Okay, brace yourselves…
Dubai. Tallest building in the world with the highest observation deck, tallest hotel, the largest shopping centre not to mention two palm shaped islands (one completed and one in the process), as well as islands shaped as world countries… what even?!
Go big or go home hey Dubai. All these things captured my attention and excitement to visit this ever expanding city located in the United Arab Emirates. I was excited to explore and see everything that makes this city world famous! So… first week of August… middle of summer… desert… hot? Yep, hot. Very hot. Our average temperature was mid 40s Celsius. This is similar to what we can get at home but so much worse when humidity is involved. It drains the energy as well as hydration from you so fast! Something both Heidi and I are not completely used to.
We began our day on a hop on – hop off bus. Sitting outside was a little pleasant but willing for photos sake, This took us all around the hub of the city, out to Palm Island and through old Dubai (the part of Dubai I didn’t realise still existed). You don’t see anything about old Dubai in travel magazines or through Google unless you know to look for it. This was a cultural change, very run down, very basic and quite a poor area which is shameful, when there’s so much money spent on other areas.
We hopped off at the gold souk area which was closed at the time but came across the spice markets next to a river. The scents from the markets were unbelievable filled with every imaginable spice and the market owners were very forward in trying to make some business.
We had booked a desert safari through Arabian Adventures. You can’t visit Dubai and skip the desert safari. This was so great! They collected us from the hotel at 4:00pm and we drove out to the Dubai Desert Conservation Park where there was a bird show and then dune bashing followed by a beautiful sunset and an evening full of food, henna, belly dancing and relaxing. It was so much fun and the enthusiastic driver enhanced the experience!!
I spent some time up the incredible Burj Khalifa and wondering the many shopping malls Dubai has to offer.
Public transport is really easy and simple in Dubai, with the metro literally on two lines. You can’t go wrong. There is a dedicated women and children carriage which is handy and less congested. The taxi’s are also easy to access and reliable.
We headed to Abu Dhabi next for one night. Ferrari World was the main attraction here. One and a half hours from Dubai we arrived in Abu Dhabi by midday and caught a taxi to Ferrari World. The public transport is not good in Abu Dhabi at all. There’s no metro system and the busses are very slow and unreliable. The taxi was a little expensive but I was willing to pay as it was our only way to the land of fast cars and a good time!
Formula Rossa, the worlds fastest rollercoaster. 0 to 240km/hr in 4.8 seconds lives at Ferrari World. With that in mind, we B lined it straight for this rollercoaster. The line up was decent, around 20 minutes but the ride itself was more than worth it. Lasting a whole minute and a half the Formula Rossa was actually super fun!! Before you know it, the coaster has climbed a huge hill and are on the way down again, around a few corners and back in the pit. There’s not loops or upside down fun as it’s just too fast, but you feel the wind in your hair and your heart move through the corners. An experience worth having for sure! Every other rollercoaster will feel slow and relaxed now compared to this. Ferrari World is way cool! Aimed more for the younger generations and families hosting a few different rollercoasters, a cute mini Italy experience and a virtual reality ride, Ferrari World is a place for fun, fast cars and wishing for money to purchase one of those road excellent beasts!
It was our last two nights abroad, so why not splash out a little and stay at The Atlantis, The Palm. You know, the big pink hotel with the huge hole in the middle that sits right at the top of the Palm Jumeriah? It was so lovely to kick back and just enjoy a little luxury. Food is quite expensive (actually mostly really expensive) in this resort so as breakfast was included, a big late breakfast, ice cream lunch and then a smaller tea was the two day plan. Staying here gets us included access to the Aquarium and the Aquaventure Waterpark. THIS WAS SO MUCH FUN!! If you’re here, don’t miss this waterpark. There are a number or water slides both with and without tubes, a few pools for the kids and a private, beautiful, white sanded beach. It’s a great place to spend the day to go wild and enjoy every single ride or relax with a beverage on the many, many sun chairs they have to offer.
The United Arab Emirates has been an awesome experience! Different to anywhere I’ve ever been before. I enjoyed my time here, it can get a tick off the list and I look forward to stopping over in another cool place one day. Stop overs are very underrated and while you’re there, turn the possible two hours into two days and enjoy what the country really has to offer. Don’t judge it on the airport.
7th August came around way too fast, marking the home flight back to little old Adelaide. Wow… I am super blessed to have these experiences and be fortunate enough to create many happy memories!! Thank you Jesus!! You were with me every step I took and guided me through the whole journey. You was the one who kept us safe and arranged everything to work in perfect harmony! No delayed planes, no lost credit cards (or passports!!), nothing valuable left behind and no sickness that prevented us from taking part. So, so blessed and so grateful that I could experience this all with such a superb human and friend! Cheers Heidi to our adventure! This won’t be the last 😀