After taking a trip to Dubai with my son Louis when he was 5 years old, I decided at the time that if we had another child that I would share the same experience with them as Louis had such a good time, after we had Lexi this gave me that opportunity fulfil that promise. The last time I went to Dubai around 5 years ago the country was in quite a state of decline as the boom had slowed down as a result of the city expanding too quickly.
So as promised little Lexi and I, along with the rest of my family and a few friends packed up for our holiday in Dubai leaving at the end of May and coming back in the first week of June. Again like last time we stayed at the Atlantis hotel, which embodies the term ‘everything under one roof!’ It has a fantastic Aquarium, 17 different restaurants, its own shopping complex, private beach as well as numerous swimming pools and play areas for the kids to enjoy.
When we arrived I was quick to reserve judgement on my previous opinions as none of the hotels seem to have been effected by the downturn. The high standards that they offer, quality of service and the fine decor are second to none and you would be mad not to want to return, let not forget to mention the excellent weather!
Since my last visit they have begun development of a fantastic monorail system which acts as an alternate transportation method to the usual cars, taxi’s and limo service operating locally. The monorail is not yet completely finished and will soon lead directly into the city centre. I had the pleasure of taking a helicopter trip acting as a guided tour of the area which proved very informative, we managed to see one of the small islands off the coast that was home to one of the kings wives, sounds like a great idea leaving your wife on an Island to herself and visit her when you need the washing done, only joking!
During my trip I covered most of the various activities that Dubai had to offer including visiting water parks, going shopping and enjoying the local scenery. One of the highlights of my visit was my trip up the world’s tallest building the Burj Khalifa with 163 floors and sitting at 829.2m high! It made everything else around it seem like a dot in the shadow of this magnificent building.
In the downtown district of Dubai under the shadow of the Burj Khalifa is the worlds largest shopping mall with over 2,000 shops proving to be an eye opener on its own! Not a single shop was empty with even the Rolex shop having a line leading it out of it like a sweet shop! This proved to be a stark contrast to the current high street climate in the UK. What shocked me also was that they too had an aquarium lining the walls of this great shopping complex, which so happens to be 3 or 4 times larger than the one back at the hotel, which used to be the worlds largest aquarium obviously until now! The shopping centre was filled with American franchises such as restaurants, coffee shops and bars all equally as busy which just goes to show how profitable this part of the world seems to be at present.
When you finally left the shopping mall you were greeted by a 50ft water fountain display much like that seen outside the Bellagio hotel in Vegas. This seems to be the thing with Dubai, they take inspiration from buildings and structures all over the world and make them bigger, better and with more grandeur! Though they didn’t get their attempt at Big Ben quite right, attempting to build a 16th Century building amongst a sea of 21st Century architecture didn’t look quite right.
The trip back and forth between the city and the hotel was an enjoyable one as you get to see a vast majority of Dubai in the process. The Atlantis hotel itself is situated on the end of a man made peninsula known as the palm towards the seafront away from the more industrial areas that Dubai is known for. It really is a stunning building and I can’t quite imagine what else can match it, I have stayed in a lot of hotels in my time and none can match the Atlantis when you are considering taking a family abroad.
All in all the Dubai experience was a whole lot better than the last time I went as they seem to have gotten their act together finishing what they start before moving onto another venture until the previous one is finished. I’m sure if money becomes an issue for them they can simply dig another hole in the ground and pump out some more oil or borrow from their neighbouring countries! I wish it was that easy for us over here in the UK! I intend to go back to Dubai on an annual basis now as this time I really did fall in love with it. There’s something alluring about the guaranteed weather and quality of life there, there’s just so much to do and see. I would also like to see some kind of financial interest develop over there to give me an incentive to return, maybe I could buy the Atlantis since I love it so much… LOL!
In the meantime feel free to browse my photo collage of the trip below.