Getting Out of Jeddah
Although Jeddah is a cool place, sometimes it is necessary to get out of the Kingdom once in a while. And that is exactly what we did – we took a great trip to Dubai as a family. It was a short plane ride, and is definitely a place worth seeing – so we went, and we had an awesome time.
Flying to Dubai
We flew on FlyNas – a low cost airline for travel in the Middle East. It was cool. We took the trip towards the end of the Hajj season, so the airport was still full of Muslim pilgrims who had taken the the pilgrimage to Mecca. We thought that getting out on a 7:10 a.m. flight was a good idea, this way we could arrive in Dubai by late morning on the same day. That being said, we had to get picked up at our house by about 4:00 a.m. to get the airport on time, which meant we were all up by about 3:30 a.m. It went totally smoothly though. Jacqueline was amazing as usual, and Jonathan loved it. I think that Jacqueline has been on about ten flights so far, and this made her fourth international flight – so you could say she is a seasoned traveller. Her passport is awesome for a two-and-a-half year-0ld.
Our Hotel – the Grand Hyatt Dubai
As usual, our hotels for our family vacations are always awesome and this was certainly no exception.
The cool thing about this hotel is that it was like a resort within the city. Usually, Dubai brings to mind an urban environment, which it most certainly is. The Grand Hyatt, though, is like an oasis in the city – there were beautiful pools, which Jacqueline and I loved. There were outdoor running tracks, and incredibly beautiful amenities. The outdoor grounds were nice for evening strolls.
Our room was a suite with a large living room, two bathrooms and a bedroom. The breakfast buffet was one of the best we’ve experienced, including Indian food, cheeses from around the world, waffle stations and much more. At night we would go upstairs to the private club area where we would enjoy dinner and drinks. Jacqueline had a contingent of fans and friends here, so walking into there was liking walking into a red carpet spray – people eagerly awaited her arrival. The hotel was one of our favorite parts of the trip!
Out and About in Dubai
There are, of course, tons of things to do in Dubai. And we did everything we could in the five days we were there. We saw dolphin shows, we went to the Dubai mall, we shopped, and we had a blast.
One of the things that gave us a bit of a start was that our taxi driver was a woman – obviously no big deal but after spending a few months in Saudi Arabia, where women are not permitted to drive, this was a nice change of pace. We went to this completely amazing Pakistani restaurant called Ravi, which is something of a Dubai institution. Pakistani cuisine is similar to Indian – there are some differences of course, but generally similar as far as we can tell. If you love this type of cuisine, then this is a must try.
Architecture and the Burj Khalifa (the World’s Tallest Building)
One of the things that drew us to Dubai, and one of the main draws of this city, is the innovative architecture. Being fans of architecture, we really enjoyed looking at and photographing the buildings.
In a city like Dubai, architects are free to take chances, to explore, and to be creative. Such creativity can have both good and bad results, but nevertheless it is a lot of fun to see the diversity of architecture.
The most famous building in Dubai, and one of the most famous buildings in the world, is the Burj Khalifa. This is currently the tallest building in the world (we say currently because we hear rumors that a taller building is being built right in our current “home” city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia). Here it is:
One of the must-do attractions in Dubai is going to the top of the Burj. Seeing Dubai from such heights is truly spectacular, whether one visits during the day or night – we went during the day and had a great time taking pictures of the Dubai cityscape.
Jacqueline had a great time. She walked onto the observation deck and people turned their cameras away from the amazing views of the city and turned their cameras onto her! We’re serious – a whole group of people were snapping photos of her as if she was a celebrity. Here she is loving the attention (there were about 20 people taking pictures of her at this point):
And this is her checking out how some of the photos came out (she approved):
Overall, the Burj Khalifa was one of the standouts of our trip. The whole family had a great time.
Back to Jeddah
It was really cool to get out of Jeddah and enjoy Dubai.
Dubai is definitely worth seeing. If you are coming from outside of the region, then Dubai is a location to add to your itinerary just because it is so unique – but it should not be your only stop – there are many amazing things to see in the Middle East.