Downtown Touristing

As explained in my previous post (here), my best friend of 15yrs is visiting me in Dubai.  Since I know how I feel after an over night flight back from Jo’burg, I decided that we would have a nice quiet little look around Downtown and the Dubai Mall.

However, I hadn’t factored in “us”.

The night started with a shot…

Nachmusik and Amarula, with whipped cream to top!!

Much buoyed up by the sugar and the alcohol, we head out into the night to see what Downtown has to offer… and take a million photos.

First up, this lovely Town Square DXB sign outside Fumé (planned for later in the trip!) and the soon (maybe?) to be opened Brick House.

Albert is hiding in there, promise!!

Much as this is a cool photo when it’s cropped, I just had to google what the “Town Square DXB” part was about.  I am pretty sure, although don’t quote me on this, that the signs scattering Downtown are just marketing aids for a property company rather than a cool neighbourhood project.  It made me quite sad, but I am rather fond of the pretty signs/structures so it’s not something I will lose sleep over!

Next up was The Dubai Mall.

There are a number of main tourist points in the mall, of which we saw all of them.  The dinosaur was eclipsed by the Shoe District and the Louboutin shoes that were close by, and the latest Bugatti Veron parked outside the front was ignored in favour of the Bentley police car.

There were a few bits that wow’d properly though, including the Dubai Aquarium.  It’s hard not to be impressed really when you see so much coral and so many fishes.  Not only that, there are two breeds of shark in there!  I know there is a logical explanation like food preferences or something, but how do the sharks not eat everything in sight?!

We didn’t actually go into the aquarium because neither of us are interested in fish more than we saw on the outside.  It is amazing to see a tank of this size.  I think it holds about 10 million liters of water.  Can you even imagine!?

I wonder exactly how many fish there are in this tank?

Whilst taking a myriad of selfies, we heard a bit of a commotion going on over at the giant candy store opposite.  When our ears and our eyes finally met up, we saw that it was one of those employee flash mob type things, and that they were doing a little dance routine to Pharell’s “Happy” – which happens to be one of my favourite songs!  We scuttled across and took this lovely little video…

As a side note, I also decided that if I had to work with so many neon colours, the smell of sugar all day, work with people and inevitably a bunch of kids, and then was asked to do a song and a dance… I would be suicidal.  So we cheered these lovely people lots!!

A few more little pit stops in the mall, naturally including the diving people waterfall thingie, and we headed back into the humid night air.

A quick photo-op at the Burj, and we were headed for wine!!!

Obligatory tourist shot!

En route to our wine stop, we did take pause to watch the fountains.  They were spectacular, as always.  I hadn’t heard/seen this one before and couldn’t tell you for the life of me which piece of music it was set to.  I can however tell you it was simply stunning and it was perfect for Albert’s introduction to the fountains.  He was totally hypnotised by it.

One of the best things to do/see in Dubai, for sure.

After the show, we ambled off to a bar called Fai at The Palace Downtown. It’s one of those hidden gems really as it’s right on the fountain lake!  Because it’s in the hotel, you don’t get a hundred tourists per hour traipsing through it and because it’s in a hotel you can sit and have a lovely chilled glass of wine whilst you watch them sing and dance away.  You also can have a selection of delicious bar snacks from the same kitchen as the 5* Thai restaurant it is next to.  Total winner!

For further proof of the stunning views…..


A couple of glasses of grape later, we decided it was time to eat more than snacks.  It had been a long day and I needed feeding!

One of my favourite places on the Boulevard is Mezza House.  I’ve written about it before (here) and it just keeps being really high quality food.  It’s much nicer in the cooler months when you can sit outside and look up at the Burj, but they have air-conditioning inside and having sat out out on the water for a couple of hours, it was much needed!!

The service is always slow, as a heads up.  No matter how busy or what time of the year, you can be in no rush whatsoever to eat or get home again.  I had forgotten which is why we didn’t get to bed until the wee hours, still very full from our near-midnight feast!!  The only other downside currently is that they have all the sheesha indoors and you can cut the air with a knife.  It’s incredibly smokey, even for two hardened smokers.  Blugh.

The food was perfect as always.  We ordered the 9 skewer platter (veal, lamb and chicken), two sides of fries, their much celebrated Fattoush’na salad, and some regular hummus.  We couldn’t eat even half of it and ended up with a rather sizable doggy bag to carry home.

All that food plus a lemon-mint (make your guests drink this and have your camera at the ready!) and a diet sprite and the bill came to AED 300 which I think is really good.

Albert is better at food photos than me!

The evening came to a rapid close when the food coma started to kick in.  That said, instead of being sensible and heading home straight to bed, we stayed up chatting for hours.  It was something both of our mother’s had predicted as it’s the same every time!

I will leave you with the following picture though, which was absolutely the best one taken that evening!

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