Before I tell you how to spend 11 hours in Dubai I want to tell you about the 15 hour flight I had on a Emirates Airlines A380 double decker plane that was the biggest, nicest, and best plane I have ever been aboard. How often would you say “wow 15 hours on a plane went by so quick….I could spend another couple hours on this plane!”? I can not say enough about this airline!!!!!
Now back to Dubai. I landed at noon and by the time I got through customs it was 1pm. The metro runs to the airport, so I was able to hop on and head to the old part of town first. My first stop was the al-Fahidi fort with the Dubai museum underneath. Here you get an idea of life before the oil riches and modern skyscrapers, including a traditional summer home (1st photo) with an ingenious tower used to channel the breeze inside.
My next stop were the traditional markets. Here they are specific to type of goods. there is a textile satwa (2nd photo), a spice souk, and a gold souk. The gold souk is the the most popular one, but I like seeing the textile and spice markets (this will be a photo of the day on Wednesday), plus you have to cross the creek to get from one to the other. There are modern ways to cross, but I used the abra which are 20 foot or so boats with ancient motors (3rd photo). You go to the dock for where you want to get to and step aboard. Be careful because you have just enough room to step aboard and then you sit on the cabin top and the whole boat can’t be more than 5 feet across. Once the boat is full the driver reaches inside and engages the engine and away you chug. The crossing is a great way to see the old Dubai and it only cost around 33 cents…score!!!!
Now it is time to hop back on the metro and see modern Dubai with the malls and skyscrapers. The first stop was Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. I am going to write about this building separately on Tuesday and tell you all about it, but let me just say it was architecturally gorgeous and over 650 feet taller than the next tallest building (that is almost as tall as the TALLEST building in the state of Colorado!!!!) Amazing….you have to come back on Tuesday.
Another thing Dubai is known for is shopping and it boost some of the largest malls in the world which have some amazing attractions to bring you in. Forget about the ice skating rink how about a two story tall aquarium or a downhill ski slope? I am not going to say more until I write about the malls on Thursday, so another day you will want to come back.
Outside the Dubai Mall there is one of the largest fountains (4th photo as seen from the tallest building’s observation deck) and starting at 6pm they do a dancing water display set to Arabic music. It goes off every half hour and has a spray height of 500 feet and 22,ooo gallons of airborne water. The show is impressive, but at only a couple minutes long it leaves you wanting a lot more!!!! On Friday the photo of the day will be the fountain and I will published a travel video of Dubai on Saturday.
I have been told that I saw more in my 9-10 hours of actually touring than most people see in 4-5 days (yea!!!!), but I need to make sure I catch my flight so back to the airport I head. One thing of note about the airport is that terminals 1 and 3 (the one I came in on) are next to each other and connected, but terminal 2 (the one I fly out of) is on the other side of the runway. So even if I didn’t play tourist I would have had to go through customs, leave the airport, take a taxi, and clear through security again. I figure the quickest this would happen is an hour and a half and I would want at least a two and a half layover to accomplish the feat. Just something to keep in mind if you find yourself flying through Dubai.