I was rudely awakened by constant grinding and metallic sound outside my 4th floor window of the hotel. I stared out of the window to see what was happening outside, they were demolishing the front facade of the Old Burjuman Mall to renovate it. This second oldest shopping mall of Dubai which started the mall culture in Dubai way back in 1991. In 2004 it had a new extension called New Burjuman. Now the old mall is all set to add a Carrefour hypermarket and a 14-screen Vox Cinema as part of the redevelopment, which also include doubling the food court’s size. Construction is set to take 18 months.
Burjuman Center is a shopping mall located at the junction of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road and Khalid bin Al Waleed Street, in close vicinity to the Khalid bin Waleed metro station and opposite our Regent Palace Hotel. Located in the heart of Dubai, BurJuman is more than a retail destination – the distinctive landmark comprises over 2.8 million square feet of mixed-use space including the shopping mall, business tower, hotel suites and duplex residences. Known as the residence of high-fashion, BurJuman has one of the finest concentrations of high-fashion luxury brands in Dubai including Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Valentino, Dolce and Gabbana, Versace, Fendi, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Just Cavalli, and many more.
With over 300 leading high-end and high-street fashion brands mingling comfortably with one another under one roof, BurJuman caters to the elite customers’ discerning shopping needs, while a range of dining choices, atrium courtyards, beautiful seating and abundant foliage add to the wonderfully relaxing shopping experience. For me this is another of Dubai’s mall which once was considered great, but with the advent of newer, bigger malls, has lost its appeal. Nothing much to see here in terms of architecture or interior decorations, but you will not be disappointed when it comes to food or shopping. Unfortunately most of the mall was out of bounds due to renovation.
We were preparing ourselves to spend the whole day in the Wild wadi water park. As per the advice of most I wanted to avoid Friday and Saturday when the park will filled to the brim so we planned it for the Sunday. As we headed towards Wild Wadi we saw this huge 120m golden colored flag pole on the Jumeirah Beach Road. I was lucky enough to capture the fluttering UAE Flag along with a hovering helicopter. At the base of the flagpole, upon which the world’s largest UAE flag was raised on National Day in 2001 to mark the 30th anniversary of the union of the emirates, stands Union House. This is the birthplace of the UAE. In the early afternoon of Thursday, December 2 1971, the rulers of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qaiwain and Fujairah met inside this house, known then as the guest palace. There, they signed the declaration that brought into effect a temporary constitution and established the independent state of the United Arab Emirates. The meeting was attended by 21 people, including Sir Geoffrey Arthur, who signed the declaration on behalf of the UK. They sat at a round, leather-panelled, French-made renaissance table. Long, velvet floral curtains hung from the windows. Nowadays black-and-white photos help transport the visitor back in time to that historic meeting, to the moment when the emirates were united with signatures and stirring words. The meeting continued as a Supreme Council of Federation. It elected the late Sheikh Zayed, Ruler of Abu Dhabi, as President of the UAE for five years, and the late Sheikh Rashid, Ruler of Dubai, as Vice President for the same period. The Ruler of Ras al Khaimah, Sheikh Saqr, signed later; RAK joined the UAE in February 1972. Soon, Union House will display all the details of that day, from copies of the documents to the Bohemian-style chandelier that once hung there, to the table and chairs on which the rulers and their delegates sat.
Wild wadi water park is situated between Burj Al Arab Hotel And Jumeira Beach Hotel. It is Part of Jumeira Beach Hotel and if you have accommodation at Jumeira Beach Hotel then the park is free for you to use. The original and, many would argue, still the best, Wild Wadi may not boast a shark-infested tank, but it is a great day out for the whole family. Teens will love the simulated surfing ride; babies will be thrilled with a bob in the wave pool; toddlers can enjoy a themed water play park; and adults can dare each other to brave the genuinely frightening Jumeirah Sceirah drop, at 80 kilometres per hour. There is also a lazy river, which actually becomes wild-water rapids at points, so hold onto those string bikinis ;), a large beach and a couple of shaded terraces where you can have some downtime. If you load up your wristband with cash on entry, you won’t have to return to your locker all day, as you can pay for food, drink and even souvenirs with these. Costing AED 200 for Adults and AED 165 for children it is a wholesome fun for the family.
Over a dozen ingeniously interconnected rides follow a vague theme about an Arabian adventurer named Juha and his friend Sinbad the sailor, who get shipwrecked together. There are plenty of gentle rides for kids and nervous nellies, a big-wave pool, a white-water rapids ‘river’. Thrill-seekers can also test their body boarding mettle on Wipeout, a permanent wave. Kids must be at least 110cm tall for some of the scarier rides.
There are over 20 rides including the Gravity-defying Jumeirah Sceirah – the tallest and fastest free fall water slide which is definitely not for the faint-hearted! With two tandem slides, first climb up the 32 metres tower and enjoy a spectacular view of the entire water park. The floor beneath you opens and you slides down the 120 metres slide at an astonishing speed of 80 km/h! In few seconds to reach the bottom of the slide with a rush of excitement!
Master Blasters: There are eight gravity-defying Master Blasters that operate on a series of high-powered water jets, taking guests on an aquatic roller coaster ride. The White-Water Wadi and Flood River Flyer are gravity-defying rides that rocket guests up to 15m above ground level. While the four-seater Family Master Blaster runs in a loop, the Summit Surge shoots guests to an uphill pool area and the Rushdown Ravine takes them on a 170m white-knuckle ride back down.
Flow Riders: Together, the Wipe-out and Riptide Flow Riders offer the ultimate surfing experience with realistic wave effects which are great for body boarding, knee boarding or surfing.
Breaker’s Bay: The Region’s largest wave pool is fringed by a bank of palm trees and creates waves of up to 1.5m in four different configurations.
Juha’s Journey: This Lazy River ride is a relaxing flow of water 360m long and 4m wide, which offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely swim or sunbathe in an inflatable ring as they drift down the river course.
Tunnel of Doom: There are seven ring rides available at Wild Wadi, six of them are open to the elements. The Tunnel of Doom is a pitch black ride, longer and faster than any of its kind and guests braving this ride will travel in total darkness in an underground ring ride of sudden twists and turns before plunging into the Lazy River.
Tantrum Alley: Guests seated on a four-person clover–like tube travel downhill in this ride incorporating two large sections of water slides and three exciting tornadoes.
Burj Surj: Travelling downhill to the bowls, guests are hurtled into a spiraling spin and then dropped into the slide, ending with a screaming splash in the pool.
Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon: An interactive play structure aimed at younger children, Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon contains over one hundred games including five vibrant and colorful body slides, a huge dumping bucket of water, a pair of fully–enclosed racing slides and water guns.
Wadi Wash at Fossil Rock: Situated at the Wadi entrance to the park, Fossil Rock regularly fills up, pouring out 60,000 litres of water to create a flash flood, complete with choreographed thunder, lightening and rain.
Flood River: The exciting Flood River circles the Riptide Flow Rider and features the Pulse Wave, where unannounced surges of 100,000 litres of water create sudden river rapids and waves over 2m in height that sweep the length of the river.
Fish Spa: After all that if your feet needs a bout of nibbling dip it into a water tank full of guppies which will rejuvenate your spirits by nibbling your foot.
As I was scared of getting my camera wet, I took very few photographs of the actual water park where I was spending most of the time in those rides. Here is a slow motion video of the Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon pouring out 60,000 litres of water to create a flash flood.
Technically The FZ200 doesn’t record 200 FPS video. It records 640×480 @ 25 FPS video from a source that is 200 FPS. The video is slowed down in the camera so that the output file is actually 480p @ 25 FPS but the motion is slowed down to 1/8 its original speed. It contains less data than the normal 1080p @ 50 FPS modes do. However, when you see something really fast you want to record then shoot just that at 480p @ 200 FPS. That will look really good.
Late in the evening as the park started closing down, we took a taxi and returned back to the hotel. On the way we found this really nice golf ball tower. This is the Etelisat Tower 2. The Etisalat Tower 2 is a 33-floor tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The tower has a total structural height of 185 m. Construction of the Etisalat Tower 2 was completed in 2007. The most notable aspect of the tower is that it has a spherical structure at the top, similar to a golf ball. The cladding of the tower follows the Etisalat guidelines, in that it uses the same materials as most of the company’s buildings. All Etisalat buildings, including Etisalat Tower 1, Sharjah Etisalat Tower, Ajman Etisalat Tower, Al Ain Etisalat Tower and the Etisalat Headquarters in Abu Dhabi, have the same spherical structure on the top.
After all this soaking in water, we went for a nice Lebanese dinner at night and slept anticipating the Big Bus tour of Dubai next day. I’ll cover our journey around Dubai in my next blog.