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mistybleu Dubayy - A travel report by Amanda
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Dubayy,  United Arab Emirates - flag United Arab Emirates -  Dubayy
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mistybleu's travel reports

The rich man's playground

  9 votes
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The things you find yourself doing in Dubai makes you live above your station. Everything is so big, as you see the money rolling around.


Down by the creek
Down by the creek
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), is a federation of 7 sheikdoms (states), located in the south-eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Oman; and the members are Abu Dhabi (Abu Zaby), ´Ajman, Dubai (Dubayy), Al Fujayrah, Ra´s al Khaymah, Ash Shariqah and Umm al Qaywayn. In the Middle East, I believe Bahrain and Qatar refused to join the Emirates back in 1971 when the country was formed.

The city of Abu Dhabi, located in the emirate of the same name, is the federal capital and the largest city. But Dubayy has become the main tourist destination and is a bit of an anomaly in the UAE being very western city on the surface.

The city is split into two by the Dubai Creek; to the west Bur Deira, where you’ll found the Gold and Spice Souks and to the east Bur Dubai where you’ll find the financial district dominated by the Emirates Twin Towers.

Like with most of the Emirates, Dubai used to be a town and was famous for its pearl diving, and it wasn’t really until the 1960s when things began to change.

But love it or hate it, Dubai is in your face; it’s the rich man's playground.

[This report is similar as my report on Dubai .]

Favourite spots:
Heritage Village
Heritage Village
I found the Heritage and Diving Village very interesting. It provided a wonderful insight in Arabian life and sort of dispelled the myths created by Hollywood.

It was opened in 1997 as part of the Dubai shopping festival which is usually held in January/February. It is in the Shinagha district in the mouth of the creek’s estuary.

The Bedouin lifestyle was depicted in terms of a tented community and showed the handicrafts created. They have a strong relation to the desert life and its daily effects.

Yes you are able to buy arts and crafts

I was fascinated by the air cooling systems that was employed for centuries they have used this systems

At the diving village you get the experience of 19th century fishing and pearl diving.

What's really great:
Major development - The Jumeirah Palm
Major development - The Jumeirah Palm
The city is experiencing rapid growth with buildings going up fast and furious; it is like being on a giant building site with buildings defining the new culture; such as the iconic structures of the ‘wave’ - Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the dhow sail - Burj Al Arab and now the Burj Dubai which is on schedule to become the world’s tallest building and has already achieved the status as tallest free standing structure.

Even though Dubayy is the second largest Emir, land is of a premium so what do they do, create artificial islands. Never before on this scale have we seen these islands created. The Jumeirah Palm Island saw its first residents this year and by September the Atlantis holiday resorts will be opened. The World (a group of islands shaped like the countries of the world), it truly is amazing.

Sights:
Craftsman
Craftsman
Most of the sights are based on buildings

BURJ AL ARAB- iconic hotel; BURJ DUBAI- tallest free standing structure (by 2009 it will be the tallest building) in the world; WILD WADI WATER PARK- fantastic water park for all ages; DUBAI CREEK- great for a Dhow cruise or an Abras (water taxi) ride to the other side.

Also found a few interesting cultural spots

DUBAI MUSEUM- set in the old Al-Fahidi Fort; HERITAGE AND DIVING VILLAGE- gives an insight to Arabian culture and pearl diving; SHEIKH SAEED HOUSE- built in 1896 in traditional Islamic style, now a museum; BASTAKIYA- the oldest part of the city and next to the old Dubai Souk; JUMERIAH MOSQUE- welcomes westerners.

Instead of a pub crawl, here it is the mall crawl

MALL OF THE EMIRATES- largest mall outside the USA, complete with indoor ski slopes; WAFI MALL- Egyptian themed with 160 shops, complete with pyramids; LAMCY- apparently has a replica of Tower Bridge; DEIRA CITY CENTRE- on the other side of the Creek.

Accommodations:
Evening at the Burj Al Arab
Evening at the Burj Al Arab
I wish I could say I stayed at the Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7* hotel or the Jumeriah Beach Hotel that sits on a man made harbour with the wonderful coral white sand beach; or even Downtown Dubai in the trendy Emirates Towers. But alas my accommodation was quite a few stars below those hotels.

I stayed the Golden Sands, in what I think was the largest hotel apartment complex in the city. They had at least 10 different apartment blocks with some 500 apartments.

I was however happy with my accommodation – a two bedroom self contained apartment complete with balcony and laundry; the kind of place you could easily stay for months. It was very comfortable at a fraction of the price. They had a restaurant (although I didn’t use it) a gym, swimming pool, free internet access and parking. Plus a few restaurants, fast food chains, shopping malls and a cool little supermarket across the road - what more could a girl ask for? Some might say a helipad suite at the Burj…

Nightlife:
The pub at the end of the path.
The pub at the end of the path.
After a long day at the beach and hustling around the malls or souks shopping the heat takes a lot out of you. So I found the night scene rather low key, so I found that just going to hotel bar was just as much fun.

There was no need to make it a late night, but as one of the only places in the city to get alcohol it was brilliant.

The Uptown Bar in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel was one of the spots I visited. It is located on the 24th floor of the hotel and the views are really quite magical from up there. The land looks so flat and the sea so wide; the only interruption is from the sail of the Burj.

The staff was very accommodating; however there is a dress code - well no shorts for men.

Restaurants:
Entrance to the Skybar at the Burj Al Arab
Entrance to the Skybar at the Burj Al Arab
Every traveller knows of the Burj Al Arab, as it is used to market Dubai. Most people are happy to stand outside and take pictures, but even if you cannot afford to stay there, then it’s nice to have dinner in their underwater restaurant (dining next to a huge aquarium) or have drinks in the Sky Bar (with wonderful views of the Persian Gulf and sights of Palm Island and The World).

Whilst it isn’t cheap, as dinner could set you back a few hundred pounds; more reasonable is drinks in the Sky Bar with a £40 minimum spend required or afternoon tea.

For a 7 course meal (from around £50) either on the 1st floor or the Skyview Bar (located on the 27th floor) that has a few courses that make you say ‘wow’ is the perfect setting.

Like I said by no stretch of the imagination is it cheap, but it was a nice way to pretend for an afternoon.

Other recommendations:
Bedouins
Bedouins
Dubayy has become a sports destination, falcon hunting, camel and horse racing. For centuries Arabian horse have been bred here and truly world class. There are 4 race tracks in the UAE with events usually taking place during the winter months. No gambling is allowed in Islamic countries, so people are given prize for choosing the correct horse to win even though they haven’t actually placed a bet.

There are 2 golf clubs in Dubai – Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Gold & Yacht Club. Both are recognisable from their distinct designs, one with 7 Bedouins tents and the sails shaped roofs.

Plus there are two international tennis events; the ladies take to the courts in February, followed a week later with the men’s event. This year was particularly interesting with Roger Federer going out in the second round and Andy Roddick taking the title.

Published on Saturday November 22th, 2008


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Fri, Apr 09 2010 - 11:03 AM rating by sujoy

A very rich portrait of a rich city where everybody likes to spend sometime. fantastic pictography.thx

Sun, Dec 07 2008 - 12:23 PM rating by rangutan

Great place, great report. I heard some of the construction sites have come to a stop, hope the world-wide economic crisis doesn't last too long.

Thu, Nov 27 2008 - 01:59 PM rating by marianne

What a lovely read. We were in dubai several years ago, but i am sure it is different today.

Tue, Nov 25 2008 - 05:01 PM rating by bineba

Good report, as always, but even you haven't convinced me go there! I'm not sure I would like it.

Unless, of course, someone invites me to stay at the Burj.

Mon, Nov 24 2008 - 08:03 PM rating by jorgesanchez

text is excellent, and pictures are well chosen

Sat, Nov 22 2008 - 09:11 AM rating by pesu

Amanda, I couldn't get out your real feelings about the place in your nice report. Are they quite ambivalent?

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