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Monday, March 14, 2011

Dubai Getaway

Dubai, the shopping mecca, only an hour's flight away was our first choice of a quick getaway from Doha. It would be a good test for travelling with an infant before his first long haul flight during Easter. We checked rates of hotels online but found a cheap and cheerful service apartment best suited for our budget. Chelsea Towers was right next to the Dubai metro system which sweeps through the city, linking the 3 airports and the malls and financial center.

The last time we were there was in 2006 when this metro was not yet completed. It is now and uber modern and rather beautiful especially at night.

This I took standing in the living room of the Chelsea Towers. We were upgraded to a 2 bed room apartment complete with a separate living room and kitchen. It was perfect as that meant Z had his own bedroom and bath ! From the master bedroom, you had the view of the Burj Khalifa, tallest building in the world.

Dubai mall which was right next to the Burj Khalifa, opened in Nov 2008, boasts 1,200 shops ! They had many of the US departmental brands like Crate and Barrel, Bloomingdale's, Pottery Barn. I was in heaven ! I doubt we saw everything because we simply could not go through all the shops in 2 days.

The mall also had Waitrose and a really nice organic supermarket where my eyes simply lit up when I saw this!

Yay!! One of the other reasons to come here for a holiday was to do a bacon run. Truly pathetic but you can't get any in Doha so this trip had to be done. I think we managed to pack about 2kg of bacon and sausages home and are going through it slowly. Freezing some for another day.

Moving around with a pram was not ideal, nor is trying to feed him in public but we managed ok. He took catnaps as we whizzed around oo-ing and ahh-ing at the shops.

A few times, I just parked him in a corner and strolled around the displays. Sometimes we get so engrossed, we forget about him and go "Where's the baby?".

I was looking mainly at homewares and there is so much available. I almost lugged this massive clock from Pottery Barn back but T said we can leave that til another time.

What a stunner!

At Bloomingdale's they had some gorgeous furniture like this aluminium trunk coffee table ( 10,000 Dhs)

Tall chest of drawers in the same style at 9000 Dhs.

I was very tempted by these oversized cushions with the Union Jack design. T was not convinced.

We did buy me a Medium Brown Bag from Bloomie's and a boxy aluminium letter Z that was about 30 cm tall for baby Z's room.

Food choices were endless and we stopped by an organic market for some laksa and then at a french cafe for a cuppa java while basking in the glorious sunshine. Right now, the weather is still bearable at 30 degrees with a cool breeze. This will change very soon as it gets to over 50 degrees in the peak of summer.

This space here with the towering steel building over a fountain space is reminiscent of KLCC. This was at least twice the size. During the first night, we just bought some stuff back to the apartment and ate on the couch. Baby Z seems to like the couch.

On Day 2 though, we ventured out to the Palm Jumeirah, where there were condos and restaurants along the Gulf. We picked a spanish tapas joint called Barca. Very cosy but the menu had pasta. Strange. Anyway, the food was only average and I wouldn't go back. Would have liked to try Gary Rhodes' restaurants - Rhodes Mezzanine and the new Rhodes Twenty10 but I was unsure about bringing a sleeping baby in pram to a posh restaurant. Next time then.

Overall Dubai is fantastic and I love that it is only an hour away, hopefully we will go again soon and this time, might even try to stay in the upmarket hotel The Address with the view.

Or at the Mall of the Emirates where Ski Dubai is, there is the Kempinski Hotel that have these amazing ski chalet rooms with a view of the snowy wonderland.

Whatever the case, we will be back ! When the bacon runs out, I suppose !

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