After spending two solid days in Abu Dhabi with our friends Kym and Will, we drove the 90 minutes or so to see our other friends in Dubai for three and a half days. We first met Carey and her family at church in the Philippines where they lived near us for a year and we became fast friends. Our kids were very excited to visit with them again and play with their toys and dog. Carey acted as our tour guide and babysitter when we needed one. It was wonderful to be able to reminisce about friends and the Philippines with their family. After spending a week in the UAE during the cool season I would be willing to move there.
Most of the ride from Abu Dhabi to Dubai looked like this…a lot of nothing but sand. After living in a concrete jungle for three years, I think this view is beautiful.
Sometimes we came across these air conditioned bus stops.
Getting gas in the UAE is time consuming. Since there aren’t a lot of gas stations in the country, you wait in long lines to fill up your car.
We made it to our friend’s home and it was great to to see them again and our kids couldn’t wait for their kids to get home from school.
Our first evening in Dubai, we left the kids with our friends and Matt and I had another date night. This time at the Mall of the Emirates. Matt tried snow boarding at Ski Dubai, and I watched the penguin show since I have only tried skiing once in the fourth grade and that wasn’t a fun experience.
We had a delicious dinner at Karam Beirut where we were also able to watch people on the slopes at Ski Dubai.
Our friend and tour guide, Carey, had us walking a lot on our first morning.
We walked to the water taxi area and rode the boat for a short ride to cross the Dubai creek so we could see some spice souk & gold souk.
GOLD ring that is big enough for a giant!
While the older kids stayed home to play with their friends and toys, Blake joined Matt & I at the Dubai Mall where we took him to his first aquarium.
Blake wasn’t sure about this glass flooring where there were large fish (maybe some sharks) underneath. He was too scared to walk over the clear areas.
While waiting to watch the Dubai Mall fountain show, Blake was making friends.
Duabi Mall fountain show is only about three minutes, but was fun to watch and to see Blake enjoy the lights, music and water.
Night view of the Burj Khalifa after the water show. We actually watched the water show twice before heading home.
Our friends got us 9am tickets to go up the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa.
You don’t actually go all the way to the top of the building, but still at 452 meters (494 yards), we made the records books.
Our kids looking out at Dubai from the Burj Khalifa
If the Burj Khalifa had a voice, this what it would say.
In the late afternoon we got picked up in a four-runner and headed out to the desert to experience a desert safari. Blake stayed home with our friends for the evening since he was too young.
There were so many cars there to do “dune bashing.” It is like a roller coaster ride in the car.
We stopped and watched the sunset during our time of dune bashing.
We arrived at the “Arabian Nights Tour” dinner location where hundreds of people gather for a buffet dinner, entertainment and a fun experience. Mason quickly made friends with the majority of the kids there and they all played tag.
Mom & daughter henna.
Camel ride was short, but now we can say we rode a camel in the desert.
Farley family as Emiratis.
In the Middle East, Fridays are the Sabbath day. So we got to attend church with our friends inside this villa that is the LDS church building.
After dinner we drove about 15-20 minutes and pulled off on the side of the road and picked a “camp ground” area in the sand dunes. Matt caught this small lizard as it was zipping over the sand dunes.
We got to watch the sunset with friends.
We built a fire in the sand and made s’mores.
To end our Friday Sabbath, we went home and decorated Halloween sugar cookies.
We woke up early and went to the JBR beach where they “mow” the sand.
We spent a couple of hours playing on these inflatables in water and enjoying the company of friends.
Mason got to help carve a pumpkin since it was Halloween. Poor boy is six years old and that was his first time to “carve” a pumpkin.
We had such a fabulous time being with friends and exploring Dubai.
More photos of Dubai here.