The Wilds and the Lost Paradise of Dilmun

At 11am, we left the hotel and took our lunch at a nearby restaurant.  After pasta lunch, we headed to Al Areen, an hour travel south of Manama. Together with us was another family who just arrived from Saudi Arabia. Our purpose was to go to the newly opened water park and side trip to the zoo.

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We arrived at the Al Areen Wildlife Park at 2pm with BD2 park fee. We toured the zoo and enjoyed the park’s car ride despite of hot temperature. We, most especially the kids, enjoyed seeing the animals roaming freely which are mostly found in Africa and Middle East. It was my first encounter on different types of oryx and wild jungle animals like the cheetahs, bears, giraffe, zebras, wolves, and hyenas. It was my first time on flamingos and swans too.

At 4pm, we left the zoo and headed to the nearby water park, the Lost Paradise of Dilmun. We made it to the entrance but the guard said that the park will close at 5pm. We thought that the park is still open until night. The kids’ energy dropped like fallen stars for they can’t go inside the requested water park. We decided to come back for the children’s sake.

Before we went back to our hotel, we took our dinner at the City Centre’s food court.

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LAST DAY

We checked out from the hotel and back to the water park at 10pm. The entrance fee is normally BD17 and BD8 for children below 1.2 meters. Kids below 2 years old are free. The locker is for rental at BD5 but they returned back BD2 upon the return of the lock card. The towel can be bought at BD6. Foods are not allowed to be brought inside but they have restaurants which offers tasty and delicious meals.

The Lost Paradise of Dilmun is a water themed park located in the middle of the desert and dominantly for conservative culture type of people. I never seen guests wearing bikinis unlike those at Wild Wadi in Dubai. It was very comfortable for me especially I have no guts, skin, and muscles to show off. It was the best place for small kids and family. The children was more enjoy here because there was a place intended for them with many options. The rides are also intense and we adults enjoyed it.

We left the water park and traveled to King Fahad Causeway back to Saudi Arabia at 5pm.

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Exploring Dubai

Dubai is the most famous city in the Middle East. It’s known for its unique landmarks and attractive building structures. Booked via Flydubai which has daily flight from Saudi Arabia, we visited Dubai of United Arab Emirates for the first time.

DSC_0154I contacted a Dubai based travel agent to work for our guided tour and visa. The agent replied to us and offered us a family tour package. Included in this package are accommodations for three nights, Dubai dhow cruise, entry in Burj Khalifa and Ski Dubai with free transfers. I agreed to a 50% deposit for the visa processing and the hotel as per him was requiring a down payment. The balance will be paid upon arrival in Dubai. In just three days, the electronic tourist visa was granted and was emailed to me.

DSC_0001.JPGWe departed from Dammam airport at 8:55am and landed in Dubai after an hour. Our travel agent was already outside of Terminal 2 and waiting for us. After immigration and baggage collection, we stepped out of the airport and met him. He headed us to the Royal Ascot Hotel in Bur Dubai for our accommodation. We waited for half an hour since the checked-in time of the hotel started at 2pm.

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Where I Stayed: Royal Ascot Hotel

Buddies: Group (4+)

Royal Ascot Hotel is a 4 star rating hotel according to our travel agent. Its location is excellent in term of its distance to the airport. The metro station and shopping malls are just a few minutes by walk. It also a few minutes drive to the most visited places in Dubai. The superior deluxe room which is situated on the 6th floor is so spacious. The biggest room was given to us. We’re so very thankful to our travel agent. It looks like he has a good business relation to the marketing manager of the hotel.

At 4pm, we started discovering the best creations of Dubai. We visited the famous Miracle Garden with an entrance fee of 30 dirhams per head. The place was so amazing with colorful and bunches of flowers in a beautifully landscaped garden. Some of them are so familiar with me and named them specifically. The place was so great for picture taking but be watchful for touching those displays all the time. My wife received two whistle blows from the garden’s staff. One time when she was holding the bicycle with full of flowers and another when she seated on one of the fence. We’re all laughing! For the sake of photo for remembrance, we were behaving badly.

DSC_0100There were so many talents displayed inside the Miracle Garden. The animals and human structures, the houses, the giant clock, and more. Obviously, all of those are with floral touch. The garden lay-out was so wonderful.

At 7pm, we left the garden and took our buffet dinner at Lamesa restaurant in Aseana Hotel. We have seats reserved for it was always full. At 100 dirhams per head, our craving for pork “lechon belly” had been satisfied.

DAY TWO

At noon,  we visited the Ski Dubai which was inside the Emirates Mall. They provided us winter clothes to be used inside the frozen world. We didn’t stayed so long inside the artificial snow world but we enjoyed walking and tube slide on the ice.

DSC_0148At 3pm, we left Emirates Mall going to Dubai Mall, the entrance to the famous and world’s tallest building. We took our late lunch at the mall’s food court to feed our protesting parasites. At around 5pm, we joined those bulk of tourists entering Burj Khalifa. The security was so strict because foods and big bags were not allowed. However, they provided a bag counter to where guests can leave their bags safely.

I was amazed on how the building was constructed. This is how technology works. The city can be seen at all angles. Our visit was considered a peak hours so we added 50 dirhams per head from the normal entrance fee to our travel agent. But we were satisfied because we witnessed the sunset and water fountain show from the bird’s eye of view.

DSC_0171After the sunset, we went down and nailed our time in a water dancing fountain which approximately starts in every 30 minutes. We left the mall at 8pm and took our dinner at Ryu Korean Restaurant in Bur Dubai before going back to our hotel.

Last Day

We took our breakfast at the hotel and prepared our baggage. At 9:30am, we left the hotel and have a quick side tour on the remaining famous tourist spots in Dubai like Burj Al Arab and Atlantis, the Palm. At 12n, we enjoyed the outdoor water park Wild Wadi. We left the park at 3pm and back to the hotel for the final arrangement. Our flight back to Saudi Arabia was at 6:25pm.

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