Dubai

I last visited Dubai in 2008 and at that time, nothing seemed finished, there was scaffolding and cranes everywhere and a half built metro. I can report in 2015 that things have improved, Dubai metro runs from 6am to midnight and although the trains run every few minutes, they seem to be very well used. Even in the middle of the day the trains are crowded but it is a really efficient way to get from A to B or even from the airport to the city and many of the hotels improving transportation around the city A metro day pass is excellent value and the network covers a good chunk of the city so would recommend this as a really efficient way of getting around

There are many malls where you can buy just about anything, electronics and gold being good buys and food halls where you can eat anything from a decent middle eastern buffet to McDonalds or pizza at very reasonable prices. The malls also have plenty to see and do to keep all the family happy. Dubai Mall which was quite close to our hotel had an aquarium and an indoor ski slope

We stayed in Sheikh Zayed Road which was very convenient for the metro and we used this to catch the Big Bus Tour that we had planned for our full day in Dubai. This is good value since they include quite a few extras, such as a dhow cruise and even a sunset desert tour and there are now three routes. The problem is there is not enough time to do all the routes. We started with the beach route and then we did the city tour. We had done this before but missed out on the dhow cruise which I really wanted to do. We were probably 45 minutes or so into the tour we had done before especially to do the dhow cruise only to find it was cancelled. That was really annoying as nobody had mentioned this. We then decided to go on and join the marina tour but by that time it was so cold and windy we had to abandon that idea so we never got to see the Palm which was a real shame since I am unlikely to go back to Dubai. We were told beforehand that it was high season so therefore hotel prices were very high which was one reason that we stayed on Sheikh Zayed Road rather than Jumeirah  but when we arrived we learnt that sandstorms in February are common so although it is high season it won’t necessarily be hot and sunny I would suggest taking a light jacket even if it is blazing hot when you go out. The pool in our hotel was closed because it was hazy so that was disappointing.

We also chose to stay on Sheikh Zayed Road because it was more convenient for the airport and the city and that was a really good decision because it was really convenient for everything and also considerably cheaper although still costs much more than in the extremely hot summer

Our hotel was a very high building at 65 floors, we were staying on 33rd floor. Burj Khalifa dwarfed our lofty home being almost 3 times as high! It is necessary to book Burj Khalfa to get to the viewing platform on the 124th floor for a great view over the city.

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