Dubai, or not to buy, that is the question!

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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai
November 14th 2014
Published: February 27th 2015
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The city with the largest mall in the world and so many others within a relatively small area. but not so difficult a choice for us, all designer shops and way beyond our budgets for the most part.

This is the final leg of our adventure and we are very weary and our bodies are feeling the stress we have subjected them to over the last month.

Our first priority is getting to the hotel after a red eye flight from Livingston, Zimbabwe. We take the train to the marina area then grab a taxi to the hotel. We are too early for check in but just in time for the buffet breakfast. Yummy in all respects.

We have very exclusive dinner reservations for this evening at the seven star hotel Burj al Arab. It's Angie's birthday and Francine's is only 3 weeks away. We are having a culinary flight experience, that will take us to 5 of the restaurants within the hotel. This dinner will cost each of us around $400USD but what a birthday to remember.

The big challenge for us is to get ready for the big night. So after breakfast we walk along the marina district looking for a beauty salon. We are both in desperate need of manicures and pedicures. The dirt, sand and deet, sunscreen feels embedded in our skin and under our nails. It didn't take to long to find one. The Filipino and Chinese ladies there were so accommodating and so friendly we spent several hours at their shop. Francine opted for a massage as well and Angie went for a new do and short hairstyle. We came out looking pretty darn good for spending the last month in the jungle, climbing mountains and swimming on the brink of disaster.

7pm. The Burj al Arab is most amazing place. A Vegas hotel on steroids. We are treated like royalty from the time we step out of the car. The evening began in the Skyview Bar with cocktails. 2 Camel Coladas. Yes, made from camel milk. The first course was served in the Al Muntaha restaurant, we enjoyed Chilled Vichyssoise with Sturgeon Caviar and Hand Cut Wagyu Beef Tartare with Kristal Caviar. We also sipped on a $50. glass of champagne each. The second course was served in the Al Kwan, where we dined on Foie Gras Escalope and Jumbo Prawns with Sea Scallops. Our third course was served in the Junsui Pure Asia restaurant, dining on Crispy Peking Duck and Asian Spicy Coconut Cream Soup. By the time the main course came around we were pretty full but had to continue as the menu was just too good so we moved on and dined at the Al Mahara Restaurant (with the wall being an aquarium) dinner-Wild Sea Bass with Tender Trumpet Zucchini and Seared +9 Wagyu Beef a la "plancha" and various bread rolls, some with squid ink rolls. At about 11pm it is time for dessert at the Sahn Eddar Restaurant. The sweet treats included Jasmin Creme Brûlée and Chantilly and Salted Carmel Mousse with Peanuts. Francine had also arranged for a surprise birthday cake that was decadent chocolate mousse cake with chocolate panache icing and white chocolate accent. It was brought to our table by 5 waiters who then sang happy birthday.

Each restaurant was deserving the 7 star status not only for the food but the design, atmosphere and service. We felt like Cinderella and we enjoyed the dining experience for 5 hours and it was time to leave the greatest dining experience of our lives. A birthday dinner to remember forever! 1am back at our hotel and a sleep after about 40 hours of traveling and then indulgence.

The next day we spent time in the old town Dubai at the gold market and all the other open markets. We couldn't afford anything but enjoyed the window shopping. We drove out to the palm island and visited the Old Presidential Palace that is now a hotel. Very beautiful and they are staging for the Dubai Film Festival that will start in a few days. We stop at an exclusive shop and we both buy some very beautiful scarves. There is another stop at a very exclusive antique shop that is way above our means. They have 24 karat spun carpets at premium prices can't even imagine that kind of opulence. We take time to visit the mosque which is very very beautiful. The women working there are not friendly and we are very aware that they are not happy with people visiting their mosque. This is not the type of reception that we have received in other middle eastern countries. However the beauty of the mosque overshadows the rudeness we encountered.

Spending the next day in Abu Dhabi. It's a couple of hours drive from Dubai. The only scenery that we see is the back of our eye lids. It's a good thing that our tour guide was honest, cause we slept the entire way there and back. We assumed that they only thing between the two cities was sand and more sand. We did some site seeing and had a buffet lunch that was very good.

We meet up with Francine's cousin, Geoffrey, and he is amazing. He takes us on a tour of his "hood", which is the Dubai Mall. This mall is absolutely massive. He knows it inside and out. We have drinks at several of his favorite places and we take in the dancing water displays that take place every half hour. We had a whirlwind of an evening and neither of us could keep pace with Geoffrey.

We spend a lot of time at the Dubai Mall as there are some many places to explore. Most shops are designers and well above our budget but we do spend some time in the H & M and find a few items. This mall is always packed with people and on Friday nights is shoulder to shoulder

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