Dubai

Dubai Travel Blog

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The Barracuda Beach Resort in Umm al-Quwain...one of the few places in the UAE where you can purchase alcohol to take home (we stopped here on the way back from Oman).

On the way back home, Mark was on his cell phone to Samia (and sheesh, during my brief tenure here, the cell phone seems to be permanently attached to everyone’s ear!) and she had arranged dinner on a dhow cruising Dubai Creek to entertain a visiting professor from Berlin <the creek is a significant attraction of the city and divides the town into Bur Dubai & Deira.  Many souks & cultural attractions lie along this waterway, which is delightfully cluttered with working dhows + ‘abrahs’…or water taxis, which transport folks across the creek>.  This was an exceptional conclusion to the day --- to be snorkeling in Oman at lunchtime and plying the waters in a city of one million that evening….WOW!

We departed for Dubai Creek around 7:30PM and arrived at “Al Boom’s Tourist Village” around 8PM.

The amazing Dubai Golf Club structure viewed at night during a dhow cruise along Dubai Creek...
  I find it very amusing to drive with Mark & Samia as they constantly trade opinions on the optimal route, while rarely agreeing.  In a traffic-jammed environment the quickest path is not necessarily a straight line and the particular time of day plays heavily into the navigation.  A key emphasis is avoiding nasty rotaries, and they have some monsters here --- we’ve endured several that have three lanes!

Anyway, we rendezvoused with Florian, a fellow architecture professor hailing from Germany and Peter, a visiting architecture prof from Berlin who was escorting 20 female students on a field trip (the entire evening had been predicated upon taking the girls out for dinner…but they were apparently too pooped from daytime activities to join us).  Chatted w/Peter some and it was enjoyed, though I struggled to find common ground despite his excellent English and time in the States.

Dinner on Dubai Creek

On to the accommodations.  We were on an enormous, three-story dhow (difficult to fathom I was on a diminutive ancestor at lunchtime in rustic Oman, and now I’m back in serious civilization, gently plying the waters in a city of one million while four architecture experts critique the amazing buildings dominating the Dubai skyline!!!) all wood & crammed with dinner tables.  Our table was aft on the top deck, which was excellent, since we were open air and the weather was delightfully cool.  Small plates of numerous appetizers were already laid out when we were seated.  A new experience for me was enjoying a sprig of mint by plucking the leaves and dipping them in hummus and subsequently chomping down the stem.  What an amazing appetizer!  Samia left me swig her lime juice drink which was exceptionally tasty….

Bur Dubai near the Heritage Center during our dinner cruise along Dubai Creek.
but I’m certain way too caloric for this diabetic!

About 8:30PM the dhow kicked off & headed down towards the gulf.  Mark was kind enough to point out some sights for me (e.g., the Dubai Golf Course clubhouse, a phenomenal structure), though it eventually digressed into the architects debating whether or not certain buildings meshed with the art & culture of Dubai.  I have learned from Mark how intimately the functional aspects of architecture are intertwined with artistic concerns, and while he has provided me with numerous examples of how he has personally dovetailed these concerns --- it wasn’t until my peep show of a gang of architects that I could appreciate the degree to which this is stressed.

About midway into our cruise they placed a huge rack on our table, which contained calamari, lobster, chicken tikka, kebabs, etc.

...the same view in daylight (this one taken from across the creek and not aboard a dhow).
and we feasted mightily.  An amusing sidebar is that when they eventually returned to inquire whether we wanted a refill of anything, Samia asked for more calamari & got met with a blank stare…until she re-phrased the request for “more squid, please” --- and was then greeted with a smile and a quick re-stocking!

When the journey ended, Florian coughed up the 420 Dirhams (about $100-US) that we had rung up (they didn’t accept credit cards and we were cash poor, but Samia had accurately predicted Florian could cover us!).  $100 for an all you can eat boat excursion for six is a prime example of the inexpensive luxury of Dubai.

Africancrab says:
Thanks for sharing
Posted on: Mar 02, 2010
Sweetski says:
What a fantastic story and such beautiful photos accompany it. Yet another 'Well Done Vance' from me :)
Posted on: Sep 13, 2008
ted332 says:
Cool blog!
Posted on: Jan 21, 2008
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The Barracuda Beach Resort in Umm …
The Barracuda Beach Resort in Umm…
The amazing Dubai Golf Club struct…
The amazing Dubai Golf Club struc…
Dinner on Dubai Creek
Dinner on Dubai Creek
Bur Dubai near the Heritage Center…
Bur Dubai near the Heritage Cente…
...the same view in daylight (this…
...the same view in daylight (thi…
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Dubai
photo by: vances