Dubai: A Record Breaking City

48 hours in Dubai

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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.

Sky Dive Dubai
Sky Dive Dubai

Dubai’s Tallest Building: Burj Khalifa

Model of Burj Khalifa in the lobby before going to the top
Model of Burj Khalifa in the lobby before going to the top

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.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Refreshments - Arabic Coffee, Dates, and mini pastries
Refreshments – Arabic Coffee, Dates, and mini pastries

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.

View from 148 floors up
View from 148 floors up
Views from 148th floor
Views from 148th floor
Thad at the top of the Burj Khalifa
Thad at the top of the Burj Khalifa
Outside observation deck on floor 148
Outside observation deck on floor 148

DSC00519We 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.

Dubai Fountain from the 148th floor
Dubai Fountain from the 148th floor

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 Aquarium Entrance
Dubai Aquarium Entrance
Biggest Gator I've ever seen
Biggest Gator I’ve ever seen
Jelly Fish
Jelly Fish
Sea Horse
Sea Horse
The huge tank
The huge tank
Huge Fish Tank
Huge Fish Tank
Shark
Shark

Dubai’s Most Luxurious Hotel

Burj Al Arab via Forbes.com
Burj Al Arab via Forbes.com

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.

Inside the Burj Al Arab
Inside the Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab Lobby
Burj Al Arab Lobby

We checked out their lounge on the 27th floor called Gold on 27 and had a couple really interesting drinks.

Gold on 27
Gold on 27
Gold on 27 menu
Gold on 27 menu
Thad being fancy
Thad being fancy
City of Gold drink
City of Gold drink
Drink with truffle oil drops
Drink with truffle oil drops

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.

Restaurant fish tank
Restaurant fish tank

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.

Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai
On the lift
On the lift
Thad decided to walk down the hill
Thad decided to walk down the hill
Ski Dubai Selfie
Ski Dubai Selfie
Ready to go!
Ready to go!

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!

Guinness World Record
Guinness World Record

Have you ever been to Dubai? What was your favorite thing while you were there? Anything you would suggest to a first time visitor to the city?

10 Comments

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