TAM Economy Class New York JFK – Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
LAN Economy Class Santiago – Sao Paulo
TAM Economy Class Sao Paulo – New York JFK
United BusinessFirst Denver to
Tokyo Seattle (Emergency Landing)
United BusinessFirst on the 787 Seattle to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Tokyo Narita – Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong – Dubai
Dubai, Day 1 (Traiteur Brunch, Park Hyatt Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Atlantis Palm Islands)
Dubai, Day 2 (Shark Dive at Dubai Aquarium, Burj Al Arab, 360)
Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai – Hong Kong – Tokyo Haneda
After clearing passport control, I found a greeter from the Park Hyatt who led me to my private S-class limo for my transfer to the hotel. Since I was staying at a suite at the Park Hyatt, this transfer was complimentary. As we went outside to get to the car, the overwhelming heat and humidity of Dubai hit me hard. It was only 5:30am, and it was already approaching 100 degrees! I guess that’s what I get for deciding to go to Dubai in the summer time.
The transfer to the Park Hyatt Dubai is only a 5-10 minute car ride, as the property is located on Dubai Creek, very close to the airport. The Park Hyatt itself is a stunning property.
I checked in and was walked to my suite where I was meeting a friend who had checked in the day before – on my intended arrival date. I was to meet a group of about 20 frequent fliers who were gathered in Dubai for a big meet-up, dubbed the “DubaiDO.” My roommate and I chatted for a bit, and then I took a nap to get some additional rest before brunch.
We scheduled Friday brunch for 12:30pm at the Traiteur Restaurant at the Park Hyatt. It was an all-you-can eat and drink affair, featuring Veuve Clicquot champagne and a massive assortment of foods. In Dubai, Friday brunch is a BIG deal. The weekend in Dubai spans Friday and Saturday, so the Friday brunch is a great kickoff to the weekend. Our group of about twenty people had two tables of ten reserved. The spread was truly spectacular and delicious. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. It was well worth the price.
After 3.5 hours of food, drinks, and glass upon glass of champagne, we finished up an epic brunch and decided to take the party to the pool. The pool at the Park Hyatt is beautiful, and is an awesome place to escape the ridiculous heat. An array of palm trees keeps the pool relatively shaded, which is great in the middle of the desert.
We had previously arranged reservations to go to the top of Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building at 6:30pm, so we headed that way at about 6pm. We arrived at the Mall of Dubai and followed the signs to get us to the “At The Top” observation deck. Though the observation desk is ironically NOT at the top of Burj Khalifa (nor is it anywhere close), the views are pretty stunning nonetheless.
Unfortunately, it was quite hazy the entire time we were in Dubai, but we were still able to get some pretty cool vistas of the downtown Dubai area.
While we were up top, the sun went down, and we got to witness one of the water shows (similar to the ones at Bellagio in Las Vegas) from above.
This was a great experience, but in the future, I’d wait to make sure it was a clear day before paying the ~USD$30 to go up there.
After Burj Khalifa, the group wanted to grab some drinks, so we decided to checkout the Atlantis Resort at The Palm Islands. The Palm Islands carry that name because, well – it’s a group of islands. In the shape of a palm tree. Only in Dubai, right? The cab ride from Burj Khalifa out to The Palm was about USD $20.
While most things in Dubai like food, drinks, and merchandise are expensive in Dubai, the cabs are relatively dirt cheap. We cabbed pretty much everywhere and found them to be very reasonable priced. This was a good thing considering that Dubai is very spread out. It’s quite a haul from the Dubai Marina or Palm Islands to Burj Khalifa or Dubai Creek / Park Hyatt.
The Atlantis is at the very tip of the island. Having stayed at Atlantis in the Bahamas a number of times, I found this resort pretty similar, but nowhere near as grandiose as the Bahamas version.
We proceeded to the outdoor bar called Nasimi Beach for a couple drinks. After about 45 minutes, we had to go inside because it was just too hot outside. We then settled on drinks and sushi at Nobu. As with most things Atlantis, Nobu was very expensive. After a few drinks, we decided to call it a night and headed back to the Park Hyatt where the group hungout for a bit before going to bed.