I was excited about the fact that my reasonably priced air fare came with an 8 hour stop over in Dubai. So when the plane landed on a sunny Thursday morning, I hurried over to passport control so I could make the most of my time there. Unnecessary extra passport checks (when everyone else seemed to pass through swiftly) and being stopped after passing ‘Nothing to Declare’ left a sour taste in my mouth, but nevertheless I continued and after being hassled by two taxi drivers and walking the wrong way down a corridor, a nice airport official pointed out where the Metro was and my short Dubai adventure could finally begin.
I arrived at the Dubai mall stop and walked down what felt like a billion moving walkways before I was finally acquainted with the ginormous sea of shops known as the Dubai Mall.The only problem was that I had arrived too early. It didn’t open for another hour. Wandering around the empty mall, I came across Waitrose (a British supermarket for anyone who didn’t know) and decided to get a few bits and bobs and a hot snack for breakfast; only I was ignored by the person serving behind the counter; he seemed to be serving everyone but me even those that came to the counter after I did. Eventually I got my food and then headed outside to take pictures of the Burj Khalifa before going to the top.
The ‘top’ was actually just over half way up (there was another viewing platform on a higher floor but it was way more expensive) and I wish I could say that I absolutely loved the view but that wasn’t the case. It was nice to look across the city and see the spaghetti-like roads, tall buildings and the water but I just wasn’t that excited by it all. I don’t know if it was because Dubai had already left a bad taste in my mouth but I didn’t enjoy the Burj Khalifa in the way that I would normally enjoy such an attraction.
I realised through this experience that lavish 5 star holiday destinations are not my thing at the moment. My brain seems to be firmly in budget backpacker mode. I’m sure Dubai would make a wonderful holiday destination and maybe I’ll give it another chance and come back one day with friends or family and a suitcase and nice shoes (instead of a rucksack and not-so-glamorous walking sandals) but this time round, once my time was up, I was more than ready to wave goodbye to the extreme extravagance and say a big hello to Thailand!