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The first experience that we had in Dubai was the wonderful “marhaba” welcoming service that Uncle Les had arranged for us.  Two kind young ladies met us at the gate and we felt very pampered as we jumped on a VIP trolley ride through the airport.  We breezed through a special immigration line, had a porter pick up our bags at the trolley and then we were given a free SIM card.  Normally when I arrive at a new airport, I make my way to an ATM and pull out the max amount (usually around $250) so we can minimize fees.  I tried this at the Dubai airport and was denied.  After using my new SIM card to check the exchange rate, I realized why:  The default max in Dubai was roughly $7000!  That served as a perfect introduction to the extreme over-the-top wealth and spending in UAE.

After that we were really excited to see Uncle Les at the gate.  He picked up his car and then we set off driving to he and Deb’s beautiful house in the Arabian Ranches.  We ordered some Italian food for delivery and Mandy was really excited to have real cheese for the first time months!

Over the next few days, we really enjoyed spending time with Uncle and getting to know Deb.  They were incredibly gracious hosts and Les drove us all over Dubai and Abu Dhabi to see the sights. We went to Heritage Village where Mandy saw her first camel and they had exhibits on the native housing of Bedouins.  Because of the oppressive heat, a lot of the attractions in Dubai are in beautiful, elaborate, air conditioned malls. We went to Mall of Emirates and saw the unbelievable indoor snowboarding and ski park.  We went to old Gold Souk and saw dozens of gold shops and the world’s largest gold ring.  We saw Dubai Creek and a lot of old boats being loaded up with goods to take to Iran.

We went to the beautiful Dubai Mall where we saw a large aquarium where you can scuba dive!  For Father’s Day we took Uncle to lunch at Uno’s Chicago Pizzeria.  Amanda was excited to see Laduree, her favorite Parisian bakery (which she had previously run through an actual riot to get to in Paris on a business trip).

Les got us tickets to go to the top of Burj Khlaifa, the tallest building in the world! The observatory deck on the 124th floor is only about 2/3 of the way up the 200+ floors.  So there is almost an entire Empire State build on top of the incredibly high observation deck!

On our last day in Dubai, we went to Atlantis Aquaventure and had a blast on the awesome tube rides and crazy steep water slide. We had a great day lounging in the water and soaking up sun while indulging in coconut milkshakes via our “money bracelets.” We stayed at the water park most of the day then Uncle and Deb dropped us off in JBR (Jumeriah Beach Residence) at Amanda’s friend Puja’s place where we met her son Aaryan for first time.  Puja took us to old Dubai to shop for clothes for her brother (and Amanda’s friend) Guggan’s wedding.

  • Dubai-30
  • Dubai-29
  • Dubai-28
  • Dubai-27
  • Dubai-26
  • Dubai-25
  • Dubai-24
  • Dubai-23
  • Floatin' at Atlantis
  • Awesome!
  • Woo!
  • Tubin' at Atlantis
  • Tubin' at Atlantis
  • Atlantis
  • Atlantis
  • Tubin' at Atlantis
  • Fountain Show at the Burj Khalifa
  • Adam and Amanda at Burj Khalifa
  • View from Burj Khalifa
  • Singers at Mall of Dubai
  • Mandy's Favorite Frech Bakery in Dubai
  • Mall of Dubai Aquarium
  • Amanda and Les by the River
  • Packing up Shipping Boats
  • The world's biggest gold ring
  • Oh My!  So much gold!
  • Indoor Ski Slope
  • Amanda and Uncle Les
  • Burj Al-Arab
  • Amanda and Her Camel Friend

Posted: July 17, 2012

Author: Adam and Amanda

Category: Blog, Continents, Middle East, UAE


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