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Dubai, UAE

Dubai lived up to it's reputation of having many high rise buildings and a lot of glitz. They have a three kilometer man made river, they have the Burj Jumeirah Resort built on an artificial island, they have Palm Island a huge artificial island built in the shape of a date palm where every condo sold out in 72 hours from the start of the sale. They also have the biggest glitz of all, the tallest building in the World the Burj Khalifah and we went up near the top and what a sight to see.

Our day started with a Dubai City Tour while Bill went off by taxi to collect Mary at her hotel and bring her back to the ship. We saw the Dubai Marina, Palm Island and a "local" Souk that was fancier than malls at home. We only drove past the Dubai Mall as to stop with our bus would be to never assemble the passengers again as this is the largest Mall in the world and makes the Mall of America look tiny. We met Mary and Bill for lunch back on the ship and made plans for the evening. We ended up taking the ships shuttle to the Dubai Mall. We had tried the day before to book tickets to the top of the Burj Khalifah but could not get the official site to accept any of our credit cards which was strange but as we walked inside the huge mall we found an official seller of tickets and signed up for the 9:00 pm trip to the top. Don't think that because this mall is huge that it is not filled with crowds of people because it certainly is, people everywhere! We struggled through the crowds and took the first restaurant we could get into as time was short before our trip up. Among many other things the Dubai Mall has a water fountain show similar to the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We could see the show while we ate dinner. I thought the tickets were expensive when we purchased them but it was our only shot at the top. Turned out we had a guided tour to both the standard "Top" at floor 124 as well as a trip up to the 148th floor as well. We started out in a special room where they served dates and tea while we waited as a group with others. The elevator to the 124th takes about a minute and is the fastest in the world. As it starts to ascend the lights go out and the timer shows the elapsed time to the top. All ears popped several times. We immediately were directed to the second elevator to floor 148 where they had at least a 180 degree view of the city, Far Below! At 828 Meters the Burj Khalifah is the tallest building in the world, that is almost 2,800' tall. During construction is was slated to be called the Burj Dubai Tower but in the oil crisis they ran out of money in Dubai and their big brother Abu Dabi had to step in to the tune of Ten Billion Dollars to help out and the name of the head guy there is "Khalifah", so its the Burj Khalifah instead of the Burj Dubai.

Aquarium in the Dubai Mall

News while we take our trip to the 148th

Dubai Marina Area

Elevators from the ground floor

Our bus drove by all the big show rooms for the highest end cars in the world. Audi has the largest Audi show room in the world here and it is four stories tall.

Just some ho hum sky line, the tallest hotel, the tallest this and the tallest that, they got it all including the biggest mall with over 1,200 Stores

Picture from the outside viewing area from the 148th floor of the burj Khalifah Tower at night

The Burj Khalifah from the Al Baahar Souk and I think we went up to the highest dark ring.

The Atlantis Hotel on Palm Island. The room at the top middle goes for $23,000 US Dollars and it includes breakfast. This Atlantis is similar to the Bahamas but does not have a casino

View from the Souk and this is where they had the dancing waters show like Bellagio at night only with Arabic music.

Acres of cars destined for all over the Persian Gulf

The Burj Jumeirah Iconic Resort where the lowest priced room starts at $1,800 US and the highest is $25,000 per night and does not include breakfast but does include a helicopter pickup at the airport. This is as close as they would take our buses.

This morning we had another boot camp with Yaelie with Mary looking on from the treadmill and laughing. We had a new move today that she demonstrated and Bill and I slaughtered to the point we were all laughing so she gave that one up and replaced it with another. Even the Captain and Hotel Director Norman came by and watched us and made comments today in the gym. We signed up for our next boot camp day after tomorrow in Muscat, Oman and then after that we have four days at sea with boot camp every day while we sail through Pirate infested waters. We got a special letter in our rooms last night about what the ship will do during this transit of dangerous waters and what we should do if attacked, if boarded by pirates, if then boarded by military, etc. It's a little scary and we will lose all lights and even internet at times, more later.

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