We saved one of the Dubai Highlights for the last day of our trip:
Ski Dubai is one of the largest indoor ski slopes in the world. It is inside the Mall of Emirates.
It’s crazy how it can be 110 degrees outside in the desert, and about 20 degrees inside. It’s so cold inside that you have to bring hat and gloves and they provide you with snow suits to wear!
How many ski slopes have you seen with an escalator to the ski lift? haha
Since the slope is inside the mall, you ski past stores and restaurants, it’s so strange!
The lighting is a little dark inside, it almost feels like skiing at twilight.
Up the lift we go! (Notice the snow making vents on the wall?)
The conditions were surprisingly good. If it was an outdoor mountain, I’d call them perfect. Not too icy, not too powdery.
There are two main runs, one is a little crowded with beginners who have likely never seen real snow before. The other side is for “experts”, but all that means is that it’s a little bit steeper. Both were really good runs.
Halfway down the mountain is a ‘ski lodge’ where you can get snacks and hot chocolate.
We ordered hot chocolates just for fun. They were probably the most expensive hot chocolates we’ve ever had, but look at this thing!
It had real whipped cream, cocoa powder, m&m’s and marshmallows!
We were FREEZING by this point, and it was SOOOO good!
We bought a 2 hour lift ticket, and with only two runs, it was more than enough time to enjoy it.
While we were skiing, there was a photographer snapping photos of everyone, and then after you’re done, you go look at them on a screen and you can buy them if you want. We didn’t intend to purchase any, but we went to look anyways. While we were scanning through, Irving pointed a photo and said, “hey, haha, doesn’t that one look like Tom Cruise?” I laughed and said “yea, that does look like him a little”. Well when we got home, we realized it WAS him! He was in Dubai all week while we were there since he was shooting the new Mission Impossible movie!!! We JUST missed him! Crazy!
He even had on the same ski suit we all did!!
After we were finished, we were desperate for some desert heat to warm us up. We headed to the Ibn Battuta Mall via metro. We heard this mall was strange. Even our tour books called it weird and a little quirky. It’s divided up into five sections, each one represents a different country (kind of like Epcot Center?)
The inside was really decorated, even though the stores inside were just mediocre.
This one was the “Egypt Section”. haha
This one had a full scale boat inside the food court…
It was definitely strange, and I’m not sure I’d recommend this mall, but it was pretty funny to look at.
Later that night, we had reservations at the Burj Al Arab. This is supposedly the world’s only 7-star hotel, and the only way to look around the lobby if you’re not staying there is to eat at one of the restaurants.
When we arrived at the front gate in our taxi, at first they didn’t have our name on their guest list, and we got a little nervous, but one phone call later and they found it. We were in!
Since we arrived early, we spent an hour walking around the hotel grounds, looking at all the fountains and gold plated walls.
From the front of the hotel, you can see the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Very pretty as the sun was setting.
We wanted to walk on the white sands, but they wouldn’t let us. Apparently you have shell out the $2,000 a night for that privilege.
It was just stunning to see the Burj Al Arab up close as the sun set below the gulf.
We originally went back and forth deciding on which restaurant inside we should eat at. They have a bunch of different options. In the end, we decided on the “Skyview Bar”.
The interior really does have gold plated walls. It also has the world’s tallest atrium in the lobby.
Even the floor has some gold on it!
The Skyview Bar was at the top of the hotel, and we were hoping for some great views of Dubai…but they seated us at an interior table, with not much of a view. I was kind of sad because that was the whole point.
But after asking each of of four waiters, we were finally relocated to a great window seat overlooking the bustling city of Dubai.
We ordered two drinks to start. I had a Zartar Mojito! It was a virgin drink muddled with Zartar leaves and ginger. If you have never had Zartar before, you don’t know what you’re missing. Even Irving liked it.
Then we each ordered some dinner. Irving had the Angus Burger with Fries and I had a Cheese, Tomato and Basin Panini on an Olive Bread. They were both fantastic (and outrageously expensive).
But now we can say we ate on the top of the Burj Al Arab (cross that off the bucket list, right?!)
It was the perfect way to end our vacation in the United Arab Emirates.
We loved everything about Dubai. Everyone was friendly, polite and hospitable. The city was clean, organized and has so much to offer. We will definitely be back someday.
But now… onto Egypt! Stay tuned for more!