Destination Dubai

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Destination Dubai

Sunday, 08 September 2019 | Shalini Saksena

Destination Dubai

Shalini Saksena tells you how the introduction of the second international destination by Vistara has brought holidaying in Dubai less than three hours away

As a country, we love to explore new things, new cities and get a sneak-peek into a culture that maybe  similar when it comes to food yet different from ours when it comes to language and traditions. But paucity of time may make it difficult for us to take time out from our busy schedule to explore far away countries. So how about a little closer to home? How about exploring Dubai? A city that screams money, a city of lights, a city that is manmade, a city that boasts of a lot of firsts.

Next time, there is a long weekend or one is looking for a getaway, why not head to this city and look at the entire city from the 125th floor of Burj Khalifa?

This is definitely an experience that nobody visiting the city should miss even if one is on a business trip. While one can go up during the day as well, the best time is to go in the evening. It takes 77 seconds to reach the top. During this time, there is video that plays on the surface of the elevator that tells you the story of how the building was made, the different stages and the team. Once, at the top, to see the sun set far into the ocean is a sight that will remain with you for sometime. To see the other iconic buildings from that height like the Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis, The Palm makes these majestic buildings appear small. As one looks down from the top to bottom glass, the view is amazing. One can see for miles together of not just land but also the open Indian Ocean.

If you have kids, they are sure to get a kick out of the virtual reality booth that has been set up. They can experience what it feels like to jump from that height and enjoy the fall. They will also enjoy a walk of a fibreglass walkaway which creates the illusion that one is actually looking down below. The sound of shattering glass is just an illusion, it is all safe. It is advisable to book the ticket to go the 125th floor a day in advance.

Then there is the sound and light show that uses the world’s tallest artificial structure, it stands at 829.8-metre-tall , as a backdrop. Then there is the fountain show. One is told that sometimes, the show plays to Bollywood songs. No surprises there since there are so many Indians living there. Not to mention the number of tourists visiting the city.

Keeping this in view, the city is in the process of scaling new highs. The Ain Dubai akin to London Eye  located off the popular Jumeirah Beach Residencesbeachfront and is set to offer 360-degree views of the Dubai skyline. Ain Dubai is set to open doors to customers in October 2020.

If you are a ski enthusiast, do step into Mall of Emirates. Yes, you read that right. Skiing is Dubai. Enjoy all things snow at Ski Dubai’s indoor Snow Park. There are plenty of attractions like the giant zorbing ball, ice cave, mountain thriller ride and more, all this in 22,500 square metres.

All this is and much more is now just less than three hours away if you reside in Mumbai. Delhiites may have to undertake a slightly longer journey. But once you step out of the airport, it is worth the time taken to travel.

Leslie Thng, CEO Vistara said that they were very excited to start their service to Dubai. “The city is home to millions of Indians, business for many Indian corporations and is also the most-preferred holiday destination for many. We are committed to making a mark in global aviation with a world-class product and gold-standard service. We are confident that travellers will enjoy flying with us.”

Comfort does matter when one is on a holiday. Since, once in the city, there is so much to see and do. 

The next stop has to be Dubai Mall where a visit to the Aquarium and the Underwater Zoo is a must see. While it may not be at par with what one can see and experience at the San Diego SeaWorld or for that matter the Singapore Zoo,  to see the sharks swimming like the Sawfish while you watch them below the glass tunnel is truly amazing. Then there are the desert hedge hogs and king croc. The tiny, not more than 5 cm long,  Neon Tetra fish (a small freshwater fish native to South America) with its blue and red tail is beautiful. One can spent a few hours here. One can even touch a couple of fish  in the open exhibit, if you can reach them. Unfortunately, most of them prefer to stay at the bottom of their tank.

To enjoy the waterworld a trip to Atlantis, The Palm is just as interesting especially The Lost Chambers Aquarium. Wonder through the ruins of Atlantis, dive amongst sharks and rays and speak with the marine experts to find out more about the diverse marine life. With its 21 exhibits, 65,000 marine animals and feed shows, it is a wonder world not just for the kids but adults alike.

One can take a walk along the coast if one is in the city between November-March. A trip to the city is not complete without the desert safari. The sandblasting is a fun ride. A word of advice — eat a light lunch. The ride over the dunes may make your stomach churn. The safari ends at a camp where there is dancing, camel ride and a dinner.

Spent a day exploring the city itself or relaxing at the beach. The water is crystal clear and the correct temperature. No trip is complete without a shopping. If you are the adventurous kind, try the camel milk, buy the dates covered in chocolate and memorabilia to carry home.

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