I’m baaaaaack. Sorry for the radio silence, lovelies, but I’ve been on my jollies – this time, with the divine Miss S in Dubai, of all places. It’s never been on my globetrotting hit list, but I can’t resist a city where my nearest and dearest reside.
It’s such a curious place. It’s both exactly what you imagine – big, brash, bold, with high-rise buildings towering above you, the world’s biggest shopping malls, visible wealth everywhere, and a ‘live young, die fast, and leave a good looking corpse’ mentality – and yet, I really liked it. There’s something to be said for waking up every day and almost guaranteeing it’s going to be sunny. As Miss S said, ‘it’s life changing’. It really is.
Obligatory aeroplane shot
The Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) as my taxi zipped past
Day One – A beach at The Palm, and dinner at the Jumeirah Beach Residence
Day One – the private hotel beach at Riva on the Palm. You can see the ‘Sail’ hotel (Burj al Arabe) in the background
The view from Miss S’ balcony…
As a The Big Bang Theory fan, this was a momentous occasion
The beautiful and very modern (Miss S calls this area ‘California’) fountains at the Jumeirah Beach Residence
Day Two – Breakfast in the Desert, and a Boat Party
Day Two – leaving the city for breakfast in the desert
All the high-rises that I expected
And then came the sand!
Relaxing (but bloody hot!) sand. This was post getting Miss S’ tiny Kia Piccanto stuck in the sand, digging the wheels out, and flagging down a 4X4 with a handy South African family in to help push us back on to the road…
Miss S herself
That’s me, well, my feet, in the desert
I love a good pan’
The classic shot
From the desert to the ocean – a boat party, and the Burj Al Arabe from a different angle
What a view! And our resting place for the day.
A very big boat – the Sheik’s wife’s apparently…
A bit wonky and blurred, but that’s the Atlantis Hotel you can see very faintly on the horizon
A very happy pair
This was our boat.
It was so hot that the lens kept steaming up!
Day Three – A trip to Fujuirah with wild camels and Snoopy Island
Day Three – sunrise from Miss S’ flat, and an early start to drive to another Emirate state – Fujuirah
A gorgeous mosque
Today’s main attraction – Snoopy Island – imagine Snoopy lying down on the top of his kennel – see his feet, belly and nose!
Day Four – My Birthday!!! Swim and sunbathe, Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium, and dinner at The Oberoi
Day four – AND MY BIRTHDAY! What better way to start than a swim and sunbathe at Miss S’ private pool and sun deck? This is the view, obvs!…
The Burj Khalifa in daylight, and all its glory
The legendary fountains, also the tallest in the world
Dubai Mall – the biggest in the world – this shot was a teeny tiny corner. It was very weird seeing M&Co and Waitrose
The Aquarium in the Mall. Spanning three levels with tiger sharks and manta rays
Ray again again! Can you tell I like rays?
In the underwater tunnel
Casual shark selfie
Back at the underwater zoo part of the Aquarium, and I found my spirit fish
The air-conditioned luxurious ‘souk’ in the Mall
Some bloody great jewels. All real!
The Shoe District…
My birthday cake to myself
Home time, and Miss S greeted me with carrot cake. Lush
My birthday dinner at The Oberoi
Miss S surprising me with a sparkler and a rousing version of ‘Happy Birthday’. Ignore the glowing antlers I seem to have acquired…
Birthday drinks to finish the night off
Day Five – Jumeirah Mosque, The Creek, the souqs and Al Fahidi
Day five – and a visit to Jumeirah Mosque. I met up with the girlfriend of the son of some of my parents’ friends (got that?), and we hopped on the tour. Less of a tour, and more of a talk, it was fascinating
Coverng up, and looking like E.T.
Our ‘tour’ guide
On to the Creek – the oldest part of Dubai
We grabbed an abra to get from one side of the Creek to the other
The Spice Souk!
Those preserved lemons smelled divine. I treated Brother James to a pack
The Gold Souk!
Gold, gold, and gold!
Another abra ride back across the Creek
And another selfie!
Where old and new Dubai collide
Al Fahidi – the actual oldest part of Dubai
Day Six – The Top of the Burj, and the Madinat Jumeirah
Day six – the sunrise before the top of the Burj
Not a brilliant shot, but surrounded by skyscrapers once more
The metro – clean, cheap, fast, air conditioned and reliable
Right at the base
At the top!
There I am, looking like a numpty!
Out to sea
The Madinat Jumeirah for my final night.
The ‘Sail’ in the background