Dubai Amusement

The tallest. The biggest. The thickest. The widest. The most shiny. The latest.

For the uninformed, Dubai can easily been mistaken for having a low self-esteem and a constant need for affirmation and acceptance. Not quite sure why as their recent history is nothing but impressive and the Emirati have a lot to be proud of;

  • 1833 – members of the Bani Yas tribe – led by the Maktoum family – settled at the mouth of the creek. As this was a natural harbour, Dubai soon became a center for fishing, sea trade and of course pearling.
  • 1966  – the discovery of oil in Dubai
  • 1971 – formation of the United Arab Emerates (UAE)
  • 1985 – the humble birth of the Emirates airline, with 2 planes on wet-lease from Pakistan International Airlines.

The rest, as the saying goes, is history. This is largely thanks to the vision and leadership of the “father of modern Dubai” Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum (born 1912; died October 7, 1990). The current ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (born 1949), expanded on the ambitions. Although construction has slowed down, the original dream is not over yet.

This is the last destination of our 2017 Vietnam/Cambodia holiday and we are here to visit two amusement parks. Neighbour Abu Dhabi has one too (Ferrari World), which we visited in 2011.

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One is spoiled in Dubai for accommodation choices. At this stage we have been abroad for 16 days, tired and any self-catering within close proximity of our points of interest would do just fine. Trappan Hotel and Suites by Fakhruddin served us well, but the real star of this establishment was the intimate restaurant on ground floor with its generous portion sizes and friendly service. Daily breakfast and dinner sorted, thank you.

IMG Worlds of Adventure is themed under licences from Marvel and Cartoon Network. The building is massive and it should come as no surprise that this is at present the world’s biggest indoor theme park. I am 1.92m tall and using the colourful blocks to my right as guide, guessing the roof is at least 26m high. Blissful air-conditioning awaits inside.

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We visited the park on Sunday 22 October 2017. At full capacity it can host 20 000 people and to our surprise (read: delight!) the waiting times were very reasonable – but they take queue jumping very serious.

The Powerpuff Girls – Mojo Jojo’s Robot Rampage!
Townsville is in danger! Join The Powerpuff Girls and help fight Mojo Jojo’s evil robot creation that is threatening the city. You’ll take to the skies alongside Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup as they try to save the world before bedtime.

Sounds innocent right? I mean, it looks all cute and everything and as an adult you feel a a little guilty for wanting to ride a “kiddies attraction”. Well. The description is rather truthful, it is evil indeed. See the time lapse below to get an idea of the torture. (Tip: do this ride before lunch)

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Want to know how it feels inside a washing machine? Thor Thunder Spin can assist with that.

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No visit to a theme park is quite complete without a sugar rush.

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If you ever plan to visit IMG Worlds of Adventure, set a day aside for it. We whisked through it rather fast, but it was a quiet day for the park. In terms of rides, check out these two youtube videos: Spider-Man and Velociraptor.

Dubai Parks and Resorts is some 50km away from IMG Worlds of Adventure and sits close to the Dubai/Abu Dhabi border. It comprises three theme parks (Motiongate, Bollywood, Legoland Dubai), a water park, a shopping district and an onsite resort.

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Not sure why we did not caught on to this earlier. The above illustration of the layout is not exactly hiding it either … but after yesterday’s awesome indoor experience, this came as a surprise: the whole place is a paradise for vitamin D junkies! The place is spacious, so you tend to walk a lot … In. The. Heat.

We skipped the two Legolands, but did not forego the opportunity for some air-conditioning and light retail therapy.

We experienced the same crowd levels at Motiongate, as the day before at IMG World of Adventure.

I praised and worshiped almost every outdoor fan that bestowed a cool mist on me. Luckily, all the Dreamworks related rides are indoors!

Nightfall brought (some) relief from the heat and also more visitors to the Bollywood park.

On the morning of day 20, we spent whatever last energy we had on getting almost three weeks’ worth of living and shopping back into 4 suitcases. The holiday was awesome, but the time has come to return back to reality and home.

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(This has become tradition, as we do not have one where we live) Starbucks will be sadly missed.

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