Monday, 19 January 2015

Three days in Dubai

Flying over snow capped peaks in Iran
When I tell people I'm flying for 7 hours each way for a long weekend, some would say "it's not worth it, why not go for longer?" My reply would be that it makes no difference to me .. 4 days is all I have available and I'm not going to let a long journey deter me. People go to New York for long weekends all the time because it's New York! If you were to drive to the Lake District, West Wales or Scotland for example from London for a long weekend the drive is going to be a fair number of hours but because the distance is not so great it doesn't feel comparable. I always factor the journey time into my enjoyment if I can .. once I'm through security at the airport, I make sure I allow myself time for breakfast (or lunch) and some duty free shopping. Then on the aircraft I catch up with the movies (at least 3!) I haven't had time to see. It's all part of the experience.

I have just spent a wonderful weekend in Dubai. I have been before as you know so wasn't in the market for the touristy things like the Mall of Emirates, Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. It's a really good time to go as it's 'winter' and therefore the temperatures average around 24C during the day, with plenty of sunshine and a few degrees cooler at night. It's not quite my idea of beach weather but there are still people taking advantage of the pleasant sunshine. I opted to go swimming in the heated open air pool of the apartment block I was staying in .. such a great facility to have.

Driving from A to B in Dubai is a mission in itself .. the highways are multi-laned and there doesn't seem to be any rules that are adhered to .. everyone just intent on their own journey. We saw many luxury cars from Ferraris to Lamborghinis and the like to pimped up cars (left) with Swarovski crystals (or maybe they were diamonds!) on the petrol cap, logo badge and window trims .. as if you would ever do that in London! They would be gone the minute you stepped away from the car!

We wanted to see the city of Dubai as the sun set but unfortunately the evenings were a little foggy and cool. We went to Bar 101 at the One & Only The Palm for cocktails and tapas. It's a fabulous location, and we still managed to catch a view of the clearing skyline of the marina area before it got dark so all was not lost.

On Sunday .. which is like a Monday (their weekend is Friday and Saturday) we went to Jumeirah (Arabic for beautiful) Beach. There you will find hotels and apartment buildings and a shopping and restaurant area along the beachfront. All very tastefully done and spread out. We wandered through art galleries, home stores and specialty shops. I particularly liked Gallery One which featured a lot of middle eastern art. There were a myriad of beautiful prints to buy but as I don't have enough wall space, I came away with a small print of the hand of Fatima.

You can also hire loungers, towels etc for the beach but being as it was only 24C .. sunbathing wasn't on the cards for us. However, we did stop for burgers at Shake Shack .. nothing better than sitting outside eating tasty fast food with a view of the Arabian Gulf.

Other places we ate were Claw at Souk AL Bahar for fish tacos and delicious Mojitos and The Meat Co. at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. We sat outside and were lucky enough to witness 10 minutes of fireworks (possibly in honour of a Sheik's birthday) in the distance beautifully reflected off the Burj Al Arab. A fitting way to end a lovely long weekend. 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

As we welcome in 2015 here are some photo reminders of 2014

New York - February
Barbados - March

Dubai - May

Santorini - June
Santorini - June

Edinburgh - July

Cardiff - July
Hever Castle - August

New York - August/September

Gleneagles - September
Cotswolds - November

Saint Lucia - December

Plans are already underway for this year .. some places to revisit to see family and friends and some new ones .. choices, choices!  
 Happy New Year!