Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Taking the Kids to Dubai!

While Austin and Savannah were at home taking finals, the rest of us went to Dubai!  We debated on flying vs driving, but decided to drive.  It took us just under five hours to drive from Muscat.  We also wanted our kids to see a bit of the Oman countryside and mountains.

Border crossing into the United Arab Emirates.  Don't always know how long it will take in here, but there was no line.  You must have your passport stamped when you leave and when you come back.  It is not very clear.  We learned this the hard way.

Arriving in Dubai!  The Burj Khalifa towers over the skyline.  We stayed at the Al Murooj Rotana, right across the highway from The Dubai Mall.  We checked into our apartment (but they also have rooms) and walked over to the mall.  There are safe, convenient crosswalks.

We had lunch at Texas Roadhouse, as usual, and walked outside to take a look at the Burj Khalifa.

The Christmas tree in Bloomingdale

The 3-story aquarium

Although I have been to this mall several times, I don't remember seeing this section of it.  Always something new to see.

The main Christmas display in the mall

We are creatures of habit.  This is the patio at Urbano's, an Italian restaurant right across the bridge from the mall.  We always sit for dinner right before 6 pm.  The fountain shows, my favorite thing in Dubai, occur every 30 minutes.  This lets us enjoys 3 or 4 shows during our meal!  The food is fine, but we don't come here for the food.

The 6:30 show (us girls were doing a little shopping and got to our table a wee late.)


We had dessert at Garret popcorn.  Just as good as in Chicago!

Dubai is known for its nightlife.  I am sorry that I can't really tell you much about that.  Some of us shopped some more (malls stay open till 10pm), and some of us headed back to the pub at the hotel.

We had bought tickets the night before to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa the next morning.  You can buy them online for about $30 a person, in advance.

Very light crowds at 8:30.

That is actually our hotel at the bottom of the picture. It is more of a complex.  After going to the top, we ate breakfast at mOre cafe, close to the Burj Khalifa exit.  Then it was off for a little tour of Dubai and heading to the Mall of the Emirates.

We drove around, and went down Jumeira Beach road. This is the best shot we could get of the Burj al Arab.  We had been on a beach with much better views the last time we were in Dubai, but couldn't seem to find it this time.

The beautiful atrium and ceiling ornaments in the Mall of the Emirates

Their Christmas display.  I never saw Santa.

The first time I had heard of the Mall of the Emirates, was in a TV special.  One of those shows about great engineering feats.  It was talking about the challenges of building a ski slope in the desert.  I never dreamed I would ever see it in person.  Here it is!  Seth went skiing and Jared and Amanda went to play in the snow.

It was a winter wonderland inside.  A very cold wonderland.  The temps were below 30 degrees F. Joe and I were shopping and drinking coffee, so these pictures were taken by my kids.

Amanda and Jared.  The price to play is about $50.  This gives you the clothing and two hours of skiing.  Or unlimited time playing in the snow.

There were inner tubes to slide down on.

And giant balls to roll around in!

Amanda and Jared both had a ball!  In the ball.  (I couldn't resist.)

After a couple of hours of snow fun, we went in search of lunch.  Amanda was amazed to see a Shake Shack in Dubai!  I have never heard of them, but they are a big deal in New York City.  The one by Seth's office actually has a Shake-cam, to let you see how long the line is!!  It was a very good hamburger and delicious frozen custard.

So ended our 26ish hours in Dubai!

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