The next morning we woke up and got ourselves together as we were heading to Abu Dhabi later in the day so needed to check out of the room and have the Hyatt hold our belongings while we spent one last day in Dubai. We had decided to skip the Souk Madinat which we were considering visiting. Given that we didn’t plan on buying anything, we figured we might as well just head to the Dubai Mall to see if we were able to visit the Burj al Khalifa earlier than our pre-scheduled time of 230pm.
Once we arrived, we checked out the HUGE Dubai Aquarium fish tank before heading to “At the Top” to see if there was any availability for an earlier visit. No luck, they were completely sold out for the day and most of the following days as well. So, we perused a few shops, had lunch at the Rainforest Café, and then headed outside in hopes of viewing the Dubai Fountain show. The 1pm show ended up being cancelled because of wind and the 130pm show never started, so we headed back inside for our scheduled visit to the observation deck of the tallest building in the world.
While I’m not a fan of heights, this attraction was not to be missed. While making our way to the elevators to take us a little over half way up (floor 124), there were lots of memorabilia including a time lapsed video of the building’s construction along with a signed picture of Tom Cruise scaling the building for the latest Mission Impossible movie. It was really well done.
A short elevator ride later (about 1 minute) we were looking out across Dubai and the surrounding desert. While Dubai seems to be an expansive metropolis while in the midst of the buildings and hustle and bustle, it really isn’t that large of a city and the desert on the outskirts is prominent. We spent about 40 minutes on the observation deck, checking out the sites before we made our way back down to the taxi queue so that we could get to the airport to pick up our rental car that would take us to Abu Dhabi.
The taxi queue was long. Really long. There was a guy walking up and down the line distributing water bottles from a grocery cart even though the wait was indoors. But, we eventually made our way to the front and took the ride to the airport where we picked up our sporty Toyota Corolla. Rental cars are small over here although taxis and other cars on the street are similar in size to those in the US. So, we made our way back to the Hyatt to gather our belongings, crammed ourselves and our crap into the Corolla, and off we went to Abu Dhabi!
The drive to Abu Dhabi was a straight shot. We only made one wrong turn when we realized that staying straight was actually getting off an exit. Ken has a good sense of direction and we were back on our way in no time. We arrived onto Saadiyat Island and made our way to Aunt Judy’s Park Hyatt. We dropped her off and then continued the 2 minute drive to our hotel, the St. Regis. Both of these hotels opened in the last year or two and are really, really, really nice. Given that it is Formula 1 weekend, the rates are over $1000 a night. Of course we didn’t pay for either as we all used points for our stays.
Given that we arrived at night, we didn’t get to explore much and just headed to our room for a light dinner, some unpacking, and bedtime. Tomorrow we would explore and what awesome sites we would find!