Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dubai, UAE

We have gone through Dubai before and stayed in the airport hotel, within the airport. This time , en route back from Vietnam, we decided we should check  out the actual city…..particularly as some friends would also be there at the same time.

Going from the Mekong Delta one day to the very affluent Dubai the following day was a little surreal! In Vietnam people were eeking out an existence by their own endeavors, fishing, working in rice paddies and have very few good roads or highways.  Or many cars for that matter, the preferred transport seems to be the motorbike, presumably a cost factor involved!

On arrival in Dubai one is astounded by the multi lane highways, the smooth but busy traffic. Everyone has a car because gas/petrol is way cheaper than water!

The Ruler and the Royal families have many, many palaces. We went fairly close to the Ruler's palace, until turned around by security….nicely! There were lots of his peacocks wandering around on the road….

and we could see the individual air conditioned houses for his racehorses, of which he apparently has around 3000…….not all in Dubai!

The buildings, of course, were spectacular……each one trying to outdo the other…….
There were mosques approximately every  250m…….
this is the Jumeirah Mosque…. one of the most visited…...

Then there was the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa ….828m high and 164 floors…
going up to the observation deck on level 124 did not appeal…...

Then on to the most expensive hotel in the world……the Burj Al Arabwhich, with its sail shape, has become the iconic emblem of Dubai….

When told that the cup at the top housed a tennis court I wondered aloud as to who might use it (doubting it!!) and was told that Federer had! I thought afterwards that I had probably heard incorrectly….but no….its the world's highest tennis court..

….there is a beautiful beach right beside it….. with a WiFi hotspot!

….then on to the iconic Atlantis hotel….

We also crossed the DubaiCreek in an Abra …….. a small ferry which seems to be well used by locals….  it only costs 1 dirham, equivalent to about 25 cents!

then a trip around the spice souk ..….

and the gold souk….

We thought that the air conditioned bus stop was a little OTT …..until we heard that temperatures during the summer can be almost 50 degrees C !!

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