T: 01380 827291
The view from my hotel room balcony
I landed in Dubai last night at 23h30 to find temperatures of 32 degrees, which makes a very welcome change from Wiltshire, a county that's been struggling to slough off the last of winter's skin.
I'm staying at the Palace Hotel in The Old Town: something of a misnomer, as the entire development is less than 5 years old. However, it has been done in a gently atmospheric, slightly Arabic style. The tallest building in the world - the Burj Dubai - is very close and, to be honest, one's brain struggles to cope with its dimensions. Getting skinnier towards the top, it becomes diminished as it rises which, perhaps, detracts from its lofty presence. Now, if they'd built it upside down...
From the tallest building to the world's biggest shopping mall. I hopped (well, walked appropriately slowly in the high-30s temperatures) over there earlier, as it's just a stone's throw from the hotel. I wanted to buy a pair of shorts and was successful in my endeavours, noting, in passing, locals making good use of the large ice rink in the mall.
Getting back to my hotel, obtaining a local SIM for my cell 'phone came to mind, so I walked back to the Etisalat shop in the Mall. No passport. I returned to the hotel, collecting passport and headed out again. Spinneys, one of the local supermarkets, provided me with the desired item. Back in my hotel room, and the SIM isn't working. I wonder if it just takes time to register, or will I have to go back to the Mall. That'd be nice.
After my arrival last night, I headed down to the hotel bar for a quick drink before bed. Beside the bar, the milky waters of the lake you can see in the photograph above. Arrive at the right time and one is treated to the world's biggest display of dancing fountains...beneath the world's tallest building...beside the world's largest shopping mall. I intend to return there now and see whether they can assist me in my quest for the world's biggest glass of beer.