world, built on its own artificial island. It is the one of the most expensive hotels in the world to stay in, suites begin at $1000 up to $15000 a night, the Royal Suite costs $28000 a night.
From the boat ride we stopped for drinks at The Observatory, a restaurant on the 52 floor of the Marriott Marina Hotel for the best aerial view of the Palm Jumeirah. Then off for a late lunch at The Palm Atlantis, a premiere 5 star resort with a unique ocean-themed design. It includes a 42 acre Aquaventure water park, with a myriad of water activities for the family.
We left the mega projects and went to the old city for a walking tour of the gold, spice and old souk and crossed the Dubai Creek on a water taxi. Exhausted we return to the Marriott for a casual dinner.
The next day we went to the Jumeirah Mosque to attend its “Open doors. Open minds.” program, a very interesting tour and background on Islam. The only mosque in Dubai open to the public, it is consider one of the most attractive mosques in Dubai, built in the medieval tradition using modern materials.
Before going to lunch at the Dubai Mall we stopped at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, standing at 2,722ft. Unfortunately we were unable to visit the observation deck but we got the opportunity to walking around the building and snapping a few pictures of this very impressive architecture tower.
The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall, it attracted more than 65 million visitors in 2012, more visitors than NYC which attracted 54 million in 2012. We had lunch at one of the 120 restaurants and cafes available at the mall.
Back to the hotel in late afternoon for a dip in the pool before we departed to the airport for our evening flights home.
We had a wonderful week with the girls, we were very happy they were able to visit us. They now have a better understanding of life in the Middle East. We also want to thank Clare and Al for taking the time to be with us in Dubai. It was great to see you again. It was great to see Cara too, who has been studying in the area for the past year, plus learning Arabic.