22nd Feb – Dubai

Slept well in the big posh bed but woke up at 5am. Our buffet breakfast included humous, cheese, olives, lebneh, fruit and curry, best brekkie since India.

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We discussed the day and decided to do a big bus tour and there were three on offer, old town, beach and night. As we are only here for two days and are used to 10 hour bus journeys we bought a ticket for all three and set off in the hazy mild Dubai morning. On the top of the bus the mildness became cold but eventually the sun melted the haze and by the end of the day the bald patch was burnt, and Al had racoon eyes.

First up was old town which took us around the creek and souks. The onboard commentary peppered the history spiel with sales pitches ie “here’s the gold souk. Gold makes a great present” or “dates are important to arab culture and make a great present” which seemed odd.

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After 2 hours we switched to the beach tour which included all the big shiny hotels and the man made islands. The onboard commentary began to pepper us with stats on how many cafes, bars, rooms and celebratory chef restaurants were located in each hotel. The main hotel on the man made island is themed after Atlantis, a myth of a civilisation disappearing into the sea. Isn’t that tempting fate? They explained that the storm defences could withstand a 4m wave and at low tide the sea is 4m down. I guess they don’t expect a storm wave at high tide?  We also toured shopping malls and learnt that the Dubai mall has 12 million sq foot and is the largest mall in the world. The Mercato mall is the first Italian renaissance styled mall in the Arab emirates. The Dubai ski is the first all year snow ski slopes in the middle east. Eventually the commentary sounded like an insecure youth trying to impress and I think I would have preferred the sites without the sales pitch / showing off.

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Anyway after an hour break where we had a pot noodle and booked a room for tomorrow we got on the night tour and despite more blah blah, the sites were amazing. The already beautiful skyscrapers looked even better with their lighting on. I took many photos.

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When we got home we ordered Dahl makhani in the room and it tasted sweeter as agoda had refunded our booking money.

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