A mall divided by ‘courts,’ representing different parts of the world, was our first stop in Dubai. Life-sized statues of elephants dominated the lobby of Africa court and a large ship underneath asian lanterns was placed in China court. We walked under sky-painted ceilings and shopped “outside” on the inside. With the beautiful ceilings, paintings, statues and diversity, this, to date, is my favourite mall in the world.
A beautiful public beach welcomed us for an afternoon stroll beside million-dollar beach side villas. Even a walk on the beach is different here. A bikini is the last thing you’ll see. Unless you’re a child, typical beach attire is the same thing one would wear during the day. Nevertheless, it was packed with people enjoying the ‘cool’ weather. Nobody would be out during the summer since the heat is not enjoyable but rather torturous.
We stayed in the Sheraton hotel and on the rooftop is where you’d find the pool, hot tub, bar and lounge area, not to mention a breathtaking city view. A dancing light show awaited us downtown, where fountains danced to the beat of music. We also went into the Dubai Mall, where we saw the coolest aquarium in my life, with everything from sharks to sting rays. We walked through a tube in the aquarium, the nautical life swimming inches over my head!
We left the mall at 11:30pm, half an hour before closing. It was packed as if it were hours earlier, with as many children running around as adults. They are all night hawks here, which is probably why the nights sneak up on me so quickly.
Nine a.m. came soon as I went up the Burj Khalifa (the tallest tower in the world). I went up alone, but loved watching the videos and photos of how it was made. Once at the top, peeking my head over the top of the railing (times like this that I love being tall) was surreal. The small Burj Arab stuck out clearly in the distance, on the corner of a city line beside the greenish-blue Arabian Sea. It took 12,000 workers on site daily to create this tower. It is absolutely unreal, just like it’s amazing view of the beautiful city. There is something about the twisty-turned, curvy architecture that I love.
The rest of the afternoon consisted of exploring The Palm (see below) and the Burj Al Arab. This is all man-made and after reading an e-mail about it a few years ago, wishing that some day I would be able to come and see it in real life, it felt pretty cool. We did not go into the hotel, but it was still gorgeous to see up close. All in all, one of the most activity-packed, eye-opening and jaw-dropping weekends in my life. I would do it all again tomorrow!