Splashing out in the Land of Luxury

– within limits.

Is bigger really better? The Emiratis definitely seem to think so. I ended up spending a week and a half in the emirate of Dubai this summer and I have to say, it was definitely much bigger than I expected. Was it as cultureless and soulless as I expected? Yes. Did I still enjoy it? Yes.

Impressive architecture at the Mall of Emirates
Impressive architecture at the Mall of Emirates

As I gulped down my freshly brewed coffee from Costa with my cousin, who kindly agreed to put up with her little brother and I for the week, I have to admit that I was already thinking that this wasn’t going to be so bad after all, and Costa isn’t even my favourite coffee shop! As much as I love living in Turkey, there are still so many things I miss – which is one of the reasons I always end up at Starbucks at least once a week for a coffee fix. You should have seen how excited I was when I found the Boots store at the mall and of course immediately got myself a few goodies. I do enjoy the little pleasures in life, such as my Revlon ColorBust Lip Butter, as any other girl.

Photobombing the Emporio Armani Hotel
Photobombing the Emporio Armani Hotel

I even solo-ed it to the cinema – a definitely first for me – using the nearly-expiring voucher my cousin gave me as she went off to do her grocery shopping. I got myself some caramel popcorn, took my seat between an Arab couple and a bunch of Indian teenagers and I realised, it was the first time in weeks that I was having some well-deserved time to myself. Mauritius had been just a whirlwind-filled holiday, and the plan to use my time in Dubai to just unwind and enjoy what the city offered.

Popcorn anyone?
Popcorn anyone?

We ended up at the airport again, this time to pick up the little cousin, whose birthday it was and was actually the reason – or rather more of an excuse – why I ended in Dubai in the first place and got to spend time with the people who are the closest things I have to brothers and sisters. The terrible trios, unleashed in a city where everything was possible: let the fun begin!

Nothing better to start with than to visit  Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, that was definitely built to impress with its interior design, aquarium, ice skating rink and display of the most complete Diplodocus longus dinosaur fossil, among others.

Butterflies everywhere!
Butterflies everywhere!
A happy smiling ray
A happy smiling ray
Hello Dubai Dino!
Hello Dubai Dino!
The souq for the rich. Go figure.
The souq for the rich. Go figure.

We had booked to go up the Burj Khalifa which standing at a majestic height of 829.8 m the tallest man-made structure in the world (so far). It would have certainly been better to go up at sunset time where the view would have definitely been spectacular but it would seem that everyone had the same idea as us and the slots for sunset times were all booked up. The observation deck we were at was only 555 m though, at level 148, which still is the highest outdoor observatory deck in the world.

The Burj Khalifa - tried to be artistic
The Burj Khalifa – tried to be artistic
Up the Burj
Up the Burj

We headed to the Palm Islands, for a glimpse of how the other half lives and a gold dispensing ATM in the Atlantis, a resort hotel, really said everything. The resort has attractions for every age, including their Atlantis themed aquarium, aquapark and a dolphin area. We took the newly built monorail back hoping to get a good view of the Palms but that was quite disappointing.

Atlantis - felt like being in Disneyland all over again.
Atlantis – felt like being in Disneyland all over again.
Although they don't have this in Disneyland.
Although they don’t have this in Disneyland.
Loving the interior deco. Might turn this into a postcard
Loving the interior deco. Might turn this into a postcard
Machu Picchu of Dubai. From the Monorail.
Machu Picchu of Dubai. From the Monorail.
Can anyone see the Palms?
Can anyone see the Palms? From the Monorail

We ended up back at Dubai Mall for more exploring and more importantly, for the Dubai Fountain, a mega expensive fountain which shoots water 150 m in the air accompanied by classical music and others – they played Chinese music for Chinese New Year, according to my cousin – and with coloured projectors. We managed to get perfect spots for the “show” and some show it was.

The Dubai Fountain.
The Dubai Fountain.

We were definitely ready for our next adventure.

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