Monday, 24 March 2008
My sister is here at present so we decided to travel to Dubai to have a look at this famous city. We took a three day package and set off into an unknown world. On arriving it was quickly apparent that Dubai is much much more busy than Doha and of course much larger. Our taxi was impatient and used his car horn often and the traffic was unimaginable. So our first impressions were not really favourable. Our hotel was adequate ( we had chosen a three star hotel because of the high prices of more elaborate ones) but it was elegant and clean and had several excellent restaurants offering wonderful food. Our breakfast was truly wonderful so this a plus for Dubai. Our first walk downtown was rather scary to say the least. My sister is blond and has a lovely large set of breasts that were ogled at many times on our walk. The town is full full full of Indian, Pakistani, etc men who seem rather awestruck by both the colour of my sister's hair and the size of her top. We both felt very uncomfortable but forged on looking for other tourists so that we no longer stood out quite so much. After trying to find the sea front we realised that we had come out at one of the islands being built in the sea. This of course completely ruined the view of the sea we had been expecting so we turned away and started for the soukh. We finally entered the gold soukh for which Dubai is famous and yes you could buy almost any style of beautiful jewellery there at what seemed to be good prices. However, after our 20th shop where we gazed through the window one more time, we looked at each other and decided that the gold soukh was too crowded, too cluttered, too overwhelming and not at all restful and easy. We tried to find a taxi, were propositioned by a handsome young man who offered to hop in the car with us, and finally made it back to the hotel with tired feet and unhappy thoughts. 'Maybe tomorrow will be better,' we said. The next day we decided to take a tour of the city in a private car so that we could be safe, cool and informed. This was an excellent idea and we had a pleasant morning looking at palaces, houses for the rich and famous, an astounding art gallery and a wonderful museum that showed what Dubai had looked like its early days. It is called the jewel of the Middle East because it is built around a natural river that snakes through the city like a necklace. I loved to see what it used to be like with traders and shipping and tents and palm trees. This of course is replaced by imposing towers in all styles. We spent our last day at some shopping centres - the shopping is quite unbelievable with all famous brand name stores lined up in several shopping centres. The most incredible sight for me was the ski hill with chair lift, snow and ice rinks winding down around a corner into the largest shopping mall of all. But then I missed seeing the wave pool and water park in another part of town. We were so happy to arrive back in little Doha with its peaceful sparkling bay and even our traffic here seemed nothing compared to there. I will not go again.