Thursday, 1 November 2012

Travels 2012 - Dubai - days 11 to 18

Travels 2012 - Dubai - days 11 to 18
So we arrived in Dubai after a few hours of fun and games on the Emitates flight from London. The plane arrived late from an earlier flight so it was on a 'remote stand'. It took the 600 passengers about 2 hours to board the plane by bus! We were late .. the inflight entertainment was daunting with a thousand channels.. the customs agent said to Marisol, Madrid or Barca (Madrid) .. a short taxi ride with the most spectacular Dubai skyline, and we arrive at Maya and Steve's house! We have not seen them for over ten years so its a nice meeting.
                                          Dubai Skyline
On a whim we decide to call the Indian counslate to check the status of Marisol's Indian visa, and discover that all is not well with her PIO card (Person of Indian Origin). We try all alternatives including getting a new visa but nothing works unless we want to hang out in Dubai for a month!
So the Indian leg of our trip will have to wait for the next time and we hastily reorganise our flights and hotels. Then we start going around Dubai. So many tall buildings including Burj Khalifa, the tallest in the world. We reunite with old friends Rima and Mustapha, who are seeking a refuge here from their native Damascus..

The number of shopping malls, luxury hotels is staggering. People must have a lot of money here, although in the old part of town there is also an air of decay that one finds where large population of Indians exist. The Emirates mall is huge, incorporating a huge aquarium, and a comlete ski slope.
On one of our outings we head for the old part and in an attempt to park the car end up near the canal that runs through Dubai. The sun is scorching and we walk around looking for shadows. Suddenly a Sikh man appears and we are ablle to hire a boat, and head for our destination in style sitting on deck enjoying a cruise on the water.
The museum is housed in an old style building complete with wind towers. The speed of change is remarkable. We learn that all the skyline of Dubai has appeared in the last 15 years and Dubai has virtually no history.
Dubai swimsuits on display at a department store

Over the next few days we eat a lot at exotic Indian, and Persian restaurants, with our friends, their friends and we meet Lara, who is on a work related trip from Sydney, where we last saw her a couple of years ago. We take in the huge development at the Palm and the Burj hotel where Steve was project manager a few years ago.
Finally the saturday arrives and we take our leave and in the early morning take a cab and head for the airport and take a flight to our next stop, Bangkok.

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