"Last months I took advantage of a long weekend to go see Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and visit three Colombian friends who had just recently moved to the UAE....
Dubai is a great modern city and I would say one of its major attractions is its no cost spared architecture. While it does have some cultural aspects people go just to see the city... and that's just what I did.
The other interesting aspect of the UAE is the desert which I have heard is beautiful. But with a limited amount of time and having spent a lot of time in the desert in Egypt i skipped out on that part...
Lets start off with Dubai.
Probably the most recent iconic building in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa. Which to this day is the tallest man made structure in the world at 829 meters/ 2,722 feet. For comparison the Empire state building is just 381 meters/ 1,454 ft... The Burj Khalifa is more then twice as high!
Something I found interesting was that while I was doing the course to get my sky diving license one of the requirements is to do emergency procedure jump from 3,000 ft. Basically you jump out of the plane and have to immediately pull your main parachute. If even the slightest thing goes wrong you have to cut away the main and pull your reserve parachute. The exercise is meant just as practice in case you ever have to ditch the plane soon after take off... The point is that the building is just a little shorter then that emergency jump height.
Here is the view from the platform at just 451 meters.
The other buildings that are also high look miniature!
At night there is a really cool water show.
The Burj Khalifa is very impressive when looking at the numbers.... Dont get me wrong, when you see it in person it is impressive as well, and you can tell its super tall. The thing is that because its thin it does not have that monstrous big square presence that a building like the Sears/Willis tower has....
One of the world famous shopping malls is The Mall of The Emirates. Its most famous attraction is Ski Dubai which is the silver portion of the building you see below.
The mall also has a massive aquarium that offers scuba diving
...And even airplanes...
Click below for the full post and lots of more pictures!
The two main ones are The Palm Dubai and The World Dubai.
Here is a rendering of the Palm.
The Palm has a lot of residential and hotel buildings but the most known one is the Atlantic hotel which is very similar to its older sister in the Bahamas.
The other is The World... Which is a group of Islands resembling different countries/land masses. A lot have been bought but few have been developed.
Dubai has a body of water or the Dubai Creek as it known that comes in from the Persian Gulf.
Dubai Marina where I was staying at Jonathan's apartment.
One of the stops we did was to visit the Dubai Museum.
The UAE is a very oil rich country, but before the oil boom pearls were its main source of income. A few years ago while visiting the Wolrds Fair in Shangahi China we went to the Dubai pavilion and got a wonderful interactive tour of the history of Dubai.
This is a display at the museum. I was happy to see that Tide soap which is one of P&G large brands as on display... :)
Be sure not to miss my other post about the Burj Al Arab which is known as the Worlds only 7 Star Hotel.
On the last day of the trip we took a 1.5 hours road trip to Abu Dhabi to visit Carolina and Sten who had just moved there from Cairo.
The invited us for a royal breakfast buffet at the Emirate Palace hotel. I later found out that the Emirates Palace is the 2nd most expensive hotel ever build!
The hotels fleet of BMW 7 Series
After the fantastic breakfast Jonathan and I went to see the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 circuit at Yas Marina... We were late though, the race was a couple weeks back!
Hotel in the center of the track.
Here is their fleet of Radical SR3.
I have actually driven one of these in the past at Sebring Raceway in 2007.
Right hand drive!
This is actually what I really wanted to drive that day but unfortunately they were fully booked for the next months! We will see... Might make a trip back there just to drive the track!
The other place we visited next to the track is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi...
Sorry, not to many pictures as the camera stayed in the car.. Just a few iPhone pics...
Jonathan and I were not to sure what to expect... A Ferrari amusement park...
But there is one thing that makes it all worth it! Formula Rossa... Its their roller coaster. It starts off going from 0-150 mph in 4.9 seconds. Thats faster then almost any sports car out there! You take off fast as hell and then it shoots up so you get pinned to the seat and then it crests at the top of the hill and then you get pinned up against the seatbelt... There are no vertical loops but the 1st 10 seconds of the roller coaster make it all worth it... Enough that we rode it 6 times... Enough for Jonathan to get sick! LOL
I took down my GoPro camera with the idea of filming the ride but they caught me!
Check out this video of Ferrari F1 drivers Fernando and Felipe... The glasses are not a gimick... You really do need them!
Over all a great weekend!
I don't recommend anyone who is not already in the area make a trip just to see the UAE, but if you are in the area its definitely worth seeing!
Special thanks to Jonathan, Carolina and Sten!