Monday, May 31

Touring in Dubai

It took a couple of hours this morning to clear all the boring work stuff. After we were done, we got on to the relatively new Dubai Metro and headed to Dubai Mall to continue the brief visit we had paid it last night. Our priority was to go up the Burj, but we were told that there was plenty of other stuff to do there to soak up the time. Since we had booked tickets for the 7:30pm session we had a fair few hours to kill.

We managed to catch one of the hourly fountain shows outside. With the Burj in the background we enjoyed various water works all choreographed with music (apparently each show has a different global theme) and although the fountains themselves were quite impressive with how high up they squirted the stuff, the show as a whole seemed a bit bland.

We decided to check out the aquarium. To be honest I was amazed at how the managed to fit such a wonderful tank (and underwater tunnel) smack bang in the middle of a shopping mall, but there it was. I was happy to just sit outside and point at the fish from the public area but since we had time we went in too. The tunnel was exactly what you would have expected, but the underwater zoo turned out to be a pretty cool part of the experience; they had quite a few weird species of fish, a lot of which I hadn't seen before. Topped off with a ride in glass bottomed boat along the top surface of the tank and I'd say the whole deal was actually pretty fun.

But at last it was time to head up the Burj Khalifa. Unlike other observatories, this one seems to have been designed from the ground up for tourists and it was quite nice to read all the facts and figures about the building and construction process as we headed to the lift to take us up to the 124th floor.

If I'm totally honest, the view up there wasn't particularly stunning. Perhaps it was how Dubai is a desert, or maybe the fact that we were there at night, but there wasn't really much to see and neither was there a sense of the great height we were at. We did get to see another fountain show, this time from above, and it was quite nice to have been out on the open terrace instead of behind a window as in other observatories.

Heading back down, our time at the Dubai Mall was over. I still don't know how we managed to spend six hours there, and that without visiting more than a couple of shops (including the wonderful Candylicious). Content with our sightseeing, we headed off to the house of some family for a late dinner. Now that the business and sightseeing was out of the way, tomorrow was reserved for chilling out with friends.

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