Unlike the rest of the stay, my first hours in Dubai were not so pleasing. I had to wait for 2 hours in the lobby of the Ibis Hotel (Deira City Centre) before checking in and above that, the hotel was not up to my expectations. Internet in the room had to be paid per hour (stupid fact in 2011!) and a few other issues like my telephone line working after 2days. Cheaper hotels in China were far more better than this one.
After 2hours of rest, I set out to explore Dubai. I walked around for some 10minutes and asked a taxi to drive me to the Dubai Mall, some 10-15 minutes away.
After a quick glance around and walking by the hundreds of shops, I spent some minutes admiring the huge aquarium there, full of marine life, including fishes of different species and even sharks (and some divers too lol).
Superb set-up inside the gold souk of the Dubai Mall :
Next came the the highest structure of the world, the Burj Khalifa (829.84m), and similarly, one of the longest pictures used on this blog 😛
I returned back to the hotel for some sleep, after which I moved to the famous Gold Souk (Souk = Arabic word for market). I ended my day wandering in another mall, the Deira City Centre, only 50m from the hotel. I mostly looked around the tech shops to have a glance at the latest devices and their prices.
No need to say that the malls were already in Christmas mode.
On Day 2, I walked some twenty minutes to the Creek Park where I spent over 3-4hours. Over there, you can feel real familial life, socialization and kids running everywhere. Even grown ups were all excited and full of energy, unlike in the urbanized and materialistic-like atmosphere prevailing in the city center.
Creek Park is also the place to go if you want to enjoy a top view of this part of Dubai, from the Dubai Cable Car, which goes up to a highest point of 30m and a total of 2.8kms if am not mistaken.
I had some good time, though alone but I regret having missed the 11am session in the Dolphinaterium. I could not wait for the next one at 3pm since I had to leave for the evening Safari in the desert.
Overall, the safari outing is a nice experience, not to be missed at any cost. After a 55km drive, we reached the actual meeting point and that’s where the vehicles started driving and moving in all directions.
You really don’t imagine the thrill until you spot one of the other vehicles adventuring into the sand dunes. After the dune bashing, all vehicles drove to the camp, welcomed by some tea/coffee and some snacks, accompagnied by lovely music and warm lights.
After a first session of the dubai’s famous belly dancing, we had dinner followed by a few other dance performances.
I have compiled a few small videos that I have shot. If ever you are watching the video below, please do not put your volume to the max, the sound is not so great unfortunately.
Back to the hotel at around 21hrs, I guess that I emptied nearly over a few handfuls of sand from my shoes (and even pockets!) before quickly falling asleep.
For Day 3, I had purchased a Big Bus Tour ticket.
Present in different countries, the Big Bus Tours’ concept is as follows : You pay for a ticket. You board on any of their buses which drive along a specific journey in the country. You can hop in and out at any of the stops as many times as you wish. For example, on reaching a shopping mall or museum, you can get down, visit the area and wait for the next bus. Additionally, you can plug in a provided earphone and listen to commentaries about Dubai and the buildings you cross by as the bus drives along its journey.
On that last day, I visited nearly all the areas on the map while enjoying the sight-seeing, up from the open floor of the bus. In the evening once back at the hotel, after a short rest and a shower, I took a taxi to the Dubai Mall to end this short stay in the UAE.
I checked out at around midnight, reached the vast airport, completed all the paper works, wandered for nearly 1 hour in the huge duty free area and took the flight back home. Welcomed by a cloudy and rainy weather, I was glad to be back to the motherland, which was much greener than when I left it.
And since we are back talking about Mauritius, let me remind you that there’s the December edition of the “Guess Where?” game going on from the 21st-24th December 2011.
Take up the challenge and guess where the 2 pictures have been shot!