Airport Rating *****
Reception of locals ***
After spending a summer in Thailand, and some time in Singapore, I was exhausted by the time I reached Dubai, and that may have had an impact on my enjoyment of the city, but nevertheless, I tried to see as much as I could in the few days that I spent there.
I have always been fascinated by large, imposing architecture and I followed the development of the Burj Khalifa complex closely. It was one of the special sights on my 'to-do list' and I had been looking forward to seeing it for a number of years. I didn't realise just how early into my journey I actually would see it. As the plane taxied on the runaway, in the distance I could see the Burj Khalifa, towering on the horizon. I was astounded that I could see it from such a distance and you cant be anything but amazed by its sheer size.
I got a reasonably priced taxi to my hotel which was close to the Gold Souk market, just outside the main city. I'd managed to get a last minute deal online, giving me a 5* hotel for less than GBP 80 per night, I figured, after a summer of hostels, huts and local houses, a few nights in a nice hotel at a good price would be a welcome change. Booking sites usually have offers on different hotels on different days of the week, I would always recommend checking these offers as I've managed to get some nice hotels on a number of occasions for the fraction of their 'true' price.
I decided to venture into the city on the first day and head toward the Burj Khalifa. I left the hotel at about 2pm. As I was leaving the receptionist asked where I was going so I told him I'd be walking to the subway station and heading into the city. He recommended that I wait a few hours until it cools and I told him not to worry. "Okay Sir, but dont say I didnt warn you" he replied with a smile on his face. I didnt think too much about it. I stepped outside and almost instantly felt a burning, searing dry heat on my head. I thought after a summer in Thailand I'd be used to the heat, but this was different, this was an angry, raging, dry heat. I thought about heading back, but then the pride kicked in, there was no way I was walking past the same receptionist only minutes later.
I'll never forget that walk to the subway station.. I knew I had done something stupid when the streets were deserted; locals and tourists were all indoors. I walked through the streets, zig -zagging into any shade I could find. After about 30 minutes that felt like 2 hours, I finally found the subway stop and ran indoors into the air conditioned building. It felt like a journey to Mordor, but I was finally there.
The subway system stretches across the spine of the city, and buying tickets is relatively simple. I headed toward the financial district for about 30 minutes where I got off and took a short walk to the Burj Khalifa.
British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.