Today was jam packed with all sorts of craziness! We were picked up at 8am in a Land Cruiser to go on a desert safari. About 45 minutes later, we stopped and our driver (who was seriously mental) let air out of the tires. After that, we sped off deep into the desert! Soon we were flying over sand dunes and going up sides of dunes so steep we were sure the car was going to flip over. Meanwhile our crazy driver was laughing and cackling!
Once we arrived at the camp, we were sort of scared for our lives. However it was a lot of fun from there on out. We drove four wheelers all over the dunes and then got to ride camels! We went sand boarding, and Jeff wiped out, getting sand all over. We even came across some wild camels on our way back.
Later, we drove by the Sheik of Dubai’s home, and I can say I have never seen a wall so large in my life. His property probably takes 30 minutes to drive all the way around. I took a picture of the wall – it really goes on further than the eye can see.
After we returned, we went for high tea at the top of the Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world. It was absolutely fabulous in every way. The interior design, the view, the champagne – all part of an experience we will never forget.
For dinner, we met up with some friends of friends who live in Dubai. They moved here from London about a year ago, and it was amazing hearing about their experiences living in this city. The restaurant was out on planks, which were built above the bay – sort of felt like we were in Bora Bora (minus the huge buildings).
Tomorrow is our last day in Dubai along with my helicopter shoot. Excited to see this city from above!
xx – G
Today was all about having fun. After a very long night’s rest, we awoke refreshed and ready for an adventure…an Aquaventure!
We took a car to the Atlantis hotel, which is on the very tip of the famous man-made Palm Island here in Dubai. The hotel is connected to a massive water park called Aquaventure. The water park was so much fun, with tons of water rides. One ride sent you through a sealed tube that passed inside a shark tank while tons of massive sharks and sea life swam around you.
Driving to and from the water park, it was hard to not to be infatuated with all of the buildings, many of which are not finished and left with abandoned construction. A really impressive thing about Dubai is its above ground metro system. You can see the trains and futuristic-styled, covered platforms running along the highway. In the photos below, you’ll also see the view of the Arabian Gulf from the outer circle of the man-made Palm Island. All of the houses and buildings on Palm Island had the same exact architecture. It was so fascinating – like seeing one huge country club or development on just another man-made development – a whole fake island! And then there were such quirky objects we ran across – like a vending machine that sold gold!
We ended the day by going to dinner at an outdoor traditional Arabic/Lebanese restaurant. The views were gorgeous and the food was extremely interesting and delicious. We smoked hookah as a live band played uplifting, traditional music. We retired to the hotel with a great view before heading to bed.
Tomorrow we are off to the desert!
xx – G
Today was out first day in Dubai! After arriving at our hotel, we had to nap. We both were pretty jet lagged after such a long flight! The entrance to the hotel is absolutely stunning, and the entire place is very advanced technology wise. The rooms don’t even have switches, they have computer screens!
We decided to spend out first afternoon in Old Dubai, visiting the Gold Souk. We had a little bit of a Sex and the City moment when the hotel arranged for a black cadillac escalade to drive us. The drive itself was mesmerizing – all of the billboards and advertisements… seeing the buildings all over the skyline… passing land mark after land mark.
Once we got there we most definitely stood out like a sore thumb. Dressed in button downs and jeans, we were offered Rolex watches every 20 feet by a street vender. The experience was fascinating, though – lots men in garb and women in burkas, and street cats everywhere. We passed many scenes that were out of a movie, which put us a bit in culture shock. It was fun seeing all the bright Ali Baba shoes, as well as thousands of various pieces of gold jewelry.
On the way home the sun was setting over the skyline – the sun itself appears much larger on the horizon here at sunrise and sunset. We went to Buddha Bar for dinner before getting bed at 9PM!
Lots more to come,
xx – G