I’m coming home!

Dubai internet is once again being an ass, so I’ll just link pictures for the moment….

Holy crap Dubai is crazy. The heat sucks, it’s in the middle of nowhere, and it has a bazillion awesome things to do. I don’t know how it works, and I don’t question it.

Flew in last night and even at about 10 or 11pm it was seriously close to 30 degrees. I quickly worked out my hotel that on the map looked way close to everything turned out to be close to nothing. Meh, whatever, the room was awesome and a touch of luxury after living in hostel dorms, and as it turns out the taxis are cheaper than chips… well, not if they’re chips with sauce and other condiments because I’m on a budget here, and those extras cut into that… Speaking of which, I had 2 servings of chips with cheesy/nacho type sauce all over them today. Ok, so I can afford that, but yeh, the taxis are cheap so today I’ve pretty much been chauffered around the place.

In the morning I started off at The Mall of The Emirates where I was way keen to hit the slopes (swear I’m not being racist, Simon) and go for a bit of a snowboard session. 2 hours for about $60-80, including all rentals and whatnot. Was awesome fun, but I was well knackered after it.

The snow park
View from the top of the run
Me looking like an A-grade goon
View from the bottom of the run

After a little shopping, I moved on to Atlantis, which is that hotel at the top of that palm-shaped island. Drove past the Al Arab hotel (that 7-star hotel) on the way. The taxi driver offered to take a photo of me in front of it. So look at that first picture:
The Al Arab

Ok, now here’s the one the cabbie took of me.

So go back to that first picture, and now pretend I’m standing in front of that hotel. That’s what it’s supposed to look like, and when it’s that huge I’m really not sure how he missed getting it in the frame. You might be able to tell I started pissing myself laughing at this point, not sure he knew what was going on…

Anyway Atlantis was ok, I went walking around an aquarium which looked really cool…
Cab ride to Atlantis
This looks cool
I found him!
Big fish whispering in my ear
Cool view of the aquarium
Sunset outside Atlantis

After all this I made my way to Dubai Mall, the world’s biggest (I think), right next to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. As soon as I saw it my initial reaction was kinda like Homer’s after receiving the giant Foster’s can – “Yeh, I guess it’s pretty big.” It’s obviously large, but it’s not really all that impressive… well not from the street anyway. There’s tons of super-high-rise buildings around so it’s kinda like looking at a 7′ tall guy in a room full of people 6’6″…

The Burj Khalifa
They had a Belaggio-esque water display go off in the fountain outside

Back to the mall for a second… this place was so big I literally got lost in it. Insane. Took me about 3 hours to walk through the whole thing, and funnily enough there was seriously maybe 5 or 6 shops I really looked at. Picked up a few things and managed to burn through most of the rest of my cash. Good times.

Dubai, you’ve been rad. I shall see you again!

Written on June 12, 2010