We arrived into Dubai at midnight expecting a long 8-hour wait at the airport, but a few text messages and a passport stamp later we found ourselves heading into the city to meet our friend James. He promised to stay up all night and show us around his new home in exchange for a long-overdue catch up.
Have you ever seen two people so happy to see each other?!
The boys stood chatting about careers, family and (most importantly) football while I was more than a little distracted by the views of Dubai’s main attraction – the Burj Khalifa.
At 829.8m, the tallest building in the world also houses the world’s highest observation deck, the world’s highest restaurant and the world’s highest nightclub.
Sadly we had missed the fountain show that takes place every 30 minutes during the evening, but to have the view of the Burj all to ourselves was even more special. The bridge we were standing on is lined all day with people fighting for the best spot to view the tower and fountains (and of course take a selfie too) so I would recommend visiting after dark to avoid the crowds.
We hung around for an hour or so, admiring the lights reflecting on the water and the amazing architecture. The newly-opened Dubai Opera building was a particular favourite of mine!
Next on our whistle-stop tour was the Dubai Mall, which surprisingly was still open at 3am! It felt surreal walking through the utterly deserted corridors.
It’s hard to explain the sheer vastness of the mall – it’s practically an entire city centre indoors – and there’s plenty to see and do besides shopping. First we visited the aquarium…
…and then worshiped at the altar of Cheesecake Factory!
There’s even a dinosaur!
Exhausted from walking (and the fact that it was 4am) we headed back to James’s house for a beer.
It’s surprising how much you can see of a city in just a few hours, and seems crazy now that we’d planned on wasting all that time at the airport when we had a friend so close by. Plus…who can resist a Burj selfie!