Dubai Day 2
Leaving the hotel at 10.45am which was s bit later than usual as we got distracted working out what political party we would vote in the upcoming NZ elections. There was this really cool website we had discovered called The Policy (https://policy.thespinoff.co.nz/). Basically it shows you all the policy's for each political party but you have the option to turn on the "blinkers" so you don't know what policy belongs to what party. We also updated the blogs from a couple of days ago. Lew was afraid of me posting my Dubai blogs as he had read somewhere that they can deport you if you write unsavoury things about UAE! So if these blogs are late that's why! We also did a bit of washing in the bath as it cost a crazy amount just to get one t-shirt washed at the hotels and we had an entire bag full!
Our plan was to catch the free shuttle to the mall and then take the train from the mall to the marina. However the next shuttle was at midday and we didn't want to wait that long. You could see the metro station in the distance so we decided to walk in the 42 degrees heat. We weren't sure if you even get burnt in this weather or does you skin just go straight to charcoal?! I don't know if we could have walked much further in the heat than we did. You almost need a little bubble of air conditioning that follows you around in this place.
There is only two train lines in Dubai- the green line and the red line. It cost us 44 Dhs (about $8NZD pp) for the unlimited one day pass train, bus and tram ticket. It was surprisingly a very long way to the marina and the train was split into women and children, men's and mixed carriages. We hopped into one and it seemed like there were all men. Half the carriage was marked off as women's so I just went in there. There were lots of signs up about the fined you received if you are in the wrong carriage so we wanted to make sure we got ti right! Seeing as we could still talk to each other it wasn't as if I would be left behind.
We got off at the marina and planned to walk a round having a look at all the boats. Although we had forgotten that it was infact very warm and probably hotter in the sunshine. Putting on some sunblock for the first time we realised that your supposed to keep the sunblock at a temperature lower than the current outside temperature (40 degrees). Certainly nit an issue we usually have anywhere else. We slipped into a supermarket just to get some reprieve from the heat and to see if we could get some free wifi. At this point we didn't even know what to do with ourselves. The marina mall was next door so we headed there are that would definitely have wifi. All the malls have a lack of seats so we ended up sitting on the floor in the corner researching what to do around here. Eventually a security guard came up to us and lead us to some seats as it was clear we were not welcome to sit on the floor. We decided to check out Lululemon since it was in front of us and then Lew spotted Cole Haan. He has some shoes from there that we brought in Hawaii last year and loves them. I also have some boot from there that I brought in NYC that are super comfy.
We were starting to feel a bit peckish and thought we may as well eat in the mall as it's more likely to be cheaper than anywhere else and ordered some Five Guys. A typically American burger joint which didn't end up being that cheap and cost about $40NZD but hey it filled a gap.
It took us two goes to try and find the correct way out as we planning on catching tram to get closer to Jumeirah beach. From there the tram hadn't been extended far enough to get to the beach so we had to catch a bus to get down further. The bus stop of course was out in the sun and it was pretty unbearable. You couldn't even put your hand on the metal bus pole or your feet on the ground. Now that's the definition of being so hot you could cook and egg on the ground! The bus didn't take too long and it dropped us off with only a short block to the beach. Walking in the shade was at least bearable.
Coming across the famous Jumeirah beach there was loads of thick white sand, no shade whatsoever and mainly men swimming with their women in the full hijab left on the beach with the children. The only women swimming were tourists. There was only shade along the edge of the fence between the public beach and some sort of beach club next store that was blasting its music. Lew was clever and decided to use the backside of the lifeguards hut which was also in shade and close to the waters edge so we could keep an eye on our belongings. A police car was driving up and down the beach keeping an eye on everyone and I really wasn't sure whether I would be fined for changing on the beach underneath a towel. Was my bikini even appropriate to wear here?! Turns out once we walked down the beach we noticed quite a few gay men sun bathing in their wee speedos that they had pulled right up their bums to tan. My bikini was fine 😂.
The water was the warmest sea water we have ever felt at 34 degrees. It was actually felt warmer in the water than outside which we were super disappointed with. You forget how much you crave cold water when it is so hot outside. Lew said it felt like every single person swimming had peed themselves! It was also very salty but at least we could say we have swum in the Arabian Gulf. But despite the temperature of the water it was a lovely place to swim looking back on the beach with a large mosque in the background blasting the sound of the traditional Islamic call to prayer or adhan from its speakers.
We were hopeful that we would dry out quick due to the temperature but that wasn't really the case. A man from NYC asked me to take some photographs for him. He was clearly gay and travelling by himself and it turned into more of a photo shoot that a single photo favour haha! He wanted this angle and that. Even when we were done he came back to me and asked if I could take one more with him facing the building instead of facing me so it would make him look better. I had asked him where he was from but he didn't bother asking me. Typical New Yorker.We got changed under a towel again which was a tad more awkward this time as two Arab men had also taken shelter in the shade next to us. Walking back to the bus we saw a couple pull up to the beach club and the doormen parked their flash Audi. You could tell they just oozed wealth. We stood and watched a couple more Emirates people enter before continuing our walk down the street until we found a bus stop. We actually ended up staying on the bus too long and it took is completely away from where we wanted to go. Re routing ourselves to next nearest station it didn't actually end up being too far away thankfully as we were fast running out of water. We took the train all the way back to the hotel which took about 30 minutes.
Looking back up Sheikh Zayed Road which we were staying in the view of the skyline was incredible with the sun a little lower and the haze around the buildings. We tried to get to the top floor of the building but we didn't have much luck. I still think there's a way to get into a the roof to take a time lapse, maybe tomorrow we will try again. We ended up down at the hotel pool which was outside and also provided an excellent view of the same road but from a higher angle. We realised that this is the flyover view at night you get on your Apple TV!
After getting time lapse of the sun setting we got changed and headed out to a place called Taqado Mexican Kitchen. Lew had been googling "cheap eats" around where we were staying as we were sick of paying an arm and a leg for some average food. We both had the beef burrito bowl which I must say was pretty good with rice, beans, peppers and guacamole . It came it to be 81 Durham which is $31 NZD so not too bad for dinner I guess. Walking back in the stinking hot heat we were pleased to reach the Crowne Plaza's air conditioning!