20 Hours in Dubai

On approach into Dubai we could see hazy views of the Dubai skyline, which was very exciting! We landed, went through immigration, got our first stamp in our passports (I love passport stamps) and then left the airport and took the metro to the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall stop. The metro was only a few pounds each sector. The trains had sections for just women and children, and were very clean.

Once off the train we walked for about a mile in an enclosed walkway until we arrived at the mall. It was only 9am by this time and shops not opened yet but restaurants were, so we went for breakfast at a jungle themed restaurant. It was cool, but even cooler was the restaurant faced the massive aquarium which has over 33,000 fishes, sharks and stingrays inside. So it was really fun to sit in a jungle eating pancakes and be looking at fish!

The shops had started opening by then, and I was a bit shocked at all the normal shops like M&S, Waitrose, Boots and New Look. There was also a lot of American stores which was fun looking at. The mall was ginormous.

We had decided we wanted to climb to the top of the Khalifa- the worlds tallest building, so we bought our tickets which were around £25 each,and headed up the 2,716ft / 828 metres building. Reaching the 124 floor within seconds, we were out in the hot open air and looking down at the rest of Dubai as we towered above. We were really excited to be at the top of the world highest building and so glad got the chance to do this! We went back inside to the more than welcomed air conditioned area and viewed Dubai from all angles.

After the Khalifa we jumped on the city sightseeing open top bus and went around seeing all the sights. We paid £45 each, we knew this would be the fastest and easiest way to see Dubai in such a short time.

First we stopped off at the Burj Al Arab, where we stripped off and got in our bikini and shorts and went for a swim!! Dubai is very conservative for women, who normally have at least their arms and legs covered, but on the beach it's different. It was so humid and boiling hot all day that we relished jumping into the sea! The water was warm which was good for me as I'm normally a scaredy-cat and hate getting more than my toes wet, but would have been more refreshing if it was cooler.

Once we had slightly dried off (we didn't have a towel) and started to replace that with sweat, we got dressed and headed back on bus. We headed to one of the man-made islands- the Palm Jumeirah and seen the Atlantis hotel and great views of the Dubai skyline.

The bus tour then headed for the old part of Dubai. When we reached Dubai Creek we jumped off the bus and went on an Arabian Dhow cruise down the creek. We heard how the once fishing and pearl town turned into what it is today.

After that we got back on the bus and seen lots of the old towns sights. Then we got the metro back to the Dubai mall and went to watch the Dubai Fountain which is the world's largest choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake. The music and fountain played in sync to Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. It was really amazing.

We took the metro back to the airport around 9pm and had until 0410 when our flight left. We took the chance to have a McDonalds and then we found some comfy reclining seats and had a few hours sleep. We went to the shops to spend as much as possible of our few remaining Dirhams.

Then it was time to board our A380 emirates plane to Beijing. The flight time was 6 hr 20 and with our newly purchased neck pillows or neck braces as Shannon is calling them, we ended up sleeping pretty much the whole entire flight. Only wakening for breakfast and lunch and beer.....

#dubai #uae #asia2014

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