22.3.12

Dubai - Day 2

Breakfast with a view
After breakfast at the hotel (amazing buffet! fell in love with the hummus) with a beautiful view of the Burj al Arab and Jumeirah, we walked around the Mall of the Emirates. We decided that the taxi was also a cheap way (and a more comfortable one) to move around Dubai so we took one back to the Dubai Mall. I forgot to tell you, the Dubai Mall is the world's biggest shopping mall based on its total area, with more than 1200 shops! If I thought the Mall of Emirates was paradise, this is paradise for first class! Last year it was the most visited leisure and shopping destination in the world. It has an acquarium, an ice skating rink, the world's largest gold souk, world's largest sweets shop (!!!), a luxury hotel, an indoor theme park, children's educational entertainment center and the usual restaurants (160), cinemas (22), supermarket, etc.
Fashion Avenue - Dubai Mall
sweets shop at Dubai Mall
We visited the amazing Dubai Acquarium, which has the world's largest acrylic viewing panel, behind it there are 10 milion liters of water in which 33000 marine animals live. It's pretty impressive to look at and it's great to walk through the see-through tunnel across it, that's as close as I want to get to a shark!
ceiling


















Entrance to the tunnel



 

After a long walk we had lunch at the Armani Caffè in the Fashion Avenue. I had the salmon carpaccio which was delicious and from what I heard the wagyu beef burger was also good.

We had reservations for the Burj Khalifa at 16,30 so we ran to the ticket shop in the lower ground floor of the Mall to get our tickets and get in line to enter. If you don't want to end up paying 80 Euros to get in the Burj Khalifa, please consider buying your tickets in advance. You just have to go to this website about a month/a month and a half before your visit and choose a day and time to visit it (the better visibility is from the early afternoon, sunsets), you'll have to pay by credit card and remeber to bring your confirmation e-mail together with an ID a half an hour before the scheduled entrance. You'll be kept waiting at a hall with information on the building, like these amazing records (from the Burj Khalifa official website):

At over 828 metres (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories, Burj Khalifa holds the following records:
•  Tallest building in the world
•  Tallest free-standing structure in the world
•  Highest number of stories in the world
•  Highest occupied floor in the world
•  Highest outdoor observation deck in the world
•  Elevator with the longest travel distance in the world
•  Tallest service elevator in the world 

It is really amazing, I read that it can be seen from 95 km. away. The Observation Deck called "At the Top" is only on the 124th floor, but I (being afraid of heights) felt it was high enough. The elevator ride is so fast that you only realize you went that high because you feel it in your ears. There's an open air part and also one behind glasses (sourvenir shop inside). From there you can see everything, if there are no sand storms in the area, and you can use the telescopes (you have to pay to use them) that show you the live vision, a clear day vision and night vision. You get to stay for half an hour, I think. Then we got back in the elevator and to the fountain again to shoot some pictures.


facts



fountain from the Burj Khalifa
Observation Deck
higher floors

telescopes

Persian Gulf
Burj Khalifa at sunset

Fountain show at sunset



Back in the Mall of the Emirates we had dinner in the food court and went for a beer (we were dying to get some alcohol in our bodies!) at Apres, a bar by the ski area. If you are planning to visit Dubai, write down this place in your "places to get alcohol in Dubai" list!
TBC...