[06/07/2012] On our way back from Africa towards Frankfurt, we had the amazing idea to stop-over in Dubai for a couple of days. It was just when we landed that we suddenly realized why the city was so empty in July; it is simply put intensely hot and humid! Check out this post to find out how we still managed to have a good time over there!
I was actually supposed to be in Dubai just two weeks ago and going there in December probably would have been much nicer climate wise than it was back in July. Temperatures way over 50°C during the day and even 38°C during the night (!) were our daily program. Add about 100% humidity, and you will think twice before leaving any air conditioned room… We obviously still had to do some sightseeing on our few days in Dubai and most of the attractions were actually inside buildings. My three German companions even went for some skiing in the Mall of the Emirate, featuring a complete fake snow covered mountain inside one of the largest shopping malls in the world.
The other main attraction was our 4×4 jeep safari in the desert, just about half an hour out of town. The driver will get you right into the dunes and drive them up and down and even though it sounded like a great idea at the time, it turned out to be a bit less exciting. We were just not driving fast enough over the dunes! But it was certainly nice to get out into the “desert”, even though the next road was never really far away.
Afterwards we were put into a desert camp, where we could do some even less exciting sand boarding down a 5 meter tiny dune, put a huge eagle and then enjoy the evening dance show. Everything seemed so touristic but back then I didn’t mind as much as I would do nowadays! I actually had a lot of fun when I decided to join the evening entertainment program and spin around about a hundred times as fast as I could, leaving me completely off balance and making sure the other guys had a good laugh.
Dubai itself obviously has one main attraction, the tallest building in the world at 830m: Burj Khalifa. As a visitor, you can buy tickets and get up to the observation deck on the 148th floor at 555m above sea level. You get a great view of course, but sadly during July the air is so hazy that we could barely even see anything a bit further out such as the palms or the world islands! Such a shame really, it was still pretty cool to look down and around to the other buildings.
They do have a pretty cool fountain show every evening which is nice to check out and the shopping malls and hotels have huge aquariums. You can just walk in to most of them without paying an entrance fee and enjoy some big fish, sharks and manta rays. With the biggest shopping malls in the world, Dubai would obviously be a good place for you if you are into shopping. It’s not my cup of tea though and I was happy that we only had a few days here!
Some day I will come back to finally go to Oman and then I will time it during the less hot and less hazy part of the year, which should make for a much more pleasant and enjoyable trip. Our quick stopover back in 2012 was still nice and good to get a taste of Dubai, next time I will look for some more hidden places and stay with local Couchsurfers 🙂
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