A Long Weekend in Dubai

Dubai at night

We thought about doing a lot of things in Dubai.

Dubai cityscape

Perhaps we would visit the world’s only 7-star hotel? (Even though, technically, there is no official ranking above 5 stars). We were very nearly willing to pay the AED 350 minimum required to sit at the bar of the Burj Al Arab, to drink overpriced cocktails and pretend to be fancy. But it looked pretty far away. Better to save it for tomorrow.

Dubai mall waterfall

We thought briefly of ogling the indoor ski slope at Mall of the Emirates, but after a twirl around Dubai Mall, we decided malls are malls, even when filled with waterfalls and dinosaurs. And who wants to spend their vacation days in a mall? Not I.

Dubai mall with dinosaur

Maybe we would book tickets to see Dubai from the world’s highest observation deck. The building had been visible from the plane, and the novelty was tempting. But a simple swim was even more enticing when it came down to go time.


We would probably go to Wild Wadi, we decided. A huge waterpark would be the perfect way to cool off under the UAE sun. Too bad it was a cab ride away.

Instead, we sat by the pool.

Dubai night swim

We lounged on our balcony.

We marvelled at having 3 bathrooms in our suite, when 1 does just fine at home in Rome.

We requested a late check out and didn’t bother with alarm clocks.

We watched the sunlight fade and the lights of this massive, touristy desert city come on.

Dubai at night

The once-sleepy fishing town is now a Vegas without the gambling. It is a city of excess that I really just have to admire for the sheer ridiculousness of its ambitions. For the PR machine that has made it a destination.

It was warm. The pool was perfect. 3 days of nothing was necessary. We needed a break from the old to make us appreciate Rome just a little bit more.

Looking down in Dubai

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