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The Dubai Infinity Tower just got served

 

When I was in Dubai 2 years ago in 2011:

The Burj Khalifa got served from the bottom in 2011 (I had no time then to go to the top!)

 

When I was in Dubai 2 years later today:

The Burj Khalifa just got served from the top in 2013 (aka the top of the highest manmade structure in the world!)

It’s good to be back in Dubai. It might just be my hunch, but UAE flights seem to have shrewdly designed their flight schedules so that most everyone gets to experience an extended daytime layover in Dubai, presumably to increase money going into tourism and the businesses there. It’s similar to how Icelandair allows open layovers for their flights so passengers can stop over in Reykjavik and spend money in Iceland for a few days before hopping onto Icelandair’s continuing flights to London or Paris at no extra cost, and yet opposite to how flights into Lima for Cusco (usually to see Machu Picchu) always force an overnight stay in Lima, (probably because more money can go into Lima’s hotels)? 

Anyways, I digress…

First things first, the Dubai airport at Terminal 3 (if you’re flying Emirates) has grown into becoming a mini-city. It takes longer than you’d expect to make it to passport control from the gate (a 20-30min walk alone), and then another hour-long wait at passport control to get your stamps.

They just started an E-gate system to expedite passport entry for citizens of certain countries, including the USA, but when I did it I still waited an hour because they have to register first time users of the system and they had only one person doing it this morning because it was a Friday (the day of rest for Muslims). Then, also because it’s a Friday, the metro wasn’t running until 1pm in the afternoon so I had to bleed money on the taxis for the first part of the day.

Finally made it onto a train, and it was always this crowded

First stop: I finally get to the top of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa:

The observation deck

The "World Islands" can be seen up ahead in the distance

The Burj Al Arab, the only 7 star hotel in the world

View of the top of the Burj Khalifa from the observation deck

We haven’t even finished building the Freedom Tower and they’re already mocking us!

Then toured around Dubai Mall for a bit:

 

And afterwards kicking it with amazing conversations on life, love and travel at Marina Way with Diva, my friend from college who had told me to go to Luang Prabang when I went on my first trip (which I did!), and her friends Chewy and Rohini.

 

 

Diva and Rohini

 

No better way to enjoy your one day layovers in Dubai than with good company, both times –

 

2011: 

2013:

Diva, Rohini, and Diva’s mom and dad!

And with these conversations going long into the day that end up leaving me only 1 hour to catch my flight to Lahore, I once again booked it and barely made it to my flight in the nick of time.

Next: Pakistan!

 

– At time of posting in Dubai International Airport, it was 64.4 °F
Humidity: 52% | Wind Speed: 9km/hr | Cloud Cover: clouds and visibility OK