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UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

Date: 9th April 2010

(Part one can be found here)

Dubai Fairmont hotel Palm Jumeirah
The Fairmont Palm Hotel and Residences

Monorail underpass palm Jumeirah

As we came out of the tunnel, to our right was our next stop.

Dubai Marina construction buildings from sea

Dubai Media City officesHeading to Dubai MarinaDubai Marina construction buildings

Dubai Marina construction twisting building Infinty tower

Dubai Marina building constructionDubai Marina building construction cranesHeading to Jumeirah The WalkJumeirah The Walk Dubai

Jumeirah The Walk traffic jam

Once we took a left and got on to “The Walk,” I pretty much knew why people throng to this place. It’s essentially Dubai’s ‘Exhibition Road’ (a once very popular stretch in Bahrain where traffic moves slowly and people, well, come to show off — among other things).

The Walk is part of Jumeirah Group’s massive property by Jumeirah beach. Lined along the stretch are shops, restaurants, hotels and the Jumeirah residences.

Jumeirah The Walk Sofitel hotel
The Sofitel Hotel, Jumeirah

We finally managed to get a parking spot and while there were the usual luxury brands, given this is Dubai, one really needs something too rare to really stand out from the crowd.

Jumeirah The Walk parking lotAnd whoever was the owner of this Batmobile-esque Mercedes McLaren SLR, surely had it!

Jumeirah The Walk black Mercedes Mclaren SLRJumeirah The Walk black Mercedes Mclaren SLR matteFreakin’ sweet. A supercar indeed!

Jumeirah Beach Residences apartments
Jumeirah Beach Residences
Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina sunset
The (not so great) beach

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina polesAfter watching the sun set, we went back to the parking lot.

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina stretch Hummer limo
Before you ask… yes, petrol is cheap out here

Jumeirah Beach Dubai Marina stretch Hummer limo rental

Since it was time sunset prayer, Azhad and Jassim made their way to the prayer hall like good muslims, while I waited out looking at the slow moving traffic.

Jumeirah The Walk slow traffic carsJumeirah The Walk slow traffic cars jamJumeirah The Walk slow traffic cars jam getting outAfter prayers, we moved on.

Jumeirah Residences flats apartments towers
Passing through Jumeirah Residences

Jumeirah Residences flats apartmentsJumeirah Residences flats apartments lights

Jumeirah Residences big elevator lift Azhad
Big elevators for big people and their big cars (not Azhad)

Dubai Marina apartments road constructionDubai Marina apartments road construction nightJassim told me that we needed to crossed over to the other side as he wanted to show me something. I didn’t really know what or why but I figured it would be more buildings.

It was buildings alright…. but I never expected this!

Dubai Marina canal at night buildings

Dubai Marina at night panorama
Panorama consisting of 7 shots

Dubai Marina at night canal private boats yachtsBeautiful.

I really wasn’t expecting a sight like this in, of all the places, Dubai. I was looking forward to seeing all this when I go to Singapore in September and in Hong Kong next year, but in the middle of a freaking desert? Wow.

Now I get what Dubai Marina is all about. It’s like the guys at Emaar Properties (the same folks behind Burj Khalifa) visited Marina Bay in Singapore and Hong Kong’s Kowloon Bay and went: “Hmmm, very bretty… very nice… we like… we want also.* ”

And then came back, spent a few billion, dug out a lot of sand and half a decade later — voila!

Dubai Marina pier canalDubai Marina at night railDubai Marina pier canal left rail

Dubai Marina stairs Jumeirah residences
The steps we came down from (Jumeirah residences in the background)
Dubai Marina at night Azhad
Azhad talking away

Dubai Marina at night bridge yacht rental

Dubai Marina building lit up yacht
Private yachts can be rented for cruise parties
Dubai Marina steps up
We went up to take a walk across the bridge

Dubai Marina canal waterDubai Marina bridge Dubai Abu Dhabi signDubai Marina canal from bridge

Dubai Marina crossing road
We crossed the bridge road over to the other side

Dubai Marina from bridge panoramaDubai Marina building lit upAfter being mighty impressed with the world’s largest man-made marina, we headed back to ‘show-off boulevard’.

Jumeirah The Walk at night cars bikes
Back at the The Walk

We set off into town and made our way to the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the venue for tonight’s David Guetta’s concert.

Dubai Sheikh Zayed road at night

Twin towers on Sheikh Zayed road traffic from metro
Kinda looks like New York’s Chrysler building — but of course Dubai had to out-do NY, so they made two!
Dubai Rotana towers hotel at night
The Rotana Tower Hotel

Upon reaching the venue, we figured we still had some time to enter so we decided to do dinner. Jassim parked his car near Emirates Towers and we made our way to Nando’s.

Dubai Metro station exterior
They have these ‘space stations’ (a.k.a Metro stations) all over the place

Dubai Metro station interiors

Inside Dubai Metro station traffic
Trying to take photos while on the travelator

Sheikh Zayed road traffic from Dubai metroDubai Sheikh Zayed road metro Financial Center station

Dubai Metro station train late night
The trains have no driver by the way — it’s all automatic
Dubai Nando's chicken dinner
What I ate at Nando’s

Me and Jassim had a good meal, Azhad didn’t πŸ™‚ … and wanted to get home quick!

So after seeing our friend off at the metro, me and Jassim went back to the car to get ready for ‘the party’.

Emirates Towers office hotel at night
Emirates Towers in the distance
Dubai offices at night Burj Khalifa
And there she is in the distance

After finding a parking spot, we walked towards to the concert hall where there were a lot of guys with heavily waxed hair and girls with heavily waxed skins.

And boy were we glad we bought our tickets well in advance! The show was sold out and many were around seeking extra tickets. We got in around 11pm where an opening DJ was was warming up the crowd.

The man himself didn’t hit the stage until 1am. And just when he was about to… disappointment. My Nokia E72 with the 5 mega-pixel camera dies out on me. All I’m left with is my mom’s basic 2mpx Nokia and even that was low on battery.

Sorry, but these grainy photos are all I have. (Some are from my friend Jassim’s iPhone)

David Guetta Dubai 2010 concert lights
This is when he hit the stage

David Guetta Dubai 2010 concert name on-screenDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 concert close to stageDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 concert lasersDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 screen nameDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 blue lightDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 screen graphicsDavid Guetta Dubai 2010 You screenGrainy photos won’t do the concert justice, so just watch this if you want to know what the atmosphere was like:

To sum in up in one word: AWESOME! This was one of the best concerts I have been to. The crowd was insane! Over 10,000 people packed into one massive hall. And I would so pay to see David Guetta live again!

David Guetta left the stage exactly at 3am, the time when all of Dubai has to shut off it’s loud music and stop the sale of liqour.

David Guetta Dubai 2010 crowd leaving exhibition center
The tired crowd making their way out of the exhibition center
David Guetta Dubai 2010 crowd taxi queue
The (very) long queue for taxis

By the time we reached the car, our legs were tired as hell! ThisΒ  was one packed-evening/night/dawn. I saw a lot, ate a lot and danced a lot.

And man was I enjoying it!


Next posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

Palm Islands Jumeirah Atlantis hotel Dubai

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

Date: 9th April 2010

Today was going to be one heck of an ‘out-&-about’ day. My friend Jassim was free to drive me around and show me the parts of Dubai (as of the above date) the metro service hasn’t covered yet. After all the sight-seeing, we were then going to close out the night with one of the biggest events of this trip — catching David Guetta’s performance in Dubai!

But first, the day.

The morning started out slow and I was mostly indoors. As for lunch, Azhad decided to treat me to a local experience. So we headed to Al Rigga road in Deira.

Golden Fish restaurant Deira Dubai
The Russians must love shrimp
Chinese union society Deira Dubai
The Chinese presence in Dubai is exponential

Deira parking lotDeira small mosque DubaiThe restaurant was Bait Al Mandi, a popular Yemeni joint.

Bait Al-Mandi restaurant Deira DubaiWhat’s unique about this place? Well, they serve Al Mandi — essentially meat on top of flavoured rice. You might be thinking biriyani. but you’ll get a better picture once you see the photos.

We sat upstairs, where you had individuals cabins in which you sit down on the floor.

Inside Bait Al-Mandi Deira Dubai Mithun
That's me
Inside Bait Al-Mandi Deira Dubai slippers
Slippers outside
Bait Al-Mandi chicken mutton rice
Food inside

The meal consists of a lentil soup (which was lovely), an entire cup of curd,Β  and the main dish itself — be it mutton or chicken. And yes, that is an entire half chicken you see above.

Bait Al-Mandi Deira Dubai Azhad
Thumbs up on the food alright

Just that… it was too much! We couldn’t finish all the meat. And the amazing thing is, all this costs less than Dhs 50 (Rs. 600/$13/€11). You can’t ask for a more filling meal in Dubai.

Once we were (partly) done with our heavy lunch, our friend Jassim arrived to pick us up. He had a plan in mind (since he’s done these ‘tours’ for visiting family) and we began our drive.

Dubai clock tower roundabout
Before all the buildings, this was once Dubai's most iconic landmark

Dubai flyover constructionDubai flyover intersection landscaping artDubai flyover underpass art

Dubai Honda showroom building to-let
Dubai Festival City in the distance

Al Badia Hillside Village

We made a quick stop at the Al Badia Golf Club — an impressive, built completely from the ground up, golf course.

Al Badia golf club DubaiAl Badia Golf club dubai lakeRoundabout near Al Badia golf clubWe moved on shortly after.

Dubai flyover roadDubai flyover street lightsDubai flyover road building constructionDubai skyline buildings afternoon

Dubai skyline buildings afternoon Burj Khalifa
Never tired of Dubai's skyline

Dubai flyover towards Sheikh Zyed roadDubai flyover towards Burj Khalifa

Sheikh Zayed buildings Dubai
(Took these photos from inside the car)

Buildings road behind Sheikh Zayed Dubai Buildings road behind Sheikh Zayed Dubai Rotana

DIFC village office building Dubai
The Dubai International Financial Centre

DIFC village office building DubaiSheikh Zayed Dubai office buildings

Dubai Rotana tower

Sheikh Zayed buildings

Sheikh Zayed LG old building
This is the oldest building on Sheikh Zayed Road

We then made a brief stop at the gas station to stock up on junk food.

Eppco petrol station dubaiEppco donuts Dubai

Vimto light can drink Dubai Eppco
Ahhh Vimto, how I missed you. (Now available in 'Light')

After stocking up, Jassim then took us to Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

Road to Jumeirah Dubai

Jumeirah traffic lightSouk Madinat Jumeirah entrance Dubai

The souk is the shopping mall attached to the Madinat Jumeirah resort, an impressive resort offering from the Jumeirah Group — the owners of the iconic Burj Al Arab.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah Burj Al Arab DubaiYes, this yet another mall and I thought I was done with malls because once you’ve seen the biggest and the best, it takes a lot to interest you in another. But Jassim assured me this was a mall that was quite different from the others.

Madinat Jumeirah in Arabic translates to ‘City of Jumeirah’ and is resort complex designed keeping in mind old Arab architecture. It houses two hotels, several restaurants and a few hundred stores.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah elevator
From the elevators...
Souk Madinat Jumeirah hall way stores
... to the mall,
Souk Madinat Jumeirah water
... the place tries to invoke an 'old Arabia' atmosphere

We just did a roam-around of the mall.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah hall Jassim
(That's our friend Jassim)

Souk Madinat Jumeirah courtyard waterwaysSouk Madinat Jumeirah bridgeSouk Madinat Jumeirah Jassim AzhadSouk Madinat Jumeirah cooling vents old Arab architectureSouk Madinat Jumeirah Cinnabon DubaiSouk Madinat Jumeirah outside cartsSouk Madinat Jumeirah outside shop carts

Souk Madinat Jumeirah coffee shop restaurant boats
Madinat Jumeirah is a very popular wedding venue too
Souk Madinat Jumeirah bridge abra dock
There are traditional abras to take guests for rides around the water way

Souk Madinat Jumeirah bridge Burj Al ArabSouk Madinat Jumeirah restaurant waterway

Souk Madinat Jumeirah waterway Mithun Burj Al Arab
The obligatory 'You know i'm in Dubai because you can see the Burj Al Arab in the background' photo

Souk Madinat Jumeirah mall DubaiSouk Madinat Jumeirah roof wooden ceilingOf all the malls I’ve been to in Dubai, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah really stands out as one of the best. It really is a great place to visit, be it for a date or a casual hangout. Plenty of restaurant options and you really can’t beat the setting.

With that, we were done.

Jumeirah road towards Dubai MarinaUp next was another landmark of Dubai — and one that is best seen from the sky.

But since we couldn’t afford a helicopter ride, we had to see The Palm Jumeirah islands from the ground.

Road to Palm Islands JumeirahPalm Islands Jumeirah trunk empty apartmentsPalm Islands Jumeirah empty apartmentsWe drove past a lot of (what looked liked to me) empty apartments. To the left of the above photo was the proposed Trump Tower, now on hold.

We were heading towards to tip of The Palm Islands to see the famed Atlantis resort.

Palm Islands Jumeirah monorail Atlantis hotel Dubai

Road to Palm Islands Jumeirah monorail

Palm Islands Jumeirah tunnel to Atlantis hotel Dubai
And then you go under water

Palm Islands Jumeirah tunnel to Atlantis hotel Dubai GPSPalm Islands jumeirah getting to Atlantis hotel Dubai

Palm Islands Jumeirah Atlantis hotel Dubai
Parking was a bit of a problem so I couldn't spend too much time outside the car

Palm Islands Jumeirah Atlantis hotel Dubai Filipino women

Palm Islands Jumeirah Atlantis hotel Big Bus Dubai
Very much a major tourist attraction in Dubai

Palm Islands Jumeirah Atlantis hotel sea boatThere’s a lot more to Atlantis The Palm than it’s exterior — but to enter the hotel, unless you are guest, you have to pay an entrance fee. I wasn’t too bothered because we had still more on ‘Jassim’s planned drive tour’ of Dubai’s hotspots.

So we made our way back to the ‘mainland’.

Palm Islands tunnel to Atlantis hotel Dubai cars
Read Part 2 here.


Next posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

Burj Khalifa Dubai steel morning

UAE 2010: Burj Khalifa, At the Top (and Wafi Mall) – Part 2

Date: 7th April, 2010

(This is a continuation of Part 1)

Once you are allowed in past the At The Top ticket counter, you wait at the lobby until it’s time for you go up.

Dubai Mall At The Top entrance

At the lobby are some facts, figures and interactive displays comparing the Burj Khalifa to other tall structures around the world.

Burj Khalifa lobby London displayDubai Mall Burj Khalifa lobby San Fransisco displayIn the above display, you choose a location (it’s a touch screen) and it then shows you a simulation of what the Burj Khalifa would look like in that chosen landscape.

Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa lobby structures comparison
Compared to other tall buildings from around the world

Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa lobby displayWhen it was time, I went through security and made my way to the lift. (Oh yeah, the lift is the fastest in the world.)

Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa escalator displayThere are other displays en route to the lift.

Burj Khalifa observation deck 124th floor
I didn’t align this right but if you get it all in the center, it points to the 124th floor — which is where the observation deck is
Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa At the Top message
Behind the tape: “I *was* Burj Dubai”

Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa escalatorI queued for the lift (there’s two) and it wasn’t a capsule (or glass) lift so you can’t see how fast you are going. The feeling was just amazing (video is below)! You hardly feel anything. The noise is cut out due to the music that plays and the only indication you are going up at 64kmph is that you feel like something is pushing down on you.

Also, the ride takes less than 30 seconds.

And then, you step out.

Burj Khalifa observation deck
The observation deck
Dubai Mall from top Burj Khalifa observation deck
Dubai Mall from up above
Sheikh Zayed road panorama from Burj Khalifa
That’s Dubai: tall buildings and sand. (Panorama comprised of 7 shots)
Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa At the Top view fountain
That weird design in the pool is the base of Dubai Fountain

I walked around to take in views from every angle.

Dubai Mall Burj Khalifa observation deck pillars

Burj Khalifa The World project
There was a slight dust storm that day but what you see in the distance is The World islands
Burj Khalifa observation deck zoom viewer
These digital telescopes give you an accurate simulation of what the view would be at day and at night
Burj Khalifa Downtown Dubai construction
The Downtown Dubai construction site
Burj Khalifa Downtown Dubai desert
There’s a lot of empty land still left in Dubai

(Scroll all the way down to the bottom of this article to see the HD video I made)

After the tour, I got into an empty lift going down.

Burj Khalifa inside the fastest elevatorBurj Khalifa inside fastest elevator screens

But pictures aren’t as cool as an HD video right?

Once out, there was more to see.

The making of Burj KhalifaThe making of Burj Khalifa displays

Burj Khalifa Downtoun Dubai project
The (planned) Downtoun Dubai project
Burj Khalifa various design changes
The design (& height) changes Burj Khalifa went through
Downtown Dubai buildings fountain
Looking out
At the Top people behind Burj Khalifa
A few people behind this massive project get a mention too
Burj Khalifa Shebbir Ahmed workers
“Edaa Shebbiru…!”

Burj Khalifa exit walkalator

Burj Khalifa exit walkalator lcds
And with that, the tour ends

You come out near the At The Top ticket counter itself.

Burj Khalifa At the Top ticket counter

Burj Khalifa At the Top sold out
This is why you need to be in early or book well in advance
Dubai Mall Dior stairs ceiling art
Wow, even the ‘under-the-escalators’ get attention

It was past 5pm by this time and I had initially planned on waiting for the Dubai Fountain show which begins at sunset.

But my legs were aching!

All that walking around, with my camera bag… my body couldn’t take it anymore. So I decided to catch the fountain show the next time I would be coming here — which would be 2 days from now.

Burj Khalifa shadow sunlightDubai Mall hole building

Outside Dubai Mall towards metro
Making my way back to the metro station

Burj Khalifa Downtown Dubai building reflection

Dubai Metro inside
Inside the driver-less Dubai Metro

After heading back to Azhad’s room, I gave my legs a rest before heading out again at night. I had dinner plans with a friend, Payal, from my school days who shifted from Bahrain to Dubai a few years ago.

We met up at BurJuman Shopping Center from where we weighed in our dinner options.

Payal inside Honda Civic Dubai
Payal’s book of infinite choices (& discount coupons)

She took me to Wafi City — one of the more interesting real estate projects in Dubai city. A mixed use complex which houses a mall (duh), residences, and a Raffles hotel.

Wafi mall pyramids Citibank Dubai
The Raffles Dubai hotel is the pyramid in the center

What makes Wafi unique is that the whole place is themed around ancient Egypt.

Wafi Mall Eqytian pyramid carsWe first checked out the mall a bit.

Wafi Mall egyptian pillars escalators

Wafi Mall glass pillar ceiling
Not sure if this was a part of Egyptian history, but looks cool anyway.

Wafi Mall inside ceilingWafi Mall roof ceiling Egyptian artWafi Mall roof ceiling Egyptian artWafi Mall city Raffles hotel lobbyWe walked past Asha’s and ended up sitting down at Mahi Mahi, a seafood restaurant and a favourite of Payal’s.

We sat out at the balcony and I would advice anyone to do so if the weather permits — the setting is great.

Wafi Mall Egyptian statues car parking

Wafi Mall panorama Dubai
A panorama comprised of 7 shots
Wafi Mall restaurant chandlier
The ambiance inside Mahi Mahi isn’t bad either

Our dinner conversation ranged from the extreme superficiality of people in Dubai to Payal’s Las Vegas plans to my travel plans for this year. (Yes, I will be travelling again later this year)

Wafi Mall restaurant dinner payal
My friend Payal
Wafi Mall restaurant Thai dinner
Our (mostly) seafood dinner

Mahi Mahi is a slightly upscale joint but the portions and food are well worth the price. You can’t beat the night time atmosphere either.

Wafi Mall columnsWafi Mall pillars steps

Wafi Mall seafood restaurant
The seafood is very fresh

By 11pm, we left Wafi City (after a bit of Lebanese sweets-shopping).

Dubai felt quiet for some time that night.

Dubai at night traffic inside CivicBut once Payal dropped me back in Deira, the signs of life were still buzzing even as today came to an end.

I went back to the room, knackered. Absolutely knackered.

After yesterday’s tiring walk and today’s exploration of Dubai Mall, my legs were crying for rest. Tomorrow was going to be more mall hopping and meeting another friend for dinner.

All said and done, I got what I came for. I was very happy with the photos and it was well worth it.

(Now you know why I took so long on these posts.)

P.S: Here’s the HD video tour of the Burj Khalifa, enjoy:


Next posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Mall of Emirates and Times Square Center

UAE 2010: Driving around Dubai (Souk Madinat Jumeirah, The Atlantis & The Palm Islands) – Part 1

UAE 2010: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah, The Walk and David Guetta concert – Part 2

UAE 2010: Showing my parents the sights of Dubai; inside Ibn Battuta Mall

UAE 2010: From the desert sands of Abu Dhabi to the corniche

UAE 2010: Yas Island, Abu Dhabi – Ferrari World and Yas Marina Circuit

Previous posts in this series:

UAE 2010: Heading back to the Gulf after 7 years

UAE 2010: Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai (& back)

UAE 2010: Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

UAE 2010: Heading to Dubai by bus; checking out Bur Dubai

UAE 2010: Dubai Mall (Aquarium, Underwater Zoo & Gold Souk) – Part 1

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