Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yong in Dubai : Tourist Stops & Scenic Spots

yong, this posting is dedicated to our awesome time together in dubai. it’s also for haiqal and haqeem, to jumpstart their memory of the fun educational times here! warning : this posting will sound like a tourist guidebook. fine with that? proceed.


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burj khalifa. world’s tallest building. overlooking the world’s highest shooting musical water fountain. beside the world’s biggest mall. within it, the world’s biggest indoor aquarium.

aunty gim asked her nephews to just stand in front of the burj khalifa for a good few minutes – just try to soak it all in, and be fully aware that they’re at the presence of man’s extraordinary capacity – to build something so amazing like the burj khalifa.

oh well, our malaysia’s petronas twin towers are still the tallest TWIN buildings in the world!




haven’t taken a picture in front of the burj khalifa for SO LONG. took the chance to grab a shot.


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meydan grandstand and racecourse : able to accommodate 60,000 spectators in its 1 mile long grandstand. the wavy blue light is one distinct feature of the ‘meydan grandstand and racecourse’. you can even see the majestic burj khalifa in the distance; towering over others.

mr. khairul the expert at good-photo-spots stopped at some bushes, and hey – with a backdrop of meydan grandstand. *click!*




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burj al-arab, one of the most expensive hotels in the world. its unique shape is like an arab dhow; built on a man-made island. a night could cost you $10k to $15k – and that’s just the *cheap* rooms! haha. there are personal butlers, a private reception desk on every floor, and a chauffeured rolls royce for guests use. woah. you can only access the hotel with reservations, or invitations. tak bole selamba je nak masuk lobby amik gamba.

so usually tourists would go take pictures in front of the burj al arab near the wild wadi (that’s as far as anyone can go close to the hotel!) OR, at this spot that we went to – also a popular photo-taking spot – by the jumeirah beach.




at night, the lights on the burj al-arab changes color. once, on chinese new year, the lights even depicted a dragon! here we got this precious chance to take a picture with the full moon in the background. gorgeous!


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dubai historical bastakiya, my favorite place in dubai, simply because of its classic architecture of old dubai with traditional arabic courtyard and carved wooden doors. amazing that a place as quaint as this exists amidst modern skyscrapers and rapid development of dubai.

constructed in 1690s, it’s one of the oldest residential areas in dubai with houses separated by a labyrinth of narrow, winding lanes. my boys, nephews and niece had fun running around, and along the lanes – hoping not to get lost!

the most distinct feature is the architectural design of barajeels (also known also as wind towers). that’s the one on top of every emirati homes. hot wind comes in from the top, and cools off as it reaches below. natural air conditioning!




click here for a wonderful article about the dubai bastakiya in the huffington post; which also tells of the ‘legend’ of how england’s prince charles had a hand in preserving the bastakiya!


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hard rock café, dubai, the biggest hard rock café outside of the states. after 12 years operating in sheikh zayed road near dubai marina, it was closed in 2009, only to open again at a new, bigger venue in 2011. in fact, we celebrated khaleef’s birthday on its opening day on 18th nov (his bday was 15th nov).

click here to read about khaleef’s awesome 6th birthday makan-makan at hard rock café on its opening day.

yong just wanted to check out some stuff at the store. yong was a collector of hard rock café shot glasses from her days studying in the states. banyak collection dia! we didn’t even dine there coz it’s impossible to get a seat so fast on a weekend! takpe lah yong – it’s all just burgers and fries. dtg dubai makan nasi mandi ok!




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the global village, also my favorite place in dubai because you can see and experience the whole of the middle east in one HUGE venue – egyptian cotton or an african goat carpet, or soft nepal shawl; indian silk or rm700 hand-woven palestinian abaya – you can get it all at the global village. turkish ice-cream, indian briyani or indonesian bakso. hungarian pastry or mexican churros. iranian nuts or yemeni honey – you can taste it all here. amazing, amazing experience!

some may say that it’s always the SAME thing displayed at global village, but I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it all – even after 5-6 years here. the colors, the taste and smells, the unique items and beauty of the cultural performances!

yong agreed – global village is indeed, a special place full of diversity!

click here to read about my trip to global village with my two younger sisters, syida and azi when they were here in 2009.





one of the best things to get at the global village is my favorite emirati food LUQAIMAT! that hot crispy dough balls scooped fresh from the wok; served with sweet date syrup on top. absolutely heavenly. my nephews and niece loved the taste of luqaimat too!


since it’s a local EMIRATI food, you’d think they’re easy to get macam goreng pisang makcik tepi jalan but nope – it’s quite rare. and for me, I know I can only get it here at the global village; and at the expensive emirati restaurant al-fanar in dubai festival city (click here for my review of al-fanar)


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metro dubai – yeap, I even took a ride on the metro with just yong and her kiddos nuna and adam; while mr, khairul took care of the rest of the kiddos back home. it was just us because we were heading to one of the busiest places in dubai – the naif souq – the abaya and shawl heaven.

borong! it was a very tiring (lots of walking!) but very enjoyable experience with my older sis! the kiddos? sleeping all the way on the train.

I have to mention that on the way to, and back, there were always chivalrous men standing to give up his seat for us and the kids. however, one time when we’re going out of the train, SO MANY inconsiderate people pushing their way in – except only one guy who kept shouting, “hey kids! kids! there are kids!” and he spread out his hands to give way to us. may Allah bless you for your good deed, kind stranger!

..and as always, dubai contains all the superlatives – so the dubai metro is also the world's longest fully automated metro network spanning at 75 kilometres. there you go!

fyi, to reach naif souq by metro you need to follow the RED line to UNION station, CHANGE to GREEN line, and stop at BANIYAS SQUARE station. spot the minaret of a mosque, and walk towards it. you’re soon there at naif souq.

check out my first time on the dubai metro here, written in malay.




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the atlantis on palm jumeirah, is the first hotel ever built on this world’s biggest man-made island; the palm jumeirah – shaped like, well a palm tree. 100k fireworks were used during its grand opening, lasting 15 minutes. there is definite plans to have an even grander fireworks display this coming new year’s eve, to break the world record.

this is also where our prime minister would stay on his visit here.

the kids were a little cranky here, probably thinking, “it’s JUST a hotel! why are we taking so many pictures here?” haha.




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these are priceless moment for us sisters, and for the cousins. thanks to mr. khairul for making all these trips and stops possible. our designated driver and awesome tourist guide! mwah!

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