Dubai International Airport is the world's busiest
airport by international passenger traffic. It is also the 3rd busiest
airport in the world by passenger traffic, the 6th busiest cargo airport
in world, the busiest hub for the Airbus A380, and the busiest airport
in the world operating with two runways only. In 2015, DXB handled 78 million
passengers, 2.51 million tonnes of cargo and registered 403,517 aircraft
movements. The airport consists of three terminals and erminal 3 is the
second largest building in the world by floor space and the largest airport
terminal in the world.
The Capital city Dubai is located on the northern coastline
of the Emirate of Dubai and is the business hub of the Middle East. The
emirate's Western-style model of business drives its economy with the main
revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial
services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative
large construction projects and sports events. The city has become iconic
for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings, in particular the world's
tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai has been criticised for human
rights violations concerning the city's largely South Asian workforce.
Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive
city in the Middle East.
We flew Emirates Airlines from Kochi to Dubai -- excellent
service. After landing, however, we boarded shuttle that took us across
the tarmac to Terminal 3 -- the longest airport shuttle trip we have ever
taken. The airport is huge. Despite warnings about long queues to pass
through Customs we had no problem. The experience was made easier by our
not having luggage to claim -- we had arranged for it to be carried from
Kochi all the way through to Toronto. Unfortunately, Bill's backpack was
rerouted to Frankfort and it didn't find its way home for a few days after
Our stopover in Dubai was to be about 12 hours so we
had time to explore. After clearing customs we purchased Metro tickets
from Terminal 3 to the Mall of the Emirates. The trains left every few
minutes and the fare was only a couple dollars. The ride was comfortable
and gave us a good chance to marvel at the spectacular buildings.
Dubai Mall has more than 1,200 shops and 150 restaurants,
an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a 155 million-year-old dinosaur skeleton,
a huge indoor waterfall, a luxury hotel, the biggest choreographed fountain
in the world, a giant aquarium and more. The entrance to the world’s tallest
building, the Burj Khalifa (828m tall) is in the mall. The observation
lounge was on the 148th floor but we decided that at US$145@ for the peak
afternoon time it was too pricey to visit.
We strolled through the Mall and saw most of its attractions,
looked around in a few shops and ate lunch in one of the food areas. Our
visit to the food court coincided with hundreds of very noisy school kids.
The cavernous size of the mall made their excited shouts and squeals almost
deafening. Taking a break from the traditional food fare we took a chance
on fast food at Burger King. Obviously catering to Middle Eastern and Indian
religions, chicken was the base for nearly all the meat dishes on the menu:
chicken burgers, chicken bacon, chicken salami, etc.