Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Dubai Trip 2014: City Tour, Part 1

Hey, everyone!  Sorry that I did not get this post to ya yesterday.  I ate a carrot that had expired, and let's just say that Monday night was not fun.  :-X  At least I had the Bachelor to watch!

As I mentioned before, Joe and I finished out 2014 with a Babymoon to Dubai!  We purchased a Groupon for the trip back in February and originally booked the trip for mid-November.  Due to a lack of planning on our parts, we had to push it back to December since the original trip fell during Joe's national boards!

I'll be doing a series of posts about our trip over the next week or two: 4 posts about what all we did, a post about traveling with a Groupon, and then traveling while pregnant.  So, let's get right in to the fun stuff!

Our first full day in Dubai was spent touring the city!  Our trip, which was run by Gate 1 Travel (we did the 7-Day Classic Dubai trip), included the tour.  It was essentially a bus tour with various stops throughout the city.

We started by driving through the heart of the city.  It was very interesting to see all of the interesting architecture of of the buildings, knowing that 10 years ago the whole area was just desert!
The Burj Khalifa, world's tallest building

World's tallest hotels, the JW Marriott Marquis
We drove past the "main strip" and drove through the Jumeriah area of Dubai.  This area, nicknamed the "Beverly Hills of Dubai," is where the citizens of UAE are given nice homes.  Yes, given!  You can't become a citizen of UAE--the only people that are citizens are people who can prove their grandparents were people who lived there.
As you can see, they are really nice homes!  The King of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, and his family also have palaces in this area.
Our first stop took us to the Burj Al Arab, a 7-star resort that has been deemed "the most luxurious hotel in the world."
The closest we got was a public beach nearby; you can't get in to the resort area without some sort of booking!  Our tour guide told us the cheapest way to get in to the hotel was to attend the afternoon tea at the restaurant.  It's 7 courses of afternoon-tea-type food for $120!  We didn't get to go, but we did get some good pictures with it in the background.

We also got to stick our feet in the Persian Gulf on this stop.  The water was beautiful but a little cold!
Next up, we drove on to the Palm Jumeriah, the man-made island shaped like a palm tree built in the Persian Gulf.  There were some crazy nice houses on this island!
At the very end of the island is the Atlantis resort.  It's the sister resort to the one in the Bahamas.  Fun fact: the suite that's in the middle connecting to the two sides of the resort is $20,000 per night!
We went inside to check out the aquarium.  Pretty impressive!
Before we left, Joe and I walked to the end of the Palm Jumeriah for a quick selfie.
 Back to the bus we went!  On the drive back, we saw the Dubai Marina area--the next up-and-coming area of Dubai.  This area is only about 5 years old.
Our next destination: the Dubai Mall (the world's largest mall) and the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building).
Before going up in the Burj Khalifa, our tour guide took us through the mall and back outside to where the fountain show is.
This fountain show is larger than the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas!  We got some photos with the Burj Khalifa in the background.  Even though both of us were pretty much laying on the ground to take these, we couldn't get the full building in it!  It's so tall!

Here's a little view of the mall.  It was pretty huge!
It was now time to head to the Burj Khalfia and go up to the observation deck!  We had some fun in the waiting room before we were able to get up in the elevator.
Instagrammin' with the King of Dubai!
They had a cool computerized display where you could choose a bunch of cities in the world and see the skyline with the Burj Khalifa superimposed in it.  It was really cool to see how tall this building is compared to familiar skylines!  We took a break from playing with that display for a picture in the waiting area.
The elevator was really neat--they projected a timer on the doors while you waited.  To get up to the 128th floor, it took literally 60 seconds!
They also kept you entertained while waiting with a video of various celebrities at the Burj Khalifa.  Part of it showed the making of Mission: Impossible IV where Tom Cruise ACTUALLY ran down the building.  It was crazy to watch him hanging out of the windows!!

I have SO much more to tell y'all from this city tour, but this post is getting long!!  Tomorrow, we'll talk about the experience of being up on the Burj Khalifa's observation deck, learning more about the history of Dubai, and visiting the souk (flea market)!

Question for you:  Have you ever seen a city via bus (or other vehicle) tour?

1 comment:

  1. SO COOL!!! I can't wait to hear more! :) And to see pictures up on the observation deck!