Sunday, August 24, 2014

One day in Dubai.

A glamorous city in the desert. Stayed for one night in July en route to Tanzania, Africa. Arrived late at night and took a taxi straight to the Burj Al Arab, the world's first seven stars hotel. Nice reception as we were greeted with cold drinks, dates and a refreshing towel upon stepping off the taxi at the curb. We were swiflty taken to our suite for check in. First impression was "wow" with the size of the 2 storey apartment style suite and the rich Versace furnishings. Golds and marbles were used liberally throughout. A little tired looking but beautiful, if one is not picky about the details.
Walked for 15 minutes around the beach area, but the heat (90's deg F) was unbearable at 8 in the morning. Decided to retrieve back to the hotel for the rest of the day. Took a long nap till the evening before we checked out of the hotel. The only place we visited that night was the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa which were next to each other.

Burj Khalifa via fish eye lens- world's tallest building at the moment. Very impressive tower with reflective golden exterior at dusk. Didn't visit the interior as we just didn't have the time.

                                          Pastries at Eataly Market, Dubai Mall.
Clockwise from top- naan, dolmades (grape leaves stuffed with rice), eggplant puree and grilled harumi cheese. We ordered grilled chicken, lamb and prawns as well. Liked the prawns  the best.
Dubai Mall- one of the world's largest malls. Massive and expensive. I don't shop during vacation time because I think prices in the States for most things, be it luxury or not, are more reasonable than the rest of the world. Did buy a cannoli, panna cotta and another pastry at Eataly Market in the mall's basement. Sadly, was not impressed with the taste or looks of the pastries. For convenience, we chose to have dinner at one of its middle eastern restaurants- service left a lot to be desired as their waiters were disinterested in serving their clients. Maybe it was Ramadan season, people breaking fast at the same time and the staff were overwhelmed. We waited an hour and a half for a table after the crowds were gone. The foods were mediocre at best.
Dubai is definitely a super modern city with skyscrapers bursting thru its skyline. At the same time, it's a conservative and diverse society. We didn't know anyone locally but, we talked to the taxi drivers from India, the waiters from Bangladesh, the butlers from the Phillipines,  a receptionist from China and a manager from Romania. All trying to make a better living for themselves and Dubai has delivered thus far.

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