Half term again, and where to go? I’ve never been to the middle-east, the boss has, once, over 20 years ago. A bit of googling turned up some really cheap deals to Dubai so decision made. Emirates from Heathrow (an A380 no less) was a good choice, and they certainly put BA to shame!
We stayed in the Hilton on the Creek. Perfectly good hotel, with a couple of good restaurants inside, and the breakfast was ace. Our room overlooked the dhow wharfage which was always a hive of activity.
We made use of the Big Bus Tour to get our bearings, and the fact you can hop on/off makes it easy to see what you want. Air-conditioned buses, and free water, were a welcome relief from the searing heat (we saw 46 degrees C).
I loved the old part of Dubai at the top of the creek, even if it has been ‘sanitised’. The old fort contains an excellent museum documenting the growth of Dubai, and just down the road was a superb traditional tea shop with THE best date cake.
Sat at the edge of the creek watching the abras (water taxi) was a pleasant way to spend some time. The hustle and bustle is amazing, even more so when you think it probably hasn’t changed in a couple of hundred years.
What impressed me most about Dubai was the amazing growth of the city, and how they have reclaimed the desert. Not to mention the investment in providing services such as water, sewage etc. Their architecture is stunning, topped off by the mighty Burj Khalifa.
The other thing that amazed me was the sheer excess exhibited in the huge Malls, the Palm Island, and the supercars. It’s an amazing place but I think I’d struggle to fill a whole week there. 3-4 days is enough. It reminded me a lot of Las Vegas. We’ll probably go back but not for a while.