(United Arab Emirates Flag)


(United Arab Emirates Map)


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2015:




Click on the images below for the original full-size image.

At sunrise on Sunday we sailed back into Dubai.
Sailing into Dubai at sunrise

We joined Cunard's Queen Elizabeth II which was already docked in the harbor.
Queen Elizabeth II docked in Dubai

My first order of business was a spectacular seaplane flight over Dubai.
The flight left from the harbor not more than a few feet from the ship.
Seaplane docked next to our ship

Watch the video below for my breathtaking seaplane flight.

21 minute video of my seaplane flight over Dubai.


I returned to the ship after the flight.
After the sun set I took an open-top bus tour of Dubai.
Watch the video below to see some highlights of the tour.

24 minute video of my night tour of Dubai.


MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON DECEMBER 27, 2015
Hello people,

We left wet Abu Dhabi shortly after the sun set last night. It was very slow cruising over to Dubai this morning as it was only 80 miles away. We docked here at 8:00 this morning. Below is a beautiful picture of the Dubai skyline at sunrise from the ship.



Those clouds in the picture above moved out right away and it is a beautiful day. The first thing I did was hop on a seaplane right here in the harbor for a spectacular 40 minute flight over Dubai. We flew over the Burj Al Arab Hotel. Described as the world's only seven star hotel. I would have liked to have stayed there. But there cheapest room is like $5000 per night.



We then flew around beautiful Palm Jumeirah. This is where I stayed last Sunday night before I started my cruise. That is Atlantis out on the tip of the Palm.



Next we flew directly over the Dubai Marina. The Dubai Marina is recognized as having the single greatest concentration of the world's tallest skyscrapers. That's Palm Jumeirah behind the marina.



Unfortunately we were looking into the sun when we flew past Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. It stands 167 stories high.



We flew by Dubai Creek. This is old Dubai, where the city started. That is the Dubai Airport at the top of the picture.



Below is more of Dubai Creek.



Unfortunately it was now time to land. You can see the harbor coming into view in the picture below as we leave Dubai Creek. The ship on the upper left in the picture below is mine.



We flew over my ship and landed right beside it.



It has been a nice relaxing cruise. But my feet are really limiting what I can do. This afternoon I will be packing up to disembark the ship tomorrow morning. This evening I am going to take a night tour of the city.

Until later,

Tim



MONDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2015:

I disembarked the Splendor of the Seas this morning.
I took a cab to the Sofitel Downtown Dubai Hotel for a four night stay.

3 minute video of the Sofitel Downtown Dubai Hotel.

Monday afternoon I took a tour of the city.
Our first stop was at Medinat Jumeirah.
Dubai's Burj Al Arab Hotel from Medinat Jumeirah

2 minute video of Medinat Jumeirah.

Next we journeyed to the nearby Dubai Marina.
The Dubai Marina

We took a sunset cruise around the marina.
The Dubai Marina

Watch the video below to see the cruise.

19 minute video of my Dubai Marina cruise.


Next we journeyed back to Downtown Dubai.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Armani Hotel which occupies several floors of Burj Khalifa.
During our dinner on the balcony we enjoyed several performances of the Dubai Fountain.

25 minute video of the Dubai Fountain.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON DECEMBER 28, 2015
Hello folks,

I walked off the ship this morning at 8:00am. I took a cab to the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Dubai where I will be spending the next four nights. I have a nice room overlooking Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.



After I got settled at the hotel I went over to the Dubai Mall. My hotel is right next to the metro station and there is a mile long moving walkway that runs from the metro station to the mall. This mall is already the largest in the world but they are still adding on to it. And a few miles down the road they are building another mall that will be three times larger than this one. The word "small" is not in the Dubai dictionary. I had lunch at Five Guys, my favorite burger place. I ate outside directly under Burj Khalifa.

This afternoon I visited the souk at Madinat Jumeirah. You get a really nice view of the Burj Al Arab hotel while looking down the canal at the souk.



Not far from the souk is Dubai Marina. I took a boat cruise of the Marina in an old wooden dhow. This is a really nice area of Dubai. Most of these buildings are apartments and condos with a few hotels thrown in. The twisted building on the right in the picture below is the Cayan Tower. It is 73 stories and is the world's tallest building with a twist of 90 degrees. The picture below was taken from the boat.



The sun had almost set by the time I got off the boat. Below is another picture of the marina as I was walking away from the boat. You can really see the twist in the Cayan Tower in the picture below.



It was back to Burj Khalifa after the boat cruise. I had dinner at the Armani Hotel which occupies the first several floors of Burj Khalifa. The food was delicious and I ate outside on the balcony overlooking the Dubai Fountain. I saw three different water shows as I ate my dinner.



After dinner I went upstairs to the 124th floor for a nice view of the city. The lousy picture below was shot without a tripod but it is looking toward the financial buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road.



I didn't get back to the hotel until after 11:00. It's 1:00am now, I better get to bed.

Tim



TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2015:

This afternoon I went back to the top of Burj Khalifa.
View from the top of Burj Khalifa

This was a special "Sky" admission where I got special access to
higher floors and I didn't have to wait in the long lines.
View from the top of Burj Khalifa

I spent a couple hours at the top.
After the sun set it was a unique vantage point to watch one of the fountain shows.
View from the top of Burj Khalifa

24 minute video of my Burj Khalifa SKY experience.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON DECEMBER 29, 2015
Hello folks,

This morning didn't start off too well. I had booked a speed boat cruise around Palm Jumeirah. They were supposed to pick me up at my hotel at 9:00am but they never showed up. So I now had some free time on my hands. I decided to go see the new Star Wars movie. I went online and booked my ticket. I had intended to go to the Dubai Mall which is adjacent to my hotel. But when I was done I noticed that I accidentally selected the Dubai Marina Mall. So I hopped on the Metro and went out to the Dubai Marina. I had lunch at the mall before the movie. The movie was ok, but I thought everything that happened was very predictable. After the movie it was back to Burj Khalifa. Today I had a special "Sky" entrance ticket. This is a VIP entrance. You bypass the very LONG lines. They also take you to the 148th floor. The general public deck is on the 124th floor. There is also a nice lounge up there where they serve you drinks and snacks. I got to the top when it was still light outside.



I stuck around on the 148th floor and watched the sun set behind Palm Jumeirah.



The picture below is from the 125th floor. That is my hotel on the left. It is the smaller building sandwiched between the two taller towers. That's Sheikh Zayed Road running in front of the hotel.



I then waited for it to get completely dark so I could watch one of the fountain shows from the 124th floor. I think I am going to enter the picture below in a photo contest.



All total I spent over two hours up there. When I was leaving the line to go to the top was about a mile long. I can't image how long those people were going to wait. You also have to wait in that huge line to come back down. The extra money I paid for the "Sky" ticket was well worth it.

More later,

Tim



WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2015:

Today I visited Dubai Creek.
I took an abra ride across the creek.
The Creek is the original center of the city's commerce and still
buzzes with boats zipping up and down plying their trade and cargo.
Dubai Creek

This area is home to many souks.
These historic markets offer hospitable trading and good-natured bartering.
One of Dubai's many souks

17 minute video of Dubai Creek.

I got around the city today on one of the open-top buses.
The picture below was taken along the Dubai Creek.
Happy Dubai sign along the Dubai Creek

After leaving Dubai Creek I went to the Dubai Mall.
Watch the video below to see the world's largest retail shopping mall.

19 minute video of the Dubai Mall.

After exploring the mall I spent the rest of the afternoon around Burj Khalifa Lake.
Below is the Address Downtown Dubai Hotel along the lake.
I stayed here back in 2012. This hotel would catch fire in about 24 hours.
Address Hotel Downtown Dubai

Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest building.
Burj Khalifa

You can see the zip line going in front of Burj Khalifa below.
Burj Khalifa

I hung around the lake until after the sun set.
Burj Khalifa

I enjoyed several performances of the Dubai Fountain.
Watch the video below to see several different shows from various vantage points.

25 minute original unedited version of the fountain shows.

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON DECEMBER 30, 2015
Hello again,

It's time for your daily spam email from me. I slept kind of late today and then went downstairs and had breakfast. I then set out for the day. I went over to the Dubai Creek. This is the old part of the city where the city was started. I took a cruise down the creek.



Also in this area there are lots of souks. I took a short walk through one of them.



Between the awful traffic in this city that doesn't move at all and my bad feet which only let me move at a snail's pace, it takes me a remarkably long time to do relatively little. It was back to the Dubai Mall after my creek outing. Below is the mall's main entrance.



I slowly made my way across the mega mall. Below is the ice skating rink.



You might not be able to tell from the picture below, but the waterfall atrium is quite impressive, and what you see in the picture is only half of it.



I had lunch at the mall. I then went outside and walked around the promenade. Below is Burj Khalifa from across the lake.



I staked out my spot to see the fountain shows, this time from ground level. You wouldn't believe how crowded this place gets after dark. I can't image what it is going to be like tomorrow on New Years Eve. Below is a nice shot of the tower as the sun was setting.



Burj Khalifa is the tallest artificial structure in the world, standing at 2,722 feet high. It was almost dark when I shot the picture below.



I know what you all are thinking. I haven't included enough pictures of Burj Khalifa. OK, here's one more to complete the set.



I stayed and watched three of the fountain shows and then went back to the hotel for the night.



I hope you all have a nice New Years Eve tomorrow.

Until next time,

Tim



THURSDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2015:

This afternoon I hopped on the Metro to the financial center along Skeikh Zayed Road.
Financial center along Skeikh Zayed Road

The Sheikh Zayed Road is home to most of Dubai's skyscrapers.
Financial center along Skeikh Zayed Road

22 minute video of Sheikh Zayed Road.

Then at midnight I enjoyed the fireworks around Burj Khalifa from my hotel room.

(Note: Video of the fireworks is at the end of the Burj Khalifa video above.)

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON DECEMBER 31, 2015
Hello folks,

I didn't do a whole lot today. This is my last day in Dubai. I had breakfast at the hotel this morning. Around noon I hopped on the Metro and explored Sheikh Zayed Road and the financial district.



I had lunch at a Tim Horton's cafe in one of these skyscrapers.



I took the metro back to my hotel. It was so packed with people, we were packed in there like sardines. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at the hotel. Below is a picture of the Address Hotel shot yesterday. This is where I stayed the last time I was here. It is attached to the Dubai Mall and just across from Burj Khalifa. Early this evening it caught fire. It was a huge inferno. I could see the flames from my hotel window. They were shooting half way up the building and shooting out firey debris every where. Hours later I can still see it burning but it seems to be contained to the lower floors now. How this wasn't a problem for the New Years Eve fireworks only a few feet away I don't know. I shot a short video of the fire below.



Below is the Address Hotel a few hours before the fire.



At midnight I watched the fireworks go off on schedule from my hotel window. I didn't feel like getting into that humongous crowd or to dodge firey ash falling from the nearby hotel. They said to get a decent spot you need to get there before 6:00. No way was I going to stand there for over six hours waiting. It is now just past midnight here. I wish you all a very happy New Year.



Tim

This was my second visit to Dubai. I was also here in 2012.




Click on the arrow above for my adventures in DOHA, QATAR.

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