Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dubai, UAE Trip

So back in 2013, Richard and I had planned and booked a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 5th Anniversary.....then State called and his training started the week after we would have returned from said trip.....sadly, with having to pack up our lives and sell our house (and not enough time), we cancelled the trip. With Richard's parents visiting, we took advantage of someone here to watch the kids and headed to an equally warm and sunny tropical local....Dubai in the United Arab Emirates!

An unfortunate quirk about the Tbilisi airport is about 90% of their flights arrive between 3 & 5 am and depart between 4 & 6 we got a VERY early start to our first day. We dropped our luggage off at the hotel and took the shuttle to the Dubai Mall for some shopping and dining.

Dubai is (successfully) striving to be a tourist destination. Part of achieving that goal is to build the biggest and best of everything. So naturally, the Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world (above photo is almost entirely the mall)! We had an aquarium, 1200 shops & restaurants to entertain ourselves with that day.

Given that about 80% of the 2.2 million people living in Dubai are expats....most of the shops and stores are chains from other countries......such as the US, Britain, France, etc. So throughout our trip, Richard and I happily partook in tasty bites from: Starbucks (of course), The Cheesecake Factory, Outback, P.F. Changs, Dunkin Donuts (I was even the best mom ever and brought the kids back a box of donut holes!), Shake Shack, Baskin Robbins, Subway, Pizza Hut, Mc Donalds. The majority of which we haven't had to chance to eat at since we were stateside.......

There are dinosaur footprints in the mall, leading you to the Dubai Dino down in the Gold Souk section of the mall. It is the original skeleton of a Sauropod that is 155 million years old. According to its website, the dinosaur was discovered in Dana Quarry in Wyoming in 2008. Almost all the bones were intact....making it the most complete exhibit in the world.

Of course, being a marine biologist....we had to go to the aquarium in the mall.....and with no kids on the trip...we must act like kids....

King Croc lives at the aquarium as well. He is huge....over 750 kgs (a little more than 14.5 large grown men) and over 5 m long (longer than 6 supermarket shopping carts)! He is the largest reptile in an aquarium (and a sign at the exhibit suggested he may get over 1000 kgs when fully grown).

One nice thing about Dubai, is when people own really expensive cars....they actually drive them! I never see fancy cars on the roads in the states but in we saw Bentley, Porsches (counted 6 in morning rush hour traffic one day), Lamborghini (everyone with a Y-chromosome in the shuttle oogled that one as we came up next to it and then later passed it), Aston Martin, Ferrari, etc. Here's a couple we saw in the special valet parking area in front of Bloomingdales (there is a small sign in the window of the car that says "Do Not Touch Car")....

And no, I didn't not touch it though it appears so in the cool! Pink!

There were multiple candy stores......

Comic book store with life size hulk

Gold vending machines!

HUGE toy store with really cool lego things

All the different wings had a different decor/style.....this atrium had a really neat butterfly sculpture was cool....

We were even surprised on a different day in the mall we came upon a wing we hadn't seen yet. This wing allowed me to channel my extremely distant cousin-in-law with a love a British designers...

And what coastal town mall is complete without a lighted palm tree avenue?


  1. Dubai is another planet - love the dinosaur skeleton casually placed into a mall.

  2. I could live on planet Dubai for a few years. I can definitely relate to the food deprivation after living in a very remote part of Indonesia our family flew to Singapore and inhaled McDonald's food like we'd never eaten before.