Does size matter?

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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai
April 21st 2011
Published: April 26th 2011
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A question many men probably already know the answer to.

A question all women have known the answer to all of their adult lives (women are more intelligent after all).

Is it true what they say about men that like things big?

What I'm trying to get at here is if what they say about those men is true, that they are trying to overcompensate in some way, then the people who had the idea for almost every structure in Dubai have got a big problem (pardon the pun)........that is of course IF size matters! ;-)

In Dubai everything is big. As soon as one huge building/manmade island in some unique shape/mall is finished someone is building another one....that’s bigger. It has the world’s tallest building. The world’s only 7 star hotel and The world’s highest restaurant amongst other things. What I’m really asking is, does the size of a structure matter when it comes to our enjoyment?

Even Emirates airline has won awards for being the best. We flew with Emirates and I’ve got to say apart from the bigger than usual leg room I wasn’t impressed. We got a night flight so were hoping to get as much sleep as possible on the flight as we were landing at 7am the following morning and didn’t want to waste a day sleeping with the little time we had in Dubai. When you reclined the seat the part you sit on raised up, some people might like this but Nikki and I both agreed this was not comfortable, we both felt like the seats were giving us dead legs the entire flight and at the end of our seven hour flight I had at most 15 minutes sleep.

As we checked in we got asked if we’d like to take advantage of an offer to have use of the lounge on the 25th floor. It had free internet, great views, breakfast, unlimited drinks including alcoholic and snacks at any time of day AND you get taken to the airport for free when you’re going home. As the cost of the whole package was only 10 dirhams a day (about £1.60) more than breakfast alone we opted for it. The views from the lounge were amazing overlooking Palm Island, what better way to catch up on Travelblog.

Usually my organisational skills are brilliant however as we have recently moved and I had been to the doctors two times in three days before the trip my head was all over the place (that’s my excuse anyway). I forgot to pack several things including shoes and a shirt. So as soon as we landed we freshened up and went straight to the Dubai Mall so I could do some shopping as we had a dinner reservation that night at The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and the dress code was strictly smart.

Neither of us knew that the Dubai Mall was actually right next to The Burj Khalifa, as we were getting closer it only looked a little bigger than the other buildings but it wasn’t until we got closer that the enormity of the building really hits you. The Burj Khalifa is 160 floors high (2,717 feet), it has the world’s highest restaurant, At.mosphere located on the 124th floor, and the world’s fastest lift to take you there at speeds up to 40 mph.

I hate shopping. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world and boasts the world’s biggest aquarium inside. Luckily for me we got to the mall just as it opened so it didn’t have many people inside. I should have bought what I needed first however my excitement got the better of me, we headed straight for the huge waterfalls inside the mall before heading to the aquarium. We bought a ticket to go through the tunnel through the aquarium and a ticket to go to the underwater zoo. I don’t know what I expected but it was a very dull experience, the tunnel itself was ok but there were so many kids running around that it wasn’t the most enjoyable experience I’ve ever had.

My tiredness began to kick in, we made our way outside to take a few typical tourist pics of The Burj Khalifa before having lunch at a cafe called Madeleine which over looked the fountains outside the Burj Khalifa. The fountains outside are similar to those in Las Vegas however in true Dubai fashion they are the world’s biggest. After lunch I went to the first shop I could find and bought what I needed so I could get out of The Dubai Mall and back to our hotel for a spot of sunbathing.

After a couple of hours sunbathing/sleeping in the sun we went to our room for a little rest before dinner, the next thing I know I’m waking up, I look at the time. Shit. “We’ve got 30 minutes to get ready for dinner” Nikki jumped up and went straight into the shower. As soon as we were both ready we jumped in a cab and went to The Burj Khalifa for our very posh dinner and we made it on time. After dinner we went back to the fountains to watch the display at night, I’ve seen the fountain display to music in Las Vegas and if I’m honest I can’t tell the difference in size between the two but, as far as fountains are concerned, size does not matter. The fountains were fantastic to watch and were so much more impressive during the night. The crowds of people that flock to see the display every 30 minutes are huge, you have to get there 10-15 minutes early if you want an unobstructed view of the fountains but expect to be shoved a little by people behind you if you’re at the front.

The following morning it felt good to wake up having actually had more than 15 minutes sleep. Now what I’m about to tell you I’m not proud of. Us Brits have a bit of a problem when it comes to the sun, I don’t usually think of myself as falling into the same category as most when it comes to this particular subject but this trip was different. As we literally only had three and a half days in Dubai I wanted to see as much as possible AND make the most of the sun. I thought “I know. I won’t put any sun tan lotion on so then I won’t have to spend so much time in the sun and I can actually get a tan and go see some of the sights”. What was I thinking. I only spent about two and a half hours in the sun but that was enough to nicely cook my legs enough to make them red raw. They weren’t red when I was in the sun but they developed after and it felt like they didn’t stop developing all night.

After our spot of sunbathing we went to The Mall of The Emirates, which has an indoor ski slope, but this isn’t a dry ski slope this slope has real snow. It covers 22,500 square metres, is 60 metres high, has a 400 metre long run and has the world’s first indoor black run. Nikki had never been skiing or snowboarding before and I had tried to persuade her to go a million times before. I now had the perfect opportunity to let her try it herself without us committing to a week long holiday and have her moan at me for 6 days if she doesn’t like it.

We booked our hour long snowboarding lesson for 150 dirhams each (about £25). I have been boarding before but not for nearly nine years so thought it best to have a lesson myself too. After our lesson Nikki had really enjoyed herself so I suggested we pay for another 2 hours of boarding, a bargain at 180 dirhams each (about £30). As soon as we paid Nikki needed a drink of water as she had a headache the only problem was the only shop to buy a drink was half way up the man made mountain and we had only been boarding on the baby slopes. I saw that you could buy a trip to ride the ski lift all the way to the top and back down again so assumed that we could do the same thing seeing as we were already inside. We jumped on to the ski lift, Nikki took her board off but I didn’t want to so when we got to the middle I waited as she bought her drink. I think the headache must have affected Nikki’s head as we had a bit of confusion when getting back on the ski lift and ended up on different lifts.

As we neared the very top of the mountain I thought it best to check that I could go back down on the ski lift so asked one of the guys that worked there “No” he said, I thought he was joking so began to laugh. “You’re not allowed” He said, “seriously?” I asked “Yes”. Again I thought he was joking so began to laugh. “I’m not kidding. Get off. Get off. GET OFF!” he said as I reached the top. I got off and as Nikki reached the top I told her I couldn’t go back down on the lift and I’d meet her at the bottom. Apparently the bottom isn’t snow so I’d fall over the second I touched it that’s why I couldn’t go back down with my board.

Gulp. It’s a long way down. I must have looked scared because the same guy then asked “You can board from the middle right? You’ll be fine from here”. This was my life line, a way to get out of snowboarding from the very top of this man made mountain having only had a 1 hour lesson on how to snowboard. “Yeah. I can board from the middle”. Who wants the easy way down? What type of story would that be. I clipped my board on and made my way down the very steep top of the mountain, amazingly I only fell over twice by the time I reached the bottom and one of those was because I was being over cautious, albeit the other fall was at speed and hurt my backside (and pride) a lot.

A quick note to anyone thinking of going skiing or boarding in Dubai, do not get sunburnt during the same day you’re planning on going, my legs and shins were on fire the entire time and it made it a lot harder to keep bending over to re fasten my board every time. I had an awesome time boarding but much to my disappointment Nikki did not enjoy snowboarding.

On our last full day it was hard to sunbathe as my legs still felt like they were on fire but I laid in the sun for a while with my legs covered over with a towel. After a short nap we got ready for our dinner reservation at The Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7 star hotel. After our dinner we took a stroll along the beach so that I could do the touristy thing and take pictures of The Burj Al Arab.

We did not book any trips or restaurants until we got to Dubai which ended up in us missing out on a few things we wanted to do. The main one being a sky dive over Palm Island. To say I was gutted would be an understatement. Nikki has never been sky diving before and to sky dive with Palm Island in the back ground would have been so awesome. Another note to anyone thinking of going to Dubai, book everything in advance to avoid disappointment.

At the end of our whirlwind trip to Dubai we visited the world’s tallest building, travelled in the world’s fastest lift, ate at the world’s highest restaurant, visited the world’s biggest aquarium and ate at the world’s only 7 seven star hotel. So in answer to my question, does size matter. It may not make a travel destination the best but it sure does make it one hell of a place to visit. I rarely say I would visit anywhere twice (there are too many places in the world to visit before I start seeing them all again) but I think that the few things on my list of things to see and do in Dubai that I didn’t get done this trip means that another trip to Dubai is definitely needed.

PS Sorry about having so few good pictures I had conjunctivitis before and during this trip so couldn’t see properly through the view finder on my camera which resulted in most of my pictures being blurred. Also I’m going to write a separate blog about our dining experiences in two of the world’s best restaurants.

Additional photos below
Photos: 27, Displayed: 27


26th April 2011

Hope your skin is better by now?
Mari and I love Dubai...and yes it does include ski-dubai. You didn't try any of the water parks, they are fun too. Sunset in the sand dunes is also something. We really want to take the kids there one day...Oh yeah, and the Khalifa was not yet opened the last time we went. Where are you heading next?
29th April 2011

Great blog! Thank you for the pictures and the impression. I plan to visti Dubai soon. Best to you and your wife and have a wonderfull honeymoon.

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