Trip Report - Day 3 : Dubai: Burj Khalifa, Desert Safari
01.01.2015 - 04.01.2015 18 °C
A visit to Dubai would have been incomplete without a visit to the tallest building in the world (over 828 meters and more than 160 stories). We had booked the tickets to the public observatory on level 124 for the 11:30 AM slot. Advance bookings are a must here as the slots get filled up quite fast. The link for the online booking is http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en/observationdeck/ticketinformation.aspx.
We reached the Dubai Mall at 10:30 AM using the hotel shuttle and went straight to the entry point for Burj Khalifa to collect our tickets. After queuing up for some time, we reached the observation deck on the 124th floor. The views from there were awesome. We spent around an hour on top taking in the marvelous Dubai buildings and structures.
After the great experience at the Top, We had a quick lunch at the Mall food court at 'Assia in Wok' and then explored the mall for some time. We had seen the Burj Khalifa from outside the previous night, but I wanted some pictures of it during the day. So we went to the open area between Dubai Mall and Souk Al Bahar and got a few good clicks.
We took a taxi back to our rooms and waited for our pickup for the Desert Safari. Isha had a good nap in the meantime and was very fresh by the time the driver arrived. We left from the hotel at 4:15 PM and reached the campsite by 5 PM. We had opted out of Dune Bashing since we thought that it is not advisable with Isha. When we reached the camp site, Isha was very excited to see so much sand around her and started playing immediately. As per the plan given to us, the following was included in our tour at the cost of AED 125 per person:
- Visit the “Bedouin Village.”
- Camel Ride
- Henna Painting
- Have photos taken wearing traditional Arabic dress
- Belly dance, Tanoura and carnival show whilst enjoying your sumptuous Barbecue Dinner in the Desert.
We were really looking forward to it and had a lot of expectations. But we were partly disappointed. The entire camp was very crowded. The queue for the camel ride was very long and took almost 45 minutes for our turn. If it were not for Isha, maybe we would have skipped it all together. Since we wanted her to experience it, we waited for our turn and finally got only around 2 minutes of camel ride. Nevertheless Isha enjoyed those few minutes on the camel, and it made it worth the wait.
We got our photos taken with the Arabian Falcon which was not a part of the tour and were charged AED 10 per photo.
Next, we went to the camp and sat at the designated seats. The Henna painting and traditional Arabic dress were again disappointing. The free henna painting consisted of a very small tattoo and for anything bigger than that, you needed to pay. Also, to wear the traditional Arabic dress, there was no one around to show us how to wear the same. The dance shows were good. The barbecue dinner was again just okay.
We were dropped back to our hotel by 9:30 PM. Overall, Isha enjoyed a lot playing in the sand. But overall it did not meet our expectations.