For our second day in Dubai we are on a tour to see a variety of sites around the city. Some we have seen before, others are new to us.
Our guide is of Indian descent but speaks fluent English. He rearranged the sequence somewhat due to our reservation at 1030 for the Burj Khalifa. On the way we made a quick stop at the large mosque. (We have more photos in our 2011 blog). The entrance to the Burj is from inside the Dubai Mall, a huge complex which besides stores and restaurants includes the Dubai Aquarium. A huge selection of fish are visible, you can even go scuba diving inside.
The Burj Khalifa requires pre-booking, they were sold out 2 days in advance. The queue was about 45 minutes, then a 10m/sec ride to floor 124. There was no feeling at all to the ride, just ears popping as we went up in altitude. The building has multiple patios, which are quite large. Thankfully they also provide slots in the glass partition thorough which to take photos, which provides a scary clarity to the shots. It looks as if you are looking down at a model, not real buildings!
Once back down stairs, we headed for a restaurant to have a bite to eat while waiting for the fountain show. This $250m creation provides a sound and water show several times per day. Most impressive at night, the day time still is fantastic. Someone found the local Tim Horton’s and bought a coffee to see how it compared to Toronto. It had lots of flavour as expected.
Our next stop was the Dubai Marina, not so great for the boats but for the amazing buildings nearby and lots of cafes for people watching. Then on to The Palm and Atlantis. The shape of the island is not apparent while you are driving through, only when seen from a distance or from one of the high rises in the city. The Atlantis Hotel is big, and no access unless you are a guest. Thus only a drive by photo op for us. We also stopped at the beach to see the Burj Al Arab Hotel, the only 7 star hotel in the world. The helicopter pad there has been used for tennis matches! The beach was very crowded as this was on a weekend and also the start of a festival.
We headed to the Mall of the Emirates (a little out of sequence but it was on the list ) to see the ski hill. Quite interesting to see everyone inside bundled up to enjoy the weather that we were trying to avoid. Someone on the tour noted that there was a Victoria Secrets shop in the mall, but no liquor stores and of course the Arab women were fully covered, quite a contradiction. On the way back into Old Dubai we made the obligatory stop at an expensive shop. Some lovely items but also a lot of simple but expensive items. The destination was the Dubai Museum and Fort, which is where Pat and I left the tour. Partly due to being tired (our legs were still sore from the day before) but mainly because the last part of the tour was covering the areas we were in on day 1.
A fabulous visit, our third. While we expected to have run out of things to see and do here, there is still more to experience. This city isn’t expensive if you look for alternates.