It’s been a wonderfully chilled few weeks of beaches, brunches and beer in Dubai so we’ve been in full-on holiday mode and have neglected the blog slightly.
I won’t bore you with a detailed account of everything we’ve been up to and there are plenty of pictures to tell the story for us, so here are some of the highlights.
Such a fun day at the (in)famous Dubai Sevens. Lots of beer, lots of rugby and lots of drunken people stumbling around in typically Dubai-esque over the top fancy dress costumes. Great to see the ladies finals as well!
Al Qudra Cycle Track
Dad has introduced us to his favourite cycle spot in Dubai and we’ve had a great few mornings pounding out the miles at the Al Qudra cycle track. So refreshingly flat after the hills of Cape Town and stunning views across the desert. I’ve been getting some good practice at cycling in a peloton and Jamie’s been successfully dragging us most of the way through the 36km loop.
Jamie and I also spent an evening cycling round the Dubai motor racing track which is open every Wednesday evening for cyclists, runners and even roller bladers. Great to be able to make the most of our last few weeks with the bikes.
Hiking in Jebel Hafeet
We took a trip down to the mountains around Al Ain to escape from the glitz and glamour of Dubai. Dad successfully managed to bring two right shoes and had to hike the rocky trail in flip flops and we got ourselves lost (of course), but so peaceful to be out in the UAE’s equivalent of the ‘countryside’.
Getting out into the desert
An afternoon of exploring the Mleiha archaeological site and museum and messing around in the desert nearby in Sharjah.
Sadly I don’t have very good pictures of this, but we watched our first ever camel polo match at the Arabian Ranches polo club. Quite a funny spectacle given how ungainly camels are!
After the camels, things poshed up slightly and we spent the afternoon sipping G&T’s while watching Dubai royalty prance around on their stunningly beautiful Arabian horses.
Checking out the Dubai Opera House
Since we had to give up our tickets to the Cursed Child in London, we had to get our Harry Potter fix another way. Mom treated us to dinner overlooking the fountains and a beautiful evening at the new and super swanky Dubai Opera House to see a performance of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Concert. The music was incredible and part of the entertainment for the evening was checking out the unbelievably dressy outfits of the people there.
We’ve found ourselves saying the phrase, ‘Only in Dubai’ a few times this trip, but it’s true: only in Dubai would you find people dressed in ball gowns for a screening of Harry Potter..
Generally living the high life
We’ve been so lucky to be able to fit in a few weeks of luxury into our trip, thanks to having parents living out here. It’s going to be a real shock to the system to transition back into backpacker lifestyle after champagne brunches at the Shangri-La and pool days at the stunning Bab Al Shams desert resort.
It’s also been lovely to have this time with the family around Christmas. And, after a goodbye lunch at the Observatory, we’re packing Jamie off to do the same! He’s gone back to the cold UK for, hopefully, a proper white Christmas and I’m off to Oman with my parents for the week to continue the adventure.