Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

Seeing Dubai by 'Big Bus'

Of course, staying up late (by local time standards) the previous night meant that I was now late in rising by those same, and very relevant, standards! The good news? It didn't really matter at all. I had breakfast at the hotel's main restaurant, which put on a nice buffet, but with eggs cooked individually to order. When I had eaten my fill, I stopped off at the Concierge desk to ask directions to the nearest stop for the open-top bus tour and to buy a ticket. I had discovered this on the web before leaving home and decided that it would be a good way to gain an overview of the destination.

I rode the short distance to the so-called 'City Centre' (actually a shopping mall!) and transferred immediately to the Beach Tour which, with a couple of stop-offs, took up most of the day. It was all very interesting, but I selected Jumeira Beach (for the Burj al Arab) and the Mercato Mall as my hop-off / hop-on points. By the time we got back to Wafi City (the most exclusive of the malls), it was already five o'clock. I did the main portion of the City Tour without any stops. It let me do what I had wanted to do all along : get to know where I would like to re-visit the next day.

Incidentally, I thought the tour guides did a good job, but you know what it's like with some of the facts and figures : in one ear and out the other! Occasionally, however, they hit you with something that's simply breathtaking. First, apparently Dubai is the second largest construction site in the world, after Shanghai. OK, fine ... but here it comes : a third of all the construction site cranes in the world are to be found in Dubai. Isn't that absolutely incredible?

Once back at the hotel and suitably cleaned up, I decided to sample one of the hotel's reputedly excellent restaurants and chose the steakhouse. It was unusually (I was told) quiet, but that was perfectly OK with me! I had a most enjoyable, if rather expensive, dinner and felt I'd had a very good first day in this new destination for me.

Wed 12 Apr

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