We were on our way to Thailand and the first stop on our adventures was Dubai. We’d purposely organised a twenty-four hour layover so we could make the most of it.
As part of the plan, we booked ourselves into a hotel, not too far from the airport but also close enough to the Burj Khalifa so we could get out and see it.
Having checked transport prices we decided to hire a car for the time we were there. In Dubai you can hire a car for a day at the same price as a one way taxi fare? Crazy, right?!
So, feeling pretty smug about the money we had saved we arrived in Dubai. Only to find that we had booked a car from a company situated in another terminal, oops….
Not an ideal start but no big deal as there is an inter-terminal bus. We hopped on and it only took a few minutes to reach the right terminal and locate the car hire company.
Things were looking up until we were told that our car was actually waiting for us back at our arrival terminal.
We saw no signs with our name on but if I’m totally honest I wasn’t actually looking. I was concentrating on two hot, tired and very annoyed toddlers at this point!
In the time it took us to fill out the paper work the car was back with us, we were loaded up and on our way! They even told us the best navigation app to download to see us through the Dubai traffic.
WARNING: If you get advice to download a travel app which will see you through the Dubai traffic, just ignore it! This app was horrendous! It would give you directions only to change them at the last possible moment, giving you no other option but to follow the original instructions. Then it has the cheek to tell you you’re now going the wrong way!
To cut a long story short it took us a very long and frustrating two hours to make what should have been a twenty minute journey!
Eventually we found our hotel, which had changed its name since us booking it (I kid you not). Famished, we made a 2am McDonalds run and then finally fell into bed to catch a few hours sleep.
We woke up slightly dazed and confused, which is to be expected, but none the worse for wear. After a quick shower we jumped back in the car and headed for the Dubai Mall where the Burj Khalifa is.
This time we rudely ignored the bonkers sat nav and got there in 10 minutes, much easier and far less stressful!
I have to say that the drivers in Dubai are complete looney tunes! They just seem to be all over the place. I’m sure there has to be some sort of system but for the life of me I couldn’t figure it out. I have to admit I resorted to closing my eyes on more than one occasion when they got a little too close to us for comfort!
We got to the Dubai Mall mercifully unscathed and found it to be absolutely huge. I’m pretty sure it has everything you could possibly want in there, including an enormous aquarium in the middle which kept the boys entertained for a full five minutes.
We spent the morning ‘At the Top’ of the Burj Khalifa, or as our four year old described it,
“On top of the world!”
You can read all about that here.
The afternoon was spent catching up with some old friends who live in Dubai and whom we haven’t seen in years. We haven’t been in the same place at the same time since a rather drunken pre kids weekend in Liverpool. It was not only great to see them but they finally got to meet our monsters!
Time flies when you’re having fun and we were soon on our way back to the airport where we managed to drop the car back off at the right terminal!
We checked in for our onward flight and headed to the ‘Kid Zone’, which has a play area where the boys quite happily ran riot until it was time to go. It always amazes me to see how kids play together, regardless of where they’ve come from. Language barriers just don’t seem to matter.
It was a whirlwind of a visit but we had a great time and hope to spend a few more days there on our way home.
Have you been to Dubai? What was your favourite part?
If you have any recommendations please let us know!