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Layover in Dubai 

We managed to squeeze in two nights in Dubai on our way from Jordan to Bali. It was a decadent 36 hours, as you would imagine. 

When landing you really get the impression that the city is a fanciful mirage in the middle of the desert. The view from the ground backs up that assumption with the plethora of luxury shops, architectural masterpieces, and exotic cars. 

We stayed in the Renaissance Downtown, which was simply gorgeous in a way that appeals to my edgy, design aesthetic. I'm sure you could find much more over-the-top accommodations, though if you prefer that look

I rarely eat at hotel restaurants, but when we got there the kids were starving so we popped in to Basta, which is one of five gourmet restaurants in the hotel. It was seriously delicious and honestly, if you never wanted to leave the hotel, I think you could have a nice few days of eating and relaxing. 

But we had to explore, so after a little pasta we headed out to check out the glitz and glamour first hand. The fountains at Burj Khalifa put on quite a spectacular every half hour starting at 6pm. It's not a long show, but it was quite fun. You can even hire a little boat to take you out on the pond for the show if you want to. We opted for the sidewalk with the masses instead. 

We had dinner at La Petite Maisonwhich was so good. We sat outside on the terrace and truly enjoyed everything we ordered

Full Day in Dubai...

We walked to breakfast at La Serre Bistro at Vida Downtown. The kids were ecstatic with the array of pastries and the rest of the breakfast menu is lovely too. 

After fueling up with a mix of baked goods, eggs, fresh fruit, and coffee we headed to the Mall of Emirates to do the most outlandish thing- the winter wonderland at Ski Dubai. They have everything you need to brave the cold, which is quite shocking coming from outside where it was very hot even in the spring. We opted for the Snow Park instead of the Ski Slope, which is pretty small since it is in a mall. The Snow Park was a blast with the zorbing and bobsledding and running around in the snow. 

We worked up an appetite, so we wandered around the mall a bit before stumbling upon Yo Sushi, which was a fun conveyor belt sushi place that was perfect for a mid-afternoon meal. 

After the snow we figured we needed the beach, so we headed over to Jumeriah Beach, which is pristine with a nice walking path alongside it. It's all a bit surreal here to be honest. 

Of course Burj Khalifa was on our itinerary and we saved it for sunset. Booking tickets ahead of time is crucial and despite the timed tickets, the line to get in is very long. It runs smoothly, but suffice it to say this is probably the biggest tourist attraction in the city. The views from the top are as spectacular as you would imagine, though the evening was a little cloudy so we didn't get a proper sunset. Regardless, we are all happy that we can say we've been to the top of the tallest building in the world. 

Our last dinner before ending this Middle East adventure was at Flamingo Room by tashas. The ambience and food did not disappoint. The space is really unique and beautifully decorated. It feels like you could easily be in Miami with that slight over the top feel, but I loved it. It was the perfect ending to our middle eastern spring break.