This time for our business trip to Paris, we took Etihad Airlines cause it was dirt cheap. Etihad stops at Abu Dhabi and we had an ex colleague working there. So me and Jason Phua decided to stop over for a couple of days to check out Abu Dhabi.
First day in Abu Dhabi, we took a bus to the neighbouring city Dubai. The train ride cost us 15 Dirhams each and took about 1 hour 45 min to 2 hours. The first bus stop on entering Dubai is the World Trade Center near the Etisalat building. Just one look at this building and you realise the scale we are talking about in Dubai. Mind you that we are in a desert but check out the nice green lawn in front of the building.
On entering Dubai, it is like you are transported to a different country. It doesn't feel like you are in the middle east anymore and the scale of their infrastructure is amazing. We are talking about 6 lane highways in one direction and buildings that are huge and super modern looking. Just one look at the MRT station and you can see that they had serious money back then and it was put into good use.
Now if you think the MRT stations looks familiar, means you have been to Singapore before. Yes apparently my friend told me that Dubai hired the SMRT guys as consultants for their train infrastructure. Everything looks exactly the the SMRT including the card reader to read the pre paid card and even the interior of the train itself. That is a smart move by the Dubai Sheik and I always say Malaysia should hire SMRT or the London Underground to plan the train system in Malaysia.
Our first stop is the Dubai Mall and just as we got out of the train station, we saw the Burj Khalifah. The Burj Khalifah is at the moment the tallest tower in the world. Standing at 828m with 160 floors it is just under twice the height of the Petronas Twin Towers at 451.9m at 88 floors. So to imagine how tall this building is, just think the Twin Towers stacked on top of each other.
We took a bus to Dubai Mall and the first thing we saw was an gigantic aquarium in the middle of the mall.
Kinda reminds me of KLCC since KLCC also has the Aquaria at the basement of KLCC. Check out the roof of the aquarium.
It looks like they were trying to paint a dolphin on the roof. We paid 25 Dirhams to get closer to the action and walk through the tube.
Initially we saw like 1 or 2 sharks but walking into the entrance of the tube there were like 10-15 shark hovering just above us in the dark. It was a pretty scary sight and more so with the teeth on these guys.
After the aquarium we walked around the mall a little to see if there is anything to buy. Unfortunately I found out there were all out of my budget.
After all the walking in the mall, we decided to head outside for some sun and to check out the scenery. Guess what greeted us?
Check out how it it just dwarfs the other buildings around it. Just for comparison...
The buildings around the Burj Khalifah is also pretty stunning and if you just dropped me into this place without telling me where I am, I would not guess that I am in the middle east.
That concludes the first part of our Dubai visit. The next part, we will be heading to Palm Jumierah and going to a 7 star hotel.