In October half term Cleggy was running a couple of conferences in Dubai - it would have been harsh not to go with him!
|waiting for our room to be ready
Now, I don't want to sound ungrateful, but Dubai wasn't ever on my must visit list. Saying that neither was Australia (foolish!) so I've learnt to keep an open mind.
|lift! looking up
I found the accommodation ridiculously expensive compared to other recent trips to Thailand etc so we ended up staying in a Hilton outside the main area. With hindsight this was a mistake, although there was a large mall just across the ....er, desert!!
And it was hot man. REALLY hot.
On our first jaunt out to the mall (to get all the stuff I'd forgotten) Geordie fell (he's a bit hypermobile- it happens a lot!) and sprained his wrist. Again.
So our trip ended up being a search for a sling and some painkillers.
I always love a foreign supermarket - and the one we came across was the size of small town!
We also sought out the old souk - which was the worst souk experience I've ever had. The men selling were unbearably pushy - literally trying everrything to get you in their shop, including throwing scarves over your shoulder and telling you how much it suited you!
On the way back through Cleggy said 'right boys, head down, no eye contact, walk fast' just to get out of there.
Which was a massive shame - because some of the stuff looked nice!
The hotel had a teeny pool - which noone else used (too hot!) but the boys enjoyed.
I thought that Dubai was going to be lots of flash buildings, HUGE malls and the odd water park.
And to be completely honest I was right. I did my usual research and couldn't really find loads more to see.
We spent an inordinate amount of time on the Dubai Big Bus, and a very hot day at the water park (which cost an absolute fortune!)
but our best day was a trip we got 'free' by purchasing the 48 hour bus ticket. (the bus left from our local Mall so we used it to get around)
It was a 'sunset tour' which we nearly didn't bother taking. But it was really good! We travelled out in to the desert for about an hour and ended up at a big fort.
It looked completely authentic but was actually just a front, with no building behind, like a film set.
The trip included welcome drinks, local coffee and dates, the chance to look at stallions, hold a falcon and ride a camel (for 30 seconds!).
I had thought there would be lots of things we'd have to pay for but it was all free!
You could stay for dinner and be picked up later - and the food being cooked looked amazing. Well worth getting the 48 hour ticket for all that we got.
We also got 2 boat trips 'free' which we took advantage of. It was a good way to see lots of the city without walking in the heat.
|lovely mixture of old and new
Our best trip out was the waterpark. We chose the one at Atlantis - just so we could have a wander around the hotel while we were there.
|not my photo and can't find a credit
These tanks are inside it!
Its one of those things that we all LOVE - and none had a screen with them (including me!) so no photos but lots of great memories.
|my usual position - walking behind 4 boys
All in all it was a good week - not a great week - but lovely to spend some time in the sun as a family again.
I know lots of people who absolutely LOVE Dubai.
For me it just felt a little bit souless.
I probably wouldn't go back unless I was back in my 20s and wanted to frequent all the brilliant rooftop cocktail bars...
or staying at a (much) better hotel and planned to do nothing but sit around the pool. Which isn't really for me.