Although I really enjoy the snowy landscapes we have had the last weeks and although I like the frost, the snow, the cold & the cozyness that comes with it, I was very much looking forward to our trip to the sun! First, we had a few obstacles to take (an emergency passport, icy roads, an overcrowded airport & many cancelled flights) but we finally managed to leave France with only a 5 hour delay and headed for the sun on December 24.
And even though Roel has travelled a lot in the Middle East and the UAE in particular quite some years ago and I've been there once before (like ehhh... 13 years ago), it was pretty hard to recognize the Dubai we knew. What an amazing change has been going on there. Of course we knew, we heard, we read, but it really goes beyond imagination!
We stayed in the same hotel as 13 years ago which was, at that time, almost the only building at Jumeirah Beach. Look what there is now (the 2 low buildings in the middle are the ones from the hotel):
We had a lovely week full of much needed sunshine & warmth and didn't do too much :-)
No doubt that we had to visit the Atlantis Aquaventure & the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi (fastest roller coaster in the world, with speed up to 275 kph... we survived but no pictures!)
Atlantis, THE slide
Floating through the ray fish & sharks...
And of course we had to visit the new malls like the Dubai Mall with the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world, 828 metres) and the ice rink.
We also went to the Mall of the Emirates with the indoor ski center. The Walk is a very nice outdoor shopping district which was just a few steps away from our hotel.
For the rest we enjoyed lazy hours at the beach, nice food & drinks, some tennis, reading, soccer & volleybal & meeting friends.
Watching a polo game
Amazing modern architecture & still a lot of culture