Monday, May 22, 2017

Europe 17 Day 1 Dubai

Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE is made up of seven kingdoms, each ruled by its own monarch. One of the monarchs is selected by his fellow monarchs to be President. While there is much to admire about the country, its human rights record is poor and sharia law is referenced in some areas. Its wealth comes from oil and gas exports. Though it has a population of about 10 million, only about 15% are citizens of the UAE. Citizens are given preferential treatment for government employment. Most of the other 85% I would guess to be Indian, African and Pakistani workers.

We were met at the airport by a representative of Arabian Adventures Tours and transferred to our hotel. The same company was conducting the pre booked tour we were taking the next day. Our hotel room was very nice indeed. We had been more or less awake for about 48 hours and so bed was very welcome.


It was little bizarre that the bathroom had a large window through to the sleeping area. Do you really want to watch your loved one in the bathroom? Fortunately it had solid doors that could close, and we did. The shower cubicle was about 1 metre by 2.5 metres.....huge, and with a seat at one end. See part of the massive shower head.


The hotel foyer. If there is one thing the UAE does well, it is air conditioning......everywhere.


Our landing. See the yellow pattern on the carpet? I kept thinking it was vacuum cleaner electrical cords and I was hoping not to trip on them.


The staircase, with an escalator either side.


Within the the hotel was a replica British pub and it was very authentic, including a faux electric fire. We arrived on the Sunday and the following day was a day of national celebration or special Moslem holiday. Something like that. As a consequence, no alcohol could be served from 7pm Sunday night until 6pm the following night. What???? First day of holidays and no wine? While we did have duty free spirits, we don't generally have any until well after dinner. Eventually we discovered we could have a bottle of wine sent up to our room and though expensive, that is what we did. I think we dined at the Chelsea pub both nights of our stay. The food was good.


We needed a few dirham, the local currency, in our pockets, so we went to the bank next door to the hotel. This camel guarded the entrance.


One view of the exterior of the hotel. It is a small building compared to most of the buildings in Dubai.


Here is another. Note how the facade seems two dimensional. We were in about the middle of what you can see.


Whether you like modern buildings and architecture or not, there are some extremely interesting high rise buildings in Dubai.


This looked like a golf ball, complete with dimples atop the towering building. It was very distinctive and so we used it to get our bearings when out the next day.


There were plenty of people out strolling along the bank of the creek. The cats preferred some idle time. 


Gazing out over the creek.


A rather grand telephone box.


Nice boat.


A nearby mosque. 



Night was drawing in. These boats were everywhere and I assume you could have dinner on some of them.



Looking down the creek towards the sea.



Across to the far creek bank.



22 comments:

  1. Andrew nice hotel and views. The city looks fantastic

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    1. Gosia, although very new, it is a good and well functioning city.

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  2. The building in the tenth (I think) photo with the golf ball behind looks lovely.
    Liked the river views too. And the camel.

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    1. EC, I agree. That building is pretty interesting in a city full of interesting buildings.

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  3. The camel looks good.
    Pub, a good find.
    Mosque looks out of place.
    Telephone box, how nice.
    Shower, well would sit in there for a good while seeing it's large.
    Sounds like a great start to your past holiday Andrew.

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    1. Now you mention it Margaret, the mosque did look very out of place. The early morning call to prayer did not wake us.

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  4. Wow, all very impressive, Andrew. Well... with possible exception of getting to watch your partner on the dunny. Ahem! Or was it just the shower?
    But the photos are fabulous. Thank you!

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    1. Rozzie, you are correct. The dunny and the bidet were quite visible through the glass.

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  5. I've never been to Dubai, or anywhere else for that matter, but I love the look of it. The high rises are stunning, so much prettier than the square concrete blocks seen elsewhere. These buildings have style!
    A seat in the shower would be very handy for shaving the legs or if you suddenly got dizzy from the wonder of it all. Your room looks nice.
    Those views! Wow.

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    1. River, Australia gets it wrong it so many areas. If we are to have highrise buildings, why can't they be like those of Dubai? And why not as others cities do, preserve our old central city areas?

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  6. The reason the hotel rooms looked so terrific was because the architect or owners asked for Art Deco. I would have loved it!

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    1. Hels, it never really struck me as art deco, but yes, I can see it as soon as you mentioned it. It was a pretty classy place, but then I don't think there is budget accommodation in Dubai.

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  7. Apart from a short stop between flights I've not been to Dubai proper. I'm not a fan of their architecture, way too flashy.. Looks like you had a super time Andrew, looking forward to the European part of your holiday.

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    1. Grace, flashy is the word indeed.

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  8. Very surprised to see an English pub in the hotel. Wonder if it was for all the Brits that work in Dubai. Great photos giving an impression of the city.

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    1. Marie, I think there is a large number of Brits and Americans working there.

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  9. Where do the workers live? Do you know? That is one fancy city!

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    1. Strayer, if it is like any other big city, a long way out. I really don't know. Foreign building workers have dormitory accommodation.

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  10. That telephone box doesn't allow Superman much privacy!

    After a few sneaky wines you'd be riding that camel!

    A very stylish holiday you are having Andrew. Have fun...take care.

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    1. Lee, that would be fun to ride the camel. I doubt anyone would approve though.

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  11. My best friend just had an all expenses paid holiday there, courtesy of his work. He found it fascinating.

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    1. Interesting Fen. Do ask if he dined at the marina in the cool of the evening. That would have a nice experience.

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