We arrived in Dubai around 3:30am and found a corner in the airport to snooze for a few hours before heading out to explore the city. We left the airport around 7am and somehow managed to find the metro station (which isn’t easily accessible from terminal 2). By 8:30am, we had made it to the Mall of the Emirates, also home the largest indoor ski area. The slopes didn’t open until 10am, so we decided to grab some breakfast. We fully intended on sticking to a strict budget, that was, until we rounded the corner and saw an IHOP! No, this wasn’t a knock-off version, this was the real deal! We hadn’t seen an IHOP since we left home almoner 1.5 years ago. The thought of an all-American breakfast with bottomless hot coffee and steaming buttermilk pancakes was too much to resist! It was the perfect pre-snowboarding meal. After we filled our bellies, our meal came to $35.00 including a 20% tip. It doesn’t seem too bad looking back, but at the time that was more than we would typically spend over the course of a full day in India!
We then headed downstairs to hit the slopes! Yes, this meant we were going snowboarding inside a mall when it was a scorching 110F (43C) degrees outside. The total for our clothing, locker, and gear rentals plus our lift tickets came to $50/person! (Tip: We received a 20% discount for paying with a Mastercard!) It was a lot of fun to go boarding at an indoor mall. More for the novelty of it than anything else. There were multiple slopes ranging from green to blue, but to us, it felt more like several bunny hills. It was fun, but not enough to keep us entertained all day (which was a good thing, because we were on such a tight schedule). After a few hours of playing in the snow, we headed out to our next destination: Burj Khalifa–the world’s tallest tower. While it’s awesome to say we’ve been in the world’s tallest building, we both felt like the tickets were over-priced at $35/each. However, we did enjoy the On The Top tour.It was a bit windy that day which meant the view from the top wasn’t grand due to the sand limiting our visibility. Burj Khalifa is located in the Dubai Mall, and after we were done with our tour, we did a little window shopping and exploring. After a full day of sight-seeing, we were exhausted and headed back to the airport to catch our overnight flight to Istanbul!Prior to our flight, I couldn’t help but sneak out my phone to snap a photo for the “safety” video. It was one of the most creative and interesting pre-flight safety videos I’ve seen!