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Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tue.May 3.Docked in Port Rashid in DP World (Dubai Port World)There are many docks here.As in Fujairah,the population is about 2 million,15% of whom are citizens who get all the benefits.Dubai is the second largest of the Emirates,Abu Dhabi being the largest.
Dubai has been ruled by the Maktoum family for decades.Sheikh Rashid had a vision of turning this fishing village into a commercial and tourist attraction in the 1930s.He had the creek dredged to allow ships in, which brought commerce and then oil was discovered and the building frenzy began,only to grind to a halt with the recent recession.Rashid's son now rules and seems to be as visionary as his father.
The city has many tall buildings with interesting shapes.

The streets are wide,3 lanes on each side divided by a median usually with flowers.

On one side are sandstone apt.buildings and on the other are steel and glass high rises.There is quite a bit of greenery,incongruous in this desert setting.I believe they desalinate most of their water.

The Burj al Arab is the iconic landmark of Dubai.It is a hotel,321m high and costs $3,000
a night and it is said that they will never recover the cost of building it.It is in the shape of the sail of a dhow,an Arab boat that is still occasionally seen.It has a helipad on top on a projection and a bar and seafood restaurant in a tube-like protrusion from the top.There is also a tennis court on top without any protection.

We visited the Dubai Museum which used to be a fort to repel invaders.There is a constantly rotating slide show of Dubai from the 1930s to the 2000s and models of Arab life with figures in different settings.Included were pearl fishers.It is a small museum but
really lovely.
We next visited the spice souk,which sold not only spices but everything else one could imagine.

The smell was enticing.We then visited the gold souk.I priced a thin 18" gold chain but felt it was still too much even after the price was lowered $60; it was made in Italy.
We saw a sign for no unloading beside a pile of unloaded stuff.Doesn't anyone read?

The world's tallest tower is here.
The heat was getting to us by now and we were glad to get back to the ship,although a few people stayed to shop.
Dubai is a fascinating city, all magnificent buildings but no personality.perhaps this will develop in the future.
The QE2 is docked in Dubai.It was supposed to be converted to a floating hotel but this was put on hold when the Emirate became bankrupt.

permalink written by  edoyle on May 4, 2011 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates
from the travel blog: World Cruise
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