We liked the area but didn’t stay long. We would recommend alighting from the tram at the Dubai Marina Mall stop and walking through the shopping area to experience the waterway.
The sand stretches for miles and there are sun beds, brollies and proper double beds for non-canoodling couples all for the princely sum of 175 Dirhams (over 30 quid). There is a water adventure play area set up on the sea a little like the assault course on that BBC program Wipeout hosted by Richard Hammond but alas, no red balls! Just behind the red spongy walkway, is a panacea of eateries and restaurants where prices are more in keeping with our European expectations. We bought 2 milkshakes for 50 Dirhams (just under a tenner) from the Shake Shack, which whilst very tasty certainly ran against the pricing in our local mall. This is an exceptional beach area though and again, despite the construction work that acts like your own personal beat while you are in Dubai, we would definitely recommend this place for some winter sun. The temperatures for sun bathing are perfect and neither of us got burnt despite Michelle’s best efforts to use me as a human umbrella.
After a couple of dips in the sea, we decided to head toward the Palm and the now mythical Atlantis. Just a stones throw from the beach we enjoyed a hot outside shower, the rest room facilities and changing rooms. It was approaching dusk as we took the long flight of steps to the entrance of the monorail and for me the distance between places is the one part of our experience in Dubai that can catch you out. Unwittingly, our step count was rising again. The trip across to Atlantis reminded us just how far we had trekked the day before. Our carriage was a mix of nations reminding me of how London is now, and increasingly the sprawling countryside we live in.
The sun was beginning to set and it became hidden behind Altantis’ imposing structure, casting shadows across the man made top branches of the Palm. Beneath us, deep foundations were being gouged in the earth and this relentless obsession with creation (like world building in simulation apps) continues. The Chinese contingent bundled off the tram desperate to be first to the building and we ambled behind mumbling sarcastically. The Atlantis itself was very much the all in one experience, with a water park that incorporates the American influence of Sea World coupled with thrilling tube rides. There were dimly lit restaurants charging 2 arms and 2 legs for a gourmet piece of fillet and a dribble of Joux. We didn’t stay long but could see families loving it here. We headed down to the beach but were surprised that the Gulf side was full of rocks with a mini wall lining the pavement. This didn’t stop the cavalcade of selfies being taken and Michelle and I have not mastered the art yet. We take about 50 pictures and then argue over which ones to keep. By the time we had everything set the way we wanted the sun had gone! This queued up our next conversation “Shall we try and fit in the Burj Khalifa tonight, the tallest building in the world?” It was an unanimous yes but 2 hours later we had hit exhaustion again. I’m taking myself back to Woolworths after all this is over as my stop button has gone missing! From Monorail to Tram to Metro and 8 stops to Burj Khalifa station. That was the easy part. The walk from the station with legs that had gone from beyond complaining to all out strike was too much, but thank the maker it was worth it!
The Burj and its associated light show was spectacular. Lit by fluorescent white palms and the now accustomed flare the Arabs have for comfort, everyone enjoyed the spectacle. On the way back through the mall we saw a Samsung TV, 105 inches. Whatever happened to good old 32? Where will it end? Back to our apartments where everyone has made our stay very comfortable; and only a mile less than yesterday’s step count. I need new feet!
Next Blog from Perth.