Monday, December 27, 2010

December 20th – Unscheduled Break in Dubai

So, we don't really know when (or perhaps if) we'll get home, but seeing as the ship was moving on, we had to book ourselves into a hotel; however, if there's one thing Dubai does well, it's luxury hotels – there's an enormous choice of hotels, so we picked one at random – the Grand Hyatt (very nice indeed).

Seeing as the UK was locked in winter weather, we decided that we'd show solidarity by having the quintessential desert experience – iceskating!

Every time we've been to the Mall of the Emirates (the largest mall in the world), the ice rink there has been virtually empty, so we thought it would be nice to have a bit of space to perfect our ice skating skills ready for a skating experience we have booked in the UK for Christmas Eve (if we get back in time).

Unfortunately, an enormous party of ex-pat kids had also decided to get into the Christmas spirit too, so for once the rink was pretty busy. One particularly wobbly child flailed around too close for comfort and managed to spook Tracy into falling to the ice with a clatter. Unfortunately she landed very painfully on her wrist and it seems quite likely that it's broken – imagine the sympathy that she's going to get when she gets home. You were in Dubai, and you broke your wrist ice skating?

Anyway, she gritted her teeth through the pain, and after a soothing swim in the hotel pool, we went to one of the world's most expensive buffets at the over-the-top opulence of the 7 star Burj al Arab Hotel. This was a buffet like nowhere else I've been – enormous amounts of gorgeous Middle Eastern food. Resisting the temptation to "get our money's worth" in quantity consumed (impossible at these prices), and ignoring the eyewatering cost of drinks (£10 for a small bottle of water), and attempting to ignore the painful wrist – we had a lovely, frivolous and decadent dining experience that we are highly unlikely to ever repeat again.