Friday, 1 November 2013

Living the high life Middle Eastern style .. Part 1 Dubai

Last week I set off on my first trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  When I say 'first' I know there will definitely be a 'second' and a 'third' and maybe more to the region. 

Dubai was never a place I fancied visiting as all that I had seen and heard about it made me imagine a world of opulent glitz and glamour quite removed from my reality. To be quite frank I had never even thought about visiting Abu Dhabi either! The fact that it was featured (with artistic licence) in the film 'Sex and the City 2' didn't inspire me in the slightest, especially since I knew most of it was filmed in Marrakech, Morocco!  However, all that has now changed and I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised.

My first 'wow' factor was flying with Emirates on their A380-800. It's a massive aircraft and from the moment you step inside you feel the difference. Economy is like flying premium on other airlines and the entertainment system is state of the art. You can watch movies (from a selection of 100's) from the minute you sit down until you land and you can access wifi for a nominal fee. They have on-board cameras so you can have a birds eye view from the tail, nose and undercarriage. It was amazing seeing the lights of the runway in the distance and the approach through to the landing .. fascinating stuff! (I must admit to feeling a little nervous wondering how something that big can take off and land!) I now want to fly with them all the time! I wonder do they go to Caribbean??!! The food, the service and facilities were second to none .. I can't rate Emirates highly enough.

We arrived quite early in the morning and made our way to the hotel The Address, Dubai Marina right beside the Marina Mall. The staff were very friendly and hospitable, sorting out our room while we had a leisurely breakfast allowing us to check in a few hours early for no extra cost. We spent the 2 days in Dubai being tourists, visiting the Dubai Mall, watching the Dancing Fountains whilst marvelling at the world's tallest building the Burj Khalifa.  Seeing it rising endlessly into a clear blue sky was awesome and I suspect that on the next trip I may make it to the top, although I'm slightly nervous about that prospect too!  We also visited the Gold Souk and dined outdoors at the Madinat Jameirah where we had Persian food and a fab view of the Burj al Arab

I could easily spend a week there particularly at this time of year when the weather is cooler than the unbearable temperatures of high summer. I also quite fancy a little desert retreat for a couple of days! I look forward to my next visit in the not too distant future!

Take a tour on the Emirates Airbus A380-800 .. it's the first ever aircraft to feature on Google street view!

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