So, after our experience at the Old Airport Hawker Center eating messy chili crabs, we hopped in a cab and headed straight to the airport. We checked in and took advantage of the SIN Emirates First Class and Business lounge (they were combined). It was decent, but insanely crowded and LOUD. Lots of kids. Definitely not what you expect in a typical lounge. But that ‘torture’ we put up with was so worth the flight.
Emirates First Class is a league of it’s own.
TOTALLY worth the points.
We flew Emirates twice, from Singapore to Dubai and then from Dubai to Dallas. So, we’ll wait for the next post and do a full recap of both flights together. Spoiler: We’re not mad about them.
As you may have picked up, we’re pretty loyal to Hyatt throughout our travels. Paul is a Hyatt Diamond member and so we decided to use one of our yearly suite upgrades at the Park Hyatt Dubai. We were only spending one night, but we figured Dubai = the best place to #treatyoself.
To spend a second here talking about the kindness of our taxi driver from the airport is needed, because it really struck a chord. The fare was something like 40 AED. Paul accidentally gave him a 500 AED note (or something similar) thinking it was a 50. Lesson learned, there are Roman numerals on the backside, oopies. Anyways, instead of just driving off, he stopped us, gave it back, and then proceeded to explain the difference between the notes. You come to a place like the Middle East with preconceptions about the people thanks to the media here (though it may be a stretch to call Dubai totally Middle Eastern), and then something like this happens. We couldn’t help but think later that there is absolutely no way any taxi driver in the USA would have ever done the same thing, at least not any we have rode with.
We didn’t arrive in Dubai until close to 1 am, so by the time we made it to the hotel, got checked in, and settled in, we had to wait until morning to explore. Our plans were also far less rushed than in Seoul and Singapore. We decided to not set an alarm and just sleep in until whenever we felt like it.
The view was much better in the morning and got better as the day went on. However, it always stayed slightly overcast from the sand. If this made it cooler, I couldn’t tell you 🙂
Breakfast was included with the room as a Hyatt Diamond and they provided a menu, as well as had a full buffet. The spread was a little different than expected with a variety of cheeses, hummus, honeycomb and olives, but also the typical large selection of pastries.
After breakfast we explored the hotel for a bit, but knew we had to get into the pool ASAP. It was getting oppressively hot.
The only unfortunate part of our trip was that we were visiting during Ramadan. While the hotel was able to provide food, they were not able to provide alcohol (except in rooms) and we were forbidden from eating or drinking (even water) in public during the day.
It’s true that the only thing missing from this is a fruity drink with an umbrella in it:
We finally checked out of the hotel around 2pm (despite the protests of Paul to just spend all day at the pool) and took a taxi to The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall.
Yep, it pretty much has everything. An ice skating rink, a grocery store, an aquarium, and over 1,200 stores (There was no Lego store, so Paul was thoroughly unimpressed and a bit cranky…the lack of food and water didn’t help).
Even walking around outside the mall is beautiful (but it was HOT). My phone said 108. Thankfully that is without humidity!
The mall was neat to see, but we were here simply because it was also the entrance to this:
Like standing on tall things as much as me? This is our mecca. Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 2,722 feet.
We pre-purchased our tickets to the top online for a specific time (125 AED/$34 USD) because if you just show up and want to go right away, tickets at the door cost a whopping 400 AED ($108 USD)!
Even though it was pricey, it was definitely worth the trip up! We didn’t go to the tippy top, as they wanted an obscene amount of money for the same view only 10 more floors up.
After our time at the top, we took a taxi over to the Palm Monorail which runs the length of Palm Jumeirah. If you are staying at a resort on the Palm, this is probably your best way of getting there.
We rode the monorail just for fun though. There is still a lot of construction going on, but it gave us great views of the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis resort.
A word of warning, however: they stock the monorail station FULL of luxury car services. “It’s not expensive” is not the answer you want when you ask how much to take you to the airport. When we finally caught a normal cab, we calculated that the price they wanted was more than double a regular fare. Ha. Not us, suckers!
Our next stop was the airport. Our time in Dubai was super quick, but it was such a great (and relaxing) day. With Dubai being such a major airline base within the Middle East, I know we will be back again here someday soon. I’ll get my camel burger then!! Plus, we were excited to get to the airport to take advantage of the Emirates First Class lounge (more in the next post), and with Ramadan, we were starving and a hotel or airport were the only place we would be able to get food/water.