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Surval fly to Dubai 2016

Posted on: 7th November 2016 | Category: Trips and excursions

From Switzerland in the Autumn - crisp air, flame forests and snow-dusted mountains - we landed six hours later in Dubai, a city of sleek towers between desert and sea, of heat that envelops like a toasty hug, and of many superlatives - the tallest building, the most expensive tires (a gold and diamond encrusted set sold in Dubai last year for over half a million dollars) and, surprisingly for a town surrounded by sand, the world's largest indoor ski slope.

It was fitting, therefore, that during our week visiting the United Arab Emirates, we managed to tick off several superlatives ourselves - we stood on the world's biggest carpet in the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, under the infinite sparkles of the world's largest chandelier: we zoomed up the astonishingly fast elevators of the Burj Khalifa to stand on the observatory deck of the world's highest building: and we blasted from 0 - 240kph in 4 seconds flat on the world's fastest rollercoaster, at Ferrari World.

Happily, after an overnight flight, we started off on a more leisurely note for our first day, Sunday, with a city tour by coach. Our excellent tour guide for the week, Dilan, introduced us to some of Dubai's oldest sights, the Gold and Spice Souks; contrasted with some of its newest, marvelling at the shimmering silhouette of the Burj Al Arab from the white sands of one of Dubai's beautiful beaches.

The Desert Safari trip on Monday night was unanimously a highlight of the trip. Having screamed our heads off from off-roading in jeeps, we watched the sun sink rose pink into the dunes and rode camels under the stars.  After a quick stop by the henna tattoo tent to have our hands and arms inked with intricate woven patterns it was time to eat; we all sat on carpets on the sand and ate authentic Arabian food from low tables; post dinner, a stunning dancer gave a dazzling display of belly dancing.

From the heat and dry of the desert, we journeyed on Tuesday to the Palm Jumeirah, the world's largest (tick!) artificial island, and spent the day riding the flumes and lazy rivers of Atlantis' Aquaventure Park. 

Wednesday brought the iridescent beauty of Abu Dhabi's Grand Mosque, followed in sharp contrast by the thrills of Ferrari World; here, our brave trip leader, Miss Murphy, ventured on Formula Rosso twice, one short of the record number of three rides on this terrifying 150mph coaster achieved by two of our most impressive thrill seekers!

After all of the adventures, we were grateful for a ‘free’ day on Thursday, spent either soaking in the heat at the beach, brushing up on our SUP skills, staying cool figure skating at the ice-rink, or simply taking in the atmosphere browsing the shops and cafes of the legendary Dubai Mall. 

Suddenly, all too soon, it was Friday, our last day. It was fitting that it was on our last morning that we journeyed to the top of the world - or very nearly: to floor 125 of the Burj Khalifa, where we could take advantage of the 360 panoramic windows to gaze down on everywhere we had been that week: the vast ceiling of the Dubai Mall, the turquoise waters encircling the Palm and lapping at the beaches; looking further beyond, across the white sands of the desert, out to Abu Dhabi.

Friday night marked the perfect finale to our trip: a cruise and dinner on Bateaux Dubai, a luxurious glass boat from which we could see the million lights of Dubai dancing on the inky waters of the creek. A pianist entertained us on a glossy black Steinway Grand, and during a break between courses, we all climbed the wooden stairs to the top deck to take our final photos and selfies in the warm evening breeze. The food was beyond description, you had to be there to properly savour it, just thinking about sets the appetite going….

Dubai is a city of superlatives, and probably the most apt way to sum up is simply top confirm that we really did experience and enjoy the best time on this absolutely amazing trip!

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