On our first full day in Dubai, Mom went off to get a haircut and the kids & Dad went exploring. We are staying in the Dubai Marina area which sits in the ‘shadow’ of the Palm Jumeirah.
There are many tall buildings throughout Dubai and a number of them are residences and hotels. There is a common plaza between these buildings elevated from the street level. There are also fun touches like in ‘ground’ trampolines and small climbing structures that the kids enjoyed.
In fact, we have seen a significant number of families with children here. More than we have seen in other destinations that we’ve been to so far on this world tour. Here are our 3 kids playing on one of these courtyard ‘toys’.
On her way back from the hair salon, Tiffany spotted the place she wanted to do lunch. We haven’t had a true fast food hamburger and fries in quite some time – and she saw a favorite from home, Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Yum. We arrived and ordered a typical meal – burgers and drinks for everyone, a couple of large fries to share. No big deal and it tasted great.
It cost us 336 AED – the UAE Dirham. We didn’t think anything of it though we should have paid more attention since it’s our first day with a new currency conversion. Once we did the math we realized we just paid $90 for that meal. WHAT!?! It’s a good burger but come on!
So we learned a couple things there. One – yikes is Dubai expensive. And two, the mental math on the exchange rate is important to adjust immediately. The stakes were lower in our other countries. A Costa Rican colon and a Kenyan shilling are worth less than a US penny, a Thai bhat is 3 cents – so big numbers on the price tag don’t add up fast in USD. We got accustomed to that. But 1 AED is worth 27 cents. It doesn’t seem much, but it means the numbers that were reasonable the last three months get us in big trouble here.
With our tail between our legs, we let the kids pick the next item on our to do list. During our morning exploration we spotted an attraction which is a constant obsession with them so no surprise they picked it. This specific iteration combined an obstacle course, blacklight, lowest-score-wins, and silly glasses. That’s right…the choice was 3D Blacklight Mini-Golf!
You may remember that we did this on an earlier Adventure in June in Monterey, California. The Dubai experience ramped it up by having everything painted in two tones giving a strange viewing/playing experience while wearing the glasses.
You would putt toward a rock that appears to create an elevated banking and find that your ball rolls straight on the flat surface. Sometimes your ball seemed to hover 4 inches in the air. Strange but fun.
We tried to show the 3D by taking a picture through the glasses but it didn’t really work so well. But you can see the glowing paint.
After that we took a walk up toward the Palm Jumeirah to check things out. A key landmark that can be seen from many spots in the Marina area is the Ain Dubai, the world’s tallest observation wheel. Today, we were treated to a sunset through the spokes.
During our sunset walk this evening we
trespassed at evaluated the lobby, grounds, restrooms, playground and beach of the Ritz-Carlton which has a lovely spot on the water. The kids helped themselves to some of the beach games while Mom and Dad relaxed nearby.
The weather here today was simply perfect. A very light wind but warm without humidity. We’ve got a few days of fun planned for this huge playground but started with a nice quiet day.