Today was day 3 which means tomorrow is our last full day before heading home at the crack of dawn on Saturday.
We actually felt really quite emotional today as it was our last day with our fabulous tour guide Dainis who has been such a big part of our experience here in Dubai. He's got us safely to all the places on our itinerary, liaised with the minibus drivers, ensured tickets to attractions were ready for us, joined us for some of our visits and shared his passion and knowledge about Dubai with us.
He is such an all round nice fellow that we really didn't want to say goodbye to him.
After enjoying another wonderful breakfast at Rove hotel it was off to visit the Dubai butterfly garden. It is located alongside Dubai Miracle Garden. The Miracle Garden itself is closed for the summer season because it is not sustainable during these hotter months (and it really is hot hot hot). There is such little rainfall that anything that grows needs to be irrigated.
And one of the mega impressive things we've discovered about Dubai is that they take sustainability seriously. Given the rapid rate of development here it would be easy to believe that it is building at any cost but actually they are not prepared to adversely impact the environment.
We’ve learned that water is desalinated from the sea and recycled. We found out that the water used for the gardens at the Base of the Burj Kalifa is gathered from condensation from the Burj itself (a whopping 15 million gallons a year!) You can read more about that here.
The locals respect the natural eco system of the sand dunes and whilst they enjoy certain activities on the dunes they tend not to endorse dune bashing which tourists may often engage in.
So back to the butterfly garden, as much as I would have loved to experience the Miracle Garden, I found myself pleased to hear about the reason why it closes in summer.
The butterfly garden in itself is worth a quick visit. It is a little out of town to get there and there is a lot of construction work going on at the moment en route and around the area where the butterfly garden is located.
There were a series of butterfly domes forming a circular route to follow so you end up back at the start once you've finished. Within each there were 'cage' areas that you could go into to see specific species of butterflies more closely.
A member of staff showed the kids how to carefully hold a butterfly on their finger and so they got to hold quite a few.
Our guide seemed to be popular with the butterflies and they kept landing on him!
Once finished here, we were dropped off back at downtown and headed to the mall saying our goodbyes to Dainis.
Our itinerary sadly didn't include a trip to the Burj Kalifa and yet we all felt strongly that a trip to Dubai wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Burj so we used our free afternoon to tick this world famous attraction off our bucket list.
We had prebooked tickets for the Burj Kalifa so grabbed a bite to eat in the mall before heading up.
I have to admit that I was fearing the worst in terms of queues and crowds and I was left extremely impressed. There were no queues or crowds and it was a really straightforward and enjoyable experience.
My favourite view from the Burj was overlooking the fountains that we had enjoyed so much on Tuesday evening. They looked stunning from above too with the beautiful blue colour!
Although we haven't had time for proper mall shopping here, there was one part of the mall I was itching to see. I'd seen online photos of a walkway covered with umbrellas which looked so delightfully colourful and I wanted to see them for real.
We'd rushed past that area on Tuesday but hadn't had a chance to stop and look properly. After a bit of getting lost we found it in 'The Village' part of the mall.
Then it was a cab back to the hotel a dip in the pool after dark. Seeing the Burj Kalifa lit up at night whilst swimming in the pool was another surreal and amazing experience. Dinner at The Daily restaurant with Miss T's favourite waitress taking care of us was a great end to today.
It's now 11.30pm and once again my eyelids feel heavy so I know I need some sleep.
It may well be our last day tomorrow but it is no less busy than any of the other days and it should be a good one!
We won this amazing experience which was truly a holiday of a lifetime via Visit Dubai and Tots100 (special thanks to Extraordinary Chaos blog too as it was via Richard's comment on Sarah's blog that won!)