Trip Dubai 2008
So after a pleasant and reliable train service from Bristol to London Paddington, and then another to Heathrow, we’re now ready to board one of Branson’s’ many. Fast forward several hours later after Mother had managed to snooze, snore and dribble over me and in that exact order, (did I say that out loud!?) we arrive in Dubai are met instantly with sweltering heat! Fortunately air-conditioning is seemingly ubiquitous our taxi driver tells us but then I guess that has to be given the relenting heat nearly all year round. We drive over a few highways before reaching our hotel, ranging from a mere four lanes to a colossal six!
Our hotel was the only 4* hotel on the entire stretch of the Jumeirah beach. I believe there are plans to completely refurbish it and make a 5* – not that we found it anything other than glorious! Strangely I didn’t take any pics of our hotel from the outside but here is what was directly opposite us!
Fast forward to early evening time and we head into one of Frankie Dettori’s and Marco Pierre White’s co-owned establishments. (I have no idea what the slightly camp stance is all about!!!?
Perhaps not surprisingly we spent most of today down by the fabulous pool/beach area. We only really came back inside to eat and to occasionally escape the Dubai desert heat! It was 34 degrees today, bare in mind this in late April and not in “hot” season yet!
Here is our view from the balcony. Heavenly.
By the end of pool time Mum and I agree that we don’t feel as out of place as we did earlier. By that I mean people were thinking we were a couple!!! The reason for our new, more casual attitude was because by the pool side there are several elder, distinguished gentlemen with hot, young Russian girls! Obviously I look on with envy and disgust admiration! 🙂
In the far distance, however, stood something equally divine. The unmistakable icon of Dubai; the Burj al Arab. For the philistines reading this, that’s the building that looks like a sail that happens to be widely regarded as the world’s finest hotel. (More on this later).
Today we set off on a free bus provided by the hotel to visit one of the large shopping centres. Apparently there is one with a miniature ski resort inside!……..Yeah right, ok!
Well, they really weren’t fibbing!
Unfortunately the rest of the shopping centre was crammed with designer shops so unless you’re into all that (and can afford to), it ain’t somewhere to enjoy. Give me Cribbs Causeway any day! On a plus side, this was the cleanest mall I had ever seen and was indicative of the cleanliness of Dubai in general.
Later on that evening we met up with one of Mum’s old friends from back home in Weston-Super-Mud. This wasn’t by chance, I kinda arranged it knowing they were already out here. They took us out by car for a couple of hours so we were very lucky to have seen a great deal of Dubai from the comfort of a car. On our travels we passed the nearly finished Dubai Skyscraper! (Set to be the biggest in the world). Oddly, I seem to have not photographed it but I was able to capture some of the old town, The Souk, at night.
That evening we dined in a revolving restaurant that was roughly twenty stories high which was awesome and the classy buffet food was great! Mum really loved it too and thought this was best dining experience she’d ever had! (At this point she was unaware of a little surprise I had planned for our final evening tomorrow night).
Today, our final day, consisted of us walking around the incomplete Marina. Of course we topped up our tans by the pool for a few more hours content with having our final night’s supper within the hotel. However, where I had planned for the evening required a certain dress sense so I was forced to tell Mother to dress up, really dress up. Her momentary look of confusion doesn’t last long. She grins like The Joker – she supposedly realises where we’re really off to…
It’s only when we’re downstairs at our reception and I ask concierge to order us a taxi to The Burj al Arab does it properly sink in. This is exciting, very exciting. Having cleared security, here we are in the foyer. Doesn’t Mother look stunning.
Yes, that’s an SLR and F430 in the backdrop!
I don’t think I know anyone that has been to The Burj. Well, certainly nobody that has eaten in the “Al Muntaha” restaurant. (The Al Muntaha restaurant is the rectangular shape sticking out high up of The Burj). Wikipedia tells me that “Al Muntaha” means “Highest”, or “Ultimate”.
I can see why!
Anyway, it’s difficult to express in words the next few hours. As you’d imagine, I have plenty of pictures and several movie clips that capture just what I’m feeling at the time. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it and maybe never will again. Luxury personified.
So here are just a few pics of the inside of the The Burj al Arab conveying just some of the opulence.
Grab your significant other, (or indeed your lovely Mother), and get over to Dubai for an experience very different to ‘the norm’.