This trip was rescheduled several times for various reasons–visa, flight timing, companion, an impending chaos in Bahrain– these are the major ones, at least.
For all we know, heaven and earth were conspiring to make people and a pleasant abode available for when we arrive.The Batcave

Marriot Executive Apartments Dubai Creek

 

View from Marriot Skyway–the bridge connecting the twin towers
Random street

The Ride

The Dubai MRT (train) experience by night

*Tip Alert!
*Experience the local MRT and ride the front-most car to have an overview of the city and see some of the most playful architectural structures in the world.

Exhibit A.

Adding a twist to what could have been just another skyscraper

The first thought that came to mind seeing this was, the architect must be so bored! He has to do something else other than plain elongated box type.

Dubai Metro Station

We didn’t expect it was gonna be a long ride so when boredom started to kick in, we decided to hop off and ride the returning train to go straight to our primary destination— The Burj Khalifa

THE PLACES

We got barely a weekend to spend, so we hit the must-see places first.

Dubai Mall, the dancing fountain, and Burj Khalifa

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World's largest acrylic viewing panel at Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre was at the limit of production abilities by major acrylic manufacturers at the time this project was commissioned. The world has to wait until acrylic manufacturers can redesign and stretch the ability of acrylics to enable production of bigger ones, and beat this record.

World’s largest acrylic viewing panel at Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre was at the limit of production abilities by major acrylic manufacturers at the time this project was commissioned. The world has to wait until acrylic manufacturers can redesign and stretch the ability of acrylics to enable production of bigger ones, and beat this record.

Who used the font and color first, Bread talk or this? Or are they the same company? : ]

Who used the font and color first, Bread talk or this? Or are they the same company? : ]

Dancing fountain in Dubai Mall

Dancing fountain in Dubai Mall

Finally! I had to see this so we went back the night before our flight. Good thing I pushed to see it. It was fantastic. There are two of this kind in the world, the pioneer being in Las Vegas, so this is the closest I can get so far to the entertainment-slash-sin city-slash-marriage capital of the world.

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It’s more awesome to watch with hyper surround music and it dancing to the beat.

Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world.

Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world.

Burj Khalifa (Khalifa Tower) was formerly known as Burj Dubai before economic issues forced the government to seek support from the oil-rich Abu Dhabi neighbor, hence a rename in honor of UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The habitable floors count to 163 with maintenance and parking floors in between. It houses the world-famousArmani Hotel with everything Armani for the interiors (gulp!). Interestingly, it will take about 36 men 3-4 months to clean the entire exterior facade dangling by ropes! I bet the first job requirement is the absence of fear of height. : ]

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab. The only 7-star hotel in the world, so they claim.

Burj Al Arab. The only 7-star hotel in the world, so they claim.

Tower of the Arabs is actually a 5-star luxury hotel, contrary to the 7-star claim (whoever said it must be sometaphorically impressed).

It’s the 4th tallest structure in the world and was designed to take the shape of a ship sail as it is standing on an artificial island out from Jumeirah beach.

Jumeira

Jumeirah Beach compound

Jumeirah Beach compound

Stop-over for lunch inside Jumeirah beach compound. While waiting for the food to be served, we strolled bysouvenir shops nearby. There were numerous and they were expat/tourist-priced–expensive!

Jumeirah Beach Club

Jumeirah Beach Club

This is just too beautiful to not take a snapshot! It’s not too clear but the movie scene-worthy boats were the most eye-catching!

Jumeirah public beach

Jumeirah public beach

It’s high noon and attracting skin cancer to bathe at this hour. At the same time, the blue-green water was inviting me to dip and burn.

So wanted to swim!

So wanted to swim!

Atlantis, The Palm

Beautiful. Clean. Rich.

Beautiful. Clean. Rich.

Atlantis The Palm

Atlantis The Palm

The Desert Safari Experience

Decreasing air pressure for a smoother ride

Decreasing air pressure for a smoother ride

For a feel of our dune bashing experience, watch this.

I tried to video the ride with only my iphone for the fear of breaking the slr. Boy was it hard to hold for your dear life while trying to capture the moment in motion, and trying not to be motion sick!

I failed miserably at the latter.

Half-way break. All 14 of the convoy, serially parked like they've been doing this effortlessly like breathing.

Half-way break. All 14 of the convoy, serially parked like they’ve been doing this effortlessly like breathing.

Inside the desert camp. The dinner table and the stage.

Inside the desert camp. The dinner table and the stage.

It was kind of hospitable of our driver to reserve a table for us. He made sure we can watch the show front seat, and showed us the wheres and the whats with full smile. We liked the driver because he gave the thrill we wanted. He was our age so I guess he knew how it feels. He was delighted everytime we shriek and scream and will climb the slopes when we ask for more! We can see it was not the normal route because the vehicles in front lead a straight path while we keep on swerving and bashing the dunes! : ]

Henna Tattoo. Part of the camp.

Henna Tattoo. Part of the camp.

The camel ride experience.

The camel ride experience.

I felt sympathy for the care taker of the camels (the guy in purple) because he had to walk us all down a certain distance and back, and do that for all the people in line! I have to tell you, that’s a lot. That was 14 full Land Cruisers for our batch. There were two more batches that came after us, I think!

That was nonstop lifting children on and off the camel’s back, summoning the camel to stand up and kneel down, and walking. Good thing the weather was cool so that’s minus one burden.

As seen on the picture, we were kinda giddy, excited, and nervous all at the same time. The shock from the abrupt kneeling (that feeling like on roller coasters when the heart seems to go ahead of your body?!) was obvious on the picture (upper right).

The camel man had to pat the camel’s knee for it to go down. I pity the camel and the camel man. The things we do to live.

More activities in the camp

More activities in the camp

People waiting for the buffet and the show

People waiting for the buffet and the show

There were unlimited Arabic sweets, drinks (by drinks mean water and soda), limited free shawarma, henna tattooing, shisha corner, all while waiting for the main show.

It’s a great chill out time with friends and tour buddies in a cool night, under the moonlight, with some easy listening music on the background. Just my kind of thing.

Buffet line. Ladies separated from gents in line.

Buffet line. Ladies separated from gents in line.

I still haven’t gotten used to all the male-female segregation rampant in the Middle East. Being used to heterogeneously coexisting activities back home, I’m still thrown off everytime they announce these kinds of separation. It felt like gradeschool once more.

Tanoura Dance. What I call the Top dance. He just twirls and twirls for 5 minutes or so.

Tanoura Dance. What I call the Top dance. He just twirls and twirls for 5 minutes or so.

Seriously, how does he do it without feeling nauseated? I get dizzy just by watching him turn endlessly while removing pieces of his costume to create a visual effect.

If I were doing what he did, I’d fall off once I stop or even in the middle of the performance. You’ve got to be free from Anemia or hypotension to be able to do this.

Eventually ending up with this beautiful twist.

Eventually ending up with this beautiful twist.

I find this the most impressive of all the twirling shows. The lights were beautiful contrast to the thick of the night.

The Belly Dancer

The Belly Dancer

Well, I was expecting more of a tummy-trimmed, well-toned abs of a performer. But for the energy and the enthusiasm, and yes, the skill to just move the belly that quickly, I give it to you.

Watch clips of this show on Youtube.
The arduous task of capturing a motion picture and freezing the moment at the same time, along with experiencing the moment in real time–The challenges of being in a breath-taking moment.

The next day, we headed straight to the airport wishing we didn’t have to just yet.

There are places you just know you will come back to. Whatever captivated you the first time, that’s for you to find out the next flight.

So I say, I shall see you again, Dubai. : j

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