After a very spontaneous decision to come and visit us in Dubai, their flights were booked and within three weeks we were collecting John & Debbie at the airport.
From the airport we decided to take the scenic way home, driving through the Marina to show them where we first lived and how it compares to where we are staying now. When you first come to Dubai, you are blown away by the scale of the buildings, and such diverse architecture all over the place.
John and Debbie were here for 9 days so we tried to space things out, as being a tourist is hard work, especially when the temperatures threaten 40 degrees celsius! We thought it would be a good idea to go to the Dubai Museum first, to give them more of an idea of how Dubai came about and just how young this city is. To Debbie’s delight it just happened to be where all the material shops were, so before heading into the museum we walked around a bit until we found the perfect material shop to buy some stunning fabrics. Brad and John were not impressed, but you only come to Dubai once, so they had to practice their patience and give us advice when needed. The museum is very clean and well organised. There is not much to see but we did find certain sections quite interesting. It gives you a sense of how one man’s vision in just 40 years built a city. After the museum we had a quick boat cruise down the creek and then ventured around the Dubai souq to buy bits and pieces.
Coming to Dubai you always hear about the shopping, and John and Debbie managed to go into almost every shopping mall here, starting with Ibn Battuta one of the smaller malls, each section of this mall is themed, and we went into the Egyptian section, you spend more time looking at the architecture inside than the actual shops. We were on our way to go and have a look at Brads offices and Ibn Buttuta was a stop on the way. Luckily the shops only open here at 10am so we didn’t have time to go shopping. After having a look at Brads office in the free zone we headed to the Mall of the Emirates, this has the well known ski slope inside, as well as almost every shop you can think of. It’s one of the nicer malls and easy to get around. Once again the architecture is quiet something, and very clean. Here we managed to get some shopping done before heading home for the day, and we had a lovely braai that evening in our garden.
Another outing was to go to Abu Dhabi to view the Grande Mosque. Debbie and I had to go and find ourselves abaya’s, which are the long black robes that the women use to cover themselves. As this is a holy place, women cannot show their arms or ankles, so we hired two black abayas to put over our clothes and headed to find the men. It felt very strange at first, but if you don’t have an abaya, you would certainly be noticed and frowned upon. The Grande Mosque is very impressive as its full of marble, and has massive chandeliers, with a huge Persian carpet covering the entire floor. We didn’t stay there too long as it was starting to get a bit hot, and the men were getting rather hungry. We then headed home for some lunch and an afternoon nap. That evening we went down to the beach for a swim and to catch a few rays.
The one evening we headed to the Marriot building where we went to the Observatory bar on the 52nd floor for sun downers and dinner. The Observatory bar has a 360 degree view over the Jumeriah palm and the Marina, so its quite an impressive view from there and the cocktails are delicious!
We got John and Debbie tickets to go up the Burj Khalifa next to the Dubai Mall, which is the worlds biggest shopping mall. The Burj Khalifa is also the worlds tallest building and very impressive! Brad and I needed to do some work, so we gave them the morning to do some shopping and running around the mall. You can’t avoid the shops if you come to Dubai.
An exciting outing we went on, was the traditional Desert Safari tour with Arabian expeditions. We were picked up in a Toyota Land cruiser and driven out into the desert about an hour out from Dubai. We had heard about the wild driving on this desert safari but we didn’t quite realise just how scary it would be as a passenger! The man who was driving us had been working for the company for 8 years, so we just hoped that he knew what he was doing! You literally drive off in the desert and head for the highest dunes possible where you do sheer drops off the sides of the dunes… at pace! How those vehicles don’t tip is beyond me, but by the time you stop for photo opportunities, you are laughing, sweating, shaking from the nerves, never mind the funny music that they put on to “enhance” your arabic desert adventure. Now as you can image, Brad wants to get this Toyota Land Cruiser to do the same thing in the desert, as apparently it holds the sand well! Definitely NOT!
Once the terrifying driving over the dunes was done we got driven to a camp out in the desert where all the different desert tours end up to eat traditional arabic food, smoke sheesha, have henna done and experience the traditional dancing. This was a great experience, everything was very well organised and so clean. The food was great, and more than enough! The dancing was also great, something different with a belly dancer and a man who came on and just spun in a very interesting costume. Once we’d had enough our driver took us home.
On our last evening with John and Debbie we thought it would be nice to go into the desert for a braai near the Al Qudra lakes. It was such a lovely evening and we got to our usual water hole without letting the tyres down, set up the braai and just chilled and chatted while the sun went down.
We are so lucky to have such special parents/ in-laws, and it means the world to us that you took the time to come and see where we live, meet our friends and just spend some quality time with us. We hope that you enjoyed Dubai as much as we enjoyed showing you around and so glad you could experience a taste of the place we have called our home for the past year. We look forward to your next visits. Thank you!
Our Desert Safari Tour
Abu Dhabi Grande Mosque
Last Evening Desert Braai
Until next time 🙂