Dubai pretty much looks like a baller rap video wherever you go but you can actually do it on the cheap…that is once you get there. if you’re no where near the UAE, or don’t have platinum level airline status or points, you’re pretty much SOL. they have a very solid metro system (reach and cleanliness) and if you collect any type of travel rewards they have every chain of hotel you can imagine – we stayed at a the four points downtown for very few points in comparison to other major metros. to that point there is more or less two experiences in Dubai; downtown or the beach. in hindsight, i think we would have fared better staying in one of the beach hotels as downtown offers what most every major metro does – shopping, restaurants, rooftops and clubs – which aren’t a bad thing but we were there to relax between India and Africa.
THE OPENING TO KANYE’S NEXT VIDEO
we landed early afternoon and after discussing our activity options with the concierge we decided an “off day” was in order. rest of the day went like this: write, eat western food, hotel roof, eat more western food and repeat. our only real activity included a DHL run to get rid of souvenirs from India and more unnecessary clothing. en route to breakfast the next morning Caroline booked us a boat ride thru the palm and a desert safari / sand dunes tour for the following day. i confronted the front desk manager bc i realized that morning they put us in the wrong room. writing this much after-that-fact feels somewhat meaningless to have even said anything, but we booked on points and i thought it was worth a couple free breakfasts to call out their mistake…and it was. mogans (MGS) 1 – four points sheridan (FPS) 0. post-buffet we headed to the palm to find out our boat tour had been cancelled due to weather (MGS 1 – FPS 1) so we decided to use the opportunity to walk around the harbor before heading up to the top of the marriott to enjoy rose and take in the palm from above (MGS 2 – FPS 1). post-rose seemed like a good time to go to the dubai mall to eat more western food then head up to the top of the burj khalifa to watch the burj khalifa fountains (much better video than ours) and sunset. with the evening now upon us we headed right back downstairs to the food court to eat yet another very unhealthy western meal at which we are now too full to do anything but go straight to bed.
STATION TO STATION
PALM FROM THE MARRIOT
day 3 was a big one…lots of activities planned including a redeye to Africa. we woke up VERY early for our free buffet (MGS 3 – FPS 1) then jumped in a brand new land cruiser and headed out to the desert. our first stop was at a dune buggy crash course some family “built” in their backyard. this wasn’t exactly cheap, most fun activities aren’t, but we did a cost-analysis and didn’t really see another opportunity like it in the near future. post-buggy we drove even further into the desert when Ahmed (our driver) pulled off to let more or less all the air out of his tires. we spent the next 2 hrs “dune crashing” 20 & 30 ft sand-dunes, terrifying, before getting to this fairly cheesy “desert oasis” for a few additional sand based activities – camels, boarding, etc. on way back into the city Ahmed took the long route to show us all the royal family houses, or what you could see of them from the fences, and give us all the gossip about the royal kids and their city boondoggles. once back in the city we headed to the JBR walk, per Tyler Maloney’s recommendation. unless you’re staying in the area or have more than a few hours, I wouldn’t recommend it. JBR is basically the Destin, Florida of the middle east…sorry Tyler. with a flight approaching we loaded up on snacks, showered at the hotel gym and headed to the airport for a 40 min flight to Doha where we snuck into the business lounge to upload photos to wordpress and sleep for a few hours until we departed for Africa. next up….kili.
BUGGY CRASH COURSE
DUNE CRASHING IN THE DESERT
OUR RIDES POST-DUNE CRASHING
CAROLINE GOES SAND BOARDING
HOGAN GOES SAND BOARDING