Jamie and I, were fortunate to swap a cold Australian winter for a warm European summer in July/August and to break up the journey home we stayed in Dubai for four nights. With no expectations except for it to be warm, Dubai was a pleasant surprise in how modern, well planned and diverse the city is. One day we were sitting on rugs in the desert eating dinner and the next we were snow skiing in -4⁰C temperature.
Landing at midnight we walked of the plane to a very warm 34 degrees and 60% humidity. The wall of heat hit us instantly and once our bags were collected it was short 20-30minute drive to downtown Dubai were we stayed for the duration of our stay. Centrally located in the heart of downtown Dubai we could see the Burj Kahlifa (tallest building in the world at 828m tall) and it’s fountain display each night from our room and were in walking distance to the Dubai Mall (second largest mall in the world at 350,000 m²) plus other Souks (markets) and restaurants. We’d recommend downtown Dubai to anyone looking to stay centrally.
Day one, we ventured to the Dubai Mall which houses almost every store you can think of plus an aquarium, ice skating rink, waterfall and virtual reality park! Walking around a mall doesn’t sound like the best holiday activity but with so much to see we easily spent a few of hours here. Returning to the hotel we were picked up by tour company Arabian Adventure for a Desert Sunset Safari - a 4WD tour over the dunes with sandboarding, Arabic buffet dinner on rugs in the desert, belly dancing and camel rides. The best fun traversing some big dunes, delicious food and so easy to do from Dubai this is a must do activity! Our tour guide was knowledgeable and wasn’t afraid to out his foot down leaving my stomach behind when coming over some steep dunes!
Day two we beat the heat and headed to ‘The Palm Island’ (an iconic aerial photo when you think of Dubai) visiting the 5 star hotel the Atlantis, home to Aquavenutre a 17 hectare water park! The hotel also has its own aquarium, Dolphin sanctuary, private beach, a number of top quality restaurants and designer shops – if you haven’t picked up by this point in the article nothing in Dubai is done in halves!
Day three and another 40+ degree, 60% humidity day we headed to the Mall of Emirates (yes, another massive mall) and went snow skiing to beat the heat, yep you read that correctly, snow skiing! A spin out that just by going up an escalator and through glass sliding doors we went from 40+degree to -4⁰C. It had been a few years since we’d been skiing and for Jamie it was as if he went skiing the day before, me on the other hand, a few stacks and 20minutes in I found my balance and was skiing more than I was sliding!
Though hot and humid, Dubai was great and a place we’d revisit (but maybe in January rather than August). So if you find yourself with a layover in Dubai maybe make it a day and leave the airport to explore a little more!
Article by Alison Gray
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