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Dubai 2011

A few months ago, my wife said "Merry Christmas, you're going to Dubai again". I had thought about it, but wasn't really planning on it until she gave me the green light.

Last year, my trip was for 4 days. One entire day was spent sight-seeing. This year, I cut it to three days and didn't plan on doing any sight-seeing as nothing has really changed (plus Dubai is really, really expensive).

I arrived on Thursday around noon, stopped by the Duty Free and grabbed a bottle of one of the most under-rated single malt Speyside's around, Glen Parker. Now with a name like that, expectations wouldn't be too high, but it's smooth and peaty. I also picked up a six pack of Corona and a three pack of Montecristo Edmundo (tubos) to go along with the smokes that I brought with me.

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I caught a taxi and checked into the Holiday Inn (the same place I stayed last time). There are nicer places to stay (Google "Burj Al Arab"), but the prices rise exponentially. The proximity to the Mall of the Emirates, the fact that there are 4 bars in the hotel, and that I've stayed here before all factor into the decision to stay here again.

Now, the mall doesn't sound too exciting, but malls in the middle-east are more than just places to shop. Most are so big, families often plan their entire day around a mall visit. The Mall of the Emirates has something like 520 shops and restaurants, plus it's famous for having the first indoor snow skiing in the middle east (Ski Dubai). Being an avid skier, I tried it last year and although disappointing, I can say I skied in Dubai and survived. It's pretty dangerous, because you have all these Pakistanis/Bangladeshis/Saudis/Kuwaitis who have never even seen snow before strapping on skis and flailing around smashing into everyone because they don't know how to stop.

Even though the economy and building boom has quieted down here, you couldn't tell from some of the cars that Dubaians drive:

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Ho hum, just your everyday Lamborghini's and Ferrari's. Not to mention the plethora of Rolls Royce's, Bentley's, and Maserati's. After a few drinks in the room, I ventured to the Sports Bar in the hotel and started with a Diamond Crown Maximus and some Stella Artois.

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More beer and a Camacho Triple Maduro capped off a nice, relaxing evening.

Friday dawned in a alcohol-induced haze and I rolled out of bed around 10am. I had lunch at the mall and then went back to the room for a bit.

Friday evening I ventured back to the mall and had dinner at The Butcher Shoppe, an upscale restaurant with a really nice selection of steaks. They even had Kobe Beef, but an 8 ounce Kobe Steak was the equivalent of $160. needless to say, I ordered a New Zealand Ribeye. Tender and tasty, and to make the wife happy, I even ate the Asparagus.

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After dinner, I ambled back to the Sports Bar at the hotel and continued where I left off the previous night. Lots of Stella Artois and cigars. The cigars du jour were an Opus X Robusto followed by a Montecristo Edmundo.

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Did I mention that the Sports Bar is a really popular spot for the Russian girls that work at the upscale mall shops to go to after they get off work? Eye candy to say the least.

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It's Saturday and my trip is coming to a close. All-in-all it's been a nice, relaxing (and much needed) vacation.

Even though the Soldiers are leaving Iraq, the ones that remain in Kuwait will still be training, so it's back to the grind until I take the wife to Hawaii in the Summer.

~Happy Holidays and long ashes to all~

Comments

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    Wow...
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    zeebrazeebra Posts: 3,174 ✭✭✭
    I can hang around you...sports bar(gambling on sports for me), cigars......ya, sounds like good times to me. Thanks for sharing the pics man, very nice!
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    Steve2010Steve2010 Posts: 1,036
    No gambling, although my home is in Las Vegas I work in Kuwait.
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    Lakota72Lakota72 Posts: 1,269 ✭✭✭
    Sounds like you had a great time. That is one place I have always wanted to visit. I think it would a beautiful place to travel to.
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    jsnakejsnake Posts: 5,979 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for sharing and posting pics. I need a vacation to anywhere.
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    RampMonkeyRampMonkey Posts: 1,808
    +1 - Vacation....WTH is that??
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    Shaun.Harrison87Shaun.Harrison87 Posts: 1,971
    Awesome pics Steve!
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    Steve2010Steve2010 Posts: 1,036
    Thanks all, but BIG thanks go to the warden!
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    MarkerMarker Posts: 2,524
    Very nice pictures Steve.
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    spindriftspindrift Posts: 818 ✭✭
    Thanx for the recap of what sounds like some awesome downtime...Be safe...
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    smoke_em_if_you_got_emsmoke_em_if_you_got_em Posts: 4,992 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Steak looks good as a ***!!! Awesome pics brother.
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    ENFIDLENFIDL Posts: 5,836
    Very cool trip and pics man! Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a great time!
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    ThewelderThewelder Posts: 682 ✭✭
    I have been there a couple of times with being in the Navy and I love that city. The biggest surprise I had when I first went there was how Western the city felt. You are correct about the Mall of The Emirates is no normal mall, I saw a gentleman pull up in a Mercedes Mclaren SLR. And the mall has an indoor ski slope. The very first time I went snowboarding was in the Middle East.
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