Dubai Day 1 (11 Mar 11) – Goodbye Iran, Hello UAE

From Iran To Dubai

We woke up in time for our final breakfast in Iran, before meeting up with the same driver who would send us to the airport for my morning flight out of Iran. As we were driven to the airport, Tehran zoomed past us, I reflected our 2800km road trip in Iran. We had covered a lot of grounds within a short 10 days, and this is just the tip of the iceberg this amazing country has to offer! During the past 10 days, we have travelled from the desert towns to snow-capped mountains, into the valleys, and along the coast. From big metropolitan city to small dead towns, Iran does has lots more to offer to travellers who are prepared to look past the stereotypes and truly give his country and its friendly and hospitable people a chance and come to explore this country with riches in historical value. After all, Persia was once one of the greatest empires in human history. As I was waiting to board the aircraft sending me to my next destination, I realise how quiet the international airport of this huge country is. As I was sitting at the check-in area of the airport, sipping the cup of coffee that I bought, waiting for my flight, I can truly feel how much the foreign media stereotype has an impact on the visitorship of this country. There are about 1 plane landing or taking per hour, in contrast to the airport back in Singapore where an aircraft lands or takes off every 5 mins! Soon I was on the Emirates flight that would bring me to my next destination – Dubai and opens the next part of my journey thus far.

One last shot on the streets of Tehran before leaving for the airport
Checking into our flight at Tehran Airport
Waiting to board our flight to Dubai 
View from the waiting lounge
Waiting to take off

Arrival in Dubai

When I arrived in Dubai, I had no idea what to expect. I was told that the customs will take 1 hour to clear. I have no idea why it would take that long. Well, the “mystery” was soon revealed to me. The reason for such a long delay is due to 2 factors, one is there are a lot of people arriving in Dubai Airport, coupled with the fact that the Emiratis manning the immigration counter are working very slowly. My clearance alone took about 1 hour, that is 10 times slower than that of Iran. Anyways, I was glad I cleared the custom, after collecting my baggage we headed for the hotel. After all, we have a schedule to meet as our pre-purchased Burj Khalifa ticket is at 6 pm. As the taxi departed the airport for the hotel, all I see was tons and tons of skyscrapers, as though each is trying their best to reach for the sky. As our taxi drove past Burj Khalifa, there it is, the winner of the sky scrapper is there. The slender King of Skyscrapers stood there solemnly looking down at the others within the city. I was already feeling excited about visiting this tallest building in the world, but that has to come later. Soon we arrived at the hotel, due to the massive check out, our check-in took nearly 2 hours. The apologetic staff keep checking on us every 15 mins, trying to update us the situation and the time we can check-in. After some 2 hours later, we got the key to our room, and I simply love this room.

Driving towards our hotel in Dubai
On our way, we saw skyscrapers and the Burj Khalifa
View from our hotel room
Walking around our hotel

The Tallest Building in the World – Burj Khalifa

After settling our luggage in the hotel and did some laundry, we headed for Burj Khalifa as it is near to 6 pm. We took the metro to Burj Khalifa from our hotel and it is very convenient. The metro ride is very comfortable and clean and the ride to Burj Khalifa takes around 20 mins. We walked out of the metro station and there it is, the tallest building in the world stood right before my eyes. In a few minutes, I will be going up this wonder of the modern world. Meanwhile at the metro station, lots of people taking pictures of the tower, as it offers one of the best spots to take a picture from. We walked towards the Burj thinking the entrance is at the ground floor, we were stopped by a security member for the tower. We asked if this is the way to the observatory deck of the tower, he said no and told us to go to Dubai Mall to gain access. By now we were running a little late, half thinking that we might refuse entry if we were 1 min late. We brisk walked to Dubai Mall through the carpark and found the entrance. Luckily we were still allowed entry despite being about 15 mins late. Soon we were queuing up at the lift that would bring us up 124 storeys, 424m into the sky. As we were walking towards the lift, there is a video clip that showed the builders of the skyscraper. I was telling my friend, the Emiratis paid the bill for the tower, but it is the Indians who built the tallest building in the world. Kudos to them!

Metro system in Dubai
Burj Khalifa – The tallest building in the world
Around Dubai Shopping Mall
The hallway that led to the lift to the observatory deck in Burj Khalifa
The speed lift that is going to take us up over 100 storeys in a mere few seconds

The lift brought us up to the observation deck pretty fast, as soon as we were released from the lift, we headed for the outdoor section of the deck. From here I can see as far as the Arabian coast and part of UAE (the other parts are visible from the indoor part of the deck). There are a lot of people visiting Burj Khalifa today, and most of them are from India. At the time of the fountain show (I was thinking of seeing it from above), all the visitors were stuck to the window, there is hardly any space for me to squeeze in and see.  There was this very nice European lady who managed to squeeze out a spot for me to glance at the fountain show. How nice of her. After the show, we walked around a little more and decided to go back to earth for dinner. As I was craving for spicy food, I ordered Indian food. After dinner, we did some walking in the Dubai Mall.  The Mall, boasting to be the largest in the world, indeed cannot be finished within 1 day. We skimmed through the mall till about midnight and then took a cab back to the hotel to rest for the night, as my friend has an early flight to catch the next day.

View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
Soon the city of Dubai lights up for the night
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa – The Arabian Coast
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
View of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
Night view from Burj Khalifa over the Arabian Coast
Night view of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
There is a musical fountain at the foot of Burj Khalifa
Night view of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
Night view of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
Night view of the surroundings from Burj Khalifa
Watching the musical fountain from the observatory deck
Watching the musical fountain from the observatory deck
Inside Dubai Mall – The world’s largest shopping mall
Indian food for dinner
The Gold Souk inside Dubai Mall
There is an aquarium inside Dubai Mall


This was the world’s largest single piece acrylic inside Dubai Mall
Inside Dubai Mall
Around Dubai Mall


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