We’ve been to Dubai many times for work but this time, we planned in advance to bring Joe, Judith and Javier along. We are keen to show them other cultures than the norm in KL.
So off we went on a morning flight to Dubai via an Emirates flight.
Kids can’t wait to fly and can’t wait to be in Dubai
Taking the Aerotrain to our gate
Let the entertainment begin! ICE ICE baby!
7 hours of non-stop entertainment in the air. I think that’s the best part about flying for the kids. For me, no entertainment no problem; I just need my Kindle.
So, there’s work and there’s play. We stayed just above the expo centre therefore the kids were well protected. We took turns going up and down bringing food and checking on their never-ending activities for three days. Between the three days and the days before and after, we went sight-seeing.
First stop would be….. a walk in Deira City to the creek
I think we walked a total of 2.5km to get to the jetty. The kids watched how men unload and load goods from rickety boats. Some were just sitting on dhows staring out into the sea.
After we have reached the docks, we were bombarded by fellow boat men for their services of water taxis. One offered us a whole yacht at outrageous price; some pressed us on going onto the boats with equally price but finally we settled for this gentleman who was just sitting on his abra waiting for potential customers.
The sun was really blazing… check them out squinting even with sunnies on and I have no idea how Joe can stand the heat wearing a fleece jacket.
This building is the National Bank of Dubai. It’s uniqueness sure to catch anyone’s eye during their cruise. It sure did caught my attention; smack right at my face!
History: Build in mid-1990s. The form of the building is inspired by the dhows that traditionally plied the Creek (and still do, though without sails). The tower is supported at the sides by two massive granite columns, and faced with glass curtain walls; on the Creek side this curtain wall curves gracefully from top to bottom, like a billowing sail.
Upon stepping on the boat, Javier fidgeted for at least 5 minutes; thinking that he would fall. Eventually, he was all smiles and even happily walking around the tiny boat (dhow).
Everybody wants to be at the front of the boat!
Awww… our kiddos look so relax. I feel the same each time I look at this picture. Endless possibilities out there.
Looks like someone isn’t afraid anymore. Smiling and grinning all the way to shore!
Our next itinerary is At The Top which we bought e-admission tickets 2 weeks before our trip. Mind you, the tickets can be sold out a month in advance and the price difference between buying timed pre-tix (Dirhams 125) and on the spot tix (Dirhams 400) is pretty absurd. I guess it’s always good to plan in advance and check out the rates on trip advisors.
Our passes to Burj Khalifa
The 65 metre-long edu-travelator
After leaving reception and security check-point, we were off to the travelator where it transports us through time; from the earliest days of Dubai, the building of Burj Khalifa up to its present time.
We ascent to the observation deck via a high speed elevator which travels at 10 metres per second. The observation deck is located on the 124th floor.
View from the indoor observation deck. That’s the Dubai Mall
Unobstructed view of Dubai’s city, desert and ocean
Our third stop would be an outdoor activity and that would be the Desert Safari.
We booked the safari tour in advance as well via online. I googled for some reviews to find which company offers the best fun filled dune bashing for a family with young children.
In the end, I chose Funtours Dubai. Why? I don’t know, I just have a good feeling that they will be perfect and the fact that it’s a British managed company puts me at ease.
The day before the tour, they even called me up as a gentle reminder of the date and time.
At AED600/car inclusive of pick up & drop off hotel – 20 mins dune bashing – sand boarding – camel riding – 5 bottles of mineral water (we didn’t expect complimentary water so I filled up two bottles and we had 7 bottles in total)
Joe and Judith sat at the rear while Jake, Javier and me sat in the passenger seats.
During the dune bashing, our driver, Qismat was very kind. He asked the kids if they were fine, whether they were enjoying themselves, if they needed water, more bumps, etc.
Funtours have very good and considerate drivers and they are good with children too. Superbly amazing! Even we as adults were impressed.
There were a total of 5 vehicles that went dune bashing together. This was for precaution in case of inexperience drivers that will cause something like the above. Stuck!
And that’s where the others come in. Haul-back time! This was surely an experience not to be missed.
After having enough of dune bashing and knocking our heads all over the place, the drivers found a nice spot, parked and marked it as our time-out zone.
Qismat fooling around with the kids
Anyone up for sand boarding?
After the kids got down from the 4WD, their first reaction was… my sandals are filled with sand!!! After advising them to remove them, they didn’t want to move from where they were standing; thinking that their feet might get stuck just like the car. After some coaching and tips, off they went running around like chicken that lose their heads. The desert became their long lost friend. I have pictures for you to confirm my statement so…. enjoy!
“Arrrrrrrr…..SAND! SAND! I’VE GOT SAND IN MY SANDALS!”
“MOM, LOOK THEY ARE SO FINE”
“WATER! WATER! I NEED WATER!” – drama queen in the making
“MOM, WE ARE UP HERE!”
I guess Joe found something to carry his sand
Javier also found an empty bottle!
Javier and Judith posing under under and over the heat. They look like they are at the beach!
Yeap… we were here. Checked-in!
We even managed to capture a family picture before we left the desert. Blue t-shirt courtesy of Funtours Dubai upon booking directly from their website. Souvenir!
After a short ride back to the camp side and rest area, we were given some time to refresh before our journey back to the city. The kids took advantage of the complimentary camel ride and they vowed never to do it again.
Ride safely kids! Giddy up.
Another attraction at the resting area. Baboon who isn’t shy and wants to grab anything he can reach.
After a short rest, we headed back to the city. We asked Qismat to drop us off at the Dubai Mall and he gladly did us the favor. In return, we gave him a small tip to thank him for his wonderful service.
After having enough of Dubai, we packed our bags and headed to the airport.
Hubby showing the kids how to use the ‘Self Check-in’ machine at Dubai International Airport
Do-Re-Mi walking on the jetway towards our plane
…..but our journey didn’t end here. We are heading to the ‘LAND OF DIVERSITY & FLYING CARPETS!’
Stay tuned for more!!!!