Dubai 2017 Day 4 – Al Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall and Home Sweet Home

Our last day in Dubai started at around 730am as K called for milk. Made him some and went back to bed. Some 1hr later, we were all awoke already. We were checking out from the Airbnb today and so had to get packing at the same time.

Mommy bought, the previous day, boxes of cereals for breakfast and we all had that including K. Mommy prepared lunch as well and I did the packing and getting K ready. I called the rep to find out if we could do a late check out but was informed by his sleepy voice that we couldn’t stay longer than 12 and that it was ok though to leave our luggage in the room as there weren’t any other place that could keep our luggage.

We were ready to leave by 9ish and started to walk towards Al Burj Khalifa. I assumed that I could get to observation deck by going directly to the Al Burj Khalifa but it was wrong as we found out from someone we met along the way. He advised us to go through the Dubai mall where we could get our tickets to the top. We walked back again and entered entrance 7, closest to the fountain and on the left we could already see the ticket counter (At the Top) and a queue.

Al Burj Khalifa, world’s tallest building
Downtown panorama
At the Top entrance
Aston Martin for 007 on display
Long queue for tickets
A model of Khalifa

There was a schedule board and it indicated that all time slots were fully booked except for the ones at 330pm, luckily. Mommy got in queue to line up for that slot while K busied himself with the coin press. When it was our turn at the front, we were told that we could go up immediately, which was contradicting to the sold out info. I asked for the price and was not surprised that she offered the premium priced level 148 observatory, for a whopping cost of 1k plus aed. We declined and asked for the 330pm ones instead, at 280aed per person. I am disappointed with the unethical methods by these people though.

With the spare time, we shopped in the souvernir shop for a bit to buy ourselves some tees, then we went to Waitrose supermarket to buy some dates back home as gifts and other essentials like packet milk. Then as it was nearing check out time, we first went to the food court at level 3 and started lunch for mommy and K while I returned to the apartment to get our luggage.

Inside Dubai Mall
Waitrose supermarket
Inside the supermarket
Dubai Mall design like a souk
Panda Chinese
Fried rice lunch

Back at the apartment, I did my final checks before lugging 2 luggage out and left the key behind the door as per check out instructions. Then it was a walk with the 2 luggage to Dubai mall. I realised that entrance 5 was the nearest entrance to our Airbnb and used that for the first time. Then checking out the map to the concierge service, I walked towards Galeries Lafayette and found the concierge near the Emirates simulator. Checked in luggage was 70aed per bag and we had to check it out by 11pm, which was already beyond what we required.

Large waterfall display

I returned to mommy and K who had completed their meals. I ordered some Arabic fast food (Taza means fresh) and it was a Arabic burger which tasted really nice and was at a costs of 18aed per meal. Mommy and K proceeded to the Nickelodeon store while I chomped down my fast food.

Taza fast food
Arabic burger

Spent quite an amount of time at Nickelodeon as K was interested with the table there. After we couldn’t decide what to get and K didn’t seemed to want anything, we left. It wasn’t time yet for the observatory visit so we thought we should get K to nap, by sitting at the seats near the indoor waterfall. Mommy left us to do some shopping on her own and while I tried to get K to nap, he wouldn’t and worst of all, didn’t want to sit still. Carried him and he dropped his pacifier 3 floors down. Then he pooped and I had to temporarily cleaned it up since mommy had all the stuff with her and I was unable to reach her.

Diaper changing room

Mommy finally came back and we quickly changed the diapers in the baby changing room, one that had 2 changing stations. Then we walked over to the tickets counter for our visit to the top observatory.

There was already a queue and it was about a 30mins journey of queuing and walking and taking the lift. The lifts were pretty quick, about 1 min to get everyone up from 1 to 124 and slightly less going down but it was the numbers of people visiting that slowed down the whole process. K whom had fell asleep on my shoulders as we walked there had suddenly woke up crying at the observatory. It must have been the air pressure on the ears due to the speed at which the lift scaled the levels.

Another model while lining up
Tickets to the top
Long queue again
Walkway to the elevators
Elevators to the top

It took awhile for him to calm down and enjoyed the views outside and also watched the helicopter that was flying around. I took some photos myself but it was difficult to get a pano or a good scenary as there were quite a lot of sand out there.

View of the lake below
Panorama from the top

We went one round and with the sun in our direction and the less than clear weather, we couldn’t see the Burj Al Arab clearly. Lined up to go back to the ground floor, a 10mins wait.

Al Burj Arab can be seen
Indoor Observatory
Another view of Dubai
Elevation from ground
Guinness Book of records

Once back on ground, we walked past some of the exhibits on info and history of the building before we skipped the James Bond exhibit and got ourselves a seat at the food court close to the souvenir store. Bought a gelato for a crazy costs of 40aed for 2 scopes from Cafe Barbera and after a short break there, we walked to concierge to retrieve our luggage, walking past the corridor with an interesting design of many umbrellas hanging above. Went back to the taxi pick up area and we quickly got a taxi in the fast moving queue. Was initially contemplating about getting a Lexus taxi for 80-100aed but didn’t.

Expensive Gelato
Cafe Banbera
Street with umbrellas

The taxi brought us to Terminal 3 of Dubai international airport for 15mins journey of 37aed including toll. We went into to check in at about 545pm, more than 3 hrs before flight departure. We were directed to the family line which we thought should be faster but there were many families in the queue.

After that, we went through Immigrations and the checks and into departure hall. From there, we proceeded to the reception of Dubai International Airport hotel and for 1-3hrs block, the room rate was 446aed. We got ourselves a room and mommy quickly bathed before we went out for dinner.

Dubai airport
At the departures
Signage pointing to the hotel
Hotel room
Shower and sink


View from the room

As we were looking for a place where we could get K a decent meal, there wasn’t much to begin with. We ended up in MacD and had ordered K a happy meal, his first. He didn’t have much of the cheese burger but it should be enough. After our fast food dinner, we went back to the hotel, giving K a shower and then, myself. Then a little rest before we checked out at 850pm before going to the gate, just a few steps downstairs.

We didn’t board immediately until final call and I saw an acquaintance of mine who was on a business trip. It was a small world indeed.

The journey on the plane was smooth with occasional turbulence. Similar to the ones we took here, it was the same setup and there were the same toys that were given to K. I had my dinner somewhat later than the rest because I had fallen asleep. The quality of food was good.

This trip was meant to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we had planned for an experience in the most luxurious hotel in the world. It was indeed an experience with such a big room. However, I didn’t think that the experience was really worth as much as it was priced, similar as the lot of other stuff in Dubai. I felt we were paying much more than the value of service that was delivered, in other words, overrated. Then again, this is just my own opinion. The itinerary was meant to be slow and easy. With a toddler it was just about the right pace because I ended up not having the energy to do more as it was spent on the boy.

Dubai 2017 Day 3 – Creek Park and Dubai fountain show

Our first day of the Lunar New Year started with K crying for milk at 630am in the morning. Quickly made him some before he went back to sleep. At least he was waking up a little later than before, much closer to what was supposed to be in Singapore.

An hour later, everyone was awake. We got ourselves ready and mommy prepared the lunch ingredients and let it simmer in the cooker while we went downstairs to have some breakfast.

We entered a Lebanese fast food restaurant called Man’dushe street and ordered a chicken Tika wrap, a orange juice and a latte while mommy popped by Carrefour next door to get K a box of cereal (they were sold in small individual boxes) which he loved. Somehow nearing the end of our meal, K dropped the box and we had to get him another one.

Man’oushe street

We went back to the apartment and prepared to go out. Decked in new clothes because of the Lunar New Year, we packed K’s meal in a Lock and Lock tupperware that we bought in Carrefour as we have forgotten to bring the container from Singapore, we left the apartment for Dubai mall to take a taxi.

The morning was cool and the walk was not too bad. We didn’t have to get into the mall for the taxi as I hailed one on the main street and asked to be brought to Creek Park.

It was a quick journey there, a 15-20mins drive and we arrived at entrance 1, for 30Aed taxi fare. The entrance costed 5Aed per adult and K did not need to pay.

Creek Park entrance
Inside Creek Park entrance
Creek park tickets
Map of Creek Park

The first thing that caught K’s attention was the colourful bouncy castles on the left of the entrance. We proceeded there and paid a 20Aed per hour for K to enter, and thus began the everything also must pay visit in this park. He was so happy to get up castle and climbed all the way up but apprehensive when reached the top. As another little girl came down the slide, we encouraged him to follow and he did, only to be off balanced. That frightened him and then he didn’t want to come down the slide again though he wanted to climb up. The girl even wanted to show him how it was done by going up and down the slide but K was too scared to do it again. Unfortunately adults werent’t supposed to go up, and mommy being the smaller size of us two had to go up and bring K down.

Bouncy slides

K went to climb another one and again was afraid to come down the slide, even when so many other kids did it. But fortunately this time around, he managed to slowly come down the stairs by himself. We left this little compound and got onto the static rides just outside, one time costing 5Aed. I went to get a blueberry smoothie drink for 10Aed.

Static rides

On the right side of the park was a large helicopter simulator in a huge helicopter but didn’t seemed to be in operations. There were also a small compound for camel and pony rides, there were 2 of the tall animals there walking in circles with their passengers high above. We walked towards the playground where there was some slides and swings and ladders to climb while mommy went to sit at the bank of the creek to avoid the sun. Then K had his lunch by the bank bench under the shade too.

Children’s city
Little maze
Outdoor playground
View of the creek
Panoramic view of the Creek
Camels waiting for passengers

After the 30 mins lunch break, we walked to the Dolphinarium and was disappointed to find out that the next show was at 3pm and it was only 1230pm. Should have checked the timings before assuming that show was frequently on. We walked to the souvenir shop and mommy bought a tee for K and also noticed that there was a Happy Valley cafeteria and we had our lunch there. I got myself a meehoon for 29aed and mommy bought a burger set for 20aed and didn’t realized it came with 2 burgers. We had to takeaway one of them. K concurrently down a bottle of milk and fell asleep on the chairs while we had our lunch.

After lunch, I carried K outside and we decided to just sit in the park while K slept. Under the shade of a tree, the grass was comfortable enough for us to sit there and rest ( I even dozed off lying down on the grass patch). Mommy went to get an ice cream cone and just after we finished, I had to move my legs already numbed from K lying on me, and that’s when K woke up angry with only just 1.5hrs of nap time. We tried to get him back to sleep and walking him to the banks but he stayed awake.

Almost 230pm and we proceeded to the Dolphinarium to get ourselves VIP tickets for 120aed per adult and 80 for K(slight difference from the standard tickets but with better seats). We went to the restrooms before proceeded to our seats.

Happy Valley restaurant
Dolphinarium tickets

The arena wasn’t big and before the show began, the host was selling off lucky draw balls for 20aed for a chance to get prizes such as photographs with the dolphins. There were many in the audience who wanted to try their luck but only the top 3 balls that were caught by the dolphins will get something. 3 out of 20plus did not seemed like good odds to us.

The show began shortly and on time. It started off with an illusion show, with 2 tricks. They were good tricks though it seemed a little out of place of this place. The second were clowns doing their clowning and splashing water into the crowd. Typical clowning fun. The third act was some nice acrobatics on the ropes above the water. They hanged from the ropes and moved with such skill and balance that it was just amazing to watch.

Clowning around

The seal then came out next with some of its own acrobats, starting off with the easy tricks then followed by really difficult ones such as moving on its flippers like legs and even balancing on one flipper. It was amusing yet a little too unexpected that an animal can do such tricks.


The highlight of the show was then 2 dolphins, jumping out of the water with such height and making a splash during their introduction! From then it was lots of high jumps and out of water poses and even some singing. Of course there was the lucky draw part where the audience who had bought the lucky ball threw all together the balls into the pool and the first three ones that were picked up by the dolphins won something, while the rest of the 20 something paid for these 3 winners essentially. I was particularly entertained by the part where the dolphins played beach ball with the crowd and they could hit the ball out of the water really far into the crowd.

Dolphin jumping out of the water
Close to the stage
Tandem jump

After the show, we left the park and took a taxi readily available at the entrance. We wanted to visit the Hard Rock Cafe (which we usually would if there was a branch available) and it was situated at Festival city, 25aed and 15 mins away. K was having fun with the staff and running up and down the slope while mommy and I got ourselves some tees. After the short visit, we tried to get a taxi back to the apartment but again was unable to readily get one as the driver wasn’t familiar with the place and had asked another passenger to board. We waited for another one and called the rep whom explained to him and the driver was able to bring us back to the apartment, 30aed and about 15mins away too.

Festival City
Tallest building in the world
Pillar of the expressway

Back at the apartment, we gave K some milk and wanted him to take a nap as he didn’t have adequate nap time earlier on. Mommy prepared his dinner and he managed to fall asleep. All of us rested as well.

Woke K up at about 715pm after about an hour of nap time and brought him to bath and get ready to go out for dinner. We managed to leave the apartment about an hour later and it was a 15mins walk to Dubai mall. On the way there, we saw the fountain show started and quickly walked into the mall to avoid the crowd after the show. We couldn’t watch the show anyway as it was too crowded too.

After walking around, we ended up at Wafi gourmet for some Lebanese cuisine. The restaurant was still quite packed and we could only managed to get a table near the entrance ( this restaurant had outside fountain views options but were full). Ordered some chicken rolls, a grilled lobster, a grilled sea bass two juices and a desert for 325aed. The food was quite tasty especially the mains.

Wafi Gourmet
Chicken rolls
Grilled lobster

After dinner, we went outside to watch the 10pm show and this time, it was far less crowded and we managed at least to see the fountain. The show was a short 3 mins but enough to wow us, especially when the water curtain shot up so high into the air. It’s a pity still that we could only catch the partial view as the full view would be a grandeur (the area at the Souk Al Bahar would be less crowded and had a fuller view).

Towering waters of the fountain show

Then it was the walk back in the cool evening but tiredness made the walk felt longer than usual. Back at the apartment, we quickly got changed and have K go to bed while I took care of the garbage bringing the bags to the ground level. I checked out the supermarket as it felt weird not having any beer on a holiday trip, but none were sold. Got back to the apartment for my bath and then straight to bed.

Dubai 2017 Day 2 – Al Burj Arab and Souk de Jaimeira

K woke up at 5am plus and asked for milk. I woke up to do it for him, having to go downstairs to get water and milk powder, the cons of a double storey suite. He drank and went back to sleep for a little.

We all woke up at about 630am having already slept around 10hrs already, due to the time difference with Singapore. The floor to ceiling window exposed the Arabian sea and the view of towering Khalifa in downtown Dubai was a nice view and with the skies illuminated orange by the rising sun, it was a nice view to wake up to.

Sunrise view from the room
TV that comes out from under when activated
Projected clock
Weighing scale in gold

K started to get active and headed to the steps. We had to get him ready for breakfast such as changing his diapers and clothes and also brushed his teeth and turning on Minions on VOD did not help get him to stay still. We prepared ourselves too and by the time we left, it was almost 8am.

There were 2 restaurants offering buffet breakfast, one Asian and one international. We checked out the Asian one first but settled on International as K wanted to have cereal. Chose to sit Alfresco and it was a little chilly with the morning sea breeze and mommy went to get K his sweater.

K sat in a comfy high chair to eat while we got ourselves the international choices from the comparatively small buffet table. The quality of food was however very good. Ate for about an hour before we took a walk around to the new extension where the infinity pool was, to take photos. K had fun running up and down the bridge. We then left as mommy felt cold and took a lift to the 27th floor to have a look. As the staff was preparing for brunch, we were denied entry so we went to the 18th floor and asked for the Kids’ club.

Entrance to breakfast
Buffet line
A bit of everything
Panoramic view from breakfast area
Panoramic view of the pool
View of the hotel from the pool

At the same level, there was also Talise Spa and a library and several private rooms that I wasn’t sure of their purpose. K stayed in the small Kid’s club for about half an hour, playing the toys and the slide and having fun before we all went back to the room. Made K some milk and he dozed off. We packed and got ready to leave, at the same time mommy and I had some of our complimentary choco cake for our anniversary which we couldn’t finish. In fact there were so much food that even staying in for the whole day we couldn’t finish any, such as the complimentary fruit platter, the sparkling date juice and the coffee from the Nespresso type machine.

Corridor on level 18
Level 18
Corridor to kids club
Some lounge area at level 18
View from the top
Kids club

Mommy took a final dip in the jacuzzi while I laid in bed with K enjoying the last bits of this room. Our check out was granted extension till 1pm but it was surely not enough.

K woke up slightly after 1230pm. I wasn’t confident that we could check out on time if K had to finish his lunch so I called the butler to see if they had any containers that we could carry the porridge in but was only offered a box as they did not have any. Furthermore I had tried to call multiple times but there weren’t anybody picking up until some time later. We eventually left the room leaving the luggage behind for the bellboy to pick up.

The check out was done at the same level itself with the butler. Gave my credit card and a swipe and 2.8k later, we were done. The bellboy also retrieved the luggage and gave us the luggage stub and we went to the ground level. The fountain was dancing and K was mesmerized by it. Later we went to the staff just outside the entrance to arrange for a buggy to the Jumeirah Souk. It wasn’t long before one came and drove us for about 5 mins before we arrived. We still had to cross a security post and then a small bridge before reaching the souk.

Fountain show
View from the bridge

The souk was not particularly old one but a modern one in fact. We walked about in the aircon space but didn’t really stop for anything to see. Then we went into a Jamba juice bar and ordered a wrap and 2 smoothies. I fed K his porridge but he didn’t take much.

View of the river side souk
Inside the souk
Map of Jumeirah Souk
Stalls at the souk
Lunch at Jamba juice

After the lunch and brain freeze, we walked to the ELC store nearby to have a look. Things were about the same costs back home. K too was being fussy and didn’t want to move. We reckoned that he was trying to poop but he didn’t say anything. We carried him to the toilet and he cried. Changed his diapers in the toilet but he didn’t poop at all. After washing hands, he began to fuss and cry again until we went out in the open and he stopped.

On our way back to the initial point where we disembarked, saw a mobile stall selling kids tee but we didn’t like the colors. When we returned to the security post, we were asked questions and had to produce the luggage stub to gain entry – the beach and the area there were restricted to residents. Others behind us couldn’t pass and had to turn back.

Central square

As we waited for the buggy, I went on to the fine sandy beach and took a photo and a selfie with Al Burj Arab. There were quite a few buggies running around the pathway but only dedicate ones go back to Al Burj Arab. It wasn’t long before the buggy showed up. Then it was the same route back to the hotel entrance.

Al Burj Arab view from the beach
Buggy stop

Once at the entrance we alighted and K and mommy went into the hotel to look at fountain while I went to retrieve the luggage which was with the bellboy who also took care of getting the taxi for us. There was a private unmetered Lexus car that came we boarded it to our next accommodation. I didn’t know the address and thought it was at Dubai mall, indicated on the Airbnb map so the driver brought us there for a fee of 80Aed.

Approaching from the front

The Airbnb rep called but I couldn’t understand him well so asked him to message me. He gave me the address and as I checked with the info counter and also log onto the free Dubai mall wifi that I found out from google maps that it was in fact outside Dubai mall, at least a 5 mins walk. With 2 luggage and a toddler and a potential sweaty walk, we decided to go back to the taxi queue at G level of Dubai mall to go there.

As it seemed to be a new apartment, the driver wasn’t familiar with that place. After asking around he still didn’t know where it was, even after I showed him on google map. It was until I showed picture view from Airbnb that he realized and got on the road.

It wasn’t the most efficient way to get to the apartment as he got into the highway and made one big loop. However the costs wasn’t high, about 20aed with me guiding him along the way and he had to stopped next to the road illegally while we got off.

The rep met us and helped with the luggage. With the passport, he did a quick record of it before bringing us to the 18th floor. It was a small place and didn’t look very new. The kitchen was open concept with queen size bed next to it. A balcony gave us a clear view of the Al Burj Khalifa and the Dubai mall. It was definitely a great many downgrades compared to the night before.

Airbnb bath
View from the balcony
Al Burj Khalifa from the room

After leaving us with the introduction of the apartment, we left for the 24hrs Carrefour supermarket which was on the ground floor just steps away. Went to buy bottled water as what the rep advised and other groceries such as bottled milk, chicken drumstick detergent and washing powder, etc.

Carrefour supermarket next to accommodation
Inside Carrefour

We returned to the apartment and fortunately someone was coming out from the card access door that we could take a shortcut to the lift. The first thing back at the apartment was to give K a shower and I filled the bathtub with water which was a little yellowish and no wonder the advice to buy bottled water. Mommy in the meantime prepared dinner for K. After K was done, we watched cartoons on TV while mommy took a quick bath. K seemed to look tired, after all he had already been awake since 12 noon so I went off to Dubai mall on my own to get us some dinner, K waving goodbye to me without asking to follow.

It was a short walk to the mall and the night view of downtown was quite nice. There was a trolley in nice traditional design but unsure where was it’s journey. I couldn’t find the entrance and had to walk along the private carpark to get to the atrium where I could see the Khalifa light show and a big crowd waiting for the fountain show to start. I took some photos and also saw the very short fountain show. It was difficult to move after the crowd dispersed.

Night view of downtown
Dubai trolley
Burj Khalifa light show
Fountain area
Al Burj Khalifa at night
Dancing with the music
with light
to present beautiful visual
Souk Al Bahar

I walked into the mall trying to find Chinese food. Went for the food court and was amazed to meet a colleague in the largest mall in the world. To prevent walking unnecessarily to the food court, I consulted the interactive electronic board to the food court. The 3rd floor had many stores selling kids stuff and I saw some shoes but couldn’t decide what to buy. Went to the food court first to get Chinese food mixed rice for 31Aed and Italian pasta for 36Aed before going back.

Wide space of Dubai mall
With different designs
at different locations
An aquarium
Food court
Food court on the inside
Singapore chili prawn?
Magic Wok stall
Cafe Italia
Another location in the mall

With the free wifi, I was able to whatsapp mommy but she was responding so I walked back to the apartment. Unfortunately I got lost and couldn’t find my way around with all the roads around. Along the way I saw tons of exotic cars from Lambos to Rolls Royce, belonging to disgustingly rich people there. When I finally went back the same route, I was already very tired. Indeed the biggest mall in the world. The mall wasn’t tired streams of people still come in at 9pm. Wonder what was its closing time.

En-route I heard echoes of boom boom bouncing off the tall buildings that sounded like fireworks but I couldn’t see it. It wasn’t at the Al Burj Khalifa. I only realized that it was somewhere near where we were staying. Wanted to snap a photo but it ended just as I got ready.

Walked around the building to the front entrance as I didn’t have the card access and returned to a dark room as K had already slept at 9pm.

We proceeded to have our anniversary packed dinner of mixed rice and pasta in the dark with the Khalifa light show on. Then I went to bath and went to bed, no problem dosing off due to time difference probably. Meanwhile in Singapore it was already Chinese New Year.

Penne for dinner

Dubai 2017 Day 1 – Arrival in Dubai and Al Burj Arab

I woke up at the usual 6am that I am used to for work, but this time was in preparation for our trip to Dubai, as a way to celebrate our anniversary. K was not used to this timing as he usually wakes at 8am for his preschool. However, with the noise and the movement in the room, he was soon awaken and chirpy as he was, he quickly warmed up for the trip. He couldn’t finish his cereal and so we brought it along in the car, with the expected occasional spill and such. Before we really got onto the highway, I again forgotten to bring my tickets and itinerary and had to ran up to get it.

Thursday traffic was bad and at 715am when we left, it was slow. Had to take the SLE TPE route since we had a jam at the entrance of the BKE. Our flight was at 935am and that meant a good time to check in was 735am ( we didn’t had the habit of checking in online). We weren’t going to make it.

When we finally arrived, it was almost 815am, and just before we could get out of the car, K puked. It must have been the drive there, and my dad’s moving and braking too frequently that might caused the motion sickness. Luckily we managed to reduce the damage by catching the puke with his bowl.

Went in to the airport after leaving my parents (my mom was leaving for Hong Kong for her holiday), and got K changed out to a new set of clothes while mommy went to wash up herself. Then we checked in the luggage at Emirates, no queue and was done rather fast. Proceeded thru immigrations and spent some time at the windows, plane spotting ( K was fascinated with planes) while mommy went to the toilet to wash up further as there seemed to be a lingering smell of vomit. When she returned, we then went to the nearby toys store (Kaboom) where mommy bought a Paw Patrol puzzle book for K while I changed his diapers. Then we proceeded to board the plane.

It was a full flight and we were given a seat at the end of the 2nd last section for economy. I was thoroughly impressed with the plane as it was the most high tech one I had boarded! Touch screens for all control panel and screen. There was USB charging port and 3 pin plug charging. There was also on board wifi which however did not seem to work. For K, there were 2 items given, one a reindeer pouch that contained a blanket but could also be used as something to hug and a magnetic drawing pad. It was quite adorable.

Changi was having a huge queue of planes about to take off and our flight took off at 1005am, 30 mins from the actual time of departure. K was already watching the onboard entertainment system for a while, complete with his own kiddy earphones. It wasn’t too hard getting him entertained and he was acting nice.

Huge screen and charging points on Emirates
Free blankets and drawing board for kids
Head phones for kids

What came for lunch also impressed me a lot. The child meal was indeed a meal, and not some puree nonsense. It had almost the same number of side dishes as the normal adult meal and they looked tasty! K was having a meat ball spaghetti meal and he loved it. There was also desert in the form of a cherry cheese cake and a box of goodies such as a packet of Milo, jellybeans, Kitkat and stuff. Feeding him was troublesome, although there were colourful utensils to feed him with, he loved to help himself using his fingers to take the spaghetti and in the process of making a mess.

Cute child meal
Looks delicious!

Adult meals were pretty tasty too, and they really left a good impression of Emirates for me. After the meals, I went the toilet just behind us, and changed for K his diapers. He had pooped and I was pleasantly surprised that the toilet was actually pretty spacious, only that it was only one of them there in the lane. There wasn’t a changing table too and K had to stand on the seat of the toilet bowl to change out.

K fell asleep closed to 12noon and for at least 2.5 hrs, I had time to myself watching Star Trek and even part of Deepwater Horizon undisturbed, and sometimes dozing off myself. K woke up at about 3 pm and we fed him some bread and Milo and he spent the rest of his flight time entertained by the shows or the new toys that he had. There were at least 3 times where the plane was slightly bumpy due to turbulence.

View of the landscape from the plane
View of the desert from the plane
Al Burq Khalifa can be seen from the airport

We disembarked and proceeded to walk to the immigrations. It was a really long walk and a bulk of the people proceeded onto their transition flight, kinda expected since Dubai was like a good transition point from East to West. We arrived around 130pm but immigrations was terribly slow. By the time we completed the 5 lines of people waiting to get past, it was already almost 330pm. There were no priority queues for family and it seemed like forever, especially with an active 2 year old running around.

Spacious and high ceilings

The belt carrying out luggage was left with almost just the two of ours. The whole area was huge and there were so many belts available. We loaded the luggage onto the trolley and proceeded to the arrival hall. Stopped by Costa coffee to purchase some pastries for our lunch, costing almost 100AED. Then we went to the taxi stand to get a taxi to our hotel, the Al Burj Arab, and as there was a line of passengers, there was also a line of taxis. Soon we were able to board the airport taxi, but were initially told to board the premier one, but we rejected the offer.

Travellators was a boon to get to the luggage!
Costa Coffee Cafe for lunch
At the arrivals, spacious
Taxi stand

The taxi got us onto the road quickly but we had to deal with another jam on the roads. Again there were multiple moving off and stopping and that caused K to feel unwell again. We were prepared, bringing down the puke bag from the airplane and true enough, he puked some time after we past by downtown. Then he fell asleep. We arrived at the entrance of the hotel and was asked for our passport to check if we were guests. K woke up and as the taxi moved towards the drop off point, he puked again. We paid the taxi 80 AED and the rest of the luggage and door was taken care of by the hotel staff. We were escorted to the plush sofas after being offered cold towels, for our check in and mommy brought K along to see the huge aquarium walls of fish to entertain him.

Al Burq Khalifa in the city
Fountain display at the Al Burq Arab
Internal architecture, looking upwards

Later a hotel staff then brought us up to our rooms at level 14, along the way up the escalator, I was pretty impressed with the architecture of the internal and its plush elevators floors. At each level entrance sat a butler and when we first entered the room, I was wowed by the sheer size (it was double storey and bigger than my HDB flat). The whole place’s decor was opulent, with cushion and carpets and huge TV with sound surround. While the staff settled the room bill (there was a deposit of 2000AED too), where I had to pay with my credit card, K and mommy went around looking at the huge suite.

Our room faced the sea partially, with the Al Burj Khalifa in the distance. Snapped plenty of photos before I settled down for my lunch while K spent some time on my phone watching youtube. There was a lady butler who came and introduced the room to us, from the TV remote that controls the TV, curtains, butler and door opening, to the jacuzzi (which K called a pool) and complimentary Hermes him and her set, to the minibars and golden nespresso machine.

Living room
Flight of stairs to the bedroom
Ground floor toilet
View from the room
Room panorama
Main toilet
Hermes fragrance for him
Hermes fragrance for her
Bath stuff for kids
Hermes bathing accessories
Jacuzzi tub
Dressing table
Complimentary sparkling date drink
Tableware and complimentary fruits
Sandwich from Costa coffee
Sweet treats in a Burj Arab shape container
Golden Nespresso machine

After that, I took K for a bath in the “pool” and spent some time there. Then we proceeded to go downstairs for a walk to look at the sunset. The butler went to bring us some complimentary cake and a bouquet of 7 roses to give us as a form of celebration for our anniversary. For the walk, K went for a while and wanted to returned. I thought it might be due to the cold wind blowing. I didn’t managed to get the sunset view.

Lift corridor
Golden lifts
Panoramic view from ground floor
Close up view of the hotel
View from the corridor of the room
Complimentary choco cake for our anniversary
Complimentary bunch of roses for wife

Upon returning back mommy was ready with the dinner preparations and K was hungry to eat the pasta. At the same time, we also ordered room service, for a penne and the scallop and lobster ravioli, It was quite nice but we had too much food to finish. At the same time, we also had a sparkling date juice and it was quite tasty.

In room dining with a table set up
Scallop and lobster ravioli

We followed up with some washing, for the dishes and even the smelly clothes still stank of K’s puke. There were some fireworks going on in the distance out in the waters which we were able to see. Afterwards, Mommy and K turned in early as there was a 4 hrs time lag compared to Singapore and it was way past bedtime in Singapore while I used the available Mac desktop to type this post. Early conclusion for this was then, the value that we paid for the room was over the value received.

seen from
the room
Night view of downtown Dubai


Escape plan to Dubai January 2017

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Dubai 2017:

Total duration 4D3N
Singapore is 4hrs ahead of Dubai.
Flight time is 7hrs 25mins on Emirates from Singapore to Dubai.
Return is 7hrs on Emirates from Dubai to Singapore.

Flight from Singapore to Dubai at 935am, arriving at 1pm in Dubai. Return flight from Dubai to Singapore is at 930pm and touching down in Singapore at 830am.

Day 1 Arrival in Dubai and check in Al Burj Arab hotel
Day 2 Al Burj Arab and Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Day 3 Creek Park, Dolphinarium and Dubai Fountain
Day 4 Al Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Home Sweet Home

This trip was planned to celebrate our 10th year marriage anniversary. I thought that it should be something of significance and suggested we stayed in the world’s most luxurious hotel (dubbed the only 7 star hotel in the world) for a night to celebrate that. At the same time, we were doing this over the long weekend offered by the Lunar New Year so as not to overspend on our precious leave.

Budget – Budget buster and rightfully so.

Dubai was known to be one of the most expensive cities to live in and therefore, holidaying in Dubai was expected to be expensive as well. Of course, the one night of indulgence in the Al Burq Arab costed as much as a pair of plane tickets to Europe made the costs even much higher.

Complexity – Easy with the taxis that ply the roads

Moving around Dubai were relatively easy for us since we took taxis from location to location. The taxis were not expensive, clean, safe and available mostly and thus a good choice for a couple with a toddler. Jams could be bad during the peak hours in downtown and that was the only downside I could think of.