Exploring Dubai

Day 1: When trip planning was still in its infancy, we opted for a multi-day layover in Dubai. A few major benefits facilitated this decision; time to recover from jet lag, adjust to the massive time change, and have the opportunity to explore the famous desert city in the Middle East. An added bonus – Dubai has become and increasing popular destination for outdoor adventure and recreation. How could we pass that up!

After breezing through United Arab Emirates customs, we cruised to our hotel and crashed almost immediately. Neither of us slept much past 4am as our bodies are still adjusting to the time change. Feeling restless, I hit the tiny hotel gym to call loved ones back home from the treadmill and burned some time doing whatever ridiculous movements I could with a single cable pulley and an 18lb dumbbell. As the skies began to lighten under the Eastern sun, I hit the city streets for a quick 3 mile run. Running is one of my favorite ways to explore foreign cities, especially in the early hours around daybreak. Streets are quiet, there is minimal traffic, and sense of still reigns over the otherwise bustling chaos. 

After a full continental breakfast, we headed to the beach for a little morning swim and walk around the marina. By 10am in Dubai on the Autumnal Equinox, it was 34°c and 80% humidity. This is the kind of hot where you will start sweating eating a popsicle in the shade! Need to cool off in Dubai? Look no further than the Mall of the Emirates. Although, it’s not the shopping that will cool you down…

Dubai’s 2.5 million (yes, million) square foot Mall of the Emirates offers much more than food courts, perfume saturated retail stores, and glossy tile floors. This mall features and indoor ski resort! With 3,000 square meters of skiable terrain, Ski Dubai is the only ski resort in the Middle East. Although there is only 1 chair lift, 2 runs, and a measly 60m vertical drop, it’s still skiing! In assembly line fashion, you purchase your tickets, get your beat up boots, get your skinny skis, get handed a puffy jacket and pants, and load the escalator to the slopes. The venue is held at a brisk -4°c, quite the contrast from the outside world! All in all it was an incredible experience to really put in perspective how lucky we are to have the real thing in our backyard in the United States. Can’t wait for ski season!

Without thinking about too much, I realized that before noon I had gotten a workout out in, went for a run, swam in the Persian Sea, and went skiing! Not a bad way to start the day if you ask me. With all these fun shenanigans within 12 hours of an international flight, you might be wondering “aren’t you tired?”… YES! We are exhausted! The remainder of the day we lounged by the pool staying hydrated and well-rested. 

Dubai has no doubt been an adventure, but we are doing our best to stay focused on what we came here to do. Stay tuned!

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