Neither Trish nor I slept well. She was awake when I got up at seven. I think we each got about 4 hours of sleep if you total all the bits together. The coffee was on and the morning light was lovely on the Burj so we didn’t mind – too much.
We were sitting in the living room waiting for the coffee to perk when Trish glanced out the window and saw a stream of neon yellow-clad runners going by on the street below us. Turns out the 10 km Nike Run Dubai started at 6 am. Over 25,000 runners participated last year and this year must be similar. Below us and between the buildings we could follow the entire route. The roads had been closed to traffic and the runners kept coming around the distant corner from the marshalling area for over an hour! Pretty impressive! And that is a lot of T-shirts.
Once the majoirty of the crew was up, washed and fed we were off to explore. (Carrie didn’t come along – she was probably not wanting to venture into traffic again so soon after yesterday.) Joseph took us to Madinat Jumeriah where there is an indoor souk patterned after the world’s longest-running covered souk in Damascus. From the promenade at the river’s edge there are lovely views of the Burj al Arab; the world’s only seven star hotel which has become the iconic symbol of Dubai.
Joseph then drove us to the Dubai Marina to show it to Trish. He lived there for 6 years and this is where we stayed when we visited him. There are many residential apartment towers in the area, lovely view-scapes, shopping opportunities – both necessary and exotic – abound and there are a large variety of ethnic restaurants. The Dubai Marina walk is very popular with both locals and tourists and parking is always an issue. Joseph very ably navigated a few deep holes in a construction zone lot and parked the car within an easy walk. Oops – Someone else did not navigate the sand too well.All is well in this travelling Canadian’s day!
This is my favourite building in Dubai. We have been here just often enough to see it progress to completion. I think it is brilliant.
Then we were off to the Dubai Mall where Carrie was to meet us for lunch. This is the largest mall in the world based on total area and is ranked 14th in leaseable space with over 1200 shops.
There are four levels of stores, 10 levels to the parking arcade and many people from many cultures with diversely different styles of dress. Trish was happy, she didn’t need to keep her shoulders and knees covered as she does in Oman. Tank top here we come. Again, Christmas decorations galore. Trish even got wished a Merry Christmas by a young man in the coffee shop. We wandered around, just idly looking – except for Trish who was on the prowl for a new pair of Converse shoes. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are located in the center of Dubai Mall but we did not take the time to check them out. Next trip maybe .
The main event of our touring today was “At The Top,” a ride to the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa – there are 163 in total. The Burj is 828 meters tall (2722 feet). The ascent and descent take 1 minute exactly. Now that is a FAST elevator; it makes yours ears pop. No glass windows. I am sure people would not like to see how fast we are moving. They regulate the number of people going up so there are not hundreds and hundreds milling around at a time. There is an enclosed platform that juts out from one of the sides of the building and an open slat at differing heights in each window so whether you are tall or small you can stick your hand out, or your camera if you are very careful to have the strap wrapped securely around your wrist. The endless view was incredible and it was surreal to realize that we were looking down on all of the tall buildings that stretch skyward from the ground. A really, really cool experience.
Mother-daughter photo op Selfie time John gives a selfie a try with his SLR. One of the staff potographers posed Trish for a shot on the window sill. The access to At The Top is inside the Dubai Mall so when we came down from the tower we carried on with our mall wandering. Malls over here put all the stores of similar products together so if you need electronics you can find all the stores near each other. We located the shoes area and continued the Converse search (which was very successful, two pair for the price of one. Trish was thrilled.
A gold Lambourghini.
The Waterfall. A fountain with sculpted divers on the face. The wall behind the water is dark so it makes the water flow look the same color as the divers.
To cap off a fabulous day in Dubai we reserved a terrace table at Thiptara, the Thai restaurant Joseph and Carrie had taken John and me for my 60th birthday dinner a few years ago. The palm trees along the street are all strung with fairy lights so it made a lovely walk from our apartment to the restaurant. The lovely Dubai Fountain plays every half hour and we were close enough to feel the mist from the massive water propulsion.