Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Since we flew Emirates Airlines to the Maldives, we had to connect through their main hub, Dubai. Emirates allows passengers on their flights to stop over in Dubai without extra costs or penalties, so we decided to break up our return flight home and stayed over in Dubai for 3 days. Dubai was not really on our list of places to see (on its own) but since we had to connect through there, we decided to take the opportunity to see why everyone talks about this booming city in the middle of the desert.

Thoughts about Dubai include:
- Desert
- Man made attractions
- Construction EVERYWHERE
- Lots of Traffic

It was surely interesting to see this city but I am not sure we are in any rush to return. Our visit was probably not timed the best, as we were there during the middle of Ramadan. Since the country is a muslim country, out of respect to the locals (and by local law for that matter) we were required to follow local rules, such as no drinking or eating in public during day light hours. Imagine being outside in the middle of a 104 degree desert and not being able to walk around with a bottle of water so you can stay hydrated....this was the scenario we experienced! 
We were allowed to eat and drink as normal on our resort grounds, but we really wanted to explore the city since we had just spent a week on a small island. We did get to see quite a bit of the city but we tried to do as much as we could at night so we could bring a bottle of water with us since it was after sun down!  
The baggage claim area at Dubai's International Airport. It was the LARGEST and most beautiful baggage claim area we have ever seen! I will say that Dubai's Airport is AMAZING and I would fly back through there anytime. They have basically a full mall inside the airport that is top notch and also has great dining options. 
The sights of Dubai - construction, construction, construction everywhere!
More construction....buildings going  up everywhere...
Cranes, Cranes and more Cranes....
The view of our resort (The Westin - very nice!) from our room. 
More of the view from our hotel balcony - the Atlantis Hotel in the distance - hard to see the hotel because of the heat during the day.
Another shot of the view from our room - the Palm Islands is part of this view.
Guidelines for Ramadan given to us upon arrival at our our hotel. Lots of "do not"'s for the month long holiday. 
Because it was SO HOT outside in Dubai, we figured we would go spend some time indoors at the Mall of the Emirates. Dubai has a few very large malls - the Mall of the Emirates is one of them - and it is not only huge but a fabulous mall. They have US, UK, French, local and more stores within the mall - a shopping paradise really. Since we were there on a weekend and the mall is air-conditioned, the place was hopping. However, it was very odd to be in a mall and see no one eating or drinking in any capacity. Even in the air-conditioned mall, we were quite parched and ready to go back to our resort after about 2 hours without any water!
The indoor ski slope. Lifts, skiing and all inside this area. I think due to Ramadan, the ski place was really dead.
The completely empty food court area at the Mall of the Emirates - a strange sight! 
The world's tallest building - the Burj Dubai. 
One evening we went to the "old" part of Dubai - the gold souk and spice souk markets. We purposely went after sundown so we could bring a bottle of water with us. Despite the sun being down, it was still stifling hot! We started looking around in the gold souk area. 
A store front of the gold souk market. LOTS of bangles and gold everywhere!
A row of stalls in the spice souk area of the market. 
Spices were on display outside each stall in big plastic bags. It smelled quite nice!
I had Scott take a photo of me while we were at the outdoor souk area but this photo doesn't even show how HOT and gross we both were after dark. The heat in Dubai was just terrible. Clearly we chose the wrong month in which to visit! 
I just thought this was an odd only seen in the middle east. 
One last view of the city in the middle of the desert - Dubai - from the air. 
Emirate is a fantastic airline. If you have the chance to fly them, do! Even economy was an incredible treat. Not only do you have your own personal video system with OVER 1,000 choices of on-demand entertainment, but they serve a proper afternoon tea on long haul flights. Scones with clotted cream, tea or coffee, tea sandwiches and cake. It was great!
Time to go least we had a great time flying Emirates so we had plenty occupy us on the flight home. 

No comments: