48 hours in Dubai
Dubai was described to me as the “New York of the Middle East” by the very nice British couple sitting across the aisle from me from London to Dubai. Once we got there, I would describe it as a combination of New York and Las Vegas, because there is some ridiculous stuff to do there. Our hotel the Grosvenor House is right next to Sky Dive Dubai, which we decided against since it was about $600.
Dubai’s Tallest Building: Burj Khalifa
The Grosvenor House’s sister Hotel Le Meridian had a beach we could use, but we knew we were going to be staying at a beach resort in Abu Dhabi, so we opted to explore Dubai. Our first stop was the Burj Khalifa – World’s tallest building. Driving into downtown Dubai the skyline is pretty impressive with the Burj Khalifa being the star of the show. The Burj Khalifa is attached to the Dubai mall – world’s largest mall with over 1,200 shops! We chose a package that included refreshments and allowed us to go to the upper observation deck of the Burj Khalifa.
The upper observation deck on the 148th floor, which is the world’s highest observation deck! From the top observation deck you could see all the way to the Burg Al Arab about 15 km away.
We were told we lucked out because it was fairly clear when we went up and it had been very hazy for about a week or so. Directly below the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Fountain – the World’s largest choreographed fountain in the 30 Acre Man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. There is a zipline that goes from one of the neighboring buildings, over the fountain and ends in the Dubai Mall.
The Dubai Mall is also home to the World’s largest acrylic panel – the Dubai Aquarium, an ice rink, a theme park, a huge movie theater, and a children’s entertainment center. We walked through the Aquarium and “Underwater Zoo”, and it was pretty spectacular.
Dubai’s Most Luxurious Hotel
If you ever have a chance to visit Dubai, you should go check out the Burj Al Arab – the world’s most luxurious hotel just to see the opulence.
We checked out their lounge on the 27th floor called Gold on 27 and had a couple really interesting drinks.
On a clear night the view from Gold on 27 would be incredible, but it was a bit hazy while we were up there. We ate at the Al Mahara restaurant, which is Burj Al Arab’s signature sea food restaurant and include a huge fish tank in the middle of the restaurant. The food and the service was fantastic, but expensive being in a 7-star hotel.
Dubai’s Other Mall
The second mall in Dubai is the Mall of the Emirates, while it is not as big as the Dubai Mall it is still bigger than most malls in the United States. Probably the coolest thing about The Mall of the Emirates is Ski Dubai – The Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park.
Thad and I had to check it out. I couldn’t believe how cold it actually was in the snow area. The huge room that houses the slopes, a penguin experience, and a small tubing area is kept at a chilly 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The insulation around the room must be very efficient because it was 102 outside when we went skiing!
There is a ton to do in Dubai. Way more than we could possibly do in 48 hours, but going to the two malls we were able to see a lot of the famous attractions. I would like to go back and spend some time at Wadi Wadi water park and try to spend a little time actually learning about the Emirate culture. One thing is for sure, Dubai is without a doubt a record breaking city!