Dubai or Don’t I – Day Five

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On the Hotel Shuttle

Our last day in Dubai!

We were lucky today because as we were walking out of the hotel, the Hotel Shuttle was about to leave for Kite Beach. We hadn’t planned on going there but what a great opportunity!

Our driver is a lovely, friendly man but he drives like a maniac!! Or maybe everyone drives like a maniac here.

We didn’t know what to expect from Kite Beach except I remember seeing lots and lots of kites in the YouTube videos I’d watched before we came to Dubai.

 


First thought was, “where are the kites?” I expected to see at least some! If you’re lucky, you can see ONE kite in the pic bottom right. I realised as I got closed, that it was just fixed, marking this place as Kite Beach

There were plenty of places to get drinks and snacks in the main area.

 


And there is also a really nice board walk! There were distance markers every 100 metres.

 


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We saw the Burj Al Arab in the distance and decided to follow the boardwalk towards it.

It didn’t look that far but the further we went along the boardwalk, the further the Burj Al Arab seemed to get as well.

The Burj Al Arab is a seven star hotel built to look like a sailing boat.

We saw some interesting signs along the boardwalk

 


Not sure if you can read the writing. There were plenty of scantily clad men and women on this beach. I hear that it’s supposed to be OK in the tourist areas but we’ve seen lots of skin exposure even in the malls. I didn’t ever see anyone getting picked up on how they were dressed.

We stopped at an area just before the boardwalk ended, to get a cool drink. That hotel was not getting any closer!

 


That smoothie on the top right corner was super delicious and the man who made it was just so lovely. It was just cute old fashioned service. Everyone here calls me ma’am. Every one is either sir or ma’am.
This smoothie was so thick and refreshing. It was only 19 Dirham (about $7 AUD)

We kept walking toward the Burj Al Arab but when the boardwalk ended and it still seemed kilometres away, we decided to turn back.

IMG_9753Because we still had an hour or so to kill, I got a smoothie at another place.

This place was cute to look at but that smoothie was the biggest disappointment.

I can’t believe I’m on holiday in Dubai and talking about the quality of smoothies.

Seriously though, it was just like drinking a fruit juice.

What a let down.

Said goodbye to Kite Beach. It would be a really good place for families to go to and if you like to walk or run, that boardwalk is great. Can’t imagine what it would be like when the temps go over 40 degrees though.

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We hopped back on the Shuttle bus and as his next stop was the Dubai Mall, we thought we’d stay on it as we wanted to see the fountain dance. We missed out the last few times we were at the mall.

But first lunch, and after walking around for freak’n ages, careful consideration, went to The Cheesecake Factory.

 


I really made a mess of that first pic. Hubby ordered nachos (left) and I ordered a vegetarian pasta.
OMG we were both in heaven!! The food was soooooo good. It’s a bit strange to not have alcohol on the menu though.

After lunch we went outside towards the fountain and kept walking around the outside of the Mall. There’s lots to see around there.

 


Hubby was absolutely enthralled with Burj Khalifa (who wouldn’t be),
The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai. It has a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height (excluding antenna) of 828 m. The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009 (Thanks Wikipedia)

We walked all around the outside of the Mall, then entered through the “rich” area. The area where all the high end brands are AND where this lovely orchid is that doesn’t remind anyone of anything at all.

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Finally it was time for the fountain show!! We went outside with hundreds of others and then it started!!! I grabbed my phone to start recording. Hubby grabbed it from me as he’d get a better view with his height. I was so excited to have this wonderful experience on video. The water moves with the music as if doing a synchronised dance. It only went for a few minutes and I was sad when it was over.

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I was sadder still when I realised that for some reason, my phone stopped recording about 10 seconds in. That was even before the show started. So I recorded nothing (Cry)

All I have is that photo above which was taken by accident before the show started.

It was almost time for our Shuttle bus to take us back so we went to sit outside and took a few pics against the Burj Khalifa and the crescent moon.

 


So now I’m sitting in our hotel room. We’re waiting for our driver to come and take us to the airport.

I’m sad to be leaving but looking forward to being back on familiar ground.

Dubai you’ve been great and I’m certain we’ll be back.

Thanks for reading!

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Dubai or Don’t I – Day Four

We didn’t plan our days in advance and that can sometimes be a bad thing,  but we’re cramming so much into each day.

This morning I went to the hotel gym and like yesterday, found quite a few non gym junkie looking types in there. I love that. It makes you feel more comfortable. It really is a fantastic gym.

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Etihad Museum

We didn’t end up leaving our hotel until about 10am which is quite late for us. We had heard a lot about Etihad Museum and it was close enough for us to walk to, so off we went.

It was 25 Dirham to get in there which is roughly $10 Australian. The building itself is so big and magnificent. Big, in that it feels so elegant and spacious inside.

 

I learned a lot about the history of the UAE. I didn’t feel like we spent enough time there for it to be worth 25 Dirham but I’m still glad we went and saw it.

They had a section dedicated to this photographer and when you walked out of it, you heard a camera shutter noise and then your image appeared on a screen first as a negative, then as a normal picture. That was pretty cool!

 

 

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From the gardens at Etihad Museum

Seeing as we were so close to Jumeirah Beach we kept walking after leaving the Museum, and found La Mer.

 


I remember seeing this on You Tube! I was so excited!
We found a place that sold alcohol and went in for a drink while we worked out what we were going to do next. Can’t remember the name of the place but there was this seat/statue out the front. Hubby and I were arguing about if that was a man or woman. What do you think??

 


I feel like I’m giving them advice in that pic on the right.

We went into this souvenir shop that had amazing quality things in it! I got so excited!! I made hubby wait outside so I didn’t have to argue about why I wanted to buy this or that. I already can’t wait to get home and unwrap them all!

We stopped for lunch at the Texas Roadhouse and I have to say, this has been the best value meal so far. I’ve found the serves here to be relatively smaller than I’m used to, but they were very generous at Texas Roadhouse. And look at that bucket of peanuts!!!

 


I was stuffed after we left there. We kept wandering and then saw this…

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Skewers don’t do much for me but hubby was disappointed that he hadn’t seen this first!

59 Dirham is about $23 Australian.

Here’s a few more pics around La Mer.

 


Not sure why but it seemed to take forever to get back to the hotel.

After a rest we headed down to the Dubai Creek area. Our plan was to go to the Gold Souk across the river and travel by Abra.

I was a bit worried about going through the textile souk area as the crowds had stressed me out last time but it didn’t seem to be as bad today. All good!

We hopped on the Abra. An abra is a traditional boat made of wood and they’re used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek.

 


It’s a cheap ride and it was great fun! Once we got to the other side, the crowd stress began. It’s not even crowd stress, it’s that you’re not left alone for a second. Every second someone is asking you to come and see their things.
“You want to see watch? I have Rolex, Gucci, Prada. How about handbag? Pashmina?”
Just an endless barrage of questions over and over and even though you say no, they say “Just for look. Just looking. It’s ok, just looking”
I find it so stressful. Then they try to grab you by the arm and start leading you into their shop. It’s so hard to just ignore them because you feel like you’re being so rude!!
You can’t walk away because they walk with you for twenty or thirty metres. The minute one leaves, another one takes over. It’s exhausting.

The displays are amazing but I didn’t want to look because the minute you do you have no peace. Someone will come out and pressure sell.

 


These places are made for a person much stronger than me.
I have to add that most of the stores we walked past were empty of customers and there were hundreds of stores. Maybe not hundreds, but LOTS.

I did end up with a few more souvenirs then we took the abra back across.

IMG_9720I’ll just mention our dinner because it was pretty good. We decided to eat in one of the hotel’s restaurants.
We went into the sports bar/restaurant first but the smell of smoke (yes they can smoke inside) was just overwhelming so we went into the Italian restaurant. It’s not really an Italian restaurant, well it is, but it’s cooked and run by the same people who run the Indian restaurant. So we were sat in the Indian restaurant, listening to Indian music (Very good but way way way too loud) eating pizza and risotto.

The food was super delicious!!! Mine had a little too much cream but it was just so tasty.

Another memorable day. Only one more day to go and I’m a bit sad about that!

Goodnight for now!

Dubai or Don’t I – Day Two

It’s 1.30am and I’m having trouble adjusting to this new time zone so I thought I’d write about a few funny things that happened yesterday.

IMG_9493We mentioned our kettle was faulty to the front desk. The staff here just bend over backwards to help. The man we were talking to said we were probably doing it wrong. It’s an electric kettle. How wrong could we be?

But we were wrong.

Most kettles click on to start boiling. Ours needs to be caressed and slid gently into position. If you don’t do it right it won’t turn on.

Now there’s a metaphor for you.

There’s a lot of older looking bikes here. They’ll tear up the footpaths. You have to be on guard! Nowhere near as bad as Japan but it still surprises me that it happens and we haven’t seen an accident yet.

Today we thought we’d head off down to the Dubai Creek again. As it’s Friday, nothing much is open (it’s their holy day). I was surprised to learn that even the metro (Trains and buses) don’t start until 10am.
It turned out to be the best option as we had breakfast at “Arabia Tea House Cafe Restaurant”
What an amazing place!!!


We went for a traditional Arabic Breakfast platter to share. I wish I could show you the platter we got but I was just too excited to eat it and forgot to take a picture. Here is the picture from the menu. We pretty much got this, except they changed up those green leafy things for baked beans.

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It was soooo good and much more filling than I could have imagined!

We also had tea and coffee included.

Hubby tried to ask for coffee but it was like that option wasn’t computed by the server so he just went for the tea as well but how nice was it!!!

It was like a chai tea but with a million more spices and was just so pleasurable to drink!!!

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They have this area outside where you can sit and have tea. Honestly, I wanted to say “How’s the serenity”

I don’t know if you can actually sit there or if it’s for tourists to take photos but I had to have a photo taken there too didn’t I?

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We’ve seen lots of cars here with their windscreen wipers up. I don’t know the actual reason for it but I googled and found some potential answers. It’s better for the rubber in this heat to not be next to your windscreen OR, dust particles can get under the blades and scratch the windscreen OR, people pay for others to wash their cars, and after the car has been washed they leave the wipers up to show it’s been done.
Either way, it looks strange.

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We saw this along our travels today.

A place for the needy to get some food.

How nice is that!

It was empty though and having said that, hubby and I both noticed that so far we haven’t seen any homeless people either.

We had seen pictures of the Marina Walk. I had read that it was a 7km walk but I think the 7kms is still being designed/built. I don’t think we walked more than 700 metres.
But I did take some nice pictures along the metro line way.


And the marina itself is pretty special!!

We thought we would be able to walk onto Palm Jumeriah. The tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah island is known for glitzy hotels, posh apartment towers and upmarket global restaurants.

If there is a way, we couldn’t find it. We did find the mono-rail that takes you all the way to the 7 star Atlantis hotel but by the time we figured that out we’d lost interest. We may be back another day.

By this time we were getting hungry again so decided to visit the Mall of Emirates. It opened in 2005 and is home to a ski field, a cinema complex and more than 630 of the world’s best brands. At that time, 2005,  it was named the World’s Leading New Shopping Mall at the World Travel Awards in London.
It was pretty special and after we explored a bit we got lunch that included mint lemonade. I thought I was going to hate it (it was a mistake order) but actually it was quite refreshing!
Here’s a few pics from the mall


IMG_9533We went back to our room to rest up a bit and on the way stopped in at a supermarket. I’m such a fan of foreign supermarkets!!

Look at how lovely and neat their fruit and veg section was!! omg!

Hubby asked me if I wanted  some poo chocolate cake. I thought what the heck?? but here’s what he was referring too… and yes it was pretty delicious!!!!


Seeing as it’s in walking distance to our hotel, we wandered down to the Textile Souk at Bur Dubai. Oh WOW! That was not what I was expecting.

There were loads and loads and loads, and then some, of people! If you are even a little bit anxious around throngs of people, don’t come here.
And while I’m in the camp of people who get anxiety by crowds, I’m glad I experienced it.
No matter where you are, someone is trying to engage with you. Trying to get you to come into their store or restaurant. We had menus shoved in our hands and were walking towards a table before we even knew what was going on! I can’t tell you how many times hubby was approached by someone trying to sell him a watch and even an iphone that was probably fake, for a “very cheap price”

It doesn’t matter what you say, they have an answer. I told hubby not to even engage but I think he likes the fact that someone is wanting to talk to him.

Heres a few pics from our walk through this area. Oh, and it’s right on Dubai Creek so we took a few pics of the little boats (abra?) that leave from this location.

The first pic on the left is a whole bunch of shoes. There’s quite a few places here where people take their shoes off to enter.


My anxiety was at peak level by that last pic!!!

We’ve had an amazing day. Still trying to book our dhow dinner cruise. I hope we get that sorted as it would be fun to do that tomorrow.

For now, I’m safe back in the hotel room ready for some quality sleep.

Dubai or Don’t I – Prelude

dubai-skyline-at-dusk-jpg_header-144981Surprised? I know I was! Hubby and I had a week or so of leave so we decided to plan a five day break to Dubai.
I’ve been both excited and apprehensive since.

Have you ever googled “what should I know before I visit Dubai?”

You’ll find lots of advice, mostly relating to how to dress and how to act. Mostly tourists will be OK as long as your shoulders and knees are covered. You can wear regular swimsuits in your hotel or resort pool area.
I remember doing this in DoHa but I felt completely weirded out because there were local workers around and I don’t know, it just felt weird.
Public displays of affection are a no-no. You can be sent to prison for that. Aggressive behaviour could also get you into trouble.
If I return without hubby you’ll know why.

No drinking sign, No alcohol sign, isolated on white background, vector illustration.You’ll also find out that alcohol is not readily available. If you’re staying at a four star hotel and above, you will find it in the restaurants, but if you think you can just walk to the nearest bottle-o and pick up a bottle or two of red, you’ll be disappointed.
To purchase alcohol at a store, both residents and tourists require a license however you can get it in the duty free stores at the airport and take it back to your room.
Guess what this thirsty girl is going to be doing.

dubaimeme13One thing we have going for us is that at this time of year, we should expect temperatures to be about 24-25 degrees Celsius. I can live with that!
And the minimums are 17-18 degrees Celsius so guess I’ll need a jacket after all.

I can’t help thinking about what it was like when we were in DoHa, but that was a completely different time of year. Average temperatures at that time were 44 degrees Celsius. It was like we were in a ghost town! Nobody was out on the streets.

dubai-4-700xIn preparation, I’ve also been watching a heck of a lot of YouTube clips. Some of them are professionally done, and some are just travellers sharing their experience. I saw one clip, where a guy filmed while walking through the Dubai Mall food Court. I think that was when I said “oh my god yes I want to go there”.
So many food chains!! How am I going to try them all!!!

Our hotel is about eight kilometres from The Dubai Mall. I checked the public transport routes and while it’s very cheap to use public transport, google maps tells me it’s going to take one hour to go those eight kilometres. ONE HOUR!!!! We may as well walk it!!!
Although I did see a YouTube clip of one guy who said he was 700 metres away from it but it was not possible to walk there so he had to take a taxi.

So many things to learn about. I’m researching pocket wifi right now, trying not to think about the Qantas drama from yesterday when a plane dropped so many hundreds of metres in seconds and made an emergency landing in Melbourne.

HinaKhanSo for now I’ll get back to my preparations. Our flight leaves at 10pm tonight and I’m overdosing on melatonin and hoping to get some good rest in.

My next post will be in a foreign and relatively alcohol, shoulder and knee exposure free land.

What do you think about my travelling dress? Knees and shoulders are covered so all good right?

Wadaeaan my readers!

I do, I do, I do, I do – Day Two

52117898_2188604491199171_1074506332473655296_nHubby says I’m having too much fun at his expense in these blogs and he’s probably right, but he has the option to risk his own life and create his own blog where he talks about the strange things I do if he likes.

So he got me “hard at work” as he puts it, at 5.30am and on my computer, writing. Morning face. Don’t ask me why I was writing at that time, I have no idea. My sleep schedule is all messed up.

Whenever we travel, no matter if it’s for one or two days or one or two weeks, when we arrive at our accommodation, he will take everything out of his suitcase and put it away in the drawers and cupboards
I prefer to leave everything in the suitcase so that I know I won’t forget anything when it’s time to leave.
Just another one of our maddening cute differences.

We had breakfast at this cute place on the water. I think it was called Cargo. Just about every place we’ve been to in Melbourne has had wait staff from other countries.
And mostly they’ve all been so nice and eager to help.

I really felt like scrambled eggs on toast and hubby was getting a full breakfast, but he got me to order some bacon on the side because he wanted more but didn’t want the staff to think he was a gutz. Ha ha. I say, embrace the gutz! But I ordered it for him.

The food was so good!!!


I love walking through this area. The water makes things so peaceful and compared to the rest of the CBD, there’s not a lot of people around.

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What do you think of the colour on these buildings? I’m still not sure if I like it or not.

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We walked to DFO and you would not believe the amount of things we bought!!! I mean talk about efficient shopping!! Hubby is 6’7″ and finds it hard finding pants that are long enough but we found some nice ones for him at a good price and I got some Kayano’s for a fantastic price; not to mention the rest.

It was starting to warm up and we decided to walk along the river knowing we’d eventually get to Federation Square where ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) is.

I noticed that just about every restaurant/bar along there is offering some sort of Aperol cocktail!!


How could we not give into temptation. We stopped for a drink and a rest and enjoyed the view from our table.

Caught a glimpse of the MCG on the way to ACMI
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We also saw the horse drawn carts and carriages. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
Also noticed the signs (there were many around the place) that some people had left

The ACMI was just as amazing as I remembered!!!

Oh look there’s me! (above)

IMG_9342 I was trying not to hurry hubby along. All I really wanted to see again was the Matrix thing.

Hubby and I had fun creating some videos.

Apparently they are getting rid of this so if you want to try it, you have to get there before April 19!

Check out our clips below..

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided to walk to the MCG to see if there was the off chance that we might be in time for a tour. I’ve always wanted to do that.


Turns out the tours go for three hours and it just wasn’t right for us today.
The photos above are some I took along the way (it’s about a kilometre walk from Federation Square)
Love the Dennis Lillee statue. There were more but he was the only one I took a pic of.

We walked back into the CBD and down some cute lane ways. So much to see here.


IMG_9356We stopped at a place, I think it was called Schnit, on Elizabeth street. Hubby was a bit nervous I think but you know what, the food was sooooo good!!

In fact, after we sat down, I heard another customer telling the girl behind the counter how good the food was. It was such good value too. Very good pricing.

The pic on the left is my schnitzel which was actually a veggie one. It was so delicious and the fries were seasoned so well

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Oh, and check out this little guy who decided to join us for a little while.

I’m not normally a bird lover but look at this cuteness!

We walked around some more, did a bit more shopping and made our way back to the apartment. I won’t bore you with pics of our purchases but we were both very happy!

It might be shocking to some, but we still hadn’t used the gym so we decided to go down there. Unfortunately it was full! There was one treadmill left so I got on it but hubby felt a bit out of sorts as the people who were in there seemed to all know each other and “held” their equipment by leaving clothes and water bottles by them.
It wasn’t comfortable so we didn’t stay long.

We were going to use the pool but that was full of people too. And later on, when we were walking outside, I realised that the pool which is on the ground floor, is totally visible from the outside! Not that it matters that much but it’s the kind of thing you’d want to know before disrobing.

We ended up at the same place as last night for dinner. I didn’t take pictures but I ordered the same salad and this time it was double the size!!!
We both ordered the same food but last night, we had to get some fries on the way home as we were still hungry, this time, we ordered a bit more food and it was just way too much.
Nice place.

Tomorrow we’ll be back home. We have an early flight tomorrow so I won’t be blogging.
Thanks for sharing this journey with us!

Until next time….

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