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Dubai

Dubai

Postby tomvet » 24 Mar 2015 02:55

in Dubai we planned to visit the World's Tallest building the Burj Khalifa before embarking Costa Serena.

While you cannot go to the top they market the experience as 'At the Top' which is only (note only!) the 124th floor of 182 (I thnk!).

You can purchase an advance timed ticket for 125AED - 32€ per person (our kids were free - phew!) or a walk up ticket for a whopping 500AED - 130€. Booking open 30 days in advance and tickets sell fast so you need to be alert with your dates. Ticket price also increase after 1330 as folk like to stay for sunset.

It was almost 0700 by the time we cleared immigration and customs at DXB and we had a cuppa in the airport, got ourselves together and then at about 0930 we took a taxi to the Dubai Mall where the Burj Khalifa is located. THe metro on Friday does not open until 1300 otherwise we would have taken it. There is left luggage at Terminal in the airport costing 20AED per bag (5€).

We arrived at the Dubai mall where there is a massive aquarium with a whopping 35€ entrance fee. Photos from the outside did us fine!

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The mall is massive and has every known international store present but the prices!! e.g. we had a walker for the girls that OH picked up in the Early Learning Centre in town for €49.99 the same one in Dubai was 599AED i.e. 150€ :shock: :shock: :shock:

We had brunch in a lovely little restaurant in a smaller shopping centre across the lake (manmade!) but not before Mai spotted some camels and a playground!

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OK BRUNCH!

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Once you step outside the Malls its hard not to notice the Burj Khalifa!! :D Its just hard to fit it into the photograph!!!

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Our timed entry was at 1330 and we simply collected our tickets from a self service kiosk. Tickets have some interesting trivia printed on them.

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You are not allowed to take buggies up so we had to carry the babies in our arms which was a bit of a drag!! Luckily we met a nice guy on the ground floor who allowed us to use the fast track lane and not join the queue which had a wait of 20 minutes! The views from atop were stunning though hazy when you looked in the direction of the sun!

Sheikh Zayed with the Emirates Towers and World Trade Centre

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Two girls loving it being so high up!

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Looking towards the 'Map of the World'

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Hello down there :D

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Looking down on the Dubai Fountains!

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Roof of Dubai Mall

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When you consider the view towards the sea and the view away from the sea - you suddenly realise that Dubai is a coastal strip and it is desert beyond!!

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The observation deck has outside and inside parts and when you step outside and look up there is still a lot of building above you. :roll:

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Our girls were almost as big an attraction as the Burj itself!!

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You take them all the way to Dubai and they get most fun from their shadows! :|

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It was definitely worth the time and money to visit admittedly it is not cheap. We spent 2 hours up there but there are no seats to rest nor a coffee shop to relax unless you want to pay for the upgrade and take in on the 125th floor. I suppose if there were areas to lounge people would do exactly that and the place would get overwhelmingly crowded. I would not pay the walk up rate of €130 but at €32 each it was just about worth it. Now if I had to pay for 3 kids as well, I may have given it a miss.

Admission charges to everything in UAE is exorbitant!!!

From the Dubai Mall we walked 1 mile to the Dubai Mall Metro Station in air-conditioned walkways where we caught the Metro to the airport for 8AED (2€) collected our luggage and took a taxi to the ship arriving at 1700ish. The Metro is extremely spiffy and has incredible views from it (when it is over ground :D ) but it can be very crowded and stations can be a long way from where you want to go. Its great to cover long distances but to get to your destination or to get to it from your origin may require taxis which are relatively cheap.
October 19 - A-ROSA Luna - Lyon- Viviers - Arles - Avignon - Vienne - Lyon
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Re: Dubai

Postby tomvet » 24 Mar 2015 03:06

Like Abu Dhabi it is not possible to walk in Dubai port and the only way in or out is by taxi. Well that's a lie. The Bur Juman shopping mall does provide a free shuttle to their mall. We waited for it but it took for ever to come so opted for a taxi instead to bring us to the Dubai Museum. We went bought tickets, went inside to find out it was not such a good idea. The world and its mother was there. Then the cruise ship tours arrived. I asked the security man to remember our faces and that we would be back in a few hours when the melee settled. We headed for the Bur Dubai Abra Station and hired an Abra for 120AED (30€) for an hour cruise up along the creek (without a paddle)! :roll:

THe Abra

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Views along the creek

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That's our Abra in the reflection on that building! :D

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Life goes on for those of us not on holidays!

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As our next target was the Deira Gold Souk we asked the skipper to leave us back at the Deira Abra Station where we walked to the Gold Souk.

We headed to the Gold Souk as we had a purchase to make! A belated Christmas pressie for Mrs TV.

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After much searching we settled on this shop and after much wheeling and dealing and haggling and drinking tea and juices and everything else the deal was struck for a diamond ring after we decided that sapphires were not Mrs TV thing! They just looked all wrong!

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The purchase was finally made!

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We then caught the Abra back to Bur Dubai and went back to the Museum which was almost deserted. The Museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort

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and displays of early Emirati life - souk life, school life, nomadic life in the desert, water management, pearling, dhow building etc.

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Our next destination was the Palm Jumeirah purely because it was the Palm. We used a combination of the Metro, the Tram and the Monorail that all connect with each other - that said it took about 1,5 hours to get there just in time for sunset at Atlantis the Palm.

It is not possible to get a view of the Palm and to be honest I would only venture on this trip if you have the time to spare or are hung up on getting to Atlantis. We only found ourselves there because OH thought I wanted to go and I thought she wanted to go! ANyhow it took ages to get back to the ship using the metro, tram and monorail and taxi. We missed dinner so we went to the Pizzeria instead! Then with a heavy heart it was time to pack and put the suit cases out.

On the Monorail

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Atlantis the Palm

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Sunset

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We took a taxi from the airport to the Mall of the Emirates. Our reason was that it was Friday and most places were closed until 1300 except the malls. We also wanted to see the ski slope! :roll:

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After a wander through the shops and a coffee in Starbucks we took the metro to Dubai Marina a whole new city that has developed out of no where in just 10 years! It appears to be the happening place, with a man made marina, swanky yacht club, swish hotels and restaurants uber expensive apartments.

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The building with the 90 degree twist in it is one of only 2 in the world - the second one being the Torso in Malmo, Sweden!

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Then there was the obligatory time spent at the playground!

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We then took a taxi to the Madinat Mall next to the Burj al Arab.

The motivation for visiting Madinat Souk was that it allows great views of the Burj al Arab. Besides we also need to use the facilities to change into our finery for our afternoon tea in the Burj al Arab.

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This was going to be a highlight of the cruise and I posted elsewhere where we were offered and accepted an invitation to complimentary afternoon tea. Considering the cost is 520AED per person (€130) how could we refuse.

This was an incredibly special occasion. This was sheer elegance, luxury without any pretentiousness! What a beautiful hotel - of course it all comes at a price but for us it was FREE! :D

Approaching the Hotel from the causeway

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Hotel reception

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The Sahn Eddar lounge where we were served AT

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The Hotel Atrium

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Butter wouldn't melt

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Afternoon Tea was seven courses

Course 1 was Sparkling date juice!

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Followed by mixed berry short bread tartlet, finger sandwiches, chef's charcuterie .........

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.........scones

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and French pastries all served with unlimited cups of tea and coffee with 24Ct gold flakes in the Cappucinos!

We were entertained by a harpist and a 4 piece quartet!

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Going home we were each given a box of chocolates and the kids a teddy bear!

The Aquarium in the Foyer!

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I didn't want to leave! EVER!

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We had one final thing to do and that was take a taxi back to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa to view the Dubai FOuntains - when we got there we found out they were closed for 48 hours as a mark of respect to the recently deceased King of Saudi Arabia!

Oh well a reason to return!!!
October 19 - A-ROSA Luna - Lyon- Viviers - Arles - Avignon - Vienne - Lyon
tomvet
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