Our niece Lisa’s best friend Leanne meet us at the Dubai Mall and was going to show us around Dubai. We took a taxi to the south complex of dozens of high rise towers known as Marina. We walked “The Walk” along towering buildings one side and the sea on the other. The was a huge construction under way on a point of land we found out was going to be the Dabai version of the London Eye, only much bigger.
On the way back we stopped at the Souk Madinat, a market built in the style of an old fort, where Leanne showed us how to bargain down the price of a beautiful shawl by about a third.
Leanne took us back to her hotel and we went to the Base of the Burj Khalifa and the Armani Hotel. We took the express elevator to the 123 floor (145m) for cocktails (see photo) and watch the sunset and all the lights turn on. A bottle of Corona cost 50AED, which on an exchange rate of 2.6 for 1 $A worked out to be almost 20$A. needless to say we didn’t stay on to get pissed.
We had a great meal while watching a fountain display at the foot of the Burj and a light show on the building before heading home for an 4.15 AM pickup for the trip to Oslo.
After a hearty breakfast we took the free shuttle to the Deira City Mall. We then took the HOP-ON HOP-OFF sightseeing bus to the Dubai Mall. Changing busses we took a ride along the main beach road for quite a few kms, stopping frequently along the way at imposing Malls and Skyscrapers. There a quite a lot of buildings built in pairs, like maternal twins. Couldn’t help but be impressed by the amount of constructions occurring everywhere we went, must be many billions involved. Money appears to be no problem in the UAE, and there is no tax avoidance because there is no income tax levied on workers. The weather has been in the mid 20s, shorts and tee shirt are the popular items of clothing.
After a 6.5 hour flight we arrived in Singapore for an hour and a half stopover. It was nice to walk around again. After a further 7 hour flight arrived in Dubai airport about 5 in the morning local time. The facilities at both airports were amazing, you could have eaten lunch off the floor, and not a piece of rubbish to be seen. It relegates the Melbourne airport to third world status. Arrived at the hotel and slept for a few hours before going out. First stop was the Burj Khalifa and the 828m tower. We took a tour that took us to the 148 floor, about 550 metres above ground level. I’m sure I could see the curvature of the earth from that height. An amazing structure and with what they charge to go up it I’m sure they will have it paid off by the end of the year, all 1.4 Billion US$. Taking a bus tour of the city and visit the dessert tomorrow.