While waiting for my new Bahrain work visa in June 2009, I stayed in Dubai instead of going home (Philippines) thinking the visa process will take only a week or so. Turned out to be three weeks!
It was good to have friends and former classmates who alternately accompanied me everywhere. There were also some days that everyone was on duty, so armed with a map, I went out myself for some sightseeing. But since it was summer, most of my trips were to indoor places. I think I covered most of the Malls in Dubai, hehehe.
I stayed in Deira and had malls nearby in every direction, all walking distance – Deira City Centre, Al Ghurair, Reef Mall, et al.
The rest I had to take a cab or when lucky, by mall shuttle service, for free, = )
Dubai Festival City – which houses the IKEA ( i love IKEA!) has a nice promenade and looks lovely at night…
Dubai Mall – was so huge! I had to keep looking at my map to keep track where was I, hehe. Nice indoor falls with “divers.” Huge Aquarium attraction. Outdoors was also great! The promenade gives you a view of the Address Marina, the Burj Khalifa (that time it wasn’t finished yet), there was a path going to Souk Al Bahar, and after sunset there was the dancing fountain show!
Mall of the Emirates – was in Al Barsha, bit far from Deira (good there were shuttles, hehe) and was also huge. It houses the Kempinski Hotel and Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort. Snow, snow everyone brrrr! While it was so hot outside, June summer eh! = )
My favorite though was Ibn Batutta Mall, named after Berber Moroccan famous traveller and explorer Ibn Batutta. It is the farthest from Deira (i think) but I loved the architectural design of the mall, I was staring at the ceilings and columns more than half the time I was there, hehehe.
There were six courts named after the countries and regions to which Ibn Battuta travelled – China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia & Andalusia. It also had a ticket booth & departure station for Sky Dubai / Dubai Balloon Adventure, = )
And while I did “Mall Tours” during the day, we did on the other hand “Club Tours” during the night. 🙂 Some of the clubs we went to: Chikka Grill @ Marco Polo, Metro Manila @ Grand Moov, Rocky’s @ Ramee Guestline, Rocky’s @ Regent Palace, Bur Dubai, et al. All the performing bands were Filipinos and somehow listening / watching them perform took some of my anxiousness away while waiting for my new visa and get back to work in Bahrain, = p
I was working two years straight with double shifts prior to this Dubai break so after my second “vacation” week I was already missing work. REALLY. hehehe.
Although I stayed three whole weeks in the city, there was so much more to do that I haven’t tried (especially the outdoor stuff, since the weather then was too hot for me, hehe). All the more reason to keep going back to Dubai whenever there’s a chance, mashallah during winter time, = )
Here are some photos during my stay which i call “Dubai Malls & Clubs Tour” 🙂