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dubai seems like it could be interesting.. if you have the bankroll.
is it beautiful country ???
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Great review! This makes me more exited to go now!
all i can really say is WOW!!
Originally Posted by fjpanda
I would be interested in reading it!
There you go
Next up: The mosque.
Our Final Day:
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Driving up, it doesn't look that imposing:
Parking was easy and we went through a pretty thorough security checkpoint in a tent.
We took a bunch of pictures outside before it got too dark, then headed inside, first to the huge courtyard.
Between the outside and the courtyard:
From one corner of the courtyard:
Looking towards the main entrance:
Shoes come off:
In the main sanctuary.
The famous carpet/biggest in the world or something like that:
The floor in one of the lobbies:
Overall, it was truly beautiful. The craftsmanship, sheer size, opulence, etc. was all incredible. Men must wear pants have have sleeves; women must be much more covered, but they'll lend you traditional garb. Entry is free.
I don't have pictures of the rest of the seat, maybe Mordy will drop some off.
The amenity kits were similar too, just mine came in a leather Bvlgari case and his came in fabric. Also, I got some cozy pajamas.
After the flight, we walked through the overly-mammoth airport and bought Sim cards from Du, they cost 35AED and we spent about another 50 on data and minutes. A total of about $25 and we had plenty to spare. Then we made our way to the Emirates Chauffer Drive desk where they gave a car, without checking whether our tickets were award or revenue.
Day three of the trip.
We rented a car on day 2, after the water park.
We hopped in and headed out to AD:
The one on the left.
Whoops, wrong picture.
The only real attraction we were interested in was the Mosque. Ferrari World, Yas Marina, and some camel racing would have been on the list if we had time, but we weren't disappointing in missing them.
We pull up to the St. Regis Abu Dhabi, which for 13.5k/night (typically 12k, I think), it's truly incredible. There was no receptionist's area. They sit you in a gorgeous wood-panneled club room, bring you drinks, then escort you over to a huge mahogany desk (there are three different ones), where you sit down and get checked in. They offered us a suite but the only available suites had one bed. I ain't sharing.
So they gave us a nice room on the highest non-smoking floor.
The view as we pull up:
I don't have any good pictures of the interior, but it's truly beautiful. Very well done. I'll try to get some from Mordy; he was wandering around while I got us checked in.
I was wondering how they had a private beach when they were on the wrong side of the major road... The answer.
There's a pool on the beach side with a swim-up bar, and a nice pool on the hotel side.
Emirates Towers, the complex next door to the SR. I'm pretty sure there's a scene in the newest fast and furious that involves these buildings:
Backing up a bit, I want to discuss the airline logistics. This installment will discuss JFK => DXB. The airport, the lounge, and the plane.
Emirates officially does not provide a chauffeur service on awards tickets, so a neighbor gave us a ride to the airport, We pull up to the terminal, and I thought the list of airlines was comical:
Right inside the door we were directed to this:
They had no problem checking Mordy in too, although they said he wouldn't have lounge access and he wouldn't be able to come in with me since I'm not a plat. Fine, we'll deal with it later. (They let us both into the lounge with no issues).
We proceeded through the quicker security line and soon found the lounge.
We hang out a bit, check out the plane (boarding is directly from the lounge), drink some, and envy the food options.
Finally, we board. And this is where my opinion is going to differ from most. As I mentioned earlier, I don't think F offers a significant advantage over J. Could be because I wasn't traveling with my spouse, but still, that's my opinion. The seats are the same length (the middle J seats are an inch longer, while the window J seats are about 8 inches shorter than F), and they're only about ~4" narrower. Granted, I'm a smaller guy but next time I'll probably fly J. (well, probably not, but whatever). The shower experience is just that, an experience. Did I need a shower? No, we were heading straight to the hotel and it was evening. DIFTS.
I had issues with the controller, and the privacy doors wouldn't shut. The head FA tried multiple things, and kept offering me a different suite but I was too lazy to move. Also, I felt the clarity/resolution of the controller and screen were lacking, especially compared to Etihad's, which were crisp.
The shower: You're allowed 30 minutes in the "Shower Spa Suite," with a total of 5 minutes of water. I thought it was more than enough. The floor was heated, which is a nice touch as well. One thing they warn you about is the water won't work unless the shower door is completely shut; I had read about that in advance so I was prepared.
This is waiting at your seat after your shower: