12-dubai-10mar0246 copy What is Dubai like? Well its like as if Aliens (who love to build and go shopping) thought 'oh that's a nice space in the dessert, let's drop our buildings and megamalls down there and we can just keep building up and out.' 

That is what Dubai is like...well to me anyway!
My Mum and I were on a 2 day stopover in Dubai on the way to London and we tried to get a feel for Dubai in the 48 hours we had there and I think we did well cramming in all the culture and sightseeing in the short time.


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While Dubai's skyline is definitely looking futuristic, there is still a place for the old and traditional structures such as mosques in Dubai. There's probably a mosque every 1km!
12-dubai-10mar0115 copy The national past time of Dubai is probably shopping as there's lots of malls. All stocked with the latest brand names and gimmicks that gets the shoppers in to walk around in them.  We went to the Dubai Mall which has the World's biggest aquarium (left pic) and also an indoor ice skating rink. 

The shopping there is quite good.  Bangkok used to be my preferred place for bargains on sporting goods but I think Dubai might just edge it out.  I got a nice pair of adidas runners for $70 which might cost $140 in NZ.  There's also supplment shops in every mall (pic below) and they're about the same price as NZ.
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Lots of shopping can be done in the tradional 'souk' or one of the super malls
12-dubai-10mar0082 copy Getting around Dubai was quite easy and cheap too.  From the ultra fast and efficient metro - which by the way is not manned but instead ran by some computer guy in his office - to tradional method as on a boat across the river.

Metro cost 19 dirham return from our hotel to Dubai Mall, which is about $5NZ for a 20min trip.   I wasn't too keen to go on the boat as I usually get motion sickness but luckily it was a straight 5min trip across the river so I survived without giving the birds dinner lol.
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Contrasting the tall buildings and hustle bustle of Dubai is the vast ocean of desert so ofcourse we had to get on a tour to experience the thrill of the desert dunes. 

It was certainly an adventure to be driving up and down the dunes with a driver who thought he was Ayrton Senna of the desert!  At some points during the drive, I thought I was going to be sick but not sure how I managed to hold it all down.  Admittedly it was fun and so was seeing the camels, albeit very posed for the tourists.  The day finished with a dinner in a very staged 'beduin' settlement in the desert where we served some very fresh food and watched a belly dancing display. 

I wished we had another 2 days in Dubai as there was still plenty to see like the Atlantis Hotel and the Palm.  Plus the huge discount shopping outlet we saw on the way to desert where apparently clothes are even cheaper than in the mall. 

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You can be as busy or as lazy as you like.  Whether you want to go out and experience nature or prefer the comfort of a mall, there's something for everyone and I'm sure I'll go back again to get the bargains I misssed this time!

Lisa, Go Figure
14 March 12

p.s the weather was very nice while we were there, about 26degree days and cool breeze and at times very windy.


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