Dubai | Burj Al Arab

Day 5 On this fifth in Dubai, Geoff, Dave and I headed to a water park, Wild Wadi, which was located by the coast.

On our way there, I spotted the Burj Al Arab (the picture below).  It was so beautiful and majestic.  I remembered learning about this building in my Environmental Controls class.  The lecturer spoke about how the design was manipulated to optimize its energy efficiency.  He called the concept "sailing", coined because of how the building looked.  I was amazed to see it in person.  Wild Wadi was actually very close to it, so when we were walking around the park I saw some great views of it.

It was kind of strange to think I had applied to architecture jobs in Dubai back in 2008/2009 when I was still actively looking for architecture jobs.  I never thought I'd visit for any reason other than for architecture.  I love how life surprises you.  It's better yet, because a ton of the construction projects in Dubai looked abandoned;  a lot of the projects stopped for lack of funds.  It made me sad to the all the unfinished construction projects.  But at least I saw my Burj Al Arab. :)

Admittedly, I was pretty scared to have a day's activity surrounded around being in the water.  If I recall correctly, the first thing we did was go on a lazy river to get to the first "ride".  Even that was scary for me.  (I'm such a wuss.)  All it is a slow moving "river" that you float along in on an inner-tube.  I've been on rivers before, but the unknown factor of this water park freaked me out a little.  I managed to make my way through it on my own.  But when we got to the more intense part of it, I opted to go with Geoff in a double. (You know, just in case I drowned, so someone would know where to find my body.)

The ride was actually rather interesting.  In the beginning of the sections jets of water propelled your raft up a "hill" then you'd slide through series of tubes on your way down.  It was fun.  Scary, but fun.  I think I nearly lost my bottoms each time we went through the jets.  We went through all the sections before heading to two more rides.  For the two we walked up a high tower where we'd start the ride and we'd also all be in the same raft.  The first one I was scared of, but it was fun.  The second one was terrifying.  Our raft slid up on the side one of the tubes nearly vertical before falling and doing the same on the other side of the tube.  Thrilling!  I enjoyed being in the water in that hot weather, but ironically, it seemed like that day had the coolest weather.  The last activity was a leisurely "pedicure".  The park had a small section set aside for these tanks of fish that like to eat dry skin off of people.  I know it sounds gross, and it kind of is.  You keep your feet/legs in the water and the fish come at you and nibble at you.  With my ticklish feet, it took some getting used to, but my feet were soft afterwards.  Success!

All in all I enjoyed myself, and best of all, I survived!