Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sightseeing: Dubai

Whilst in Dubai we didn't do too much sightseeing, partly due to the itinerary and me not being particularly bothered to go anywhere in the spare time we did have. I guess I'm getting old.

However we did have time to go up the Dubai tower.

We got there super early to get the jump on the public.

There's a moderately long pre-show and obligatory green-screen photo which I skipped straight through. The elevator is really quick in getting you up to the observation floor.

Despite being called "At the Top" it's clearly not. The view is impressive and on first impressions it seems like any other big building until you remember that you're looking down on other skyscrapers. 

There is still a long way up! I think the top is some way off still

Here's what it is really like at the top.

Elsewhere in the building there's a Bond exhibition that is there for a few more weeks yet.

Instead I made do with grabbing a ridiculously overpriced ice cream from the shop at the entrance. Having chosen smurf flavoured ice cream I took a sick pleasure in understanding what had happened to the lovable blue creatures whilst eating them. 

The Dubai Mall aquarium is pretty impressive too. You can pay to walk the tunnel that runs through the tank or you can just stand and observe it from the side.

The Souk is part of the mall that harks back to the old Arabian markets but if it was built with a sizeable budget.

The waterfall is pretty impressive and is quite lengthy (that's not really obvious in the portrait shot). I'm sure I've seen this somewhere before but can't think where. Vegas perhaps...

Here's the Burj at night. It's a popular draw with the tourists and locals.

They have regular fountain shows through the evening which is probably the draw for the public. Do bear in the mind the entrance in and out fills with people leaving and going to shows.

We did also ride the metro. It's a long walk from the mall to the metro station but all indoors and with plenty of travelators to help move you there quicker. It's the largest driver-less metro in the world and will run over a longer track as they expand it.

Dubai is an interesting place. It's incredibly clean and safe, way more than back at home and the investment here is incredible. I can easily see myself coming back every couple of years or staying a night during a long-haul flight to Asia. However you have to turn a blind eye to the migrant labour that has done most of the construction work here. As you travel around you often see small buses ferrying these guys from place to place and they look like prison buses with everyone wearing the same outfits. Victims of dubious practices these guys come from SE Asia enticed by a promised wealth that fails to materialise. There are many articles online that go into this in more details. Will it become the Orlando to the East that it is trying to be? Based on the theme parks now appearing I think so. Outside of the park there are many reasons to come here, whether it be food, events or just some warm weather. With a rumoured Cirque show also due to set up residence I will definitely be back.

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