In my last post, I finished up Europe with Greece. However, it was time to leave the west and head to the east with the first stop being in the Middle East. I decided to stop in Dubai as I needed a connection to get to Beijing anyways and this was the perfect opportunity to visit one of the fastest growing cities in the last decade. The motto here seems to be go big or go back to the desert which is evident in the massive towers and cavernous malls that make up bulk of the strip of land along the shore of this part of the UAE. Mind you, when summer temperatures can easily climb to over 50°C (122F), it’s just prudent to have large air conditioned spaces to house a burgeoning population.
Overall, the trip was pretty short at only 3 nights (with arriving past midnight on the first night) but I managed to hit the highlights:
- June 22nd: Checked out the Dubai Mall (world’s largest mall) and the Burj Khalifa (world’s tallest structure). Won a contest at the mall (some expensive perfume which I ended up gifting to a friend in Tokyo). Met up with a couple of folks for dinner and some night tea on the beach.
- June 23rd: Desert safari with dune bashing (video above), camels, horses, dinner, and a show.
- June 24th: Hung out at the Mall of the Emirates before catching flight to Beijing which was at 1:00am on the 25th technically. No flights in Dubai from mid morning to late afternoon due to the extreme heat on the tarmac.
I ended up staying at the Hostel Dubai 16. It’s a perfectly serviceable place although the bathroom was a bit muggy due to having to leave the window open in there for ventilation. The major benefit of the place was the AC worked and that it was relatively near the metro stop – two very important items when planning a trip to Dubai in the summer time (hint: don’t go in the summer).
Again, it was a relatively short trip, so there is not much to add. Getting places is relatively easy with the myriad of taxis available as well as the decent public transportation. I wouldn’t recommend staying more than a few day as there is not much else to do other than hang out in malls, check out a couple places, and perhaps a multi night safari into the desert (although other countries have better experiences for the safari).
Of course, let’s check out some random photos!