Dubai, UAE

The greys and dust lined on the pages, turned into golden sprinkles just before hitting the ground, aided by the slanting sunrays escaping through the closed curtains.

It was a hot summer afternoon. I was flipping through my childhood travel album and inevitably drowning in nostalgia.

As is customary, the travel Mon(k)ster instantly came over to exchange pleasantries and took refuge in our minds.

The process of planning our son’s maiden international trip was nothing less than therapeutic, intermittently intersected by waves of pulsating energy. Much like taking meditation classes while sitting in a roller coaster, if that makes sense. 🙂

After some initial hiccups with the passport issuance and heaps of planning revolving around the food, bath and sleep routine of my 9 month old, it was finally time to turn the grey to golden!

Day 1 – 11th August 2022 – Early morning flight may sound absurd when travelling with a baby, but it was chosen after careful consideration.

Our flight did not have a bassinet so we were carrying a heavily cushioned sleeping bag from the newborn days, which became an instant mattress on the temporary bed ( our legs) . On entering the flight, our little Boo waved Hello to the luggage loaders through the window, carefully examined the safety instruction cards , had milk during takeoff and dozed off.

You know what is better than a flight with a wailing baby ? A flight with a peacefully sleeping baby and happy co passengers.

Tip – Feeding baby during takeoff and landing helps avoid pain in those tiny ears.

In about 3 hours, the sirens of the sailing ships on the Arabian coast seemed to discreetly reach Baby Boo’s ears as he woke up and jumped towards the window . The rear wheels of the plane landed on the runaway, the only outlier hue in the concoction of sand & sea pigments.

Immigration was a breeze; Luggage collection not so much. Baby Boo’s stroller decided to go astray and was apparently checking out Dubai airport on its own. After waiting for a while at its designated spot ( near Belt 1) , we found it chilling near Belt 18, lurking at the Duty Free shop.

We had received 2 local sims with our tourist visa at the immigration counter but it was valid for 24 hours so we went ahead and bought a local sim from du (whatsapp audio/ video are banned in Dubai).

Next, we gave the stroller company in quickly scanning the Duty Free shop and whizzed off to Downtown Dubai (courtesy Dubai Taxi). As we hit the road, the middle eastern balmy tones got singing with the palm trees, beige walls and metallic exteriors.

The burning sun welcomed us by sending mellow sepia wishes through the window into the air conditioned interiors.

Our hotel Ramada Downtown ticked all the checkboxes of a good location as it stood like an oasis in the desert anchoring all the buzz and happening hotspots around it. Our check-in time was at 3 PM, so we directly headed for lunch at the inhouse restaurant Kenza.

Baby Boo sat on his high chair, grazed through the menu and ended up ordering his staunch favorite rice with potatoes. The chef specially visited our table to take his order. 🙂

Our food had us drooling to an extent where we might have needed to borrow our infant’s bib.
Lentil Soup, Chicken Salad with Hummus, Mutton Kebab, Salmon Wrap and Cream Carrot Cake took us to the seventh heaven.

Our premium studio room on the 28th floor, ensured that our stay on the seventh heaven continued without interruption. The well equipped kitchen and attached living room were low key features as the highlight of the room definitely was the jaw-dropping view of the Burj Khalifa and the adjacent fountains.

The Burj Khalifa exterior resembled coins stacked up on top of one another, probably hinting at the astronomical amount of resources splurged to make this a reality.

Wearing its metallic armor, this man-made marvel stood tall and proud reflecting the sunlight in all directions while absorbing praises from far and wide across the world.

We lay on our bed soaking in the intricate details of this architectural feat and even managed to rope in a quick power nap. Sharp at 6, the coffee aroma from our mugs reached the fountains and they woke up to a whirlwind romantic waltz dedicated to the Burj.

A quick 15 minutes walk took us to the Burj Khalifa through the Dubai Mall.

The queue and the rush to the Top of Burj was maddening, probably enough to give a close fight to the Durga Puja crowd back home. But we took on the challenge and waited for a good 1 hour while our tiny human peacefully slept on our arms seemingly affected by Jet Lag. The superfast elevator ride up to the 125th floor made both our head and ears feel a little funny.

At the top, the shimmering lights of Dubai and the speeding cars looked like a AI supported futuristic video game backdrop.

When everything looks so tiny, you get a perspective of how insignificant we are in this cosmic universe.

The day ended with some delicious shawarma pizza with fries and olives delivered to our room. We enjoyed the night views from our bed as the tall and slender beauty slowly became blurred and sleep took over .

To be continued…Stay tuned !

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