A Travellerspoint blog

Holi and The World's Tallest Building

Yesterday, I awoke early to take a walking tour near the Museum in Dubai, but the walking tour wasn't to be. I left the hostel later than I thought-I was tired and I slept later-then I caught the Metro downtown, which was running late. For whatever reason, it took 1/2 an hour for the Metro to come. And when it did come, of course it was very crowded because of the delay. When I got on-i got onto a part of the metro with only woman-it was then I learned there are men and women's sections of the railcar-and i was standing in the ladies part-i went over to the men's part of the railcar (which was men basically pushed against each other).

i wanted to look for the hop-on hop-off bus which would supposedly take me to where the 11:00 tour would be-and from yesterday, i remember getting off one stop after the Dubai mall and finding the tour bus in front of the mall-but my memory failed me. I got off one stop behind the mall, and found to get to the mall I had to walk up and down different roads-under highways, and before I knew it-it was 11:00 and I wouldn't make the walking tour. No big deal-I wanted to go to the top of Burj Khalifa-the world's tallest building. So I walked through the mall to the ticket office. I learned that i wouldn't be able to get to the top of the building until tomorrow (Saturday)-because there was such a wait-but if I paid over $100-I would be able to get a special ticket-meaning that there wouldn't be a line, and I could go to a special observation deck on floor 149 (vs 124 for everyone else), plus there would be a special room with teas and cookies-and I could go that evening (after 6:00 pm) So I bit the bullet and bought the expensive ticket-it was the world's tallest building-can't get that anywhere else. I had lunch of falafel at the food court, and then got on the hop-on hop-off bus again to make the 2:30 walking tour.

I got to the Museum site, and asked about the tour-I learned that there was no afternoon tour on Fridays since everything was closed (How was I supposed to know it was Friday ? It is hard to keep track when travelling). So I wandered around the area where the museum was, it is an old part of town, with lots of historic buildings, old shops, and restaurants. I noticed a lot of folks with paint on their faces. After passing about 20 people with paint-I asked someone what the paint was for-I was told it was the day of Holi-a happy day in the Hindu religion (although UAE is a Muslim country-lots of Hindus reside here from India and Nepal to work), and he proceeded to throw powdered body paint over my face)


So now I had paint over my face. As I wandered around the district, some people smiled at me-others laughed at this white guy with Hindu body paint on my face. I took my picture with one lady in a store.


After having a bite to eat at a small shopping mall, I found a stop on the Metro and took it back to the Dubai Mall, where I could go to the top of Burj Kalifa-but i had time-so I went to an aquarium in the mall, (admission was free with the ticket to the hop-on hop-off bus). For a mall aquarium, it was impressive-there we're all types of fish, and there was an "underwater zoo"-with crocodiles, see otters, and nubita, otherwise known as water rats. It took me about 45 minutes to walk through.
(People still looked at me strangely because I had the body paint on)

After walking through the mall-I went to the entrance to Burj Khalifa. As mentioned, since I paid the premium amount, so I was ushered to a special room with cookies and tea.


After about 15 minutes here-I took an elevator to the 124th floor, which took 77 seconds (making it the world's fastest elevator)-then we went on another elevator, which took 15 seconds-to the 149th floor, and went to the world's tallest observation deck. We we're offered more teas and cookies.

The view was nice-but just like what you expect of a tall building, I saw lots of lights. It was hazy out so I couldn't make more out. I mean, this was the world's tallest building-but I couldn't see my house-I couldn't see the NYC skyline-it was just a tall building-but I was there.

I did meet a few guys from Russia up there-and talked to them in their very broken English. I leaned that they like Putin, and after learned I was from the US-they wanted to know if I voted from Trump (ummmm....no), and in very broken English, they said Hillary Clinton then).


I then met one of the photographers there, who was taking photos so folks could pay. He was a Hindu from Nepal, and was impressed I had the Holi body paint on. He took a lot of free pics of me. He promised to email them to me (I am still waiting for them as of this writing)


At this point it was about 9:00-so I just went back to the hostel.

Posted by DavidPearlman 19:54 Archived in United Arab Emirates

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.