FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Chilling out in Dubai

Posted in Dubai, United Arab Emirates by folkestonejack on April 21, 2019

The penultimate stage of our homeward journey saw us land in Dubai at 5.25am after a 14.5 hour flight from Sydney, stagger through the long queues at passport control, collect our baggage and then take a cheap taxi to a hotel in the city. Our choice of hotel had a lot to do with the availability of an early check-in rate that allowed us to crash out in our room at 7am. It was good to escape the heat – it was already hot and forecast to hit 37 degrees in the afternoon.

The other benefit of our hotel was a rather splendid rooftop terrace with a stunning view of the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa was inaugurated in 2010 and has a recorded height of 828m (2,717ft) and more than 160 stories. The record might not last that much longer as the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is expected to reach a height of 1km (3,281ft) when construction is completed in 2021.

The view of the Burj Khalifa from our hotel

Early in the planning process I imagined that we would check out the Etihad Museum, the historical district and the Burj Khalifa. As the trip drew closer we pared this back, balking at the cost of the high level views from the Burj Khalifa, then wrote off almost everything after discovering that our energy and engagement levels had been zapped. It seemed that holiday mode had been well and truly switched off, so we just took it easy from that point on.

The wind-down included one of the most enjoyable meals that I can remember – a ‘Fifty flavours of Vietnam’ brunch at Hoi An, a Vietnamese restaurant located in the Shangri-La. The combination of superb food, a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and exceptional service from every waitress made for a perfect couple of hours. Just what we needed at this point of the trip.

On being seated we were presented with a menu and at first expected that we would need to choose. Instead, waitresses brought out small dishes of every starter from the menu, followed by a traditional noodle soup with chicken, then small dishes with every main (including an exquisite and incredibly tasty portion of sea-bass marinated in onion and ginger) served with a large bowl of fried rice and finally a couple of desserts. I guess you could say that it was a bit like a Vietnamese tapas or an 18 course banquet.

The Dubai Metro

Although we didn’t go to the top of the Burj Khalifa we certainly got a terrific view of the building from the rooftop terrace of our hotel as the sun set and the lights of the city switched on. It was ever so slightly terrifying looking over the edge and down to the Dubai Metro line crossing the spaghetti like tangle of the motorway!

Our time in Dubai might not have been as packed as we expected, but this proved to be the perfect chill out ahead of our final leg – an eight hour flight to London.

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