Country #48 - United Arab Emirates Day 2

The Penguins

I got a great night's sleep last night at Rove Hotel Trade Centre and really enjoyed the huge breakfast and tons of options for breakfast this morning! I had an omelette before heading out for another day in Dubai, UAE. My main stop for the day was the Mall of the Emirates because Dubai doesn’t need just one mega-mall, but two. I took the metro from my hotel all the way there and when I got there I walked around for a little bit before the main attraction - Ski Dubai!

Ski Dubai is the tourist of tourist attractions but I don’t care because it was amazing and everything in Dubai is touristy. It is basically an entire ski slope and other fun ski attractions inside of a mall. And it was incredible. I don’t like skiing so that’s not why I was there. My goal was to meet the Ski Dubai penguins! It was really expensive ($90) for my day at Ski Dubai but totally worth it, especially since I have spent very little on attractions this trip. The $90 got me in to meet the penguins, but it also allowed me to do all of the fun activities (besides skiing) inside Ski Dubai and I definitely took advantage of it!

I’ll start from the beginning, though. I waited in the penguin waiting area along with a family from Iran and two girls from China. We watched an adorable penguin instructional video before meeting the penguin trainer and then, of course, meeting the penguins. They were so cute and honestly just pretty hilarious! The first ones that we met were the Emperor penguins, the second largest type of penguin. They were very cute and they were the ones you could meet and pet. One of them was in training and it was adorable watching the penguin learn how to meet people. Their feathers felt like velvet and it was just an awesome experience. Also, the mom from Iran was hilariously afraid of them (in a funny way) and refused to touch them so they took a group picture with the mom like ten feet away - it was fantastic.

The second penguins that we met were the Gentoo penguins. They are smaller and much faster than the Emperor penguins. They were so fun to watch run around and they even played with baby toys! You couldn’t pet the Gentoo because they were so much more active but they were still cool to watch and learn about. I got pictures with all of the penguins and that is where Ski Dubai really makes their money. I spent $50 on two pictures - and it would have been $70 but the girl at the checkout counter felt so bad for me struggling to decide between the two that she let me use her employee discount which was so sweet and super helpful because I really could not decide.

After meeting the penguins I had an incredible rest of the day at Ski Dubai. I spent three more hours there! My favorite thing was the snow tubing - they would spin you around down a huge hill and it was so much fun (remember, I’m from Alabama where we have literally zero snow ever). I also really loved the zorb! A zorb is a giant, inflatable ball that you get inside and ride down the snow in. I have always wanted to zorb and it was so cool! I also had fun doing the Snow Bullet slide, the snow luge, and just riding the ski lift to see all of Ski Dubai. The last thing that I did was watch the penguins put on a little informational show which was, of course, adorable.

I had an amazing time at Ski Dubai, with my only complaint being the prices. After finishing my great day I headed just next door inside of Mall of the Emirates to Shake Shack. I know, very unoriginal, but I was starving (it was after 3:00pm) and I wanted their hot chocolate. I scarfed down my favorite fast food burger and then walked around the mall while drinking my hot chocolate. Afterwards, I took the metro to my next stop, the Dubai Marina. Going from below freezing to over one hundred degrees wasn’t the most enjoyable experience (it made my fingers hurt like crazy) but that’s Dubai for you!

The Dubai Marina was amazing to walk around and see the huge buildings and boats. Some of the buildings are really unique and I enjoyed just walking around the area. I ended up making my way to the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel & Suites as this is the only place that you can get a good view of the infamous Palm Islands. I made it up to the restaurant and ordered just a Sprite to be able to watch the sunset over The Palm. It is a pretty incredible man-made thing to see a palm tree figure in the ocean and is incredibly expensive to stay (or live) there. I was really glad to be able to see it from above!

After a bit, I made my way back down and to the metro to head back to Rove Hotel Trade Centre. It was a full day filled with some of Dubai’s highlights and I really enjoyed every second of it. I’m sad to be leaving Dubai tomorrow but am so glad that I was finally able to visit this incredible (and very hot) city - I would love to come back and explore more of the United Arab Emirates some day!

48 countries down, 149 to go.

Read about my first day in the United Arab Emirates here.

To learn more about Rove Hotel Trade Centre click here.