18 December 2010

I ♥ Dubai!

The infamous Burj Al Arab, the icon of Dubai,
overlooking the Qasr Hotel and Souq Madinat.
After three trips to the ultra-modern city of Dubai, I can say unequivocally that I am hooked. And what's not to like? Awesome restaurants, great shopping, stunning vistas, and some of the best people watching that I've ever seen; heck, I'm not even a mall person and I can't get enough of Dubai's massive mall-mega-structures complete with world-class eateries, cinemas, aquariums, ice-skating rinks, and even one with a ski slope. Add to all that the biggest and best bookstore in the whole world, Book World by Kinokuniya at Dubai Mall, and I'm enslaved. Then to really do me in, there's the gorgeous Souq Madinat near Jumeirah, with its lush, abra-plyed waterways, forty some-odd restaurants, and the Burj Al Arab looming high above. And I haven't even been to the beaches yet, with their rumored white sands and crystal blue waters. Yep! I think I could live here forever...
Okay. Perhaps not forever. Ask me how I feel about it when the mercury hits 120F in June. Hence the popularity of shopping malls with winter amenities.
But not to mislead. Dubai has more on offer than just shopping malls and beaches. It has culture culture culture! For example, there's the Dubai Creek/Deira area with its traditional textile and gold souks - the historical Bastakia area with its museums and classic Arabic-style buildings - wooden abras to ferry you back and forth across the creek - traditional dhows (fishing boats) navigating the warm waters - and even a nature preserve at the creek's inland end that's sanctuary to thousands of pink flamingos. A little bit of everything. Guess that's why I like it so much. You'd be hard pressed to meet with boredom here.
So I do believe that I will be making the 3 hour roundtrip Dubai drive at least a couple times a month! 
(God willing.)
Coldstone for my hubby!
Just like home. Almost.
(note little blue mosque in the background.)
All kinds of goodies in the traditional Souq.
Slippers worthy of Scheherazade!
I like Gooooold!
(Just kidding. I prefer silver.)
Outfits for all your belly dancing needs!
Abras. It's how you cross the creek.

Giant fishing Dhows.

Bastakia Style.

A couple of cutie pies!

Changing gears to the modern.
This is the Burj Al Khalifa.
The tallest structure in the world, at 828 m (2,717 ft).

The aquarium at Dubai Mall, with the largest piece of aquarium glass in the world.
Souvenirs and trinkets, with Emirati rulers,
from past and present, watching over...

An example of mega-mall extravagance...mosaic floors!

The shopping just doesn't end in Dubai.

My giddy hubby, standing next to a Ferrari in valet parking at the Mall of the Emirates,
where he estimated approximately 13 million dollars worth of cars. Nuts! 
Looking up at the beautiful Qasr Hotel at Souq Madinat,
built in the Bastakia-style.

A lot of Emiratis drive Escalades, Hummers, and such.
So I got a real kick out of this sign at the entrance of Souq Madinat.
A new souq, built to look old. Gorgeous!

And we'll end with food...the ubiquitous Shwarma stand.