Atlantis the Palm, Dubai!

[I know this is a very late post since it’s not Summer anymore but here are the reasons it’s a late post: I forgot and when I remembered, I kept postponing it…I’m so unreliable.]

 

Over the Summer Holidays, my parents, my sister and I went to Dubai! We stayed on the Palm island, which is a manmade island, which I found incredible. The hotel we stayed in was called the Atlantis the Palm.

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From London, we had a six hour flight to Doha. Doha airport was outstanding. It was so clean and quite quiet and there were cleaners cleaning 24/7. There was this huge area, with a giant yellow teddy bear statue, with tons of shops and even that looked incredible. The flight from Doha to Dubai was about an hour.

Dubai’s airport was very different to England’s and Doha’s. It was terrible. We stood in a queue for an hour for passport control and then another hour trying to find our bags in baggage claim. In baggage claim, there was luggage all over the floor. There was even two boxes of trout on the floor. People were just throwing other people’s bag onto the floor and that led to many complaints and lost luggage. I heard an Australian lady tell one of the staff that she had been waiting about two hours for her bags and that another member of staff said they’ll find it. The man she was talking to just said something like, “it’ll be here by tomorrow”.  I hated it. I was so stressed. It was so busy. Our taxi driver had to wait more than two hours because our plane was delayed, too. It was tiring.

As we walked out the airport, it felt like we were walking into an oven. This was at night, too, so we were worried about what daytime would feel like. We were actually in the second hottest country of the world, on that week. Crazy, huh?

 

The hotel was fantastic, though. They took our luggage on one of those fancy red and gold IMG_2918trolleys and led us into the hotel. The air con was so nice. I miss the air conditioning, a lot. There was this giant colourful statue thing that was in the middle on the room. It had a fountain surrounding it and little soft seats too. The ceiling was covered with art inspired by the ocean and it looked beautiful. After checking in, we went to our room. The room was amazing, too. The TV had a message for us under our own name and we had a balcony looking over the beach and the pool. The huge beds were the comfiest thing in the world but I had to share with my sister. It was okay but she kicks people in her sleeps so that was great…

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The next day, which was Friday, we went to the beach. We had a short swim in the sea, which got quite deep even though it was IMG_2926near the shore. There were tons of little dark fish in it, too, which were swimming in between my legs. There were also crabs. After that, we went to the pool, which we all agreed we preferred. The sea was quite warm and the pool was IMG_2932cooler. We also went to the aquarium, in the hotel. There was also a huge aquarium of rays and sharks and fish, that you could see from the restaurant, we had breakfast in. However, there was another aquarium that had other creatures like jellyfish and alligators.

IMG_2958We saw eels swimming out and into tubes and clown fish and dory fish (I don’t know the actual name XD). There was also a section with baby albino alligators. Even though they were babies, theIMG_2963 information guide man told us it could still kill us.

Later that day, we took a taxi to the mall of Emirates. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. It basically had all designer clothes, that you could find in England, so we just bought some milkshakes and headed back to our hotel.

 

On Saturday, we went to the water park. I refused to go on any of the rides because they all had huge drops…well, so I thought, so we just went on the mini slides and went on a river ride. The IMG_3014river ride was fun because there were these “rapid” sections, where the water ran really fast. I was in a double rubber ring with my sister, who keep screaming at the rapid bits. She gets scared, easily. But she’s nine so who cares! In the evening, we visited the Dubai Mall. It was so so so incredible. I’ve said incredible a lot now. You could buy anything in it. There were so many floors, each with IMG_3001a huge number of shops. In fact, they even has an ice rink and zoo in it. That’s how big it was. We didn’t buy anything but we had a good look around. Then we went outside the mall, where there were dancing fountains. Every half hour, music would come on and the water would start dancing to the music. From the fountain, we could also see the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. It looked so tall. Looking at it made you lose balance.

We went to the market, near the mall and one of the shop owners gave us a discount since we were tourists. We bought a few things there for people back home. Then, we went back home and watched Wild Hogs and Meet Bill.

 

On Sunday, we went back to the Dubai Mall and paid for the explorer package, which meant we got to go through the aquarium tunnel, have a glass bottom boat ride, and visit the zoo.

IMG_3023The tunnel was so cool. There was loads of sharks swimming above and IMG_3038around us. The glass bottom boat road was cool too. We saw loads of different types of rays and the man told us they had to feed the sharks IMG_3046earlier so they won’t eat the other fish in the tank. The zoo was the best bit. We saw an otter, hiding behind a log and piranhas. We saw huge crabs and cute turtles.

IMG_3051Then we saw one of the biggest crocodiles in the world (so they said). It was huge. There were loads of birds in the crocodiles’ enclosure, as well. We saw penguins, opposite the crocodiles and they were adorable. The last time I saw IMG_3047penguins, in real life, was a long time ago, when I was little so it was great to see them again. After looking at those animals, we walked on a “jungle” bridge to the forest section. There was an enclosure of bats and another of hedgehogs. There were also two owls in another. We also saw a small pretend campsite with a IMG_3058cameleon in and another with cheeseman’s gerbils in. They were sleeping altogether and I had a cute-attack looking at them. We went to the toy shop, which was huge and so fun. You were allowed to play with the toys and I saw a boy riding a scooter around the store. The staff were demonstrating remote control cars and magic sets and ball games. Then we bought frozen yoghurt, which was the best thing ever. There were so many flavours and toppings!

 

The next day, we went on a safari in the desert. As we were travelling in the jeep, I  thought to IMG_3071myself, this safari is going to be nice. Little did I know it was going to be a bumpy ride. A VERY bumpy ride! We went on top of TALL sand hill and dropped, really fast, down them. Our jeep went on its sides as we drove on top of the hills. My sister was clutching onto my mum’s arm the whole time, squealing with terror. My dad asked our driver how long he IMG_3073had been doing this and the man replied saying it was his first day. My dad laughed, knowing it was joke but I just stared at him, horrified. The safari was terrifying. No one ever told me it was going to be like this. I loved it though. Our driver kept saying “yeep” every time we went down a big hill. When the drive was over, we were let out to walk on the desert and look at the sun set. It was so hard walking up the sand hills. I didn’t expect it to be as difficult as it was. After, we were driven to this little camp.

Me and my sister went onto one camel and my mum and dad went on another. We had a short camel ride and it was also very bumpy but fun. Getting off was the scary part. When the camel sits, it sits down unexpectedly and quickly so it feels like you’re going to get flung right off. Then we had a barbeque dinner and watched a woman belly dance.

 

On Tuesday, we went to the water park again. This time, me and my mum went on one of the rides twice. It was the one with the smallest queue and the staff said it didn’t have any big drops. I gained a lot of courage from the safari ride. If you can do the safari ride, I think you can go on any roller coaster ride. Maybe. The water ride went through a tunnel that went round and round and round and you couldn’t see a thing. It was pitch black. Then after a long time in the dark, we splashed through into a glass tunnel, surrounded by fish and sharks and rays. My sister was in front of the tank, that the tunnel was in and she waved at us. As we reached the end, we dropped into a small pool, where one of the staff, turned the float, we were on, upside down. I was not expecting that. I was stuck under that float, under water for a while, trying to swim out. My mum found it funny, though. On the next go, I jumped out before he tipped us. XD After ten minutes of looking for my dad, who went on a scarier ride, we bought slushies and then headed to the pool in the hotel.

 

Wednesday was our last full day in Dubai so my dad insisted we go visit the “old Dubai”. So we went to Deira market. It was alright but I couldn’t stand the heat. There were also a lot of shop keepers yelling at us to come in and one even said to us to take it. After the market, we went back to Dubai Mall. We got another frozen yogurt each and the owner recognized us from the last time we came so we had a small chat with her.

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On Thursday, we had breakfast, got ready and left the hotel. The six hour flight from Doha to England was nice. I had a window seat and looked out onto all the countries we passed. In fact, for four IMG_3097hours, you could see the sun set because our plane was catching up with the sun. I listened to music on my phone for the last two hours and watched the world below us. It was good to be back in England and not have to share a bed with my sister but I did really enjoy Dubai!

 

 

-Shay