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Photo TR: Coasters and Culture of the UAE!

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Thanks for the great report - I'm visiting here next week. £100 ($150) for two tickets - ouch! Hope it's worth it..


You're welcome! I agree that it's expensive, but after a few rides on Formula Rossa, I'm sure you'll find that it's worth it!


You must not have been on HRRR or Hulk in the past 6 months


Nope. Haven't been to Universal for three years. All I've heard about those incidents is what I've seen on here. From what I've read, I think Ferrari World is more strict on loose articles.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've had every intention on getting this up sooner, but a busy schedule, procrastination, and some Internet issues have delayed that....until now! So, without further ado...


Part 5: Fun Works, Yas Mall, and Wonderland Dubai


We left Ferrari World not long before closing at 8 PM, so we decided to go get ourselves another credit! But first, we wanted to grab a bite to eat. In a giant mall like Yas Mall, we had plenty of options, but there could be only one....ROGO's, the roller coaster restaurant! Neither of us had eaten at one before, so we thought it might be a great place to eat. Finding this restaurant was surprisingly difficult. The mall is still opening new stores and such, so the guides aren't up to date. While the novelty was cool, we simply weren't that impressed. The food wasn't the greatest in the world (I had chicken alfredo and Keith had a burger), and it was too expensive for how small the portions were (It was $45 for the two of us).


After our meal, it was off to Fun Works for the most bizarre coaster of the day...Yolo Works, the other YOLOcoaster! For how small this ride is, it packs a punch. The drifting is more powerful than it looks, and it actually is somewhat entertaining. I don't understand why the designers decided to put OTSRs on it, as they're not needed and only cause pain. Although it's not a great ride, it's worth checking out if you've got some free time after Ferrari World closes. I've filmed some offride footage so you can all see the ride for yourselves





The next day, it was back to Dubai. The original plan for today was to drive up to Sharjah to visit Antic's Land, but we'd read that some other enthusiasts had problems getting the credit. It simply wasn't worth making the drive through the heavy traffic between Dubai and Sharjah to risk being turned away. So, we relaxed a bit in the morning, and we went to Wonderland. I've heard Wonderland described as "The World's Emptiest Theme Park," but we found a DIFFERENT side of Wonderland...you'll find out in the pictures! Hope you all enjoy!


After leaving Ferrari World, we walked around Yas Mall to find ROGO's. (KK)


And here we are! (KK)


The tracks in here are quite impressive.


The food might make you a bit loopy.


The FEC was much easier to find.


It's quite nice looking.


I felt like I was walking in a playground at first.


It's one of the bigger FEC's I've visited.


But it's time for a credit! (KK)


The train is pretty cool looking. (KK)


Whoosh! (KK)


You'd be surprised how fast this ride goes. (KK)


Sometimes, the turns HURT. (KK)


Yolo Works isn't that great, but it's worth checking out if you're already here. (KK)


Jump to Wonderland! The first thing Keith said to me when we got here was "I thought this place was supposed to be empty!" This nearly full parking lot DOES seem rather suspicious.


Will these two SBNO rides provide a clue to the mystery of the crowded parking lot? Probably not, but we can dream.


Moments after this picture was taken, we headed up to the admissions booth to purchase tickets, but they were CLOSED FOR RENOVATION! Will Wonderland ever reopen? The parks says yes, but we say NO!


Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Part 6: Dubai Mall, Sega Republic, and the Burj Khalifa! (This one should come much sooner, I promise!)

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Part 6: Dubai Mall, Sega Republic, and Burj Khalifa: At the Top


This part of the trip was probably my favorite. As a structural engineer, the Burj Khalifa is simply amazing to me. It was so awe-inspiring to be at the foot of it - let alone go to the 140th floor! More on that shortly.


After our brief visit to Wonderland, we took the Dubai Metro to Dubai Mall - the world's largest mall. The Metro station is connected to the mall by a sky bridge that seemed to go on forever! It had to be at least a fifteen minute walk, but at least it was fully air-conditioned. Once you (finally) make it to the mall, it's unbelievable how large it is! They bill themselves as "The Mall of Everything," and they're not lying! You can find almost anything here. Amusement park, ice rink, aquarium, world's tallest building, shops of all shapes and sizes, movie theaters, almost every chain restaurant you can think of, and much, much more are here at Dubai Mall. It's definitely a place you could spend an entire day visiting. They're even adding an expansion to this place due to high demand! Oh, and there's a Five Guys opening soon.


In the enthusiast spirit, Sega Republic was the first place to check out here. It wasn't difficult to find, but it was a bit hidden. The park is another one of the VERY nice FEC's that are found all over the UAE. This one is even two stories! The first floor wasn't very interesting other than the strangely fun drop tower. The second floor is home to Spin Gear, the park's Gerstlauer spinner, and an assortment of other rides and games. Spin Gear was a surprise hit! It has a tight, compact layout with most of it being in complete darkness. The theming is light, but it compliments the ride well (It's themed to Dr. Robotnik from the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series, if you didn't know). I ended up riding it by myself at one point, and the ride spun so much that I staggered off! It was incredible! This coaster is one to go out of the way to ride!


Our time for the At the Top tour of the Burj Khalifa wasn't until 5:00, so we still had plenty of time to kill at this point. We explored various areas of the mall, went outside to take pictures of the Burj Khalifa, and enjoyed some food. My only regret is that we didn't have time to go through the aquarium.


We had opted for the VIP experience of the At the Top tour. Our initial assumption was that the only difference between the regular and VIP tickets was the ability to go to the higher viewing area at floor 140, whereas the regular tickets only allowed access to floor 124. Boy, were we wrong - and for the better! We arrived for the tour early, and we were allowed to wait in a lounge for the VIP ticket holders. Free coffee and pastries were served while our tickets were redeemed and "loose articles" were placed in a secured locker area. Once our time had come, we were escorted to the front of the security line (there's airport style security to get in) and then to our exclusive use elevator. On our way up to the top, a short film played about the history of the world's tallest buildings. On the 140th floor, we were greeted by a beautiful lounge with more free coffee and pastries, as well as a GORGEOUS view of Dubai! We had as much time as we pleased to enjoy all of the view.


We met Keith's friend Dan for dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant at the Souqs next door. In addition to a delicious meal, we had poolside seats for the fantastic water fountain show! I've never seen the show in Vegas, but this one was spectacular (I'm told it's also 150% larger than its American cousin, too)! Dan told us lots of interesting things about the UAE and explored the mall with us for a bit. It was an absolutely fantastic visit to this wonderful mall and I highly recommend a visit!


On to the pics! I hope you all enjoy!

Please excuse the glare on some of the Burj Khalifa pictures. The sun was setting while we were up there.


Welcome to the world's largest mall - the Dubai Mall! We're off to Sega Republic!


Dubai 360 (some sort of film) wasn't open yet for the day.


This is one of the more bizarre fountains in this country.


What's a mall without an ice rink?


One of the many themed areas of the mall.


Here we are!


Sonic the Hedgehog gladly welcomes everyone willing to pay!


These are apparently the largest indoor slides in the Middle East. (KK)


But more importantly, there's a Gerstlauer here!


The entrance.


At first glance, this ride is pretty much the same as the others, but the dark sections felt quite different.


Dr. Robotnik - the evil genius from Sonic the Hedgehog - stares you down while you wait in line.


This drop tower was surprisingly fun!


I'm not sure what this was all about.


This ride/game simulated a snowboard halfpipe. As the ride rocked back and forth, you had to push the buttons on the floor with your feet to make it spin. I got the high score for the day!


There are a few simulator rides here. This one was the most bizarre looking of them.


Back to the mall! There's even Chocolate World here. I told you they had everything!


Another view of the mall.


Only in Dubai can you find a gold Lamborghini inside of a clothing store.


At the base of the fountain shown earlier.


Are these guys cousins of the Silver Surfer?


And here's the STAR of the Dubai skyline - the Burj Khalifa! It's the world's tallest building, and quite a beauty!


Let's head outside for some more pictures. Here's one of the many entrances to this gigantic mall.


There were plenty of expensive cars being picked up/dropped off at valet. (KK)


Back inside, we find ourselves at the only free part of the aquarium. Forgive the reflections.


If you can see past the awful glare of the storefront, you might see a snorkeler feeding the fish.


Apparently, King Croc is the star inside, but you must pay to see him.


I love the starry sky over the aquarium.


On our way to the At the Top check-in desk, we passed through the Fashion District. There are thousands of butterflies hanging from the ceiling in this part of the mall.


Another of the many themed shopping areas. (KK)


Passing through a corridor to the elevators to head to floor 140! (KK)


A beautiful view of Dubai from 140 stories up!


The Persian Gulf and part of Dubai.


This is apparently a picture of the Dubai Emir's residence. I didn't know that when I took it.


Looking straight down - OMG!


Along with a reflection of my hand and camera, these are the World Islands.


More of Dubai.


In this reflection, we see a selfie stick in its natural habitat.


Ah, the Burj al-Arab. How I'd love to spend the night inside of you! Alas, you're too expensive.


One of the buildings to the right is the infamous Torch building that caught fire a few days before our trip.


The Burj al-Arab and Palm Jumeirah, home of Atlantis Aquaventure.



Here we've moved to the outdoor viewing deck.



Dubai Mall and another five-star hotel that I can't remember the name of.


The Dubai Creek area.


More of Dubai Creek.


I thought this would be a neat shot.


Here's Wonderland!



A lovely view of the Dubai Fountains. We were still at the observation deck when the first show started - they piped the music up! (KK)


Gorgeous sunset over the World Islands.


After dinner, it was time to see this old gal - Dubai Dino!


A few brief facts. (KK)


We were treated to a few shows during dinner. They were incredible! (KK)


And I'll finish off this part of the trip report with this gorgeous shot of the Burj Khalifa. Thanks for reading!


Stay tuned for Part 7: Heritage Village, Old Souqs, and Sparky's Dubai!

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Wow! Amazing photos! Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi look like amazing places to visit. I knew that Dubai had two awesome water parks, but didn't knew Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi was equally as awesome - which is great because I'd want to spend a lot of time in water attractions with all that heat. Ferrari World looks like it's conveniently close to Yas Waterworld (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm glad they are adding things to improve Ferrari World as it seems like a half day park. Burj Khalifa looks amazing - I'd definitely want to go to the highest possible level if I was there - go big or go home. Is the Dubai Mall next to the Burj Khalifa the mall with Ski Dubai, or is that a different mall? I'd definitely want to do Ski Dubai as well.

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Wow! Amazing photos! Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi look like amazing places to visit. I knew that Dubai had two awesome water parks, but didn't knew Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi was equally as awesome - which is great because I'd want to spend a lot of time in water attractions with all that heat.


Thanks! Yas Waterworld was an amazing park, and we definitely underestimated how much time we wanted to spend there. I'll definitely give it a full day on my next visit.


Ferrari World looks like it's conveniently close to Yas Waterworld (correct me if I'm wrong). I'm glad they are adding things to improve Ferrari World as it seems like a half day park.


Ferrari World is across the street from Yas Waterworld, but it's not within walking distance since the entrance is inside of Yas Mall. I'm so glad to see the new coasters for the park, and I really hope business picks up for the park.


Burj Khalifa looks amazing - I'd definitely want to go to the highest possible level if I was there - go big or go home. Is the Dubai Mall next to the Burj Khalifa the mall with Ski Dubai, or is that a different mall? I'd definitely want to do Ski Dubai as well.


I 100% recommend the VIP experience. It's well worth the extra $50. The mall with Ski Dubai is Mall of the Emirates, which is another of the UAE's many large malls. Our visit of that mall is in an upcoming part of the TR!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 7: Heritage Village, Old Souqs, and Sparky's Dubai


After a very modern experience in Dubai, it was time to learn about the older days of the city. There's not much of the old left in Dubai, but some still exists in Heritage Village (most of them are replicas). Heritage Village can best be compared to Colonial Williamsburg, but not nearly as expansive as its Virginian cousin. The Village greatly lacks in the information department. The buildings are there, but there are very few placards to tell you what things are and their significance. It was interesting to see what the old buildings looked like, but it left a lot to be desired.


We then walked a few blocks over to the Textile and Gold Souqs. We had been warned ahead of time about the high pressure sales, and the warnings were right on par. When walking around the Textile Souqs, there were plenty of sales people outside of the stores trying to put a scarf over our heads. WARNING: if one of these scarfs touches your head, you're buying something! As for the Gold Souqs, if you're looking for a Rolex knock-off, you won't have any problems. Plenty of sales people walked up to us with several on their arms for display. We took an Abra across Dubai Creek to visit the Spice and Electronic Souqs. The Abra was quite a fun ride and for just 1 AED, it was a cheap one, too!


We took a quick stroll through these Souqs before heading to the Metro for our first park of the day, Sparky's Dubai. Located inside of the Al Ghurair Centre (which was easily the nicest "locals" mall we visited), this was THE nicest of the Sparky's we visited. The coaster (creatively named Roller Coaster) is shoe-horned into the small space and looked like a lot of fun. Too bad it was closed for annual maintenance! The horror! We had lunch before going back to our hotel for our next destination, but that's for the next part of the report...


Onto the pics! Enjoy!


Welcome to Heritage Village!


I guess this hut is traditional.


The shopping area. Home to the same crap you can find anywhere else!


An old street.


The House of Poetry was one of the few buildings you could enter, but all that was inside was visualizations of the Koran. (KK)


Some building. (KK)


These gentlemen were performing traditional song and dance. It was very entertaining.


One of the few old buildings left in Dubai. It was built in 1931, and it has a face.


Textile Souqs. Don't let them put the scarf on your head! (KK)


More of the Textile Souqs. (KK)


Could this enchanting item become Lady Gaga's next showpiece? (KK)


Entrance to the Gold Souqs. (KK)


Dubai Creek - ready for crossing! (KK)


Riding on an Abra! (KK)


Crossing Dubai Creek. (KK)


A loaded Abra. (KK)


The Spice Souqs were my favorite. (KK)


There it is...the Al Ghurair Centre! (KK)


Yet another gorgeous mall!


It's credit time!


Roller Coaster's track.


The clearance is low in here.


The coaster is simply EVERYWHERE!


Coming into the station.




A roller coaster skeleton. Soon to be reassembled.


A Dubai Metro entrance. (KK)


An ad for evaporated milk that we saw EVERYWHERE. I guess the Emiratis love their waterless cow juice!


That's it for Part 7! Stay tuned for Part 8: Al Montazah Amusement Park, Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai, and Souk Madinat Jumeirah!

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