A Tour of Dubai

Dubai Travel Blog

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Touring Dubai

Monday was a fantastic day in Dubai. It was just fabulous. I saw and learned a lot about Dubai. Dubai was discovered in the 1800s as a fishing and pearling village. The waterways that surround Dubai, and Dubai’s location has made it such a critical gateway to other Arabian lands.

First of all, on Sunday night Josy called me at about midnight and she couldn’t sleep. So she came over and we talked for a while. I don’t get to see her often at all, so it was good to catch up with her. We had girl talk till about 2 am.  She left and we agreed we’d meet up around 8 or 9 am to see the sights in Dubai together with Pascal via the Hop-on, Hop-off Bus.

Signs on the road
We had already purchased tickets for the Big Bus Tour. So she left at 2 am, and I went to bed.

Monday morning, Josy called me at about 7 am, and mentioned she had trouble sleeping and was just getting to bed. We then decided we would meet at lunchtime. I got up and got ready and decided to tour the city via the Big Bus tour on my own. It was good to just get out and see the sights on my own. I like traveling by myself sometimes (though it gets lonely) cause I can go at my own pace. So I did just that. I stopped at the Dubai Museum, took lots of pictures. I toured all around “Old” or historical Dubai. It really did look “old”. I saw merchants by the Dubai creek, selling fish, gold, and spice. The boats looked ancient. I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable going out to sea in one of those. Then I got to see Jumerai Beach, and other neat spots.

At the Dubai Museum
I did quite a bit of walking too. The hop-on, hop-off bus is neat, because you can get off at any stop and just walk around, then hop back on the next bus. They come around every 20 minutes, so they are convenient. I learned on the tour that Dubai has one of the greatest consumptions of water. I also learned that it is one of the safest cities. Everyone in Dubai, just like in South Africa, speaks English.

At lunchtime, I met Pascal and Josy at the Burj Al Arab for lunch. The outside of the building itself is stunning. It’s just beautiful. The guards at the gate were strict and would not let us in without a reservation number from the restaurant. Pascal, luckily called the restaurant on the spot and made reservations. We were able to obtaina  reservation number.

We got inside and the lobby area was just overwhelming. Josy and I got so excited. We were going up the escalator and Josy decided to “squat down” to take a picture of me with the top ceiling behind me. So as we approached the top of the escalator, I told her the end was coming, and was trying to tell her to stand up. She was so distracted taking pictures of me, the escalator finished and there she was sitting on the ground trying to get up but unable to do so. It was HILARIOUS! Pascal was trying to help her stand up. I could not stop laughing and Josy was hysterically laughing too. We looked hilarious, in the middle of this classy hotel falling all over the place! I was very unimpressed with the décor overall. I guess the hotel lounge areas were ok, but the restaurant was not very “arab” looking. I guess it just looked very different than what I expected. Pascal asked me what I was expecting, and I didn’t really know how to respond.
The Dubai creek
I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but the décor looked very outdated. We had a pretty good meal. It was good, but not sure it was the best meal I have ever had. For the money we paid (actually Pascal paid – I will wine and dine them when they come visit in Baltimore…. They better come visit in Baltimore), the food was just okay. The meals came out very beautifully decorated. The view from the windows of the restaurant were gorgeous.  We were able to see  the World Islands and the Palm. If what Pascal paid for was the view and the presentation of the food, and the location, it was well worth it!

We took tons of pictures from the restaurant. Josy and I even went into the bathroom and took pictures in there. We behaved completely like tourists.

Ha ha ha! But everyone else around us did likewise, so I didn’t feel bad.

After lunch at the Burj Al Arab, we caught a cab to the Palm Islands and visited the Atlantis. It was huge! We went inside and took pictures by the aquarium. We walked around there a bit, then caught another cab to the tallest building in the world, whose name evades me right now.

Josy and Pascal crack me up. I find so many things amusing! But I guess that’s not so bad. When we were at the tallest building, I took pictures of Josy and Pascal with the building in the background. Then Pascal took the camera to take pictures of Josy and me and he was all bent up. He was like a contortionist trying to find the right angle. At one point he was even practically laying on the ground.

The McDonald's near Jumerai beach (no - I didn't go inside)
Josy kept telling him that I didn’t have to do all that when I was taking pictures of them. It was so funny. Again, we behaved like total tourists.

Speaking of tourists…. I don’t think I met one local while there. All our cab drivers were from Pakistan. Seriously! I’m not kidding. It must be the Pakistani thing to do. No… but seriously. We asked all the cab drivers questions to try to learn about the local culture here, and we learned that all the locals live outside Dubai. Dubai has become tourist central. Everyone in Dubai arrived seeking economic opportunity. Either that or they were tourists.

After the trip to the tallest building, Josy, Pascal and I went to have some coffee. We relaxed a bit before I headed to the airport to catch my flight to India.

At the Burj Al Arab

I will miss them, and I wish we lived closer. We always have such a good time together when we see each other. Josy and Pascal are friends of mine from when I studied in Paris. The three of us livedi n the same building in Paris in 1999. Josy and Pascal hit it off and got married years later. So we’ve stayed in touch and I am so glad they were so willing to visit Dubai while I was here. It was such a delight to see them and catch up with them.

Overall, my experience in Dubai was good. I enjoyed the company. I don't know that I would return to Dubai. I know for sure I would return to South Africa, but Dubai was one of those places that if I had to come back, I'd come back but otherwise, I wouldn't return. At least I saw it, visited, learned about it and so now…

Onward to India!

hernandezvero says:
Ha ha! No I have not had any burgers really. Except one bologna burger in South Africa, but mostly eating local foods. I had the best food in China so far.
Posted on: Feb 22, 2010
rjgalvan77 says:
Hey Vero! Found you!!! Really enjoying reading all about your adventures so far!! Hey have you been eating any local food or just burgers!! ;) Keep enjoying yourself and keeping us posted on your blog!! Bisous!! Juanny
Posted on: Feb 21, 2010
hernandezvero says:
I didn't get to go up. I heard it was closed.
Posted on: Feb 10, 2010
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Touring Dubai
Touring Dubai
Signs on the road
Signs on the road
At the Dubai Museum
At the Dubai Museum
The Dubai creek
The Dubai creek
The McDonalds near Jumerai beach …
The McDonald's near Jumerai beach…
At the Burj Al Arab
At the Burj Al Arab
Stop sign
Stop sign
Going up to the restaurant in the …
Going up to the restaurant in the…
The view of Dubai from the Burj Al…
The view of Dubai from the Burj A…
View from the restaurant
View from the restaurant
Pretty views
Pretty views
Downstairs at the entrance
Downstairs at the entrance
Entrance of the Burj Al Arab
Entrance of the Burj Al Arab
The aquarium at the Atlantis
The aquarium at the Atlantis
The Atlantis
The Atlantis
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa
Tallest building in the world
Tallest building in the world
Josy and me on the balcony
Josy and me on the balcony
Trying to squeeze the Burj Al Arab
Trying to squeeze the Burj Al Arab
Dubai
photo by: vances