A city of extremes and surprises

Trip Start Oct 10, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Ibis Al rigga

Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Monday, October 11, 2010

After saying our goodbyes in London, we embarked the aircraft (none other than the new emirates airbus A380 double Decker). An ill baby onboard our flight caused a delay of over 1 hour!!

Arriving late into Dubai (but still only 8 am) we took the metro to Al Rigga Street. Stepping out from the refreshing air-conditioned station into the stifling heat of the city, we set out to find our hotel with back packs, suitcase and other baggage. Luckily the hotel was just a short walk away.

Later we decided to venture to the beach, not realising just how big Dubai is, we ventured off by any means of transport to get to Jumeriah beach park. It turned out to be a women and children's only day, which I was quite relieved to find out. Over the past few weeks I have been very paranoid about dress etiquette in Dubai, but normal beach wear was quite accepted here.

My travelling companion, Caitlin, was fortunate to know an old friend in Dubai. So for the two nights we stayed, Caitlin’s friend Kirsty showed us around town. We spent much time in the biggest mall in the world, Dubai Mall which is complete with ice skating rink, indoor aquarium, gold souks, more designer names than i have seen in my entire life and of course an impressive selection of restaurants and cafes. We were also able to see the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa standing at 828 m (2,717 ft) tall, dancing fountains (said to be better than the Bellagio in Vegas), the cities historic river "the creek" but of course managed to fit in time for a few drinks at a late night beach bar.

So right now I’m sat at the airport waiting for my flight for the next part of my adventure...Thailand.

I can’t say I’m going to miss Dubai; it's a massive change from the countries I’ve visited so far. From the tallest sky scrapers with millionaire residents and the latest technology and gadgets for everything, to the very prominent Muslim and Arab culture with stringent laws and customs. I’ve heard many controversial stories over the past 72 hours detailing expats getting into serious trouble over what we would consider minor charges, some get deported but many go to jail. I feel more aware of society and the freedom I have been lucky enough to grow up in; Dubai has been a complete eye opener for me.
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