During our recent trip to Abu Dhabi which I featured in my previous post, we took a day trip to Dubai. By car, it only takes about 45 minutes from Abu Dhabi to the outskirts of Dubai, and taxis are relatively cheap. We paid about £30 to go to the Ibn Battuta mall where we picked up the metro to Dubai mall. Of course, when you only have a day in Dubai, going up the Burj Khalifa is high on the list of things to do (pun intended!).
Standing at over 828 metres the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. It also holds several other records including the building with the highest number of stories, highest outdoor observation deck and tallest service elevator in the world. The Burj Khalifa isn’t just a tourist attraction though; the tower also contains a restaurant, Armani Hotel, corporate suites and 900 residences. The lucky inhabitants of this exclusive building have access to state-of-the-art fitness facilities, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, jacuzzis and a recreation room for gatherings and events. I dread to think how much an apartment here would cost!
The entrance to the tower is conveniently located in the mall – which is an attraction in itself..so many shops! It’s recommended that you buy tickets to At The Top in advance, especially at weekends. Ticket prices vary depending on what time of day you want to go and whether you go to level 125 or 148. The premium tickets cost 500 AED (about £110) per person so it’s quite expensive for a family trip. I imagine seeing the sun set over Dubai from the Burj Khalifa is quite a sight, hence the hefty price tag. We went to level 125 at the latter end of off-peak time to keep costs down. It was a bit hazy but still a magnificent view.
If you love shopping then Dubai Mall is retail heaven. The sheer scale of it is unlike any other mall I’ve been to. As we were there on a strictly sight-seeing trip I didn’t punish my credit card, but with more time and money at my disposal I could’ve really gone mad. When we first arrived we grabbed a quick snack at the food court and meandered over to the aquarium.
Again, we’d bought tickets in advance, which saves loads of time. What did seem to take forever was the glass bottom boat trip. If you ever go to Dubai Aquarium, take my advice and skip this part. It took about an hour of tedious queuing to actually get on a small boat for all of ten minutes, in what’s basically a pool crammed full of fish. By the time we got off we had to sprint over to the Burj Khalifa so we didn’t miss our slot. Luckily, as we were leaving we were told to keep our tickets so we could go back later and finish the tour of the aquarium. I’m glad we did because it’s home to lots of creatures, big and small. My favourite was the little desert hedgehog, although the pair of saltwater crocodiles was quite an arresting sight!
I mentioned dress codes in my last post and how I’d been unsure of what to take with me. While Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the most liberal of the emirates, visitors are asked to dress “respectfully” in shopping malls. Generally, ladies should keep shoulders and knees covered and avoid very tight or low cut tops. It has been known for Emirati ladies to tell Western tourists to cover up (and arguing could land you in trouble). That said, it felt a lot more liberal than I anticipated, but I’d rather err on the side of caution.
Strolling in the early evening sunshine made me think how lovely it would be to spend longer than just a day in Dubai. I should probably start saving now, especially if I want to stay in the 7-star Burj Al Arab hotel! We popped into the souk for ice cream before heading back to Abu Dhabi. It was a great day and I’m already looking forward to next time 🙂
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