The Dubai Mall is somewhere I’ve visited previously, and whilst it of course is designed for those of us who love to shop, there’s actually a whole lot more to see that isn’t shopping related.

After we’d wandered in and out of a few shops, we hunted down Tim Hortons for a quick refreshment before heading out to the Dubai fountains. They didn’t actually start until 6pm, but the lake area is absolutely stunning and is well worth seeing before the crowds flood in. However, thirty plus degrees combined with a hot coffee and harem pants lead me to near meltdown point – so we quickly went back into the mall in search of air con!

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We spent the next couple of hours looking around at various attractions within the Mall, such as the waterfall, the aquarium and the indoor souk. I’ve got to hand it to Dubai, they pull off modern and classy extremely well. The entire Mall is absolutely pristine, with a strong sense of luxury about it.

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Soon enough it was time for our Burj Khalifa “At The Top” experience. This was a first for me because despite going to Dubai in 2014, my mum and I chose to spend our time exploring other areas of the city. During the walk to the high speed lift (I’ll get to this in a minute), the walk ways are plastered with videos, images and models of the Burj Khalifa’s build process – which began in 2004.

Now, the lift. This is not a joker of a lift. I kid you not, it rockets up 124 floors is roughly a minute – with the lift climbing ten meters per second. Fortunately, the interior of the lift doesn’t allow you to see outside – instead your mind is occupied by the light and video projections that surround you. Otherwise I think everyone would become very ill, very quickly.

Once at the top, needless to say, the views are out of this world. You can walk almost the entire 360 degrees around the building, some of which leads you outside onto a platform, allowing you to see quite literally all of Dubai beneath you. Now, I won’t lie, being 456 meters in the sky is quite scary if you’re not good with heights, but the indoor section is also a shop – so if you’re feeling on edge (pun intended), you can browse the gifts to take your mind off it.

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Annoyingly we went up a little too early, which meant unless we stood there (because there are no seats) for over two hours – we’d have to miss out on the sunset. Instead, we walked back down to the fountain area for their first evening display at 6pm. For some reason the display was cut short, so we hung around unto 6.30pm (they go off every half hour) where thankfully we got to watch a much longer and far more breathtaking display.

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As it was our last night, we wanted to treat ourselves to a nice meal and therefore headed to the Atlantis hotel on the Palm Jumeirah. Word of warning, splash out and get a taxi. Do not get the metro from the Mall to the Marina, and then attempt to walk it like we did. That day I walked 30,000 steps in flip flops, which unsurprisingly left me in agony. Second word of warning, do your research. The “nice restaurant” turned out to be a fast food joint with one table. The food was good, in all fairness, but it wasn’t exactly the fancy meal we’d hoped for! The Atlantis does have some wonderful restaurants, just sadly not suited to a backpackers budget. Eek. Not only that, but they don’t let those who aren’t guests into the main lobby to see the aquarium. So really, it was a long and painful journey with no real positive outcome. But hey, you live and you learn, and the whole experience was definitely a good laugh!

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