Hello from Dubai! We made it safely - smooth travel all the way, everything went exactly according to plan. The flight can only be described as long, but we managed to get quite a lot of sleep. Unfortunately, Chad has a cold, making the flight and our subsequent adventures more of a challenge, but it did mean we got to experience the great Dubai pharmacies! And he's hanging in there like a champ.
It was Thursday night when we left DC and Friday night when we landed in Dubai. Passport check and customs were easy (though 30 minute passport line with a throng of people). We hit the duty-free to buy some wine (because you can't buy it elsewhere outside of a restaurant or bar, and those with a liquor license are few in number), got in a taxi and drove 30 minutes south to our hotel aparment in Dubia marina at the Pearl.
The place is working out well for us - huge (too big really) with a balcony with a view of the harbor and gulf beyond. When we got in we were tired but we dropped off our stuff and went to an Indian restaurant and shisha lounge a bit down the marina walk. I think we were too tired to really enjoy it. Then we crashed until morning.
Yesterday was pretty intense - we packed quite a lot in. A quick visit to the grocery store across the street, then off toward the nearest metro stop, about a mile from here, stopping at the pharmacy along the way for some cold medicine and vitamin c for Chad.
We took the metro (super-easy system) up to the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building and got many photos. The Dubai Mall is at its base and that in itself was impressive too - Dubai is known for it's shopping. Then we metroed on up to old Dubai - the Bur Dubai and Deira neighborhoods along "The Creek," which is the reason Dubai was founded in this location centuries ago.
All of it was really cool - throngs of people (mostly men - the immigrant population here to build the city), cool souks (markets), old buildings and a fort from the early days of Dubai. The fort held Dubai museum, which we went through to get to know the history a bit. Trade has always been the name of the game for Dubai, the secret to its success (well, that and oil).
In seeing the city yesterday, we walked 20 kilometers, so we're going to take it a little more easy today - hanging by the marina until we're picked up at 3:00 for our desert safari adventure. Dubai is great and we are having fun!