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Dubai Day Two: Big Busin’

April 13, 2010

Burj Khalifa

Today I decided to take a Big Bus Tour around the entire city.  It was a great way to hit up all the famous landmarks in a relatively short amount of time.  I say “relatively” because Dubai is a huge city and it actually took me most of the day to tour it.

My first stop was Dubai Mall (trust me it’s a landmark) to get tickets for the Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai).  Sold out all day!  The only time slot was at night so I would have to “big bus it” back to the mall later in the evening.  I had some time to kill before the next bus so I explored the mall.  I grabbed some deep dish pizza at Uno’s (seriously, Dubai has everything.  Well everything but basic human rights.  Zing!).  Of course the mall had to “out-do” Mall of Emirates and house a giant ice rink as well as an indoor aquarium complete with sharks.

I jumped back on the bus and visited the usual spots (Atlantis Dubai, Burj Al Arab, etc).  The biggest kick I got was how much propaganda the audio tour had.  It would constantly talk about how large the city was and how much traffic and activity there was.  I’ll get right to it.  Dubai is a ghost town.  Tower after tower was empty, as evidence of large “for let” signs on numerous buildings.  The economic downturn has hurt Dubai a lot.  What’s worse is that there are still hundreds of buildings under construction with no one to use them.  It was eery driving pass these huge building completely unoccupied.

At night I went back to Dubai Mall to see the water fountain show (of course it was the largest in the world) and go up the Burj Khalifa.  It had great views up top, but as a veteran of the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center, it wasn’t that special.  It’s very hard to sense that you were THAT much higher than any other skyscraper I’d been in (I will say, though, that the building is quite beautiful).

I came back to my hotel to find a cake in my room!  The hotel knew it was my birthday while scanning my passport!  I smoked a cuban cigar, ate the cake, and went to sleep.  A great birthday in Dubai.

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One Comment leave one →
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