Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The only way is Dubai

Oh A380 business class, how I love you. Despite a spectacular vomiting session from Freddie part way through, I got to the end of the flight and wanted to stay on. I felt a bit cheated because we were so tired when we got on that we slept all the way (vomiting interlude excepted), so I never got to have any food or take advantage of the unlimited champagne. But having a flat bed more than made up for it and we arrived in Dubai feeling, if not perky, at least not at death's door. 

So our experience of Dubai was confined to the Atlantis Hotel, which sits at the centre of the Palm development (the palm leaf-shaped bit of reclaimed land that has double the size of the UAE coastline). We were only there for 48 hours, the hotel is enormous and we were jet lagged, so I'm not feeling too guilty about this, but does mean that my impressions of UAE might be a bit skewed.

ALOT of money has been spent on this hotel to get it so marvellously cheap looking. The ceilings soar, the gold glitters, the carved dolphins leap out at you from every surface. In fact, it is 4 year old girl heaven and Flossie absolutely loved it.

The whole thing was on steroids. You could go on a waterside in a tunnel that went through a shark- filled pool. You could go on a rubber ring around kilometres of man-made rapids. The children's splash pool was three times the size of the one at Waterworld. The buffet breakfast included indian, chinese, japanese, a whole bakery of croissants and...a chocolate fountain.

No crappy humous and taramasalata dips for the Atlantis...


And if, you know, you are out shopping and realise you have run out of gold bars, don't worry! Just head for the gold cash point...

Yes, this actually dispenses real gold. And you can return it in the original packaging if you are not totally satisfied.

As well as the mega pool complex we also visited the hotel's massive aquarium. No interpretive information here - just fish, the bigger and crazier the better, and lots of them.  Freddie quickly made new friends...

Flossie liked the pink jelly fish...

And that was it for Dubai. Apart from noting that the full burka, with nose and mouth covered, in black polyester seems close to torture in 40 degree heat, especially when you have to sit by the side of the pool and watch your husband and kids splash around.

We had to get up at 1am to catch a flight to Jakarta and from there to Bali. A380 business class it was not. I didn't realise that having a 12 kg baby sleep on top of you would significantly increase leg swelling, but I suppose it is not that surprising. Poor children and poor us - it took almost 24 hours to get to Bali by which point I was feeling somewhat crazed and the kids were completely past it.

Anyway, we are now here and enjoying the few final days of sunshine and time with Rob's family before we fly back on Thursday night. 

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