An Arabic Adventure

21/10/2015

Dubai

So, my cousin decided to move to Dubai. What a move! From summers where you need to leave because it is too cold, to summers where you need to leave because it is too hot!

Of course, this meant I now HAD to visit the place, which suited me just fine, as I love tall buildings, and Dubai has THE tallest in the world (at the time of writing). So in October 2014, my other cousin (her sister), a friend, and myself jumped on a plane to go and visit for her birthday.

After driving down the main skyscraper strip – they really are huge (and one looks like Big Ben), we ended up walking around in the sweltering dusty heat for about half an hour looking for the apartment. As the building, where my cousin lived, was so new, it wasn’t registered on Google Maps yet, and I don’t think the apartment even had an address! Eventually, we found the place and (I think) had a shower, which was probably pointless, because as soon as you leave the air-conditioned buildings, you are sweaty again.

One of the interesting differences I noticed between Dubai and the UK, was that in a comments section in Time magazine, there was a section where some people were ‘appealing to the government’ to let them walk their dogs in a certain area, as they had been able to for years. I imagined the same article in the British equivalent and was grateful for more freedom of speech.

Burj Khalifa

My favourite part of the trip was going up the Burj Khalifa. We decided to go to the Atmosphere Bar which is slightly lower than the main viewing deck. This meant we could take our time and enjoy the view. The only condition for going to the bar, was that there was a minimum spend of the equivalent of £40. We therefore arrived and ordered a cocktail each (which took us to £40). As we came to pay the bill, the waitress looked a little bit concerned and said, “You do realise that the minimum spend is per person?” So that night turned out to be a little more expensive than anticipated. The view was great though and you can even go to the loo whilst looking out over a high tech built up city surrounded by miles and miles of yellow desert.

Highlights

Going skiing on their half a kilometre long, fake snow, indoor ski slope (yes in the middle of the desert).

Desert dune-bashing.

The biggest Skyscraper in the world.
The biggest mall in the world.
The biggest aquarium in the world.
(I think they like ‘the biggest’).

Being led up a creepy dark staircase to a room filled with fake high-fashion merchandise, in the souks.

The fountain display around the Burj Khalifa.