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Flying High Above Dubai

Dubai rising above the rubble of a construction site

With a boot packed full of camping gear, food, camera equipment and the obligatory bottle of Morgan's Spiced Rum for good measure, I set off from Muscat to drive the 5 hours to Dubai. Should mention that the bottle of rum wasn't for the during the drive…

Dunes welcome visitors from the Oman-UAE border crossing

The drive up the coast of Oman wasn't the most inspiring of journeys, passing many a date palm plantation and half finished new road layouts destined to make the lives of Omanis crossing from one side of the highway to the other slightly safer. To be fair, it’s usually Indian and Pakistani men risking their lives running across three lanes of speeding cars – be ever vigilant!

After Sohar, it gets a little more interesting. The tail end of the mountains that span from the Western Hajar guides the road up to the UAE border crossing post. On the other side (assuming they let you through), the mountains soon peter out and give way to rolling sand dunes and camels roaming the highway. As the camels don’t care what traffic is oncoming, they are more dangerous than the people running across the highway in Oman!

The Address hotel directly in front of the fountains - as seen from the Burj Khalifa

Dubai itself is always kind of a pleasure to visit for a day or so at a time. Any longer and you realise it’s driven by business, but it is still rising from the dunes in every direction. We saw this from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. On the 124th floor, we stood on the viewing deck overlooking Dubai’s road junctions and other (tiny-in-comparison) skyscrapers. The viewing deck is at 452m – only around halfway up the Burj! The tallest point is at 829m, way above where we were.

The Burj Khalifa - tallest building in the world at 829m

We had a great view of the Burj and the dancing water fountains the previous evening with a couple of drinks at the Neos bar at The Address. At “only” 63 floors up, it still felt like the top of the world. After a few drinks, we were broke enough to go home for the night and saddle up for our next road trip leg up to the Musandam peninsula.

View north from the Burj Khalifa viewing deck

Still another 377m above was the tip of the Burj Khalifa


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