Even though we’ve been here almost 6 months, I still use my Dubai guidebook all the time to check out new places that we need to visit. That’s how I found out about the Ibn Battuta Mall and our newest adventure – the Madinat Jumeirah.
We live about 15 minutes away from this humongous, incredible resort. It’s made up of luxurious hotels, summer houses, restaurants, and lots of stores & boutiques. It also has fantastic views of the Burj Al Arab, just steps away.
A big part of the Madinat Jumeirah experience is the shopping! It’s all designed to look like an old-fashioned Arabian marketplace. It definitely gives off that mood, until you turn the corner and see stores like Cinnabon, Starbucks, and The Body Shop! That’ll break the mood really quick. There were tons of other stores though selling authentic rugs, clothing, and other trinkets. Lots of touristy things to buy!
Madinat Jumeriah also a waterway that offers abra tours. We paid 75 AED each for Anthony & I (about $20 each), and we didn’t have to pay for Micah. The abra takes riders through part of the resort, under bridges and through secluded areas by the beautiful summer houses for rent.
As you can tell from the photo below, the abra is not very child-friendly – no seat belts and really easy to just step out into the water. We didn’t think this would be a problem, until we got on the boat and Micah did not want to cooperate. He was tired & irritable cause it was nap time, so he squirmed out of our grasp every time we tried to hold onto him. He fussed, pouted, and refused to let us put our hands on him. The couple next to us almost had a heart attack when Micah almost fell into the water. He lost his balance and took a shaky step back THISCLOSE from the edge, but I reached out and grabbed him just in time. Whew. Our abra driver was kind enough to try to distract Micah by telling him to look at the trees or “the sharks” or “the piranhas” in the water to get him excited (or scared). But our child was having none of it. Thank goodness his Terrible 2s are almost over!
My friend also told me a funny story about how she took her 6-year-old niece on this tour during the blazing hot summer, and her niece was so upset, she yelled “I HATE DUBAI! IT’S TOO HOT! I WANT TO GO BACK TO AMERICA!” 😛 I guess these tours are the perfect places for kids to throw fits cause there’s no way for the parents to escape!
In the end, we survived the 20-minute tour, dry but still grumpy cause Micah misbehaved so we didn’t enjoy it as much as we wanted to. The surroundings were just opulent and beautiful, and the whole experience reminded me of The Jungle Cruise at Disneyland! I almost expected an animatronic elephant or gorilla to pop up at any second. Got to admit, I got a little misty-eyed about it! 😉
Here are some more photos from our abra cruise:
Despite Micah’s tantrum during our trip, I would definitely go back to the Madinat Jumeirah (just not during nap time), and I think it’s a ‘must see’ for anyone coming to visit!