One of the advantages to flying Emirates to Ethiopia is the chance to explore Dubai. On the way there (departing from Dallas) we had a 22-hour layover. We landed before noon and were out of the airport by about 1:00 – not bad.
(BTW, the kids did great on the flight. With over 2,000 entertainment options in the seat-back screens, my children will forever be spoiled for airline travel. The food wasn’t bad either. Luke didn’t care for it but the rest of us were pretty pleased. About 7 hours from our destination I made the kids turn everything off, handed out Tylenol PM like candy and made them try and get some sleep. Unfortunately a crying baby made that a little difficult so we just dozed off and on.)
We hopped in a taxi (I worried about finding one that would seat all 6 of us but it was no biggie). We decided to head straight to the hotel. It was about a 30 minute taxi ride but it led us right through the city so we got quite the view of the amazing Dubai architecture, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. (No we didn’t go up it.)
We had to wait a bit for our room but then we could all change clothes. Apparently sitting still was not a good idea because Luke conked out in about 3.2 seconds 🙂
We decided to walk to the Mall of Emirates to find some food. It allowed us to feel like we were out in the city but gave lots of food choices for the kids. Some ate Subway, some Asian food and the rest of us ate Smashburger 🙂 It was fascinating to sit and watch people from all over the world, listen to the various languages and accents and soak it all it. It really is a true melting pot.
We headed back to our hotel to allow everyone to have about a 45 minute nap. Then we were up and out the door for our “dinner in the desert.” The tour company SUV picked us up and we headed back out of the city into the desert, riding across the dunes to a Bedouin village (or simulation thereof). There were probably close to 300 people from various tour companies. A circle stage in the middle of the village had tables jutting out from it like spokes. Long rugs with pillows on the ground made for an authentic feel.
Before the show we had the opportunity for a SHORT camel ride. Noah opted out so we paired Luke up with a random tourist 🙂 Beza got a henna tattoo, we did a little shopping and then we sat down for the show. The buffet featured a wide variety of foods. It was interesting that the men and women lined up in different sections to get their food.
We were back to our hotel by 10 p.m. and got a good nights sleep before leaving at 7:30 a.m. for the airport. Looking back I think breaking up the trip there really helped with jet lag and the time transition.