I woke up a little bit dazed from a not so eventful night but I still managed to squeeze in some sleep. I was still determined to enjoy the day so after a refreshing shower, I checked out and left the rest of my stuff by the reception and headed out into the Dubai sun. Not gonna lie, it was absolutely burning even though it was still early morning. Having an umbrella was definitely a lifesaver, it was a wonder why nobody else was using it. Dubai definitely gave me the impression as one of the cities of sin, with having all these escort pamphlets on the floor as some form of guerilla advertising. I got to the station which was thankfully air-conditioned and purchased an all-day ticket.
My first stop of the day was the Gold and Spice souks which probably due to Covid and the summer heat was widely empty. Some shops were operating or maybe I was there too early but I still did my best to go around the twists and turns and taking in all the different sights, sounds, and smells from the various herbs and spices. I then walked across to the Dubai Creek and booked a ferry ride across, the clerk was also a Filipino coincidentally. I sat by a bench under the shade while this stranger asked about my power bank. My boat soon arrived and I got on and the heat was much more bearable by the river and I got some really nice photos as we cruised along to the other side where Al Fahidi was located.
Al Fahidi is a key heritage site of Dubai due to its preserved historical architecture. Its buildings were made of traditional materials like mud and stone, featuring unique Arabian designs. It was still mostly deserted, pun intended. It always felt surreal to be walking around a supposed bustling area only to find almost every shop not operating. I was still approached by a vendor but I wasn't having it. It was getting really hot at this point and I took refuge inside a pretty fancy restaurant to cool down and eat brunch. I was starving and ordered a chicken cooked in Arabian-style plus a banana milkshake, the bill topped up to a pretty penny too. After filling up my tummy, it was time to head back out into the blazing sun. It turned out, I was in the other side of the supposed historical center so I back tracked and went to the other side to get better views of the mosques and towers of Al Fahidi. I walked around a couple of times through the same alleys to try and find my shot but I didn't get it and the heat made me want to move on. It was quite fortunate that they had free water installed at the entrance, truly an oasis. The walk to the metro station was a long and arduous one as every step felt like I was getting cooked alive even with the umbrella. I eventually got to the station and got on a train heading to Dubai Mall. Our train, having to stop and skip a few stations for some weird reason.
I really liked the boardwalk towards Dubai Mall from the station, I was able to get a really sick shot using the designs of the window pane plastered on Burj Khalifa. Dubai Mall was really next level as well, I definitely couldn't afford much of what was being offered as they were all just luxury brands. It had its own indoor aquarium and the sheer size was insane, I had to ask for directions just to find the exit. I followed the signs pointing towards the Dubai Fountain and when I got out, my face got blasted by the heatwave again. Snapping up some photos of Burj Khalifa and the fountain was enough for me as I scrambled back inside for that sweet air-conditioning and popping up at the other end to grab a bus going to Souk Madinat Jumeirah. I asked for direction and happened to meet another Filipino named Franco. We talked a lot about the life of an OFW and I learned that most of Dubai's population are actually expats. We shared a lot of conversation before he went ahead to take his break, leaving me with the final advise of where to wait for the bus. It did come as he said it would and I was happy to hop on another air-conditioned vehicle with a charging station to boot.
I got down the stop for Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a much larger and up-scaled version of the Souks from this morning. It catered to a more luxe clientele and it had the same architectural influences from Al Fahidi. It was also empty and devoid of tourists which allowed me to get the impressive juxtaposed shot of Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah. The main path on the way to Burj Al Arab was blocked by some furniture but I saw a couple push them away and head further inside so I just followed them and went straight for the private beach overlooking Burj Al Arab. They were a lot of white people having a holiday and sunbathing but I think that's too crazy with this sort of weather. I quickly went to the seaside and took my photos before anyone noticed I didn't belong with my baggy attire. With the heat becoming more unbearable by the second, I decided that I was done for the day and started to make my way back to the bus stop that dropped me near the metro and from there I got back to my hotel. With plenty of time to spare, I took my time to wind down from a challenging day. A shower would have been a godsend. Soon enough, I was back on the streets, feeling the heat while waiting for the bus that somehow never arrived so I rode a different route with another transfer but I ended up at the airport at last. Now it was really time to chill, just in my slippers and eating some Krispy Kreme donuts, I still felt a bit lonely sometimes especially while I waited in the empty gates.Read more