6 King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 25.133097, 55.183460
After the adventures of the morning and afternoon at Dubai Mall, Ginny and Sern then took us to a themed resort.
Madinat Jumeirah among other things is a sprawling complex of various resorts, souks, restaurants, bars, landscapes and gardens spread across over 40 hectares. It is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian town,
Madinat Jumeirah houses four luxury resorts namely Jumeirah Al Naseem with an inside-out, open plan concept, Jumeirah Al Qasr designed in the style of a Sheikh’s summer residence, Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf set amongst tranquil gardens, waterways, exclusive pools and its own private beach and the Jumeirah Mina A'Salam a luxuriously charming boutique style hotel where Ginny and Sern has made reservations for dinner later tonight.
We first entered the premises via the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, an authentic re-creation of an ancient marketplace with traditional Middle Eastern style and ambiance.
|alluring lanterns and lights|
|to resemble a traditional souk|
We wandered through the maze of shops and stalls both along the walkways and were amazed to find a faithful replica of the souks we had visited a few days ago in Bur Dubai and Deira. One thing that could not be replicated was the heady, aromatic and almost intoxicating scent of the souks there.
|stepping out of the indoor souk|
Stepping out to the courtyard we were again amazed by the architecture that mimicked the buildings and wind towers of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.
|view of Burj Al Arab|
|Sern snapping Brendan...|
|can never get enough of this|
Here we saw several stalls selling souvenirs, and one particular stall caught our eye. Apart from the animal wood carvings we were particular impressed by the life-like images of Buddhist monks.
|in the centre courtyard|
|sculptures and carvings|
|all shapes and sizes|
|flipping us off eh?|
Walking across the courtyard we came across a very large and wide staircase leading down to the canal that snaked along Madinat Jumeirah.
|Christmas tree by the canal|
|down looking up|
|we rested our feet here|
|from another angle|
It was filled with holiday makers here to enjoy the Christmas season and many took the opportunity to either take a picture of or with the large Christmas tree in the centre by the canal.
|large Christmas tree|
|photo with Santa|
|selfie with the tree|
|everyone had to take a shot|
|and why not?|
Apart from the Christmas tree there hoards of excited children gleefully playing with fake polymer snow.
|its snowing in the middle east?|
|wonders of modern technology|
With plenty of time to spare before dinner Ginny and Sern took us on an Abra (traditional wooden boat) tour around Madinat Jumeirah so that we could experience firsthand the authentic Arabian architecture that showcases this luxurious resort's distinctiveness and charm. The meandering waterways and wide open seas-capes were very relaxing and provided an opportunity to snap photos of the various resorts along the canal.
|don't worry, Santa's at the helm|
|excellent view of the Christmas tree|
|driveway to the resort|
|we envy the people staying here|
|making our way around|
|as we docked|
After the Abra tour Ginny and Brendan tried their hands at decorating ginger bread. This seemingly easy task looks easier than it seems and Brendan’s ginger bread man ended up with a crooked smile.
|here we go|
|not as easy as it seems|
|Ginny taking the simpler route|
|some elves laughing after seeing Brendan's creation|
It was soon sunset and the entire place lit up.
|sunset at 6 o'clock|
|and the Abra chugs away|
|the crowd grew as night fell|
|even around the palm trees|
|and along the bridges|
|making our way to Jumeirah Mina A'Salam|
This also meant dinnertime was upon us so Ginny and Sern took us to Zheng He’s, a quintessential Cantonese restaurant located within the Jumeirah Mina A'Salam for our Boxing Day dinner.
|we sat by the canal|
|sense of Christmas in the decor|
|my trusty companions|
|we started off with dim sum|
|was this shark's fin?|
|and chicken rounded up the feast|
|Brendan's obsession with spiral staircases|
After the sumptuous dinner we strolled back along the walkway around the canal before heading back to Nuran.
|a very merry scene|
|Christmas lights strung up everywhere|
|till we meet again|
Another once-in-a-lifetime awaits us tomorrow, for we are going on a desert safari!