Day in Dubai, a layover with a purpose

On our long journey to Thailand, our first break after 18 hours of flying overnight, brought us to the city of Dubai in the UAE.   It was 8am on a bright, hot, miserably hot, October day. Our next leg of the trip, a 6 hour flight to Bangkok didn’t leave for 15 hours. Dubai was at our doorstep for about 10 hours.  It was quite the sleepless night on the flight over, but with the sights and sounds of this exotic city awaiting us we stepped out of the air conditioned airport into the air conditioned metro and began our layover with a purpose.

 There is plenty to see on a day in Dubai.  Things like huge billboards, minarets reaching to the sky, and palm trees.

Our first stop was what is called old town or BBOB, before big oil boom.  We  loved walking around this little harbor with the low buildings and boats, but let me tell you the heat was nearly unbearable. It was a rude awaking to step out of the metro into the over 100 degree dry, hot air. Later we talked to a gal on the metro and she told us that no one walks around in Dubai.  It is always too hot.

We did see a few people walking in this area, but they disappeared quickly into that nice air conditioned  boat waiting.

The only air condition waiting for us was back on the metro, so we had a rather quick look around, and couldn’t help but notice this old tower over looking the site.  Contrary to popular belief this is actually the first happy face portrait, or— is that a “why do I get to stand out here in this heat for hundreds of years” face. It could be “How come I only have one ear,and all these pimples on my face?”  I’m really not sure, but certainly worth the picture, don’t you think?

Ahhh!  Breathing again in the nice cool, (cool was important to us at that moment in time) clean, modern metro, with large windows that encourage picture taking and would carry us to our next destination.

And this is new town, replete with skyscraper after skyscraper lining the broad streets.

The handy metro carried us to a shopping center, that we thought was so huge and beautiful that we stayed here for several hours, not realizing that our next destination was located very near the newer, bigger shopping center that housed a huge aquarium. This one held a nice surprise though, that we all wanted to see.

Ski Dubai was one of our main drawing cards, but since we were not skiing, we had to view it through glass.

It did portray a lovely wintery wonderland, complete with decorated trees, snowmen and, of course, ski lifts, and snow tubes.

Back on the metro we capture picture after picture of Dubai Icons.

The Sail Building was not within our reach or price range.  The cheapest way you can set foot into the building is to schedule an afternoon tea at 100 dollars per person, besides that, the metro didn’t go there.

What we really wanted to do was to visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Tickets in hand that we had purchased a month before our arrival, we finally got a close up look at the outside of this towering building. We were going to the 124th floor and viewing from 1000 feet up.

Excitement was building as we waited our turn to go down long hall ways showing the building process. We were concerned about the elevator ride and found that it was the most gentle ride you could imagine.  And fast? It was unbelievable! We reached our destination in less than 1 and 1/2 minutes.  I hardly even felt my ears popping and no heart stopping rush of sudden movement. Before we had time to think about the distance we had just traveled upward, the door opened, and we were there. This elevator holds the record for the longest travel distance in the world. Contrary to our fears of wall hugging when we stepped off the elevator, we were lured into a wide open room with a terrific view.

It is kind of funny but immediately our fears were gone and we rushed to the window to get that first look and picture. We were now standing on the highest observation deck in the world.

The look down was incredible
You can see the contrast between the other skyscraper type buildings and normal size buildings.  It is also kind of amazing that everything is built on sand.  Sand as far as you can see.
Straight down is the birds eye view of the buildings lush surroundings.
Our turn at the window for a picture,  I really love the twin buildings way down there.
When the cars below look match box size, you should be in an airplane, not a building.

Here is the comparison to other tall buildings in the world.  The New York building at the 9/11 site won’t top it at 1,776 feet as this one, to the highest point, tops out at 2,716 feet with more than 160 stories.

As darkness overtakes the land and our feet are on ground level, we look up again, and can’t help but wonder what is inside this overwhelming structure.  Here are a few of the things that we learned that are housed inside. A “fine dining” (I can only imagine how fine) restaurant on the 122nd story.  900 residences, 37 office floors, the Armani Hotel Dubai with 160 guest rooms, a four story fitness and recreation center, and a park with 6 water features.  Last but not least there are 3,000 underground parking spaces.
A water show right after dark finishes off our day in Dubai.   Then it is back on the plane on the way to Bangkok.
Let’s just say we did not see much on this layover, but were extremely thankful for the lounge in the Bangkok airport.

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One thought on “Day in Dubai, a layover with a purpose

  1. Looks like a great place to visit!

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