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Thursday, March 12, 2020

Glamming in Dubai

Dubai is a lot of fun in the sun, being it a stop-over, escape from the cold or to satisfy the need to for non-stop shopping. I have spent an extended lay-over to see what’s there to do in the Emirate.

Positioned as a playground for the rich, Dubai may not be the destination for backpackers that seek the thrills of stretching their last dollar to the max, but if you can spare a day or two while passing through, Dubai offers a lot of fun. To get an overview of the place, one can whisk up to the 125th floor of the Buj el Kalifa, which currently is the tallest building on the planet. It is recommended to make a reservation, but in a place where money talks, spontaneous visitors will be welcomed to the express lift for a slightly higher admission fee. Zooming up to the viewing platform at 456 meters, Level 125 offers a spacious deck tastefully decorated in Arabic mashrabiya for stunning 360-degree views. The ride only takes 60 seconds. For those that need a bit more, there is also another platform on the 148th story.

Burj el Kalifa can be accessed through the Dubai Mall. Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, the mall offers some 1 200 shops, which open from 10 in the morning to midnight. Supplementing the shopping are an ice rink, cinemas, an aquarium and underwater zoo as well as restaurants and performances.  The Dubai Fountain is splashing around water several times a day and it is a world-class performance, only second to Las Vegas. Should you have a need to cool down, you could do so in Ski Dubai. It is an indoor ski resort with 22 500 square meters of indoor ski area. The park maintains the temperature of -1 degree Celsius to 2 degree Celsius throughout the year. It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world. Transiting from one place to another is easy as taxis are around in abundance and the main artery of Dubai is a highway with 6 (!!) lanes in each direction.

If you would want to experience the magic of the desert, you can turn to one of the operators for customised tours into the sandy emptiness. Platinum Heritage is one such provider that can set you up for a mystical tour of the desert, including hot air ballooning over the dunes of Dubai. It is recommended to take the wheel and to drive in the dunes for a while for some good fun. If the sun is just too much, perhaps an astronomy tour at night is the right idea then? As a compromise, a dinner under the stars with bellydancing performance will excite you while getting you to your bed early enough for a sleep-in.

Living it large, the Jumeirah Beach area has a string of the best hotels on offer. The Hotel Atlantis on The Palm Jumeirah is fabled for its aquarium and fine dining. If you ever wanted to try a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, the Bread Street Kitchen & Bar might wow your partner. Large is also the term that best describes the Jueirah Al Qasr, which boasts 40 restaurants, a Zouk and canals that you can tour with gondolas. It is so big a place that the staff will drive you to the gym in a buggy. Repeatedly voted the world's most luxurious hotel, this stunning destination offers you the finest service and experiences throughout - right down to an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, private beach access, a breathtaking terrace with pools and cabanas as well as some of the world’s best dining venues, including the highly acclaimed Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara.

However, if you chose to choose to spend your money rather on excitement and shopping than opulence, there are plenty of hotels around that still offer you a good night’s rest while not breaking the bank. All household names of travel are represented and try to vow you with stunning architecture.

If you want to read more about exciting destinations and things to do in Asia, I recommend you check this publication out: (Yeah, I am a contributor for it....)

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