Nothing’s going on in the news, right?
Our holiday in Dubai was everything we wanted. If there really was a doctor that ordered things like it, it would have been just what that doctor ordered. It was mid-90s every day but it’s a dry heat and the breeze from the Gulf and our proximity to water as much as possible meant that it just felt heavenly. After the longest winter in London of course.
We stayed in Jumeirah Beach at this beautiful hotel that is designed to look like a wave. It’s meant for families and no detail is spared. I also could never get over the view. We woke up in the morning to the Persian Gulf, white sand beaches, swimming pools, palm trees, yachts and a view of the very famous Burj Al Arab- a hotel designed to look like the sail of a dhow boat and with two-level suites so expensive and exclusive, if you stay at that hotel a Rolls-Royce picks you up at the airport. Mostly we kept our eye on the helipad on top, where Tiger Woods once hit golf balls and Federer and Agassi once played tennis. It paid off and on our last day, Bryan saw a helicopter land. The wealth in Dubai of the ruling minority and the wealth visiting Dubai is astonishing.
Mostly we laid by the pool or beach and swam and ate and read. Also, I am now an official Kindle convert and thoroughly enjoyed Tina Fey’s Bossypants. Because everyone wanted to know.
We spent a day in Old Dubai seeing the gold and spice souks and taking an abra across Dubai Creek to see Bastakiya on the other side. When nowhere near water, the heat of the UAE in April is almost unbearable, and I could barely walk for more than 5 minutes at a time. I could not imagine how people live there in July and August. One woman told me no one goes outside. I was happy to dress modestly when off the hotel property but it is hard to see so many women’s faces covered. Living in London has at least made the up-close shock less shocking. But how do the women do it in the heat? I will always wonder about that. And yes, we saw a number of Burqini-clad women swimming. Apparently it might be coming into fashion for sun-shy Westerners.
The not-going-outside-in-the-unbearable-heat-thing is why it’s also culturally important to visit two of Dubai’s world-famous malls: Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. The vastness and impressiveness of the malls, their international chains and restaurants and their offered activities is one way people avoid the heat of the summer. The first has an aquarium and famous water fountain lights show each evening designed by the person who did the one at Las Vegas’ Bellagio. It’s also next to the tallest building in the world: the Burj Khalifa. We didn’t book in advance so missed the chance to go to the top. A tiny part of me might have been relieved. The latter mall has Ski Dubai, the indoor ski slope. I had to see it, I don’t know why. So we did.
At both malls we couldn’t believe that we had access to all these American favorites, things we can’t even get in London. You can find one of the only Shack Shakes outside of New York. So we had hamburgers for breakfast. We got to have Cold Stone Creamery. And I was reminded I miss CPK. I like the UK food chains but the taste of home, in Dubai of all places, was welcomed.
Also on our trip, Jonah chugged a glass of camel milk.