Emirate of Dubai

So there we were…snowboarding in 100 degree heat.

After four wonderful days in Cairo, it was time for another quick stop over on our way to Nepal. A short flight brought us to one of the richest cities in the world, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. With no budget options for sleeping in this city, we found ourselves at our first proper hotel with a spotless bathroom, views of the skyline and a comfy bed, it was a nice change even if it was for only two nights (we couldn’t afford much more!).

Our first day was spent exploring the old part of the city along Dubai creek. On one side of the river the streets are lined with knockoffs of everything you could imagine and the hawkers approach nonstop rattling off the same line – “you want watches, handbags, sunglasses, Gucci, Prada, Armani…” On the other side of the creek is the Gold Souk area with hundreds of stores dedicated to the gold jewelery trade. It was great to see the “old” traditional city before exploring the “new” city with all its glitz and glamour.

On the second day we began at Jumeriah Beach which wasn’t as impressive as we had hoped, but it was nice to see the calm, turquoise water. We soon moved on to visit The Atlantis on The Palm, the popular hotel on the tip of the man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, and then onto the famous Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7 star hotel. Unfortunately, we weren’t permitted past the front gate of the Burj unless we had a reservation for the $200 lunch. We decided to just enjoy it from the outside 🙂

Needing to cool off from the heat, we headed to one of the three malls we visited while in town. With brutally warm weather outside (and this is the “cool” season) the malls are a great air-conditioned way to spend a few hours. Putting Scottsdale’s Fashion Square to shame, the malls are over the top with luxurious stores, restaurants and attractions like aquariums, water falls and the well-known indoor ski area, Ski Dubai. Since we are skipping out on winter weather and the ski season this year, we decided to get our winter fix and suited up for a few hours of riding. It didn’t quite compare to the Colorado mountains, but the experience of snowboarding in Dubai while it was 100 degrees outside was something we will always remember.

Highlights

  • Walking and shopping along Dubai Creek
  • Hurting our necks staring up at the World’s Tallest Building, Burj Kalifa
  • Wandering the malls “ooooo’ing and awww’ing” at all the expensive shops and familiar things from home (Coldstone, PF Changs, CPK)
  • Snowboarding at Ski Dubai while the people in the mall watch you go down the runs
  • The awesome free shuttle our hotel ran that drove us all around the city

Lowlights

  • The cost of everything from hotels to food to beer($10 for one!), two days was plenty to see the area and not spend too much cash
Where old meets new
The Gold Souk
Dubai skyline
Bur Al Arab - World's only 7 star hotel
Burj Khalifa - World's Tallest Building
Boarding in the Middle East
Ski Dubai
After our shopping spree in Dubai...yeah right