Dubai: Day 3
The plan for Day 3 is to get out and about. I’d like to take the metro to Downtown Dubai (Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa) and scope the place out. But first, we need breakfast. This morning Max tried strawberries but he wasn’t sure about them – maybe too tart for his liking. So he ended up having some banana instead.
After breakfast we took a walk outside to check out the pools. There is a baby pool, kids’ pool and main pool. There’s also a Kidz Club, jogging trail, tennis courts, a babbling brook and some ducks. Here are some Emirati Ducks:
Max is excited to try out the baby pool (complete with a “roof” for shade):
This hotel also has apartments (right portion):
After our walk outside, Max took a nap. When he woke up, we got all our stuff together and headed toward the Dubai Healthcare City metro station (our hotel is surrounded by all kinds of hospitals and other health-related buildings). On the way to the metro station is this Empower cooling plant. It provides cold water to the surrounding buildings for them to use for A/C:
The metro system here is pretty new, particularly the green line which is the one near the hotel. The stations are beautiful, clean and futuristic looking:
Max was a good boy, waiting for the metro:
I didn’t get to take any more pictures on the metro because when we got off the green line and switched to the red line, it was packed – like sardines. Like the worst I’ve ever seen it in DC. The people here are so friendly and caring, though, they offered me a seat and helped me manage the stroller. They also tried to keep Max entertained the whole way. It was about 6 stops until the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station. The station is connected to the mall by way of the “Metro Link” – a huge, raised, covered, air-conditioned 1/2 walkway with moving sidewalks (which I didn’t use since I had the stroller). Again, it is beautifully designed and pristine. Sorry, no pictures, but here’s a picture of the inside.
Finally we made it to the Dubai Mall. This mall is huge! Though not the largest mall in the world, it is #14 on the list. (It is, however, the largest mall in the world be total area (including non-retail area).) It is really awesome – even though we didn’t go into any of the stores! Actually, the one store we went into was – if you can imagine – a sporting-goods store! I was looking for a couple cheap carabiners to better attach the diaper bag to the stroller. I could only find “real” (e.g. expensive) ones, though. Oh well.
This mall has lots of cool stuff in it. We were there for a few hours and I didn’t see everything, but here are a few things I did see.
There’s an aquarium in here:
And an ice-skating rink:
And a beautiful, artsy waterfall:
Also, they have “baby rooms” off of the men’s and women’s bathrooms. It’s a room with a couple changing stations, a sink, chairs and toys. Very helpful! We wondered around the mall a bit and then we decided to head back to the hotel. On the way, I got a couple more pitctures.
Some pretty buildings:
The Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the World. Honestly, at first glance it didn’t look that big. But I think it is deceiving. It really is a beautiful building. We’ll get a closer look when we come back after Meredith is done working. It is 2,717ft, 163 storeys and has 58 elevators! Here is some more information about the Burj Khalifa.
That’s where the pictures stop. We were both too tired to document any more! And we had to get back on the completely-crowded metro (red line). This time, I folded the stroller and tried to consolidate things as best I could. As soon as I got on, people were so friendly and helpful. A guy gave up his seat and other guys helped me wiggle back to the seat. During the whole ride Max was looking around and smiling at people. They loved him! There was really no way I would have been able to manage Max, the stroller, diaper bag and camera bag if these people weren’t there to help. When it was time to switch to the green line, a guy who was next to the seat I was in was nice enough to carry the stroller and diaper bag off of the train and wait for me to make my way out before he got back on.
If there’s one thing I can say about this place, it is that Americans have it wrong! We think “Middle East” and immediately conjure up images of terrorists and bombs and other scary things. And I know other places around here are actually like that, but the UAE – or at least Dubai – seems like a really great place to visit and to live. The people here are so friendly and caring. And it’s nice that the people who are working in the stores aren’t inattentive and buried in their cellphones like they usually are in the US! Max gets attention from just about every person we pass. He has many girlfriends here at the hotel.
Well that’s it for now. Day 4 will be about relaxing and maybe some swimming. Stay tuned!