When booking my flight to South Africa I found it is basically impossible to avoid a layover in Dubai. Not a bad place to stretch my legs, but I had a better idea *enter Zaneta* you’ve all read about my friend Zaneta before. She graduated from Cambridge, we followed the Euro Cup through France together, worked at the United Nations… yeah that phenomenal human being. Weeeelll, lucky for me she is currently located in Dubai of all places!
Unable to turn away from an adventure within another, I was able to book an extended layover and spent two full days exploring the United Arab Emirates with Zaneta before continuing another 8 hours to my final destination in South Africa!
Of course we made a trip to The Dubai Mall, the largest shopping center in the world and still expanding! The mall is home to an olympic sized ice rink, a complete dinosaur skeleton from Wyoming, an Aquarium, the world’s largest Apple store and literally every chain restaurant you can imagine. Directly outside the mall is the fountain show (all very Bellagio-esque) and an accompanying light show projected from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world!
Another random, excessive, yet classic Dubai attraction we visited was The Dubai Miracle Garden. A true miracle because it’s in the middle of the desert, this park’s sole attraction is flowers. Not botanical style tFhough, that’s too average for Dubai.
Elephants, cats, peacocks, Disney characters, an Emirates airbus, a castle– all flowers. It definitely appeared to be the hot location for family portraits, too!
Also, call me American but of all the food kiosks available we sniffed out the Krispy Kreme one and indulged ourselves ourselves with donuts.
Another Dubai “must-do” is dune-bashing! Admittedly this was not the activity for me, it shook up my stomach contents a little too much if you catch my drift, but nonetheless the sand dunes were picturesque and I got talked/forced into holding a falcon.
Now you may be thinking to yourself, “Michelle, there is more to Dubai than tacky tourist attractions”, don’t fear, I am aware! I took the liberty of dividing my stay in the UAE into two posts; cultural and non-cultural content. There is such a variety of things to do and see in Dubai and with only two days to cover as much as possible we took a strategic approach.
While I was entertained by the flashy show Dubai put on, things got even better on our “cultural” day, so stick around for that blog post!