Yesterday we spent the day at one of the Dubai beach/pool clubs. There are quite a lot of them, providing everything from a sunlounger/umbrella upwards to free drinks and food in locations from basic to super luxe, to party centrals…. The cost can be anything from nothing to £65 per head. We decided to try a free one that I have been to before Barasti Beach Club which is attached to the Meridien Hotel at the Palm Jumeirah. On a Monday, it’s a Ladies Day there which means that not only are women free to enter (like men) but that we get free alcoholic drinks all day and 50% off food. Barasti is nice enough but it’s nowhere near as nice as some of the beach clubs I’ve tried previously. However, unlike last time when I was here on my own and could take advantage of a different ladies day every day, this year Bob is here and there are no “men’s days”. So, we have to look for places that are reasonable for him. Frankly, paying £60 for a beach bed and an umbrella is just ridiculous no matter how nice the surroundings, so that rules a lot of them out.
Anyway, Barasti it was. We got nice loungers right at the water’s edge, preferring seaside to poolside. The view was not tremendous because they are building a new yacht marina over the bay, so a lot of cranes in view, but the sea was lovely and it was quiet enough. We spent a good long day there in the sun. I had a couple of free drinks and got a massive burger and chips half price for lunch, that Bob and I shared. It worked out a very reasonable and enjoyable day. If you’re looking for a budget beach club choice then it’s a good one. Especially on a Sunday or Monday when the Ladies deal is on.
Today, Bob had some shopping to do in the morning and I went down to the pool here and waited for him. He joined me about midday and we spent a couple of hours or so, sunning and swimming. Then we showered off and ubered to the Dubai Mall at around 4 for a bit of a shop fuddle around there. It’s such a massive mall. Over 1200 shops. I always get lost although I have an app that guides you around. It’s amazing in there: there is a full size aquarium, an ice rink, a couple of huge waterfalls…. I enjoy the souk section the best where all the little Arabian shops are. I bought a shawl and some oud perfume. We enjoyed it.
Came out about 7pm and walked into the lagoon part, just at the base of the Burg Khalifa to meet Lucy for a dim sum dinner at a restaurant called Din Tai Fung which is part of a famous chain. We sat outside at the waterside and watched the fountain show several times over. The whole lagoon area is very spectacular: so many restaurants around the edge, then all the amazing skyscrapers and lights and of course the Burj itself. It is quite a sight and they play a light show up it to go with the fountain show. Nice fountain show on the half hour. Different music each time. Some nicer than others. I managed to film the most irritating music. Sorry. Anyway, do visit if you come here, it’s a very exciting place.
The dim sum were really good too.
Well, more coronavirus developments today. Italy is now totally under quarantine and so we will definitely not be taking our cruise as far as any of the Italian ports. We can get off in Crete on March 31st, 4 days short of the end, and get a flight home from there. BA have cancelled flights from Italy up till the 4th April. Our flight was to be on the 5th from Milan so no doubt, in time, they will cancel that too and we will get our money back. Will wait and see. This is on the supposition that when we get to the ship on Saturday, we are allowed to board. I think we will be able to, but if not, there will be a full refund and they will fly us home. So not too anxious as yet.
On another front, we were taking a repositioning cruise to Florida in September to see family and friends there and that was cancelled today. Not ostensibly because of coronavirus, but possibly indirectly causing the schedules to change. So we have rearrangements to do there. We’ll just fly instead I guess but will leave all that for a while to see what occurs. Some of the airlines are going to be failing, I suspect, so we’ll wait…..