I don’t think there are many things that say ‘Dubai expat’ quite as much as simply bopping around from one lux resort to another to do typically mundane things on the weekends. To be honest it’s not something I do on the reg, which is probably for the best – if there is one thing I know, it’s that the Dubai lifestyle won’t last forever and the smack of reality in my face upon taking up residence in another country will be much less harsh if I’m not used to shacking up in resorts every weekend.
Ignoring the beach at my fingertips, the first stop was a bit of poolside reading at the Hatta Fort hotel, located at the base of the Hajar mountains and near the Omani border, an hour+ drive away. I actually thought it might be cooler in the mountainous region. And could not have been more wrong. I forget how much the Gulf cools down Dubai on its shore. Once you start going inland, prepare to bake. I believe the temp out there topped off at 120°F that day (49°C), compared to only about 100°F on the Gulf. If you’ve never been in weather that hot, turn on a space heater, position it about 3 feet from your face, and there you have it. Or, for the more humid days, stand next to a dryer exhaust vent.
Even so, it was still very pleasant sitting poolside (in the shade) with a book. Until the heat started melting the glue in my book’s binding and the pages started falling out. I’ve always turned my nose up at a Kindle or other e-reader, but I think my mind has now been changed. I can see the advantages.
Lunch there was pretty atrocious, though.
On the hunt for a more satisfactory lunch the following day, a trip out to Bab Al Shams resort in the desert was on order. I’d heard loads of good things about the place since I moved to Dubai three years ago, but had yet to visit it. The resort was gorgeous with an incredible poolside area that I hope to try out some other time.
After exploring the hotel’s grounds for about as long as you can do in extreme heat (10, 15 minutes?), luncheon at their Indian restaurant, Masala was decided on. Seriously, some of the tastiest curry I have ever had. It’s a shame this restaurant is shoved an hour’s drive out into the desert.
With my trip stateside little more than 2 weeks away and my mind always on food, I have begun deciding on restaurants worthy of an advance reservation (with American and Italian fare being favored because I feel those are the two cuisines that Dubai really lacks for in quality). Morimoto is the only one I’ve been to before. That place is more like an old friend; no way could I go to Philli and pass it over. So far, I’ve got: