Long Weekend in Dubai


My last blog entry before I dropped off the face of the earth for 7.5 months was celebrating our five-year wedding anniversary. We also celebrated in real life, with a weekend trip to Dubai.Kail and I had traveled to Dubai several times before, mostly in transit during our one-year assignment in Kabul. The longest we had ever spent there was maybe 16 hours — not quite enough to see much of the city.dubai, united arab emirates, jumeirah beach, ja oceanview hotelView of Jumeirah Beach from our hotel balcony.We stayed in a hotel in Jumeirah Beach that was recommended by friends. It was a nice a hotel, with direct access to the beach and close proximity to The Walk, a 1.7-kilometer strip of cafes, restaurants, and shops along the beach.dubai, united arab emirates, burj khalifa, at the topView from the Burj Khalifa.Our trip was only two nights (one full day), but we had more than half a day upon arrival as well as the day we departed to take advantage of the city. Other than enjoying the beach, strolling The Walk, and relaxing, the two things we really wanted to do were: (1) celebrate our anniversary with afternoon tea; and (2) visit the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.dubai, united arab emirates, burj khalifa, at the topLooking up at the Burj Khalifa.We love afternoon tea. We have enjoyed afternoon tea at Le Méridien in Siem Reap during our R&R to Thailand, Laos & Cambodia; the Raffles Hotel in Singapore; the Langham Hotel in London; and the Four Seasons and Fairmont hotels here in Amman.dubai, united arab emirates, afternoon tea, al bayt, palace hotelTea at Al Bayt.In Dubai, we were debating afternoon tea between the famous Burj Al Arab and Al Bayt Lounge at the Palace Hotel. We ultimately decided on Al Bayt 1) because of its proximity to the Burj Khalifa and 2) because it didn’t cost $170 per person. Don’t be fooled: We weren’t slumming it. Al Bayt has an incredibly delicious and luxurious Arabian afternoon tea experience.Desserts!Al Bayt’s tea service offered a variety of traditional crustless savory sandwiches, scones (with clotted cream and jam), and an amazing dessert bar. They also surprised us with a special anniversary treat.dubai, united arab emirates, afternoon tea, al bayt, palace hotelWe had originally intended on visiting the Burj Khalifa the same day as our afternoon tea reservation, but tickets were sold out already, so we had to book a visit for the following morning. Instead, we spent the afternoon window shopping in the wonderfully air-conditioned Dubai Mall (Did I mention April in Dubai is already quite hot? I can’t imagine what it’s like in true summer) and watched the Dubai Fountain Show.dubai, united arab emirates, burj khalifa, at the topDubai skyline.We also visited Mall of the Emirates, less for shopping and more to see its famed indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. Fact about me: I have never been skiing. We had a late dinner on The Walk (late for us — like 9 or 10 p.m.) and then turned in for the night.dubai, united arab emirates, burj khalifa, at the topAt the Top.The next morning, we headed to the Burj Khalifa. It is pretty amazing — it is just so tall. We ended up having to buy the more expensive “At the Top Sky” tickets, which include levels 124, 125 & 148, because the other option (124 & 125 only) was sold out. We I also got suckered into buying a book of cheesy photos (which came with digital versions as well). I think it was worth it (Kail may disagree)!After all, you only get one five-year anniversary to celebrate. I’m looking forward to celebrating many more years with Kail.Have you ever had afternoon tea?

Published by La Vie Overseas

I'm Natasha -- writer, runner and wife to a Foreign Service Officer with USAID. Current location: Frankfurt, Germany.

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