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Robb & Elissa in the UAE - 2017! Dubai & Abu Dhabi!


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Great report, KidTums has absolutely mastered the art of the snow plow, very impressive!

 

Also, being from the NY/NJ area it's really a rare treat to see what an indoor ski resort looks like when it's actually completed by a competent developer and open to the public so thanks for sharing. Something like that would be nothing more than a crazy fantasy around here.

 

That's the first thing that I thought of, too.

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This time we booked the 'more adventurous' dune bashing and I was pretty nauseous after about 10 minutes! If you're prone to car sickness stick with the ''normal" tour!

 

The video looked awesome but I wondered not too far into it if it was all crazy good fun or at all nausea-inducing. Good to know! How cold would you say it is inside of Ski Dubai? Going from the ski slopes to dune slopes in the same day is pretty cool. What is the approx. temperature there currently? I don't know that I'll ever get over to the UAE so it's really awesome to follow along on your adventures!!

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Inside Ski Dubai it was in the 30's. Quite comfortable for skiing. They give you pants and a jacket that you just throw over your clothes. I brought gloves from home and they recommend a hat or helmet but I didn't need that.

 

Outside we had some weird temps for this time of year. Some days the highs were normal in the mid-90's, but some days we had rain and highs only in the 70's which is pretty much unheard of. The airport was even flooding as we were departing! There's a lot of random cloud seeding and terra forming going on over there, mix that in with global warming and it's a good thing they have so much to do indoors!

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Indoor skiing in the desert! Be still my heart!

 

You all looked like you were have a --- pardon the pun -- KOOL adventure. And I can see some budding skiers flying down those slopes.

 

I've had a lifetime passion for skiing. And a combo holiday of roller coasters and skiing would be my Fantasyland! (Am checking out a Bump for Boomers clinic in Colorado. Claims to be fun, challenging, but just a tad easier on boomer knees!)

 

(I've tried riding (boarding), but had a terrible teacher who chuckled evilly as I splattered myself all over the slopes and broke my goggles. I hear it's a sport that once you master, the learning curve is great. I may try it again, but, so far, I'm still hooked on skiing. (Elissa, do you prefer riding to skiing?)

 

Alice

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I may try it again, but, so far, I'm still hooked on skiing. (Elissa, do you prefer riding to skiing?)

 

I started boarding after skiing was taking a toll on my knees and my mother tore her ACL skiing (which means I have a greater chance now too!).

 

I really suck, and it's a horrible learning curve. From what I've been told, it's harder to learn but once you do you can advance quickly as opposed to skiing which you can learn quickly, but then takes forever to get skiing advanced runs. I'm just now comfortable riding the lift and skiing higher level green, but felt like I was starting over with the indoor snow. I would go back to skiing in a second if I thought my knees could take it.

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Great report, KidTums has absolutely mastered the art of the snow plow, very impressive!

 

Also, being from the NY/NJ area it's really a rare treat to see what an indoor ski resort looks like when it's actually completed by a competent developer and open to the public so thanks for sharing. Something like that would be nothing more than a crazy fantasy around here.

 

Can you confirm?

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bisnow/2017/04/04/exclusive-american-dream-mall-restarts-construction-plans-2018-opening/#6f87f8ee5f71

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Great report. One of these days I need to go to Dubai. Always wanted to try an indoor ski resort. They really need one here in Houston.

 

The dune busting thing looks like a lot of fun and the cultural stuff afterwards was quite interesting.

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I may try it again, but, so far, I'm still hooked on skiing. (Elissa, do you prefer riding to skiing?)

 

I started boarding after skiing was taking a toll on my knees and my mother tore her ACL skiing (which means I have a greater chance now too!).

 

I really suck, and it's a horrible learning curve. From what I've been told, it's harder to learn but once you do you can advance quickly as opposed to skiing which you can learn quickly, but then takes forever to get skiing advanced runs. I'm just now comfortable riding the lift and skiing higher level green, but felt like I was starting over with the indoor snow. I would go back to skiing in a second if I thought my knees could take it.

 

Ouch! Sorry to hear about your mother's torn ACL. It's nice, though, to see her back on skis again. Hope she'll give the sport another try.

 

You, too, might want to give skiing another chance. The equipment has changed so much over the last few years, and with the skis shorter and lighter, carving is SO much easier on the knees. Years ago, I improved my learning curve so much by reading a book called "Breakthrough on skis: How to Get Out of the Intermediate Rut," by Lito Tejada-Flores. I also got his videos. This guy's technique was so quick to pick up, and I honestly was able to move to advanced runs simply by practicing his basic breakthrough tips! You can find his videos on You Tube now. (But don't laugh too hard at his ski clothes - this was shot over 20 years ago! I can promise you tho that you won't find a better instructor out there.)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D30kkyhnwBU

(This is his video that came out when carved skies were first introduced! He's made others, from Beginners to Moguls & Powder - ALL amazing.)

 

Alice (who has never boarded on sand dunes! Bravo to you for giving it a shot! And it's gotta be less 'queasy-making' than those dune dragsters!)

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Years ago, I improved my learning curve so much by reading a book called "Breakthrough on skis: How to Get Out of the Intermediate Rut," by Lito Tejada-Flores. I also got his videos. This guy's technique was so quick to pick up, and I honestly was able to move to advanced runs simply by practicing his basic breakthrough tips! You can find his videos on You Tube now. (But don't laugh too hard at his ski clothes - this was shot over 20 years ago! I can promise you tho that you won't find a better instructor out there.)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D30kkyhnwBU

(This is his video that came out when carved skies were first introduced! He's made others, from Beginners to Moguls & Powder - ALL amazing.)

 

I've heard of Lito's videos but have never gotten around to watching them. As an avid skier who is always looking to improve, I'm definitely going to get one of his books (there are several different ones on Amazon, now which one should I start with? Hmmm) and will make the time to check out the youtube videos. Thanks!!

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It looks like a wonderful trip, but can we address the white elephant in the room? I would love to go to UAE , but as a gay couple, same sex relations are punishable with up to 10 years in prison there. Wonderful looking places that look like a lot of fun, but not worth risking our lives for. Maybe one day it will become a welcoming place.

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^I think you should do a little more research and find out that in the UAE, that law is very rarely enforced. We have taken many gay males to the country and never had an issue. Also, important to note that heterosexual couples (not married) have very similar penalties. So as long as you aren't doing anything crazy in public (hetero or homo), you won't be questioned or have any problems.

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VOLUME UP AND WATCH THIS VIDEO CLIP!!!!

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I was going to say something about this video, but...

 

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...you beat me to it!

 

 

Seriously though this looks like an amazing week in Dubai and the UAE. I can't wait to see more.

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Years ago, I improved my learning curve so much by reading a book called "Breakthrough on skis: How to Get Out of the Intermediate Rut," by Lito Tejada-Flores. I also got his videos. This guy's technique was so quick to pick up, and I honestly was able to move to advanced runs simply by practicing his basic breakthrough tips! You can find his videos on You Tube now. (But don't laugh too hard at his ski clothes - this was shot over 20 years ago! I can promise you tho that you won't find a better instructor out there.)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D30kkyhnwBU

(This is his video that came out when carved skies were first introduced! He's made others, from Beginners to Moguls & Powder - ALL amazing.)

 

I've heard of Lito's videos but have never gotten around to watching them. As an avid skier who is always looking to improve, I'm definitely going to get one of his books (there are several different ones on Amazon, now which one should I start with? Hmmm) and will make the time to check out the youtube videos. Thanks!!

 

Hi TBpony. I'm excited to run across another skier who's heard of Lito! I have all his books/videos, but I got them ages ago. Check out his basic "breaking out of the intermediate rut," and since it sounds that you're much like me - "always looking to improve" - then be sure and also watch his moguls and powder videos on You Tube. He's the first instructor who made me realize that true parallel skiing is contingent on lifting the inside ski (heel first) as you turn. He demonstrates that beautifully - better than I can explain it!

(If you have any questions, please feel free to email me!)

 

Alice

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Our next stop was Wild Wadi Water Park! We've been to this water park several times and we love it! I love their interconnecting Master Blaster system, they have some GREAT crazy out of control slides, two different types of Flow Riders, a great lazy river (actually two), and lots more to spend your day hanging out and playing in the water.

 

Wild Wadi has a perfect mix of more thrilling slides and "relax and hang out" attractions. The park beautifully themed and has the backdrop of two of the most incredible looking hotels in Dubai, possibly the world! The first of course is Burj Al Arab also known as the "Sail" hotel and it is absolutely an icon of the UAE. The next is the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which is another high end and absolutely stunning looking building!

 

The other thing to note of awesomeness on this trip is that we are three days into our Dubai trip and we haven't ridden a single roller coaster yet! But we've been to lots of awesome places! This is my kind of trip!

 

I don't have as many photos as the last couple of days because water parks are harder to photograph, but we do have some awesome videos! Please check these out!

 

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Here we are! We have arrived to Wild Wadi! One of our favorite water parks!

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Hey look! Wild Wadi has been using this RFID system for about ten years now. This band is used as your park entrance, to open your locker, charge items at stores and restaurants, interact with photographers around the park, and many other features. It's so great that water parks have been using this technology for so many years!

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When you walk into the park, you immediately notice the amazing backdrops this place has!

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You also notice some kick-ass slides, too!

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Both of these hotels are icons of Dubai. ProTip: Hotel guests get into Wild Wadi for free! So that's a nice little perk for staying at one of these nearby hotels!

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The theming around the park is also really well done! It feels like a "resort destination" and it's just beautiful!

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That across the wave pool is where Tantrum Alley and Burj Surj are! Both are AWESOME ProSlide water slides! (Watch the videos above)

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Here is one of the two Flow Riders they have at the park. The operators are great and really help you learn how to flowboard!

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Of course we have a cabana, because we don't believe in doing a water park without renting one! (What can we say? We're spoiled!) ;)

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One of the main features of the park is it's "Master Blaster" system.

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There are two different entrances to the Master Blasters (One of them with front of the line access when you rent a cabana, BTW!) and from those two entrances, you can ride about 15 different slides through the Master Blaster system.

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The slides go all over the park! You can easily stay on it for 10-15 minutes without ever leaving your tube, maybe even more! And since the Master Blasters will eventually dump you out into the Lazy River, you can spend as long as you want without ever leaving a tube!

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And of course the views from the Master Blasters are awesome, too!

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Yes, the Master Blasters include the "TUNNEL OF DOOOOOOM!" (Again, watch the videos above!)

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While riding the Master Blasters, there are several places where you can "choose" where to go next. Each time you ride you can take different paths. I forget just how many different variations there are, but it's a LOT! No two trips on the Master Blaster are usually the same!

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And as I said, you get dumped into the lazy river, which is where we spent a lot of time because, well.... we're lazy!

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Yup, still hanging out here. It also helps that our cabana was right next to the lazy river! :)

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Dan, who hates water, spent most of the day in the lazy river. Someone want to figure that one out?

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We see you sail hotel!

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This is the other Flow Rider with the "curl" we saw lots and lots of people wipeout here. It was fun and entertaining... to watch at least!

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More wonderful views around the park!

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OH! Can we talk about the food for a moment? The food was NOT like what you'd expect for typical water park food! It was all really great! Much higher quality than any USA parks, but then again, this is Dubai and we've come to expect that! ;)

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Some delicious hummus while hanging out in our cabana next to the lazy river! Just like at most USA water parks, you know! ;)

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Having some fun with the underwater camera!

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And yes, while in the lazy river, photographers will take photos and just tap your RFID wristband and then they show up in your photo account! Love it! Again, this park has had this technology for TEN YEARS and it's great to see US parks like Six Flags adopting similar tech over the past few years!

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Lots of life vests in the wave pool today!

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Seriously the park is just beautiful!

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Loved the relaxing resort feel of the place.

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Heading back to the hotel now....I love all the buildings of Dubai...

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and there are a LOT of them!

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Even the damn school buses in Dubai are high end! lol

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Oddly enough, Dubai has managed to import just about EVERY restaurant chain you can think of. Here's Which Wich!

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I've only seen a few Chickenow restaurants in the USA!

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And not only US chains, but all over the world! Tonight's restaurant of choice is UK-based Wagamama!

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We *LOVE* Wagamama!

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It's such a funky concept. Very "European" in many ways. It hasn't done well in the US, but that's fine, I don't think we deserve cool places like this anyway. ;)

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The Chicken Katsu Curry is delicious!

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The girls loved their meal! If you are ever in Europe or Dubai, be sure to find out if there is a Wagamama near you! It's amazing!

 

Thanks again for reading! We will be back with another installment soon!

 

Oh yes, be sure to POST YOUR COMMENTS!!!

(we took the time to write the report, the least you could do is say something nice about it!)

Edited by robbalvey
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Awesome photos Robb!

 

I'm generally not a huge fan of water parks. They tend to be a giant hassle with needing changes of clothes, needing a locker, can't carry around camera/wallet etc, super low capacity slides, a free for all for tubes at the lazy river and wave pool, requirement of sunscreen (hate that stuff), etc etc. Bring kids along and these problems multiply exponentially. This was probably the part of the Dubai trip I was looking forward to the least.

 

As Negan would say, "I have never been so wrong in my entire life!!" I have to say our day at Wild Wadi was just about the best time at a water park that I can remember. Not only was the place visually stunning, up there with some of the best theme park theming around much less water park theming, but the staff was extremely courteous and polite, the restrooms were clean, the park guests were orderly, the tech with the photographers and all was convenient, and all of the hassels I was familiar with experiencing at a water park were virtually non-existent. The slides were actually really fun. That really long master blaster that went all over the park was great for my first master blaster. There was no one trick pony tornado slide that you gotta haul a heavy 4-leaf clover raft up to. Instead, one slide had 2 or 3 tornadoes in it. The launch box body slide was amazingly comfortable, and great for my first launch box slide. It was also the first time I had ever been with a group that rented a cabana. OMG OMG OMG what a difference that made!! Spending the last hour or so of our time just kicking back in the shade, cool drink, awesome surroundings, no unruly crowd...that may have been the best part of the whole day. Then right as we left, the park staff brought fresh watermelon for us! They didn't need to do that, but they did anyway. That gave me a very positive lasting impression of the park, the staff, and our day. That was great. Now I might be hopelessly spoiled and need a cabana for every water park day going forward.

 

Still not a big fan of American water parks but I would go back to Wild Wadi in a heartbeat!

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I remember commenting to myself this day..."We have been here for three days and haven't been on a coaster yet...awesome!"

 

Seriously though, if you're not really a waterpark person but want to try one out at some point, get a cabana! It makes your day so much more enjoyable and easy. Totally spoiled now and need them when we go to water parks (or other parks that offer them!)

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Totally spoiled now and need them when we go to water parks (or other parks that offer them!)

 

Even the Magic Kingdom ?

 

Wild Wadi looks awesome, I think I posted this comment on the youtube video or twitter but the long flowing interconnecting master blasters reminds of Schlitterbahn South Padre. That's a smaller park and the master blaster system wasn't nearly as complex but I absolutely loved it my one visit there. It was so much fun just sitting on a tube and floating around the river, down chutes, up a conveyor lift, then waiting in line on a tube flowing right into a full sized master blaster slide that spit you out into the lazy river on the other side of the park. I always wanted that concept to take off at more parks.

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Even the Magic Kingdom ?

Funny you mention that. Yes, actually. If we ever did a day st MK with a bunch of Kristen's friends for example, or had a "TPR Day" at MK, we would totally rent one! Not even a question!

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Using a Master Blaster as both a thrill ride and a transport system to other slides was a stroke of genius.

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