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Longest, widest, biggest, best. No – this isn’t an ad for RedTube (don’t even pretend you don’t know what that is). This is Dubai in a nutshell – an ever-changing city smack dab in the middle of the desert that loves its oil almost as much as it loves its superlatives.
There is a lot you can say about Dubai. I stayed at the JW Marriott Marquis, the tallest hotel in the world. I went to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, which is adjacent to the biggest mall in the world, The Dubai Mall. There is also something like the world’s biggest aquarium, the world’s widest structure, the world’s longest unmanned metro line…The list of Dubai’s superlatives is a superlative in itself.
For me, however, the best thing you can do in Dubai is to take a break from the frenzy and the glitz and get outside of the city for something truly unique.
“Dune bashing” is a great way to see a side of the world that you truly cannot get anywhere else, and I am told it is a way that the local youth like to spend their time. Several companies offer dune bashing tours, where you are taken out in jeeps with professionals who literally cruise the sand dunes. The topsy-turvy feeling gets old kind of quickly (at least, it did for me what with motion sickness and the fact that I’m not really one for thrills and spills), but the moments when you get out of the jeep for a photo op will leave you with that, “oh my god I’m in Dubai” feeling. Rolling tan dunes span as far as the eye can see, until you happen upon local bedouin communities. It’s quiet. It’s empty. It’s that little thrill we all need when trying something new.
Check out Desert Safari Dubai, which offers late afternoon dune bashing tours, followed by a bedouin-style dinner out in the middle of the desert. The dinners include entertainment, barbecued meats, salads, shisha smoking and yes, there is a cash bar.
Hello from Dubai! After a 12-hour flight (and one of the best airplane experiences I’ve ever had), I am finally in the United Arab Emirates. Instead of regaling you with tales of the journey, which would undoubtedly be told with a haughty tone, I’ll just let my pictures speak for themselves.
The journey began at John F. Kennedy International Airport in the Emirates Lounge with a breakfast of Greek yogurt, an egg white omelet and a “detox juice” made of carrot, apple and ginger.
Settled into Business Class aboard the Emirates’ A380 plane. A380 planes are double deckers, with Business and First Class on the top level and Economy on the bottom.
Before takeoff, Business and First Class passengers are given a welcome drink and a Bvlgari amenity kit. Champagne! Bvlgari! It’s the life.
Emirates caters to my shameless Friends obsession. After takeoff, scroll through the expansive media library. There are enough hours of entertainment to take you around the world…twice.
After your main meal (and a good nap) head to the back of the plane where the Business Class bar serves up a selection of canapes…
Twelve hours later arrive in Dubai refreshed and ready to take on this futuristic, Jetson-esque hub of the world! Dubai, here I come!
Welcome to 2012, friends! Happy to see you here. Did you get all of those deliciously sin-filled activities done by midnight on December 31? Are you feeling baptized and reborn in the promising glow of a new start (which will fade by February, I’m sure)? I certainly hope so.
We are going to start off 2012 with a very vague post. I like to keep it vague because that just leaves room for a world of possibility. (Or I just don’t have anything specific to write about.) Anyway, Lonely Planet, once again, shared this awesome post about the top 10 things to do in 2012. Take a look! It’s early enough in the year that we can make grand statements about all the exotic places we are going to travel. Shh….just go with it.
Get ready for tomorrow when we will host the first Name that Skyline! contest of the year.
I’ve done my fair share of barhopping but now it’s time to see which ones made the cut in Lonely Planet‘s top 100 bars of the world. You can cast your vote and see the rankings change, but personally I like seeing how many of these I have been to. The grand total? Just one, but it frankly I thought I would have visited none. (Apotheke Bar, NYC)
Okay, now it’s your turn! Take a look at the list and share how many you have been to!
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope it is booze-filled and gluttonous!
Part of my job includes uploading special travel deals onto my company’s website. (Thrilling, I know, but somebody has to do it.) Normally the deals I come across include a complimentary hotel night after a paid three-night stay, or spa vouchers, or a free bottle of champagne upon arrival.
But today I was filing a deal for luxury tour-operator, Tahiti Legends, which was offering a 13-day trip to Tahiti. It included round-trip airfare, luxury accommodations, a three-night cruise, private dinners on the beach, and a whole lot of other stuff that I could never afford. How much did this “deal” cost?…
…$170,000 per couple!
No, you did not read that wrong, and no I did not put a comma in where I should have put a period. It is truly $170,000 per couple. Would we say that’s a deal? Shockingly, for some people, yes it is.
This got me thinking about the most expensive vacations in the world. A quick search on Google and I came up with this:
$1 million! So what does this package include?
The package, which was available from February 11, 2010, includes first class roundtrip on Etihad Airways from any international destination; seven nights in a Palace Suite at Emirates Palace, a chauffeur-driven Maybach trips during the stay; daily spa treatments in the Anantara Spa; and private jet trips to Iran, Jordan and Bahrain.
Now that is a vacation….if you can swing it. And I’m not judging. I’m just strongly considering a change in profession.