Hot. The first thing that hits you, quite literally, in the retro-modern city of Dubai is its aggressive heat. It latches onto your skin like a heavy air blanket; suffocating and burning your pores. You don’t even sweat, you just mutely and moistly steam like a ham taken out of the oven.
BUT enough of that! More about Dubai and what to do and why in the November issue of
Your Family magazine – but in the meanwhile here is my photodiary from the trip!
The Burj al Arab, the quintessential Dubai building I could see from my hotel window. Our fantastic five-star hotel, the Jumerieh, is shaped like a wave to pair with this sail shaped six-star estate.
The amazing water park directly under our hotel. We were so busy we never even got to dip our toes in the water!
Me at The Atlantis aquarium
The incredible aquarium at The Atlantis
Fast swimming fishies.
Very strange decorations at The Atlantis aquarium
Delicious traditional Middle Eastern food – a donut type of thing served with a rich, sweet date syrup.
Hilarious bathroom door at iFly Dubai – indoor skydiving
4×4-ing in the Middle Eastern desert. A real tourist trap. Almost literally… if you look at all the cars pooling in that little valley.
4x4ing was almost surreal – you’re in this old, beautiful setting (undulating golden red sand, blue skies…) but you’re smashing through it in a 4×4 while David Guetta blares out the radio station at full volume.
Me with our driver stealing a photo in the desert. He was very terse and answered mainly in one words (we wandered if it was because we were women, but with nothing to substantiate these wild guesses). The ride is very wild and feels like a boat in a rocky ocean as you roar up soft sand hills and rock around dune precipices. One woman asked the rather rude question, ‘Have you ever crashed?’ His reply: ‘Yes.’ Pause. She tittered and said, ‘Well please don’t crash with us!’ I cringed. Conversation over.
Cooling off the car engine as we took photos.
My hobbit feet in the red desert sand.
A photo of the other journalists taking photos of our traditionally dressed drivers (not a rare site in Dubai, accessorised with Armani and other expensive brands).
Cresting a sandy wave.
Traditional male dancing. It was quite astonishing.
He literally turned the lights on and this traditional (?) garb turned into a Christmas tree. He spun around for about fifteen minutes non-stop, changing outfits as he went. It was incredible. He would often spin his skirt over his head as pictured here.
It was gorgeous
His underskirts *giggle*
He looks a bit like a spinning top here.
Ticket to get to the top of the Burj Khalifa – LITERALLY the tallest building in the world! It’s twice the size of the Empire State Building.
View from the Burj Khalifa. Note the dry desert around the city, and the white humidity that is visible. It was 42 degrees this day.
What a city!
My favourite aquarium… this one was in a mall; quite astonishing. It is so huge it won a Guinness record.
The tunnel leading from the outside of the Aquarium inside. Being under this tunnel is the equivalent of diving 11m under the sea! Completely amazing to see the sea life swirling around above and around you. Note the sharks lurking above…
No matter your culture, everyone enjoys the rare sights here.
More fascinated tourists.
Close up with a manta ray!
The jungle part of the aquarium; really quite astonishing.
Beautiful triangle fishes.
Close up. Fish don’t have friendly faces, do they?
It’s soooo tempting to stick your hand in the water…
Grumpy crocodiles. After spending ages working on this close up, I turn around and there’s a huge plastic crocodile sticking out of the wall as a strange decoration/ bench thing. I got such a fright and gasped so loudly (thinking it was a real crocodile for a millisecond), surrounding people laughed.
Traveling companion Ashleigh in the one fish tank. Or rather, ‘fish stank’ – she said it wasn’t all roses in there.
I’m thinking a new meme – grumpy fish?
Gorgeous inner aquarium. It is better than the V&A one, sorry Cape Town!
Kids also like geckos.
The inside of a mermaid’s purse, those black scraggly things that wash up on the beach.
We were lucky enough to sail in a glass bottomed boat on TOP of the aquarium. It was incredible!
Traditional desert dress inside an indoor ski resort
Seeing a mall inside a ski resort (the resort was inside a mall) – quite bizarre!
Fun ride inside the ski resort – hop inside the ball and get pushed down a hill!
The very artificial indoor skiing in Dubai. It was fun, but I am very spoiled and have been skiing in Switzerland, France and Canada and am afraid that this doesn’t compare to the real thing. However, having SNOW in 46 degree weather is quite a feat and shows that really, anything is possible in Dubai.
Love the juxtaposition of the dress and the atmosphere. The lovely team I travelled with.