The past month has been mostly dive, dive and dive again, except for that day I got to spend in DUBAI! I had to make a visa run (oh woe to me!) and so just needed to spend a day in the shopping mecca of the world.
The flight there was quite uneventful, and even though my window was suuuuper dirty, I still managed to take some cool shots of Salalah as we flew out over the Arabian Sea and up the coast.
Once in Dubai, it took a full hour to make it through the ridiculous customs line up . . . then it was straight to my hotel for some great Skype chats with my parents and best friend, Danielle.
The next morning I breakfasted at the buffet and looked over at the Burj Khalifa and other famous sky scrapers in Dubai. I had been told several times that it would only take 20 minutes to get to the tallest building in the world from my hotel, so I of course allowed 30 . . . and ended up RUNNING at a full sprint for nearly a kilometre and a half through the concourse joining the metro to Dubai Mall, and then through the mall to arrive 18 minutes late for my timed ticket.
Flustered, out of breath, and sweating profusely, I smiled my nicest smile and begged to be let in . . . like the smart cookie that I am, I chose to beg the only male ticket counter person, and all it took was a couple bats of my eyelashes – I was in!
Very excited, I enjoyed the arctic air conditioning for perhaps the first time since moving to the Middle East as I wandered slowly through the opening exhibits and eventually got to the fastest elevator in the world. After just over a minute, I was standing 452 m and 128 floors above ground level. I took a wander around the viewing platform and joined the line to go up to the actual top of the Burj Khalifa (at 828m) . . . imagine, then, my disappointment when I was told that this was as far as I was going to go!
WHAT?!?! I want to go to the TOP of the tallest building in the world, not just a bit over halfway! Instantly the Burj Khalifa At The Top Lookout was in the running for the Most Underwhelming Thing I Have Seen While Travelling Award (joining such contenders as the Egyptian National Museum in Cairo, Big Ben, the interior of the Duomo in Florence, and the Olduvai Gorge). It is BORING. Don’t go, it’s not worth it.
Leaving the Burj at a brisk pace, I quickly headed to one thing I had come to see in Dubai: TIM HORTON’S. A small double double and an old fashioned glazed doghnut were soon mine all mine, and I settled down to savour this little taste of Canadiana a far, far way from home. By the way, it tastes EXACTLY the same.
Energized by caffeine and sugar, it was time to SHOP; and shop I did! In fact, I did so much shopping that I didn’t have time to get my hair cut and barely made it back to my hotel in time to get my bag and get to the airport! There was, of course, enough time for me to spend a ridiculous amount of money on sushi for lunch, and it was worth every penny.
I returned back to Salalah with sore feet, an empty wallet, and a full suitcase: we will meet again Dubai . . . and maybe this time I will actually see some of the city and/or surrounding areas and not be such a bad tourist.