Downtown Dubai – Armani Hotel
Taking up two square kilometers of land, Downtown Dubai is one hell of a town dedicated to high end hospitality, retail, leisure and the world tallest multi-usage tower known ad Burj Khalifa (formerly Burj Dubai). A development so huge, it was estimated to cost around US$20 billion. Therefore I am sure there is nothing around this area that will disappoint you. The world tallest building is home to one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Armani hotel Dubai, Designed by my current boss during his service in his previous company was an amazing sight the moment you step into the premises. With simplicity being the main concept of the hotel, it was quite a challenge to spot curbs that usually annoys a designers eye. I did not stay over at Armani Hotel Dubai, but I must say if I did, there goes my 30 kilograms quota, if you know what I mean.
Dubai Mall One day is not enough. We were there almost three times and for all the time I was there, I keep ending up in areas I haven’t been before on the previous trip. Well, Dubai as it is, size does matter. And this mall is massive, beyond your imagination. It is so huge, it has its own Wikipedia page! I won’t quote so much from there, but some points I would love to emphasize. One, it is the largest mall in the world. Well you know that already don’t you, but for shoe lovers, they have their own shoe level! An area just for the shoes! It is like heaven on earth. Now I don’t have to scour the entire mall to find a specific label to get a shoe. What more, it is home to Vogue cafe! Yes Vogue as in the one by conde nast!
From pure luxe to the middle class shopping, they have it all in a mall. They even have their own modernized souk within that compound! Named the Souk Al-Bahar, it is not exactly the real souk experience (like those in old Dubai) but well it is good enough for photography purposes.
Not forgetting the well known Bloomingdales! The only one outside the US and again, its is ginormous! So ginormous that there are more than one outlet around the mall. Bloomingdale Dubai offers a cafe and luxury home furniture apart from their massive apparel and accessories and cosmetics sections.
Khalifa Lake, a lake that wraps around the entire downtown binding the architectural marvel with the amazing surroundings. The 30 acre man made lake is home to the world largest choreographed fountain and is able to shoot water up to 275 meter in the air is named the Dubai Fountain. It is definitely a feature that must be visited when you are there!
Water Water Water. its everywhere. Water is a symbol of wealth to them. Dubai mall also houses one of the largest aquarium in the world!
Burj Khalifa, holding so many world records and looks amazing when you Google it images. The massive height of the tower can really cause your neck to strain. What more when you are standing right beside the tower, you can barely see the top of the tower, that is how tall the tower is. Burj Khalifa, derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic Architecture. Understanding natural buttresses that inspire its engineering feat. It is a symbol of strength, power, modernization and the will to break what used to just be a dream what make this tower a success. Yes, it had its time during the financial crisis, but it is still a symbol of progress to the nation.
From downtown to out of town. From modernity to desert life. One you need to do when you are in Dubai. Dedicate at least a day for this activity. Desert Safari is one of the many highlights just an hour from downtown Dubai where our pick up point was and they will drive you to the location. With amazing views of the dunes, camels, belly dancing, amazing food, shisha and of course dune bashing, it was really an experience of a lifetime knowing that I will probably not visit another desert any time soon. One thing I was truly amazed by was how fine the sand was. It was so fine, it was as if we were walking on baby powder, just a brown version of it!
Dune bashing is one I will probably avoid doing again, but if I must, well maybe just one more time. Major motion sickness didn’t help at all, I seriously felt like throwing up but I had to remain cool and not spoil the true desert experience. Do take note – even though I felt like I was floating and wanted to puke, trust me this is a good advice. Always get a window seat of the car. No no because it is easier to throw up out the window. It is because, you will be able to take in amazing views of the desert and also observe how steep the dunes are and see the sand fly up as the rover drifts through it. It is definitely one to try.
Camels, one of the worlds exotic animals. Riding one might not be one that makes it on your bucket list, but it is one to try. It is not every day you get to ride camels and get a feel of what nomads used to ride on as the ride through the hot desert.
When all that is done. Don’t forget to get a good vantage point to view the belly dancing, grab a shisha and some food. Make some friends and just chill into the cool desert nights. Another thing you should take note is that, avoid bringing or wearing expensive valuables, simple foot wear should be great and don’t be afraid to get sand in your pants to fully enjoy the entire experience. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Well that’s all folks! From downtown to out of town Dubai! I will be posting a shorter write up in my next post so I really hope I can upload it in the coming week as soon as I can! See you soon!