I had lots of things planned in Dubai, but with efficient sightseeing, got the important ones done in 2.5 days, so the last day I had most of it available to go see Dubai Expo 2020. Honestly I didn't even know it was going on, but clearly it was a big deal, only happens every 4 years, and I was right there, so I went to check it out :)
I went to the UAE pavillion which was hard to get into:
renewable energy was cool:
lots of solar panels
Some countries showed how they could help improve the word, others how cool they were, and others had just displays on future things they were hoping to do (i.e. vaporware ;) )
Got to visit the Emirates (airline) pavillion, pretty cool:
virtual flight of the future
China was supposed to have a drone show, but did not on sunday, the day I came, they had interesting displays, but also showed how much of a surveillance society they were (I'm sure it wasn't their intent, but I guess I can't even tell):
Things got nice a night:
I made it to France just before closing time (22:00 on sunday instead of 00:00)
and that was it, by 22:00 everything was closed. Spent about 10H there, and even with being efficient, definitely needed 3 days or more, but I feel I got a good overview. This was not what I was in Dubai for to start with, and spent more time there than any other place I had been to, so I think it was a reasonable tradeoff (actually that same day was also the start of dubai aviation expo, but I just couldn't be everywhere).
On my last day in Dubai, I went first to visit the butterfly garden and it was a fun visit. It was a bit sad to see all the dead butterflies in the morning that hadn't been cleaned up yet, but if you have so many and they only live about 2 weeks, that's unavoidable.
The place was quite bg, 5 rooms with different themes, very nice...
The cool thing were the frames they made with the dead butterflies:
Dubai Miracle Garden, just next to the Dubai Butterfly Garden, is very impressive, especially given where it's grown. Obviously, it's probably not great in water usage and carbon footprint, but we're in Dubai, nothing is :) In the meantime, it is truly beautiful and very impressive:
I randomly started with the impressive A380 covered with flowers. It seems to actually really be an actual airplane shell):
the rest is of course very nice too
The smurf village was very cool:
A nearby school had some "interesting" things visible, don't ask :)
While at Ferrariworld, I bought a 2 park pass for an extra $30 or so. This gave me just shy of 3H to visit Warner Bross world next door. Because it wsa a totally not busy work day, I was literally able to get my car from in front of the first park, and park it in fron of the second park. Didn't even have to bother work parking lots:
It's another entirely indoor amusement park, and it was pretty good. I got it done in just over 2H given the total lack of lines (woot!). Some of it reminded me of the Paris hotel indoors in Vegas, very nice:
A good enough amout of fun rides:
And it was fun to take pictures with a few cute characters :)
she's probably trouble, but the fun kind of trouble :)
More to see, and more rides:
While it was not a must go destination, it was definitely fun to visit after Ferrariworld, very glad I got to do both parks in one day
While a lot of Abu Dhabi tourist attractions were closed due ot Covid, I was lucky that the Falcon Hospital had just reopened just before I was due to arrive. Sure, it's a cool place to visit, but seeing it person really drove the point of how cool falcons were, and how important they are in UAE.
It's amazing that the best of those birds are sold for up to $250,000, which explains why they get such extraordinary care. They actually get their own passports so that they can travel, first class to other countries whree hunting with falcons is allowed (falcon hunting is not allowed in UAE, but falcon racing and speed contests, are allowed and practised). Needless to say that it's super cool:
the hospital is the best in the country, it had many customers
We got a tour that explained the basics to us, and then took us to the hopsital/operating room:
falcon owners can put a radio on them so that they can be tracked and found if need be
patients waiting to be examined
they all get eye shields so that they don't attack one another
We got to see a routine operation on one of them:
ours got a nail trim
given the price of the birds, if they break a feather, the hospital has spares of each color, they can graft
if needed, they can graft an entire feather. They do regrow, but owners don't want to wait for that
the ears are hidden
I was lucky enough to get one to feed
menacing look, I'm happy it had a quail to eat
After the hospital visit, we got to see the exercise room where the flacons get to exercise and the makeshift museum inside:
As soon as I landed in Dubai, I got a quick covid test (which ultimately wasn't required since I had gotten one the day before, but I didn't want to argue with everyone in Abu Dhabi the next day.
After that, I went to nearby hotel and waited for a pickup from platinum heritage tours and the heritage safari I signed up for. I was a bit worried because I only had 1H of spare time, which didn't leave a lot of room for delays, but there was none thankfully.
I got picked up by private transport and taken to the preserve about 1h away:
We then had a falcon show:
The sunset was spectacular:
We then went to the desert camp for evening show and dinner:
some people could choose to sleep there
food was really good
It was a nice enjoyable night and I was quite happy they drove me back to town, I had a half nap during that drive so that I could do the 1h30 drive to Abu Dhabi to get to my hotel for the next 2 nights.