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We decided to break our long flight to India by staying in Dubai for a few days.

 

Skiing Dubai has been a bucket list item we’ve long wanted to check off!

 

We flew non-stop from Los Angeles to Dubai in an Airbus A380-800, the largest passenger plane around.

 

The plane is HUGE. But it’s divided into sections so it never seems huge.

 

The entire upper floor is business class. Because it was a 16-hour non-stop flight AND because Emirates offered a good price for last-minute upgrading, we happily traded in our economy tickets for business. That tablet to my left is only for my use, as is the storage area with lots of things to drink. The seat goes level and they come through with a mattress! It was fun.

 

The lower floor is economy class.

 

There are different ramps going to the different levels from the terminal.

 

 

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Needles to say that the food was unbelievable. Juergen enjoys a “light, no calorie” desert….

 

A first for us:

We nearly flew over the North Pole!

It was weird first flying from Los Angeles north through California, Oregon, Washington state and Canada, and then nearly over the North Pole. That was followed by flying north-to-south over Russia and lots of countries we’ve never flown over this way before, before landing in Dubai.

 

The 16-hour non-stop Los Angeles to Dubai flight goes halfway around the world  - Dubai is a 12-hr time difference from Los Angeles. We just swapped day for night!

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This area was available for the entire flight.

 

That guy was interesting.

 

Some facts: His father is Afghani, his mother Hindu – they met in Pakistan. They decided to move to California. This guy has his own company now (he had a career in IT). He represents an Indian company that produces personalized “clouds” (less hacking that way). They cost about $30,000, and many small companies are buying them.

 

He flies to Dubai a lot.

 

We stayed in the old part of Dubai – this is the view from our hotel room over the fort-museum and the Creek, behind it.

 

Below is a telephoto of the “creek” – a waterway that goes from the coast 8 miles into the desert. Eventually it will be extended back to the coast.

 

Goods are carried on these old dhows – we saw many from Iran. There were lots of big new cartons with TVs, etc.

 

We wonder what else they were trading!

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Dubai started along the creek in the 19thC with a pearling industry and trade in dhows as far as India and Africa. It has been dredged and lengthened many times.

 

We walked along the Creek for the nightly fireworks.

 

A few of these dhows have been fixed up into very nice restaurants. You can cruise the creek and watch the fireworks while you eat dinner.

 

We didn’t.

 

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Dubai is known for malls that are among the world’s largest.

 

We walked through this mall to get to the tallest building in the world “Burj Khalifa” where we had High Tea.

 

We spent awhile looking at this aquarium in the mall. The ends of the aquarium were also visible. It was huge! (Note the size of the people.)

 

We took this photo from the 2nd floor.

 

This is the Burj Khalifa.

At 2722’, it is the tallest building in the world. Imagine, that’s more than half a mile high!

 

It was built in only 6 years and opened in 2010.

 

Our High Tea was on the 122nd floor – the highest restaurant in the world. A special elevator gets there in 40 ear-popping seconds.

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The view from the restaurant.

 

 

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This is the view from our High Tea at the Burj Khalifa. The building at the left is the mall that has the aquarium.

 

The water contains jets for the “dancing waters” show they do hourly. We watched it.

 

The installers/maintainers of the show are from California and are the ones responsible for the dancing waters at Bellagio in Las Vegas.

 

 

As we aren’t shoppers, the other thing we decided to do was have another High Tea, as we aren’t into fancy dinners.

 

This hotel is the iconic Burj al Arab.

 

From other angles it looks just like a sail boat. It was the first special hotel built in Dubai. Maybe you remember the photos of Tiger Woods teeing off on that helicopter pad near the top?

 

To get even this close, reservations are necessary.

 

The lobby is wonderful – the ceiling is covered with pounds of gold.

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A “modest” hotel next to the Burj al Arab.

 

 

This is a lobby escalator in the Burj al Arab which goes up from the lobby to the first floor where there are shops.

 

There’s a matching escalator on the other side of the lobby as well as a matching aquarium.

 

This isn’t China – those reefs are not real, but it looks real and the fish are beautiful.

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High Tea in the Burj al Arab.

 

Here we’re only on the 22nd floor. A benefit of having this tea is that we could wander the interior of this hotel, called the world’s only 7* hotel.

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Wonder where the berries were grown.

 

 

On the right is a very nice boutique mall in traditional desert design (the other malls look like anywhere else in the world).

 

Those towers are “wind towers.” We saw them first in Iran. At the bottom is usually a pool of water. At the top of the tower there are “fins” to catch whatever little wind there is and funnel it down.

 

This is very early air conditioning, and it really feels nice when it’s hot outside.

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Now to the skiing. What an insane thing to do in Dubai.

The photo at left was taken in Ski Dubai, part of another mall.

It was taken half-way down the run, looking back up the slope.

This was a crazy experience, our favorite in Dubai!

 

On the right is the very bottom of the run.

Beyond the snow are restaurants where people can look out of windows at the snowy ski scene.

Below the line of skiers is another slope that has a bunch of stuff – like a large beginning skier area at the left of the photo (none of this can be seen) a Zorbing lane (big pretty clear plastic balls with someone inside about to be seasick, I’d say – you can see one of them) …, then slide areas of different kinds.

 

Ski run

 

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Yvonne is at the very top of the slope.

At the bottom left you can see where the run dog-legs to the right for the bottom part of the run.

A short movie clip shows Yvonne skiing down the entire slope.

 

 

On the right is the bottom half of the run.

That stone building is half way down the slope and has restrooms on the first floor and a coffee shop on the second floor.

The building even has a deck outside the cafe with a couple of tables to enjoy the skiers while drinking coffee!

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Looking down from inside the mall you can see children in the snow play area. From the 2nd floor down to a restaurant, J took photos that are usually impossible to take: a covered woman feeding herself by lifting the niqab and eating under it, which doesn’t look easy, even for them. In the picture on the left, the lady is fiddling with her smart phone. What an interesting intersection between tradition and modern technology!

 

 

 

This photo shows part of their 4pm “Penguin show”.. Yep. They have penguins and a penguin pool also.

They have 2 little penguins and 3 very large (shown on the slide) penguins too. It’s a crazy world in Dubai … we prefer crazy worlds to phony ones.

We took this photo from within the warm mall where we shared the view with lots of tourists.

 

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We got this photo off the web.

It shows the exterior of Ski Dubai. The farthest right in the photo is the place on the slope where the run doglegs to the right.

This building was built with very advanced technology that allows maintaining snow in desert temperatures.

At night the temperature is about 26 F (-3 C) so they can make snow. Other than that it’s a constant 30 F (-1 C).

 

 

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