We as in Erika Lee mentioned it, it sounded like a fabulous idea that saved thousands even with a 2 night hotel stay over, we booked it!
I didn’t know much about Dubai except that I’d seen it on t.v. on the greatest engineering feats of all time. You know, where they show them dumping load after load of rocks and sand into the ocean to produce man-made islands shaped like palm trees and other random things.
Here we are arriving:
Our Dubai plan involved arriving just before midnight, staying over a full day, and then flying out on the 2nd morning after leaving Nairobi. We had booked a hotel within walking distance of a mall (they REALLY take shopping seriously there) in hopes of spending some leisure time in an air-conditioned space.
Why air conditioning?
Uh, because it was the height of summer in Dubai, where temperatures easily were reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Our plane stewardess talked about her flip-flops melting on the sidewalk there. I’ve heard of that happening in the US in Arizona and places like that when it gets really hot, but I wasn’t up for trying it out on this trip.
We started out the next morning after sleeping in and taking warm (hot water right from the tap!!!) baths. We managed to walk across the street and one block down from our hotel before ditching that plan. We were all melted and luckily there was a cab in sight who was more than happy to stop for our family. We hopped in and asked him to take us to a mall.
He took us to the largest mall in Dubai. Actually, it now holds the distinction I believe of being the largest mall in the world. I never thought that I could be overwhelmed by shopping, but I was. If we had been coming from the consumer mentality of the US, it might have been manageable, but to step from a more rural area of Kenya straight into this….it was a bit much.
We managed to look around in 2 shops total, including the largest candy shop any of us had ever seen. It was aptly named, Candylicious:
We also decided to tour the aquarium that was housed in the mall. We especially enjoyed the glass tunnel that allowed us to walk within a few inches of sharks and sting rays:
After the aquarium, we sat down to a ridiculously priced lunch that would have cost half as much in the US and my first Starbucks latte in 15 months. My latte cost 200 Dirham, which is about $7 here in the US. It was good, but not that good!
We took pictures outside of the mall in front of the world’s tallest building. This building has something like 165 stories and is 2717 feet tall:
It’s on the left there behind Ian and I. It’s so big, you only see a portion of it, even in person because it disappears into the haze. You can tell though that it dwarfs everything next to it. Here is a picture of it from the web:
Later that evening, we went up to the roof of a sister hotel and Ian and the kids enjoyed some fun in the pool. It was wonderful to spend time outside after dusk. This is something we were rarely able to do while in Kenya because of malaria and safety concerns.
We had a wonderful time together as a family in Dubai and were very thankful for the rest before our 16 hour flight to the US the next day.