With a busy day planned Luke, Louise and the kids headed off early into the city. First stop was the massive mall of Dubai which is where you can find hundreds of shops as well as the indoor ski resort.
While we were there Louise was keen to buy some urgent supplies such as swimming costumes for the girls as their current ones have all but disintegrated from the chlorine pool on the ship. From here we took a drive around the famous man made sand islands known as the palms. There are modern apartments lining each of the many fronds as they are called as well as extravagant hotels including one that has an aquarium in the foyer with dolphins in it.
We then headed off by taxi to the water park only to be greeted by a queue a mile long. As Ramadan had just finished this was one of the biggest holidays in Dubai.
After speaking to someone at the gate we voted to wait in line and see how we went. After over an hour standing in the sun in 42 degree heat the kids and Luke & Louise gave up. We heard later that the line did not get any shorter until well into the evening. Standing in the sun for that time really knocked the children around so we had no choice but to head for home and leave more exploration of Dubai for another time.
Prior to arriving in Dubai Chris had booked himself , Elisabeth, Marloejse & Simone to an extravagant afternoon tea at the famous 7 star hotel Burj Al Arab. This is the sail shaped hotel with the tennis court hanging off the top. Sitting on the 26th floor they were served everything from French Champagne & Beef Wellington to cakes, sandwiches, cheeses and teas. Apart from the food the interior of the hotel is spectacular with the atrium spanning the entire height of the building. Huge aquariums with stingrays and large tropical fish line the stairways and the outdoor express elevator takes only a few seconds to get to the top. Normal room charge per night is about $4000.
After rolling out of the Burj they were met with their own scenes of chaos as the ten day old metro rail system had broken down throwing the city into chaos. Taxis were almost impossible to find and when they finally did get one they were in traffic gridlock. After a nerve racking trip they made it back to the ship with only a short time to spare. Unfortunately others weren’t so lucky and were left behind to make their own way to the next port. The ship really won’t wait unless it is for a tour bus that has a really good reason for being late.
Despite running so late Elisabeth & Marloejse managed to squeeze in a trip to the Gold Souk (a bazaar for jewelry & gold). Chris had been dreading this particular excursion and when we saw what they came back with that night we all understood why.