We hit the airport in Hong Kong a bit early so we could take advantage of the Cathay Pacific Pier Business Lounge. One word…WOW. This lounge is huge, and has everything you would need/want. Food made to order, flat screens all over the place, showers, papers from all over the world, etc. Once again, we are uber spoiled on this trip…and admit traveling any other way will be difficult from now on knowing what’s out there. Anyway, our flight was also awesome. We had the nicest lady from the Phillipines as our flight attendant, and her service was above and beyond. After our crap flight on Cathay from Beijing to Hong Kong, this flight to Dubai made up for it big time.

We got into Dubai around 9:30pm, and had a hell of a show coming in. We flew over Oman, and all you see is desert for quite a while, and then you are hit with more lights than you have ever seen. The whole area really is like an oasis. We flew out over the city, seeing the ridiculous skyline and the Palm’s out in the water. You really don’t believe how much land reclamation they have done until you see it with your own eyes. The two Palm’s, on top of the World, it’s really quite astonishing. We landed, and then got stuck in customs for about 45 minutes since the agents were, lets just say, lazy. Everything is in slow motion, and we found that about everyhing in the United Arab Emirates. Got a taxi to the hotel, which was about a 30 minute drive from the airport, which if you didn’t know, is one of the largest malls in the world. Yes, I said the airport…it even has a Ferarri dealership, insane.

Our drive to the hotel showed me the Dubai that I had seen in pictures and what people had told me. The finished buildings were amazing, while the majority of the city just looks unfinished. There are so many cranes in Dubai (37% of the world’s cranes are here) and most of them are not even moving because of the economy. None the less, it’s still pretty amazing seeing there was no city here really about 20 years ago.

We get to the hotel, and get a nice surprise that we’ve been upgraded to the Club Suite. Not sure why, but I wasn’t saying no. This new found luck included a lot of perks. Biggest buffet breakfast you’ve ever seen, fresh fruit to the room daily, 8 bottles of water daily, butler service, access to the club lounge with free drinks at happy hour, free internet access, and all rooms were fitted with Hermes products. Again, not sure why we got this, but we gladly accepted, and it made Dubai all that much better, and cheaper 🙂

The first day in Dubai we decided to do the following…..nothing! We hit the beach, had some drinks, hit happy hour, and then hit dinner. We wanted to enjoy everything about the resort that we could. The second day is when we did some damage on the city, and our first stop was at the Souk Madinat in the morning. Other than getting access to the private beach at Jumeriah Beach, a small area of this shopping area gives you the best view of the Burj Al Arab hotel…rated by their own people as the only 7 star hotel in the world:

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

From there we headed down to the Dubai Mall, which is the largest mall in the world, naturally. Everything in Dubai is either the biggest in the world, or will be the biggest in the world. DubaiLand, which is the DisneyLand of Dubai, will be 5x the size of DisneyWorld, crazy. Especially since during summer months, you’ll be able to enjoy the whole park….indoors! We only went to the Dubai Mall so we could have access to the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world. You can see this mammoth from 60 miles away on a clear day. It’s almost done on the outside, and is a half mile high. Scary thing is another building was just approved, and will be twice as high as this one in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Of course Dubai didn’t like that, so they approved one as well. There will be pics in the Dubai album once I can get it uploaded. For some reason Cairo doesn’t like Fotki upload.

Burj Dubai Video I took

Belly Dancer at Dinner

We wanted to experience the desert a bit, so we booked an Arabian Adventures Desert Safari. We would go 4×4’ing in the sand dunes first, then hit a camp for dinner, camel rides, hookah smoking, and belly dancing. It was worth the money and more. On the way to the camp, we were able to take some pictures from different vantage points, and this was the best one I could get out of my trusty tripod:

sunset in the Arabian desert

sunset in the Arabian desert

It was a great night out in the desert, and would recommened it to anyone who ventures over to Dubai, or anywhere in the Middle East. We got back to the hotel and crashed immediately since our flight the next morning was at 8am to Cairo, so the Dubai portion of the trip was short, but definitely worth it. I’ll get a Cairo update up tomorrow after we have hit the Pyramids.

Hitching a ride with Joe Camel

Hitching a ride with Joe Camel