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Last updated : Nov 2009
Dubai Stopover
November 2001

Pros:
exciting and fun trip, alot of shopping and sightseeing
Cons: none

Hi everyone

Well we got here safely. The plane landed around midnight local time and by the time we got to our hotel and checked in, it was around 2am (only 10pm British time, so we weren't too tired). On the way out of the airport, we were met by our hotel rep, who got us in a taxi. When we were loading up the taxi, we forgot Mike's hat, what a good start to our trip...

Also, as no-one was speaking too much English, it was a bit worrying as we didn't know if they were gonna take us to the right place etc and there were times that we didn't know what was going on. But we were glad when we made it to our hotel room in one piece, minus the hat.

On Friday, we had a look round in the morning...everywhere it was quiet, most shops were closed. Friday is a holiday here. So we couldn't do much. We worked out the bus system around us, to find that everything only started moving again at 3pm. So in the afternoon we jumped on a bus to Wild Wadi Water Park, an hours journey away.

The water park had slides that were continuous, you didn't have to walk up any steps...you just got into an inflatable ring and jets of water pushed you up the slides. Me and Mike went together and separately. After one ride, there would be a junction, and you choose which ride to go on next, and a person just pushed your ring onto it, so no getting up between rides. Everything was really clean as well, I definitely recommend going there.

We spent Friday evening shopping in the Electronic and Gold Souks. There are neon lights everywhere and all the shops are open till 11pm. We were after a camcorder and shopped around for prices. This morning (Saturday) we bought one - a Sony Hi8 camcorder. The instructions aren't in English, so I'll have to try and translate the Spanish instructions.

Overall, we were feeling a little homesick when we got here on the Thursday night. At one point we were really doubting whether we'd be able to manage. It's gonna be very hard, and we're only just starting to realize what we've let ourself in for...

This afternoon, we are planning to go on a dessert safari - sand duning in a four wheel drive, a camel ride, bbq and entertainment (Belly dancer). We fly to India tonight...

We've just had the most fantastic evening. We jumped into a four wheel drive and headed out to the dessert. The driver let down his tires a little and we headed off over the sand. It was a little bumpy at first, a bit like driving down a dirt track. But as we got further and further into the dessert, the bumps turned into dunes and these were MASSIVE. Driving over sand dunes is definitely an experience you wanna try at least once in your life.

It was so scary going over all these steep slopes, when you got to the top of one, you could hardly see where you were going next as the drops were so steep. Every time we drove down, we had to pick up enough momentum to make it to the top of the next. There were times when the tires couldn't grip the sand enough and we just rolled backwards - SCARY!!!

The best bits were when we were driving at an angle along the ridges of a slope. It felt as if we were almost about to topple over, its amazing that these four wheel drives didn't turn over. We were skidding and sliding and it was better than any roller coaster. We stopped for photos a few times and watched the sun setting over the dessert. It's a breathtaking view, standing on the top of a high sand dune, with nothing but sand around you for as far as you can see, and a red sun disappearing over the horizon.

When it got dark, we headed for a campsite, where we had a camel ride, ate a delicious BBQ meal and watched belly dancers. We also tried smoking something that the locals call hubba bubba or bubbly. It's flavoured and smoked out of a huge bong, filtered through water with a hose to inhale. Mike tried strawberry and apple. Me being a non-smoker didn't really like it.

Overall, one of the best days out ever, and I recommend it to anyone. It cost $65 but worth every penny.