My three-week trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE Part 04

Posted by Ronualdo Batusin |05 Mar 17 | 2 comments

My three-week trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE Part 04

Don’t stop believing…

Now we’re on an exciting day, on the fourth day, I’ve seen a lot of exciting things that my love for this country grew even bigger. We took a trip to Dubai again and I was so excited because it has a tapestry that you can’t deny of its beauty. By this time, I’ve got used to be traveling long distance and I got to say, I felt like I was living there already. I felt so at home that I didn’t want to go home, like seriously. Even though we have been traveling back and forth, seeing the same sights, I’m still impressed by how organized the place. I even asked my friend who just had her vacation there in January and she had the same sentiments as I have, and I’m pretty sure if you will have a chance to travel to Dubai or Abu Dhabi, you will have the same reaction as me, a hundred percent sure.

Aldar HQ, Abu Dhabi

Before we got to Dubai, I had one request and that is to see the Aldar HQ. Aldar is a big developer based in Abu Dhabi, in Dubai, the biggest developer is Emaar, and they built the Burj Khalifa and the building surrounding it. When building and designing their head quarter, Aldar took an inspiration from a clamp or shell. I watched a documentary regarding the construction from Megaconstruction. After seeing the documentary, I got interested and hoping that one day I will see it in person. And that day, was today! My uncle drove me to their compound, but unlike the Burj Khalifa that lets tourist tour inside, since it is their head quarter, you can’t really get in not unless you have an appointment, so I just took a selfie from the outside of the car and before the gates of the HQ. I just took a quick snap since we really didn’t have an appointment whatsoever. Seeing the Aldar HQ in its glory, I can’t imagine how complicated it was to build the building based from what I saw. So now, I can check off one of the things in my bucket list.

Atlantis, Dubai

After we took a detour from our planned trip, we headed to Dubai and our first stop was the world’s famous Atlantis. Atlantis is a seven star hotel located at Palm Jumeirah. The Palm Jumeirah is one of the few man made islands in Dubai than can be seen from the outer space. Although, on your way going to the Atlantis, you won’t really notice you’re in the palm island not unless you knew where you’re going. What’s interesting is that the Atlantis is located at the outermost part of the palm so you will have to pass through an underwater tunnel. I didn’t really know that the tunnel was underwater until I checked on the map and realized that the only way you can get to the Atlantis is through the monorail or the underwater tunnel.

When we got there, I was surprised by the amount of people by the bay or the promenade called The Board Walk, taking picture in front of the Atlantis. There were designated parking spaces on the side roads and the side walk is made of some sort of like a polyvinyl wood-like planks. The hotel is so famous that it became a tourist destination, which made me think, why can’t we have that kind of mind set in our country that instead of just building a hotel, make it also a tourist attraction. Aside from generating jobs, it can also boost the tourism in the country. In Cebu, the closest hotel that has similar ambience or looks with the Atlantis is the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug, Cebu. The big difference is, it’s not really a tourist destination compare to that in Dubai. One can only dream that one day, we can build something in that can boost the tourism in our country. If there’s one thing I noticed with my stay there, is that their government is not shy in spending for infrastructures since the return of investment will be seen in the long run. Their mindset is for long term solutions not just for a one term (political term) project that when a new administration (local or national, most especially local; LGU), they will implement “new projects” which is just basically destroying the project of the previous administration and build a new one just like in my city. Roads that are still in perfect condition were intentionally destroyed to paved way the “re-blocking” but the most damaged streets or roads were not even given a single attention. You know what, just get use with my rants with our government here. I just hope in his six years of term, he can implement real change and hopefully the Federal Government in our country, but that one is a long stretch for a president to do unless he has the majority of support from both upper and lower house. But enough with that, here are some of the photos we took!

Dubai Marina

After our short trip at the Atlantis, we went to Dubai Marina and by gosh, my jaw dropped after seeing a building that is literally twisted. A building I have never seen in my entire life. The name of the building is the Cayan Tower. It is a 75 – storey residential tower with a smooth curve with an astonishing 90 degrees. The tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), the same group that designed the Burj Khalifa. The tower became the center piece of the Dubai Marina. There are also some water taxis which will take you a tour around the Dubai Marina and the Atlantis. A Filipino staff; Kababayan!, offered us a package for the three of us but it’s still so expensive and besides we’ve already been to Atlantis. So we didn’t get it since it will be a hefty amount of money. Anyways, I don’t have any Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings reference for this one so if you have, by all means comment below.

Dubai Creek

So after we took a look at the grandeur of the Dubai Marina, they decided to take me to Dubai Creek. Dubai Creek is a park with an entrance fee. The park is massive and full of plants and flowers. It also has some birds which you cannot see in our country. This is also what I noticed in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai, to think that it’s a hot country and mostly desert, but they have developed parks that families and friends can celebrate their birthdays or have parties. It is a great park where family and friends meet. It’s clean and well maintained. If only we have parks here in Cebu that are well maintained, Im pretty sure every weekend, families will be bonding and even celebrating at the parks. On our way to park, we saw the Burj Khalifa piercing through the sky, glistening with its mighty height, the father of all buildings, the Elder Wand.

The park is also by the bay so it’s breezy and you can see some seaplanes. While we were there, there were some Arab Kids playing and when we passed them, they approached us and said “As Salaam Alaikum” (Peace be unto you), and I don’t speak Arabic, didn’t know what it meant or what to say, so my uncle just responded “Wa Alaikum Salaam” (And unto you peace). And honestly I found it really sweet of those kids to greet us, since I have a great appreciation with Arabs and the religion of Islam, if you have studied the history of religion.

Below are videos I took of the seaplanes.

Geplaatst door Ronualdo Tariman Batusin op donderdag 24 november 2016

Geplaatst door Ronualdo Tariman Batusin op donderdag 24 november 2016

Dubai Mall

After a long day of driving, we went straight to Dubai Mall, the biggest shopping mall in the world, stretched at 1 kilometer – wide. On our way, we encountered a mild sand storm and honestly, I wasn’t worried instead I got excited. I’m pathetic, I was excited to experience sand storm for the first time. Although it won’t be the only sand storm we’ll encounter during my stay there.

Amidst the sand storm, we reached Dubai Mall safe and sound and I was at awe with the grandeur of the building. Both exterior and interior is well thought of and the designs were amazing. You can really tell that they wanted to make everything they build a tourist attraction, not just a box being built with a bland exterior that gives us an underwhelming impression, for example the SM Seaside City. The building is mammoth, I even love the mall but when I got to Dubai Mall and also Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, the Seaside could not compete both in exterior and interior design. Don’t get me wrong, I love SM Seaside City Cebu, I even encourage my mom every Sunday that we attend mass at Pedro Calungsod Chapel so that we can go to the mall after, but apart from the Cube and the Sky Park, there’s nothing really to look forward. Also the ice rink at SM Seaside seemed to be misplaced, unlike from that at MOA that people from the upper floors can have a view of the ice rink. In Dubai Mall, the ice rink is located on the ground floor with bleachers for spectators during a match, and the plan of the upper floors is open to below so people can watch while having their meal or light snacks. I’m still hoping that one day we will reach that kind of mind set that we design buildings not just constructing it but it would make an attraction. Here in Cebu, one building I saw attempted that is the Calyx Building at I.T park, although the building looks exciting but for me they lack in execution and the use of materials could really affect the whole look of the building.

Anyways, the Dubai Mall has a lot of interesting sights. During our visit, there was a display of a dinosaur, I’m not sure if the display is still present until now. Also, when we visited there, the Dubai Police had a both near the entrance/exit going to Dubai Fountain. They showcased the supercars their police used, and they are jaw-dropping. I mean where can you see an Audi and McLaren used as police cars. The display is intended for the Expo 2020 which Dubai is the host.

The mall also features the Dubai Waterfall adorned with fiberglass sculpted divers. It is a 24 – meter tall water feature situated next to The Grove, and it is a key element inside the mall.

Outside the mall, we noticed tens of people wandering and seemed like waiting for something, it turned out every 6 pm, is the start of the dancing water show at the Dubai Fountain, it is the world’s biggest dancing fountain. You see, Dubai has a lot of world’s biggest, as of now, the world’s tallest building is in Dubai, which is also the centerpiece of the dancing water show. Anyways, when we went outside and I saw the Burj Khalifa, I could cry. I couldn’t believe I am standing in front of the building that I have dreamt of one day seeing, and it did happen. It was marvelous and it dwarfed the rest of the buildings surrounding it. When the clock strikes at 6, the dancing water show started to the tune of Sama Dubai and interestingly, I found the song really exciting and interesting, I even researched about the song and listen to it every now and then. From what I know, the Sama Dubai is a song dedicated to the ruler of Dubai. Anyways, below is the video of the water show my uncle took, because he’s the tallest among the three of us. He’s like the Elf or Man and my aunt and I are like the Hobbits. I feel like Frodo Baggins, but unlike him, I am not that useless, I mean come on, we can all agree without Sam, Frodo will fail his mission, and Merry and Pippin are just equally adorable. Wait what are we talking about? Yeah, Dubai Fountain, anyways enjoy the video.

The Dancing Fountain of Dubai Fountain at Dubai Mall with the Burj Khalifa as the back drop. I love the Arabian song.

Geplaatst door Ronualdo Tariman Batusin op donderdag 24 november 2016

After the water show, we went back inside and we went to see the world’s biggest indoor aquarium. I was surprised when I laid my eyes to it, it’s so massive and you can’t imagine the work behind making it into reality. I also watched a documentary about the construction of Dubai Mall and one of the complicated elements of the mall is the aquarium and no doubt why it’s one of the complicated things inside the mall. It housed thousands of sea creatures and for someone who haven’t been to a water park, it’s an exciting experience for me. At least I won’t be ignorant with all these exciting things and now I know what to expect soon once the Cebu Sealife Park (Cebu Ocean Park) will be completed.

Geplaatst door Ronualdo Tariman Batusin op donderdag 24 november 2016

So that’s it for now, I hope you enjoyed reading the fourth part and pardon my gloats. It has been a long first week for me and for the next two weeks, we didn’t really travel often since my uncle had gone back to work after his one week leave. So basically, for the remaining weeks, my aunt and I just stayed in their place and we haven’t traveled just the two of us since most are long distance so the only days we can go out are on the weekends. Still, there’s a lot to see and check on my next post, it’s all so exciting! And till then, see you next week. Happy reading and have a nice day. Don’t forget to share. Thank you!

Below is the part 03 of my trip.

My three-week trip to Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE Part 03


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