May 1, 2012
This morning started off with a tour at Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. What an amazing feat of engineering and design. We were able to go to the observation deck to get an amazing view of the city and surrounding area. It was a little bit hazy, but the views were still breathtaking. There was a small corner dedicated to the filming of the latest Mission Impossible movie with a directors chair and the clapper signed by Tom Cruise, I think. You can also buy gold out of a vending machine at the top of the world! It looks like a snack machine, but you insert your credit card and select the size of the gold you want and out pops an ingot with the Burj Khalifa stamped into it. What a great souvenir, huh? The elevator ride up and down are very fast and smooth – you hardly know you are moving except for your ears popping a bit and the floor numbers ticking up or down.
We did some hotel inspections next at a hotel located in the Burj Khalifa – the Armani Hotel, yes, that Armani. Apparently everything is designed and/or approved by Giorgio Armani – the decor, furniture, floor plans, music in the rooms, flowers, food, etc. If you want a chic, modern, luxury hotel to stay in, this would be it. Next was the Palace Hotel which is designed more like a Middle Eastern style palace, and although it is newer too, it feels more established, warmer, and maybe a bit more inviting to me. Both hotels have excellent views of the surrounding area, several restaurants to choose from, and are close to the Dubai Mall where you can go ice skating, visit an aquarium, and of course shop. We finished at The Address Dubai Mall hotel, another luxury property in the heart of shopping central. Gorgeous rooms and amenities, lots of food choices, and we had lunch there, so I can honestly say the food was excellent! The it was off to the Arabian Travel Market. The trade show is huge! And my feet are killing me now.
So some things I am taking away from today’s adventure: There are lots and lots of things to do in Dubai and the surrounding emirates. Shopping is a national past time. They love their horses and falcons. There are hardly any old cars on the roads here. The construction may have taken a little break, but is going gangbusters again. Dubai is growing, tourism is growing, and they have the means to meet the demand. With the new Seattle to Dubai flight, I can imagine that a good vacation would be taking the flight from SEA-DXB, spend a few days here, then fly to another surrounding country like Jordan, Egypt, etc., for a week-long tour, then return home via Dubai. Also, Oman is great destination and a good contrast to Dubai. With the new flight, Oman is even more accessible for us in the Pacific Northwest than ever before.
OK, I am worn out. Good night, and more to come tomorrow!