I should have known something was wrong when we were stuck in a holding pattern for 30 minutes before we could land in the Dubai Airport at Midnight. In the week we were there the average wait for popular activities was 30 minutes, and for a person with no patience it was an eternity.
Our first activity was driving a Dune Buggy through the dessert. It was awesome, highly recommend it. However, our adventure started with one hour wait for the company to pick us up, “there was an accident with our other car so we are late, sorry” at least we were waiting at home.
Dubai is home to the Burj Kalife, world’s tallest building, but don’t try and walk up and head to the top. You need to book your visit in advance and arrive 15 minutes before your designated entry time to begin the procession of lines from waiting area to waiting area to revolving door to elevator waiting room. 30 minutes after arrival we are in the astonishingly fast elevator to the top of the world’s tallest building. The view was incredible; you really get a sense of how the city has risen out of the desert. Want to get down? Get in line. It wrapped half way around the viewing floor and we waited 15 minutes for the elevator down.
On Saturday our plan was to go to the new Yas Island Water Park in Abu Dhabi. We got in a line at the door and thought, “ok about 40 people deep not too bad” only to wait 10 minutes to enter the gate and see another line to buy tickets. The ticket line was already several hundred people deep and that’s before you even put on a swim suit. Wait time to enter the park 40 minutes, I shudder to think what the wait would be for a slide as they had sold out of the “Premium Pass”. Not knowing exactly what that meant but thinking that’s a bad sign we opted for next door Ferrari World.
Ferrari World has the world’s fastest roller-coaster and the ticket line looked reasonable so we decided to check it out. 10 minute wait for tickets.
Bee-line to the roller-coaster, 50 minute wait for a ride that takes you from 0-160mph in 2 seconds. Almost an hour waiting for less than 2 minutes of heart pounding roller-coaster greatness.
Shaken we headed to virtual reality ride “sorry this ride is closed”. Ok, so we check out the driving simulators “you must pay extra $30USD and we have an opening in 4 hours” thanks but no thanks. Just to ride something we found the Ferrari factory tour with no line for good reason, it’s terrible. Desperate to get some value for money we went to the other roller-coaster where two coasters ‘race’ on separate tracks. So we waited and after 30 minutes were told there were technical difficulties and the ride was now closed.
In Ferrari world we learned what “Premium Pass” meant, for an additional fee (about 50% of the ticket price) you get to enter rides in a separate and much shorter line. Once at the front the operator takes one premium for every 2 regular, essentially making every ‘normal’ ticket wait twice as long. If this was the case at the less popular Ferrari World I imagine Yas Island Water Park would have had at least an hour wait per slide. Ugh!
Moral of the story, going to Dubai, get ready to wait in line. That is unless you have money to burn, in which case you are welcome to jump to the front of the que.