Tag Archives: Dubai

Day of Contrasts

18 Jan

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It can be a bit difficult sometimes to know what to do with guests in Abu Dhabi. Sure there’s the Grand Mosque, the theme parks on Yas, the Corniche and its beaches as well as the beach clubs but when it’s a second visit, well, I thought we might struggle a bit. There were some things we knew would be welcome repeats but anything new deserved a bit of research. Added to this, the weather this January has been a bit temperamental. We’ve had several days of rain, for a start, and 21°C can feel a bit cool in the shade.

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I needn’t have worried, though. Alex is a pretty easy going bloke, happy to go along with suggestions and we seemed to feel the cold far more than he did. I guess when you’re leaving a soggy UK January maybe 21° isn’t so bad. It probably wasn’t the best week for sunbathing but there was still plenty of scope. A rainy day had us nosing around and drinking coffee, complete with gold leaf, at the Emirates Palace. Oh yes, and chocolate lava cake (rolls eyes in rapture at the memory). The same day saw us in Dubai’s Global Village (aka Dubailand according to the road signs) which was, I suspect, a rather different experience in the rain.

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The day that will stay in my memory, though, was a day of complete contrasts. I’d booked a morning “desert safari” after seeing a money off voucher and though it didn’t entirely go to plan (long story complete with missed pick-ups and vehicles stuck in the sand) I finally got to spend some time in the actual desert. OK, so maybe dune bashing isn’t my thing but just to be out in this wilderness, complete with camels, was extraordinary. 

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Another voucher led us to the Donut Boats. These are solar powered, round, yes round, motor boats that meander along at little faster than drifting. After tearing across sand dunes at whiplash-inducing speeds, floating on the flattest of seas among the mangroves couldn’t be more different. We’d bought ourselves a bit of a packed lunch and just put the boat into first gear to eat it as we watched gulls diving into the water for theirs. A gentle sun warmed the skin and herons called to each other from the banks. What could be nicer? You don’t get far but rounding the bend was enough. Just the thing to set you up for a night on the town. And a return to snow and minus 10°.

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Christmas Photos

4 Jan

So, this is where I bore everybody with photos from our Christmas. Indulge me. I’m back in the UK now and I’m really not coping with the cold. Just call me Blue Nose.

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Tables all set up on the terrace for Christmas Lunch.

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The chocolate fountains. Now, turkey and sprouts or straight for the chocolate? Well, what do you think? How well you know me.

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After Christmas in Abu Dhabi a few days down the road in Dubai. This is the marina beach.

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Early morning shellseeker.

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Not where I expected my first sighting of camels to be.

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Dining in the street.

Dubai

11 Oct

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Dubai is only a couple of hours down the road from us and with the temperatures now 10° or so cooler than when I arrived, i.e. upper 30’s, the Eid long weekend seemed like a good opportunity to spend some time there. Abu Dhabi may be the capital of the UAE but Dubai got a 30 year start on erecting its glass towers. Much of it is still a building site but what is already there is stunning. Home to the world’s tallest building and biggest mall, well, that’s just the headlines.

Some unashamedly personal pictures:

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The stunning waterfall inside the Dubai Mall. It cascades through several floors and some restaurants have tables next to it.

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A particularly posh end of the mall where all the designer names have stores. Even the cafe is Armani.

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More art work on a grand scale in the mall – thousands of birds feature in this one.

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Dubai Marina – not many liveaboard’s here!

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Ariel view of the Marina.

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And at night – great view to accompany a few cocktails before dinner. Living the highlife, literally.

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A couple of glasses of Prosecco the following night. Cool enough to spend some time outside at last.

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It’s not all high rises. Does this make anyone else think of the Beatles? OK, not really.