After a smooth flight, we arrived in Dubai at 5.00 am local time. Our luggage had been checked through to Manchester, and as we had a lengthy time between flights we planned a quick sightseeing tour of the city.
We cleared immigration quickly and had free visas stamped into our passports. Dubai metro is connected to the airport and, conveniently for us, by the time we had bought tickets, the metro opened and we were able to take the first train of the morning at 5.50 am. Most of the journey was above ground and we caught our first glimpses of the gleaming glass skyscrapers lining our route. We got off the metro at the Dubai Mall station. Although the shops in this enormous mall don’t open until 10.00 am we were still able to walk through .
On leaving the mall, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building) stood in front of us, gleaming in the bright sunshine. The Burj Khalifa is 829.8 metres high and has 163 floors. We took a few photographs then found a taxi to take us on a sightseeing tour. We asked the driver to take us to the Burj Al’Arab Hotel (said to be one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, and the third tallest), and to the beautiful Jumeriah Mosque where he waited for us, whilst we took some photographs. Finally, we asked to be taken to the Deira Creek where we planned to take a boat trip. We were charged the very reasonable amount of Dirham 94 (£16.50) for the 90 minutes tour.
The highlight for us was to come. In Old Deira, traditional wooden boats (abra’s) ply across the creek as they have done for centuries. The cost is only Dirham 1 (18p) for this fascinating boat crossing. We took the Abra from Deira Old Souk Abra Station in front of the Spice Souk to Bur Dubai Abra Station at the western end of the Textile Souk.
Finally, we had just enough time to take a look in the Textile Souk before taking the metro back to the airport for our flight at 2.30 pm. We felt that it was definitely worthwhile leaving the airport and taking a quick tour of some of the city’s main sites. We had planned in advance what we hoped to see, to get the most out of our short visit to Dubai.
Our final flight of the holiday was on board a Boeing 777 airliner back to Manchester. We were very tired after the heat of Dubai and our sightseeing tour so we slept for most of the flight.
We have had an amazing holiday and are returning home with unforgettable memories of our visit to Hong Kong, Macau and Dubai.