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Dubai

20 - 23 December 2006 staying at the Oasis Beach Hotel, Jumeirah, Dubai
23/24 & 29/30 December 2006 overnights aboard Costa Classica berthed at Port Rashid, Dubai

 
Big Bus City Tour - Blue Route
Dec 21, 2006

A great way to get one's bearings in Dubai is to take the Big Bus Tour.
http://www.bigbustours.com/dub/html/dub_home.html
There is not the time in one day to take advantage of visiting all the sites, and be aware the 109 minute timescale stated, is rather optimistic. Traffic is horrendous in Dubai and at times we felt it would be quicker walking! See the maps
http://www.bigbustours.com/dub/html/dub_map_tour.html

Carol and I boarded at no 20 on the blue route, swapped to the red route at no 8, Deira City Centre Shopping Mall, with a 25 minute wait, and after 3 1/2 hrs finally made it to the Gold Souk, no 6. Coming back was a bit quicker, again swapping routes at Deira City Centre. But it's a long day and we didn't get time to visit the Dubai Museum or do any of the tours included. A separate ticket is issued for the Arabian Dhow Cruise which remains valid for a month. These were used 9 days later and well worth going.

The Blue Route has live English Commentary, whilst on the Red Route, one is provided with a set of earphones and there is a choice of 8 different languages. Everything is Dubai, is bigger, taller, more modern, more expensive and better than anywhere else in the world;)

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Big Bus City Tour - Red Route
Dec 21, 2006

For comments & URLs see my album "Big Bus City Tour - Blue Route"

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Burj Al Arab [Views of]
Dec 20, 2006

No need for an explanation, I think the world over knows this property.
Various shots from land and sea [including Jumeirah Beach Hotel with the outside of Wild Wadi Waterpark], during the day and evening. Please also see my other Dubai albums as 'she' appears everywhere. Photos taken between 20 and 23 December 2006.
http://www.burj-al-arab.com/
http://www.jumeirahbeachhotel.com/
http://www.wildwadi.com/

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Dubai Cruise Terminal
Dec 23, 2006

Dubai Cruise Terminal at Port Rashid. A lovely building in the shape of a ship; very clean, neat and functional with all the facilities one expects; cafe, shops, forex and post box etc. A small 'Heritage/Cultural Exhibit' is on the dock, ship side.
http://www.dubaitourism.ae/Cruise/default.asp?SubCatID=28&nPage=2#
View movie clip of the Cruise Terminal & Port Rashid http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gWP26qeK2A

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Dubai Skyscrapers & Buildings
Dec 22, 2006

Dubai's Skyscrapers & Buildings other than seen on the Big Bus Tour. Who is going to live and work in all these apartment blocks and offices?
Angle needed to fit in the view finder, and many taken through the shuttle bus/taxi windows.

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Madinat Jumeirah
Dec 21, 2006

An evening vist on 21 Dec & morning visit on 22 Dec 2006 to Souk Madinat.
A lovely resort consisting of 2 two hotels and a souk. Also a Spa & conference and banqueting centre. Views of Burj Al Arab. I was hoping to be able to photograph Palm Jumeriah & ms Crown from here, but the hotels which extend out to sea were out of bounds to non-residents. The public souk area is in the middle. A lovely resort.
http://www.madinatjumeirah.com/

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Oasis Beach Hotel, Dubai
Dec 20, 2006

A very nice hotel on Jumeirah Beach with views of Palm Jumeriah. Make sure you book a sea facing room as there is much construction all around [as everywhere in Dubai] with noise 24hrs a day*. Anywhere else in the world it would be a good 4* property, but being in Dubai it cannot compare with the many superb 5*+ hotels.
However, it is good value, clean, good pools, lovely beach, large rooms and has everything you could want [except wireless internet access]. Salon prices are very cheap.

A number of restaurants to choose from. We took the half board option which enables you to have either lunch or dinner in the hotel, by means of vouchers, and eat elsewhere if wished for the other meal. Dining in the buffet is very good, and there is a different theme from around the world each night. Food is plenty, good quality, and a very wide variety of all dishes to suit most tastes.

There is a free shuttle bus to various 'hot spots' in Dubai, the Gold Souk, Mall of the Emirates amongst others. This should be pre-booked in advance, but we never had a problem going ad hoc anywhere. The shuttles are not very frequent, but taxis are incredibly cheap for the return trip.
http://www.jebelali-international.com/properties/oasis_beach_hotel/hotel/overview.html
We would stay here again any time.

*Jumeirah Beach Residence with 40 towers [36 residential & 4 hotels] ranging in height from 17 to 54 floors.
http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/cx/?id=jumeirahbeachresidence-dubai
http://www.emporis.com/files/transfer/6/2005/04/350099.jpg [with the properties along the coast with their private beaches in front omitted]

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Ski Dubai
Dec 21, 2006

Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates
Beverley, Katie, Sophie & Howard enjoyed a 2hr snowboarding session on 21 Dec [with 1hr of instruction]
Sopie & Howard returned for nearly 3hrs of snowboarding on 29 December 2006
http://www.skidxb.com/
http://www.skidubai.com/
Also a few photographs of the Mall of the Emirates
http://www.malloftheemirates.com/

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Speedboat Trip
Dec 23, 2006

Adrian, Howard & I took a rather bumpy speedboat trip [1hr 20mins] from the Oasis Beach Hotel, around Palm Jumeriah to Burj Al Arab/Jumeriah Beach Hotel and back. It was great fun and Howard was allowed to drive some of the way.
One is not permitted to sail under the bridges of Palm Jumeriah so views were limited due to the breakwater. Best seen from a high rise hotel along the shoreline.
http://www.thepalm.ae/

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