4 days in Dubai – a place of no limits. After a bumpy boat ride coming from Iran, we were about the enter the ultra-modern Age: Dubai in: The United Arab Emirates.
Now, Dubai was never on our radar, we weren’t really interested in going there. Huge mega city in the middle of a desert did not sound very exciting to us. But, as we were looking at flights from Iran to Nepal we noticed that all of the flights had a layover in Dubai. After looking at the map for a bit we saw that there is an option of sailing there from Iran!
This, of course, was a really cool option, I mean not many tourists sail this route and we thought it would be a cool way to cross Iran. To make things even better we realized that our friends Roy and Joyce would be there on exactly the same weekend – so we would be able to meet up with them! Dubai thereby put itself on our radar and we are happy it did!
We had booked a cheap-ish hotel for our first night. Our first impressions of Dubai was therefore probably a bit different than for most people. After going through immigration, we grabbed a ride from one of the dock workers in an old beat up pickup to our hotel.
The part of Dubai we stayed in is considered to be the “old” part of Dubai, but anyone that has been to Dubai knows that there is no real “old” part of Dubai. But nonetheless, it did not feel as glamorous and fancy as the new Dubai that we were about to get to know.
We spent the first evening walking around hunting for food. We stumbled into this Pakistani chicken roll place. These rolls were a godsend, they were SO good and very very cheap. What a great intro to Dubai.
The next day we checked out of our hotel and headed downtown to meet our friends! But first we had to indulge ourselves in a bit of western pampery and picked up a box of dozen crispy cream doughnuts. We booked a very luxurious apartment through AirBnB in the heart of Dubai with our friends. This was really nice after months of hostels and guesthouses.
After settling in the apartment and taking in the grand views we went out to explore this new weird city. Our first stop was the Dubai Souq. It is built to look like a traditional souq, but upon closer look you can see that it is all brand new. It was really nice to walk around there and they made a very nice scenery there.
Then we decided to go into Dubai mall – one of the worlds largest mall. This mall is not just a mall, it houses one of the worlds largest aquariums, a huge indoor waterfall, an indoor skate rink and a spectacular fountain show every evening. Insane.
The next day we made a delicious breakfast and went exploring outside Dubai towards Abu Dhabi. We went to the biggest mosque in the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. The mosque felt more like an amusement park than a place of worship, with long queues and tickets. But, it was very beautiful and well worth going there. In case you were wondering, they provide the fashionable modesty clothes before you go in.
Our friends were there to watch the Formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi, we of course had to take a look at the track. Since some of us still think Ferrari is the best team we had to visit Ferrari world. An amusement park dedicated to Ferrari, and yes they have a roller coaster in the shape of a Formula 1 car!
Roy and Joyce then had a surprise up their sleeve when we came back to the apartment. We walked towards the ocean with them and they planned a boat ride with us! Not just any boat, a speed boat ride 😀
This took us all around the famous palm island and we got to see the Atlantis and future Atlantis 2 up close. It was a lot of fun speeding past the mega buildings and taking it all in while the sun was setting. This boat ride was the highlight our time in Dubai and we really recommend it.
This evening we grabbed an easy meal and headed towards Marina walk beach and walked along the beach , found a place where we could sit and have a few drinks by the ocean.
Time to say bye to Roy and Joyce after a great time together. They also did us a huge favor and brought home the Persian carpet we impulsively bought in Shiraz, Iran and a few other souvenirs for our family. Thanks again for the great days and see you soon!
Since today was black Friday we had to check out some of the malls. On this last day we ventured into another mall in Dubai: Mall of the Emirates. This one is just as crazy as the Dubai mall. Inside you can find a full size indoor ski slope – in the middle of the desert! Oh and also, you can go inside and hug penguins… Very surreal to see this and just shows you that, in this city, anything is possible. After that we went back to the Dubai Mall for some shopping, but we quickly went back to the Hotel. The amount of people in there was insane.
Time to say bye to the crazy world of Dubai and head towards our next adventure: Nepal 🙂