Tag Archives: Dubai

Dubai “Day Two”

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Dubai “Day Two”

Well here we are, day two into our trip and we are hoping that the day will be better than yesterday’s non-event. So with yesterday forgotten we set off to catch the metro. Now the Dubai metro is very modern, clean and efficient but this is where the praise stops, we had set off in plenty of time for our 12:30 slot to the top of the Burj we disembarked at Burj Khalifa station only to discover that the walk from the Burj Khalifa station to the Burj Khalifa itself took nearly as long as the train journey some twenty minutes. On alighting the metro there was not one sign directing you to the Burj the signs were the ones directing you was to the Dubai Mall, so we were suitably confused, made equally frustrating as we could see the Burj out the windows of the never ending walkway. We eventually got to the Dubai Mall, still no signs for the Burj, so we asked at the help desk for directions and was told to go to the lower mall and follow the signs? What signs, all this bearing in mind that the Dubai Mall is supposedly the largest in the world and is the size of a small country and the clock was ticking it was all getting rather frustrating , we eventually stumbled not found, a sign in small letters directing us to where we wanted to go and got there with 10 minutes to spare. Prior to us leaving the UK we had booked tickets to go up to the top of the Burj Khalifa, as I had read it is advisable as it can get pretty busy, in fact it was a good tip as whilst we were queuing to pick up our tickets I noticed that most of the slots available for the day were already booked.
We boarded the lift and sped to the I think 123 floor in 59 seconds, “I timed it yes I know I am a nerd”, and apart from your ears popping you would not know you were travelling at all, quite impressive really. We were directed out onto the viewing platform and was treated to a less than spectacular view of Dubai firstly because of the poor visibility due to a mild sandstorm and secondly because of the less spectacular view of the endless building sites, oh well at least we can say we have been to the top of the worlds tallest building.

Next stop was to visit the area around the Burj Al Arab hotel, listed as the worlds only 7 star hotel, so once again we embarked on the mammoth trek to the metro station and to the nearest metro station which is the mall of Emirates (yes another shopping centre) to the Burj Al Arab, only to discover that the distance from the station was to far to walk so you needed to take a cab (good job cabs are cheap in Dubai, the only thing that is) during our journey our driver told us that the cheapest room per night was 7000dh approx £1200 going up to 25000dh approx £4700, madness considering our 32 days away with return flights from the UK, four internal flights, four train journeys including one overnight, and all the hotel accommodation for three people is only £3800. When we arrived we discovered there was no nice waterfront walk, no promenade with shops and restaurants just two large hotels with what seemed to be no access to the sea, more disappointment. We then saw a sign to Bar 360 degrees and decided to take a look. The bar was situated at the end of a long jetty with views of the Burj Al Arab and after ordering three extortionately price beers (and this was supposed to be happy hour where the drinks are half price) we settled down to a magnificent sunset over the Arabian gulf.

So as you can judge from reading all the above we were not overly impressed with Dubai, it’s overpriced, overrated certainly not a place you can walk around easily throughly disappointing. So in my opinion, unless you are into shopping on a grand scale, with an endless gold card limit, and are into Disney world then give it a miss.

Dubai

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We arrived in Dubai around 3am, the taxi journey from the airport was quite spectacular with the very tall skyscrapers lit up against the night sky, so we were really looking to our first full day in the city. So it was up reasonably early, grab some breakfast then hit the road. We decided to head for one of the souks that was recommended in our guide book in the Deira district. So we grabbed a cab, which incidentally are quite cheap and headed for Deira, on arrival we were quite disappointed as we expected a labyrinth of small narrow streets with traders selling there wares, when in fact it was nothing like that at all it was just row after row of mundane shops with no character what so ever, very disappointing indeed. Next stop was the Dubai Marina which again sounded promising, but in fact was another let down, as the marina was quite a bit in from the sea with no view of the ocean at all, the marina was surrounded by sterile and characterless skyscrapers and restaurants another disappointment. So with aching feet and an uneventful day it was decided that a glass of wine and a cold beer was in order, only to discover that alcohol is very expensive in Dubai. So hopefully our visit to the Burj Khalifa, the world tallest building tomorrow will make up for things.

Grand Tour of India

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Grand Tour of India

Well our next trip is rapidly approaching, and after booking our flights way back in January and spending endless pleasurable hours planning we have just three weeks to go before our grand tour of India. This is not our first trip to this amazing country, in fact its our third, but it is our first in which we are embarking on such a large-scale tour. It all started like I said way back in January 2014 when me and my travelling companions decided that we should visit India again. initially we were looking into first visiting Nepal then onto India but the flight costs from India into Nepal were almost as much as from the UK, so it was decided to just stick to India “We do get carried away on our initial planning stages, the countries always seem very close when you look at a map”. We are flying with Emirates, and as we are changing flights in Dubai before our onward journey to Mumbai we thought it we would take the opportunity to stop over, so our itinery is as follows. Dubai, Mumbai, Jaipur Ranthambore National Park, Agra, Delhi, Cochin in Kerala, Bangalore, Mysore, Hospet to visit the Hampi temple complex then back to Mumbai for a couple of nights before our flight back home. We are away for 32 days so it should be a good trip.