Europe, Asia · 2 Days · 21 Moments · December 2015

Stop over in Dubai for NYE

1 January 2016

We got back to ollie's at 2am ready for the 5am alarm. Not much sleep! Bye dubai! Short and sweet, Jon and I will probably pop in in April. Just a few desert snaps from the air. I also enjoyed gin and tonic, a real Anglo - Arab collaboration there! A double as well... Ideal!
... I have lots of video of the fire on my video camera. Quite terrifying and bizarrely very unreported in Dubai. I suppose it wasn't in the plan! Thick black smoke surrounded the burj looking very dramatic indeed. I declared there was absolutely no way the fireworks could go ahead. Jon (wisely it turned out) said nothing would stop dubai throwing a good party. He was quite right. Not taking any wise advice from wise friends we did the exact opposite and joined a gridlock row of cars on the circular Road a safe distance from the burj. Amongst the beeping we somehow ended up with a good view point in a traffic queue. Five minutes til midnight suddenly everyone abandoned their cars on the highway to get a good look at the fireworks. We joined in and I was amused by how grandma was so excited to join in the illegal car abandonment! They were as spectacular as you can imagine but I think I enjoyed joining the locals the most.

31 December 2015

To see the new year in we thought it'd be good to find a spot in sight of the burj Khalifa. However, as many may have been aware, around 9pm our time a sky scraper next door to the burj burst into flames. I received a flurry of concerned messages and actually found out about the fire via Jon's 80 year old Nan (the other one) who sent me a Facebook message. That in itself is impressive and deserves a mention! My ever pessimistic Englishness declared we ought to go to bed. Jon, determined as ever, was keen to continue our pursuit of watching the fireworks. So we bundled grandma into the car with supplies (left over pizza, a family bag of malteasers and 3 ferero rocher). We got to a spot in sight of the burj with 1.5 hrs to go. So Jon thought we'd try to get a little closer. And ended up on the road opposite the fire. So much for reassuring everyone we were nowhere near it!! Typical of my husband "I didn't mean to get that close!" ...
Clearly not in order. A few pics of last night off the big camera. Must get the Slr in the right time zone!
Grandma took over 130 versions of this photo... 😂😂😂
An exhausting day has called for pizza before finding fireworks. Grandma disappointed no ham and pineapple. "That's ridiculous" she said "pizza is pizza!". Not sure the Islamic faith agrees unfortunately 😂
(Leading on from earlier post...) Once we were given the English sat nav we were on the road and on route to our amazing friend Ollie's apartment. Ollie, currently in the UK, left us some superb videos of how to get to his apartment and we found it without a hitch! However we weren't as clever with locating friends and neighbours Mark and Taryn to pick up keys. A friendly chat with the local store holder I was confident I knew the way. I boldly knocked on the door to come face to face with a confused looking bloke ( who was not mark and not at the right house... Woops). Finally managed to locate them, with a little hello to Hugo the westie, and we were in chez Ollie's flat! Hurrah! Our lovely friend left the place full of helpful post its and he even left us some champers - too kind! We literally fell into bed...!
Burj Al Arab and the sun sets on 2015
On the creek
In the souk
Soaking up the last of 2015.
Wandering around dubai mall
Up early and up the burj Khalifa. The lady sat by the window asked the security guard to take her picture but he refused. Her slightly dodgy wibbly wobbly selfie wouldn't do so I ran over and offered to take it. She was so delighted she then took a selfie of me with her. Very cute.
Beautiful umbrellas in Dubai Mall

30 December 2015

We arrived in Dubai just about on time. We were welcomed by stunning views of the dubai night time sky line. Stepping off the plane into the terminal Grandma Bates was in awe at how clean and spotless the airport was. We both warned her to behave as we joined the ever long queue for security clearance. I also managed to briefly convince her that security would need her shoe size and bra size along with finger print scan. A long wait for baggage and we were glad to finally get through to arrivals to pick up the hire car. Hire car company nowhere to be seen i set about making some enquiries. A long walk about for a bit bought us back to arrivals on discovery our directions were somewhat misleading. Finally managed to meet our rather grumpy representative who marched us to our car. Jon basically got taken away for what seemed like an hour for form filling whilst grandma and I waited in the car (and air-conditioning!). He returned with a sat nav that only did squiggle...
Catching up on the daily lies 👍 (Aka daily mail)
Didn't forget him either. Travelling beard got a head start over Christmas! Boarding was amusing, we did the classic mistake of chilling for too long then realising our gate was closing in five minutes with ten minutes to walk. A little more challenging when you have a geriatric in toe with two hip replacements. Full speed for Grandma is my "no I'm just browsing" speed. I sped on ahead doing the traditional Dean family "airport walk" so I could dramatically hold the plane up to wait for us 😉. I was somewhat disappointed that our names weren't called out over the tannoy and that we weren't whisked off in a buggy. I've always wanted to be that person. Anyway, naturally we managed to board quite comfortably and had plenty of time, of course, nothing to see here...!
Our magical travelling companion enjoying the view.
What a beautiful morning for take off. And a little bit of free in flight wi fi!
Ready for take off!
At Gatwick airport with Grandma-in-law (joining us for the journey to South Africa via Dubai). Dad Bates dropped us off at the crack of dawn. Absolutely blowing a gale outside so let's hope take off isn't too hairy!