23 05 2010
Up at 0615 hours for the 0700 hours shuttle for the airport. Back in the lap of Emirates luxury. We had a small breakfast at the lounge and awaited our flight. There was a warning of a storm over the Bay of Bengal and the recent air crash in India which we were due to fly over was at the back of our mind.
Got on board and we were 2 0f 4 people in business class so were truly spoilt. We both started to watch the film Sherlock Holmes but the buffeting actually sent us to sleep so we never saw the end of it.
We learned the plane had to divert round what was later described as a bit of a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal and therefore took longer than we thought to get to Dubai.
We both watched a Merryl Streep film called “it’s a bit complicated” which was funny enough to have us laughing in parts.
As we started our descent the change in scenery could not have been bore of a contrast. Where we left rivers, waters, green, mountains it was now desert and scrub.
Then out of nowhere the towers of the city of Dubai were ahead and we landed.
Quite a big airport and the staff wore long white robes while the women wore black robes. We took the chauffeur limo courtesy of emirates to the hotel which was not too far away and got to the Al Manzil hotel in about 10 minutes. The place is remarkably clean without any litter and green grass and flowers lining the main roads. All the buildings look like new and skyscrapers of all different shapes and sizes jutting out all around.
The staff could not have been more friendly. We were met by a large friendly porter with a cheeky grin called Oscar who easily manhandled the luggage around. The reception lady was called “Cathreen”. Apparently her name was supposed to be Catherine but was mis spelt so ended up like that.
The room had a great view and we were 5 minutes from the Dubai Mall. We settled in slowly and when we were ready went over to the local shops which linked to the big mall. We found out about the fabulous water show which was about to start. They
have a huge man made lake which has dozens of pipes in it. Then at 1800 hours a film of water vapour started and music. Then the water sends up huge bursts of water in time with the music. There were even lights to accompany this once it got dark. It was literally like watching fireworks. The sound of the compressed water being shot high into the air was like rockets going off. The huge plume of water which then cascaded down in droplets and soaked the nearby crowd was enchanting. We loved it.
The huge mall was amazing and delightfully cool and to our surprise even had a Waitrose. We didn’t stay too long because we were 3 hours time difference and were tiring fast.
On our way back we noticed the palm trees were all lit up and twinkling, reminding us of a Christmas scene. All very picturesque and easy to forget you were in a desert.
Wendy and Phi
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