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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai
December 8th 2011
Published: December 12th 2011
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8th December ’11 Stockton to Dubai via Newcastle Airport

Billy stayed up to see us off and our dear Debs came to pick us up and take us up to Newcastle Airport. It was quite sad saying our goodbyes.

We got checked in fine and the flight boarded on time and then we sat on the tarmac for an hour as one bag had been discovered without a tag! Finally it must have got sorted and off we went. Due to time differences we arrived in Dubai at about 1am and spent ages and ages queuing to get through immigration. Eventually we got through, got our bags and jumped in a taxi and were soon at the lovely Rydges Plaza Hotel. This was a cheap option for Dubai but was really lovely and the bed was so soft and comfy. We eventually got into it at about 3am!

9th December ’11 Dubai

After a good long sleep and a wonderful luxurious shower I was ready to face Dubai. After a couple of attempts at getting in the outside elevator – always being beaten by large Indian families, we finally succeeded and rode up to the top with
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Burj Kalifa
a young lad who looked rather bemused when we didn’t get out but just rode it back down again.

We decided that rather than pay the extortionate hotel prices (£3 for a cup of tea) Howard (who was up early) sussed out a few local restaurants close by. We went to one and had a great meal chicken, salad, a few ‘chips’, lots of pitta bread and humous for £3 – a total bargain. We then walked about a mile to find the metro station which took us to near the Dubai Mall where you then jumped on a bus which took you right underneath the mall.

We headed there as we had tickets to go up the Burj Kalifa – the world’s tallest building. Howard was extremely excited about the prospect of doing this I was wondering if I would freak out at the height!

We found our way through the Mall and managed to suss out which queue to get in and shortly we were being zoomed up in the lift to the 124th floor – which took 1 minute to reach. Whether it was because we were so high you kind of lost the
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View from top of Burj Khalifa
height perspective or whether it was because there were hand rails and obvious panes of glass but I didn’t find it bad at all. You did get fantastic views for miles and miles and the beauty of it was you could actually find plenty of room to get to the front to see – unlike the Empire State Building, this is probably because they limit the numbers of people allowed up – a very good idea! It was then a quick minute ride back down again and we went to explore the outside of the Mall which is all beautifully designed with seating and wide walkways overlooking a big lake where they have dancing fountain shows.

We went to have a look in the ‘souk’ which sold expensive versions of souk type items but apart from that bore no resemblance to any of the souks I have been in!

We also walked around the Mall itself and saw the most fantastic waterfalls which were huge with fabulous statues of men doing swan dives down them – very impressive. After some tea we discovered they even had Marks and Spencers (even more expensive) and surprisingly a Peacocks!!! We then
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Amazing waterfall at Dubai Mall
found the Cold Stone Creamery and while the ice cream mixing and chopping wasn’t as thorough as in New York (and no singing either) the flinging up in the air and twirling around of the ice cream balls was pretty impressive and I have to report the Founder’s Favourite tasted just as good!

We then taxied back to the hotel for another luxurious night of sleep!

10th December ’11 Dubai to Delhi, India

The hotel let us keep our room until 1pm at no extra charge which was marvellous and meant there was no rush to be up and out, so we slept in and had another hot shower (won’t be many of them to come im sure!) and then made our way out for a taxi to the airport.

On the way to the airport we passed the Emirates Air Crew Training Centre which I have to mention as the building was shaped like an airplane!!!

We then went quite quickly through check in and all the security and headed for the duty free! Lambert and Butlers – need I say more?!

The last time we were in Dubai airport was about 5 years ago and we were either in a different terminal or they have seriously expanded the place. I was a bit put out to discover the only smoking room was in a different terminal (a 12 minute walk, discovered this 15 mins before we were due to board) and no ladies with metal faces this time – which was a startling and slightly disturbing sight last time but one I had expected to see again.

The flight was great, only 3 hours, on time, new plane, movies when you wanted them – I watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes – excellent!

All in all I really liked Dubai, it is so clean, families all go out together and everything is very efficient. There were only 2 things that really puzzled me – 1 what do the men wear under their Hijabs and 2 how on earth do they stay so pressed and white????!

Ok Lynne just for you next stop Delhi, India!

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