Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dubai Trip 2014: City Tour, Part 2

Yesterday, I recapped the first part of our bus tour of Dubai.  We left off at the elevator heading up to the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building!
While we rode the elevator, there was a projection of our current height, and it also showed worldwide landmarks that we were passing at the time.  It was really neat!  It was not nearly as cool, though, as our view when we got off the elevator and out on to the observation deck.
We were on the 128th floor of the building, which is actually the 3rd-highest observation deck in the world.  There is another observation deck on the Burj Khalifa at the 144th floor (the world's highest observation deck), but that was another $20 to go up to.  I was just fine where we were!
Here's the mall and fountain show from 128 stories up!  It still looks pretty big for being so high up.
Joe and I were pretty amazed by the fact that right around the Burj Khalifa was all built up, and then off in the distance, it was all desert.
I tried to take a picture of the top of the building from where we were.  There were still another 30ish stories until the top of the building!  I couldn't get the top, but close enough!
The observation deck was outdoors, but there was glass about 10-feet tall that kept us safe from falling. It was still pretty crazy that we were so high up on this observation deck!

See the lines in the glass?  There was actually a little slit in the glass that you could stick your hand out of!  CRAZY!  Joe and I tried it, and then we were ready to go inside!  There were other views of the city we needed to see, anyway!
That's the Burj Al Arab you can make out in the distance.  It was hazy due to the shamal winds, winds that pick up sand from the desert and cause hazy conditions.  It wasn't always this hazy, but it did make it hard to see off in the distance.
 We still had pretty good views while we waited in line for the elevator.

After we got back down from the Burj Khalifa, we ate lunch in the Dubai Mall.  We ate some Lebanese food and got to know some of the people in our travel group.  We also took in how large this mall was!
 After the mall, we drove to the Dubai Museum.  They built the museum in a fort used by the natives of the area.
 This fort was built to protect a well, which was still in the middle of the museum.
 Our tour guide told us about the lives of the people who lived in the area.  What's crazy is that this well and fort were used up until about 40 years ago!
 They also had some fishing boats that were used, as fishing has been a big industry of the area throughout history.  Obviously, they are using much more advanced boats now!
The museum also had a house that the people of the area lived in up to 40 years ago!
 We then walked through the indoor part of the museum, which explained more about the culture and lifestyle of the native people of Dubai.  It was really interesting to see how far this area came in just about 40 years!  Hey, oil will definitely do that.

 Next up, we rode a boat over to the souk.  This boat was pretty cool, and we enjoyed the views as we rode up the Dubai Canal.

A view of what the boat looked like:
This area of the city is where a lot of the government buildings are.  Again, check out the cool architecture!
Once we got to the souk, we had some free time to walk around and check out the shops.  The souk had a spice market, gold market, and a clothing market.  The cool thing about the market was that the gold in the shops all had to be genuine, or else the government would shut the shops down.
 Joe and I walked around for a bit and made a few purchases.  We purchased some souvenirs for our families and also picked up a camel stuffed animal for Baby Fish!  He/she needs something to remember their first international trip by :)  Then, we headed over to the spice market.  We got some fresh juice from one stand after seeing all of the locals stop by, and we REALLY were happy with that purchase!  At one of the spice stores, we made sure to pick up some saffron, the most expensive spice in the world.  We also purchased some camel milk chocolates, which are delicious!
It was also pretty fun to just sit on a bench and people watch.  The souk was a really cool place!

Right when it was time to leave, the sun started to set over the city and made for a really pretty view.
I tried to get a little artsy with the sunset between some buildings and our bus.
Whether or not the picture worked, it was a pretty way to end our day-long bus tour!

Once we got back to the hotel,  Gate 1 Travel fed us a buffet dinner and told us about the schedule for the rest of our trip.  We had quite a full first day, so Joe and I went back up to our room and fell asleep really early that night.  Overall, we got to see a lot of Dubai and experience lots of the cool things the city has to offer--and that was just the first day!

Next up in the recap of our trip: our time out in the desert, a dinner cruise, and the fountain show at the Dubai mall!  That'll be comin' at ya next week.

Question for you: What's the tallest building you've been in?  Have you ever been to a local market while traveling?


  1. So cool!!! I am definitely going to have to put Dubai on my list of places to go! I love checking out local markets and shops whenever I'm in a new country. I feel like you get a totally different feel of the country than just the normal touristy stuff!

    1. It is a really neat place to go! If you do, definitely check out the souk. It really is a different feel, and it's a lot of fun!