A brief moment Dubai

I’m not even sure Dubai is worth a day.  If you’re headed somewhere and it’s a logical connection point, I think spending a day there would be fine.  But I would never recommend it otherwise.

I see now why people compare it to Las Vegas.  There is a strip (Sheikh Zayed Road) where all of the skyscrapers are built.  There’s also nothing old to speak of on that strip.  That’s down in the city center area.

I got in late to Dubai Tuesday night, around 9pm, and the line at passport control was really bad.  Big planes had landed and they were making no effort to bring staff to the empty stations.  An hour later I was in a cab, too late to try and see anything that night.

Early next morning I was up and tried to swim in the rooftop pool.  Something was delayed and the guy wouldn’t let me swim, so I took some shots from the terrace.Then I took there very nice metro line down to the mall and the exit to the sail-shaped hotel.  The metro stations were ridiculous.  Dori Monson would not approve.

Metro stop by my hotel

It’s becoming a storyline of my trip — the mall doors were open, but nothing else.  I walked around there for a bit to wake up and look for some sort of breakfast.  It wasn’t open, but I did see the indoor ski slope (seen in such excellent shows like The Amazing Race).I’d also read the night before that the famous hotel doesn’t allow people in just to tour.  You have to stay there or be eating there.  I settled with a couple pictures from the metro as I headed back towards my hotel.

Too expensive for my blood, but really impressive.

After eating at a Starbucks (every American chain you can think of inhabits the strip), I jumped in a cab for the Gold Souk.  It was only partially open (9am, come on now people, it’s not a weekend) but it was a tourist trap.  If I were looking for jewelry I could see the appeal.  I can’t imagine most that visit this must-see sight are though.

Hallway of the gold city

And with that I had a little over two hours till my plan took off, so I jumped in a taxi.

This isn’t news, but Dubai is a have/have-not community.  From what I can tell there are a ton of hard-working people from India basically making the city a city.  I don’t know the wages, but my taxi rides were very affordable for a city where there are deep pockets.

This also isn’t news.  This is an oil-money society.  I can’t wait to see what this place looks like in 20, 30, or 50 years.

As a traveler I’m glad I saw it and have a brief glimpse into a tiny portion of the Middle East.  I’ll remember my Bollywood-playing cabbie, the 90s American pop pub in my hotel, and the extravagance of a city known pretty much just for that.

In Istanbul now with my friend Beau (reason why I haven’t posted in awhile, he despises the written word, and alone it was easier to burn an hour or two writing these).  Always a favorite, there are stray but nice dogs here:

Not Buster

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3 Responses to A brief moment Dubai

  1. Nona says:

    Thanks for sharing your trip with folks at home who don’t get to go anywhere.

  2. Embla says:

    You seem rather closeminded to the idea that some cultures don’t run on the same schedule as yours. I followed your link from Lucky’s blog, and he seems more compassionate towards the laborers’ situation, whereas you’re just whining that you were bored.

    By the way, the gold souk isn’t a tourist trap – a lot of expats find them cheap and often have custom jewelry made. The Asian workers know how to work the gold souk for even lower prices. Wish you could have expanded more on the ridiculousness of the metro. I have some ideas but it would be interesting to hear from someone else, as while it’s deserving of some criticism I’ve rarely heard it. You say you love travel because it challenges your expectations and views. It would certainly heighten the value of your blog if you took a more analytical look at the experiences that challenge you and shared your thoughts with your readers.

  3. typeatravels says:

    Embla — glad you decided to leave a comment to whine about my whining. The internet wins again.

    Re: closeminded to other cultures and their schedules — I made a joke about stores not being open, so I guess feel free to generalize off of that if you’d like. I made no commentary about the mall stores being closed. All during my trip I didn’t research well enough when things allowed visitors, and they often weren’t active when I got there. I was never bored however, so there’s another generalization you’re throwing around. Getting out, getting lost, changing plans — that’s all great fun for me (mostly). In hindsight, since I wasn’t shopping for jewlery, it was probably better that I came when everyone was setting up.

    Re: the gold souk — yes it is a tourist trap, in my opinion (And this is a blog where I relayed my opinions and experiences from my trip, so you really can’t fact-check me). If you’re going there for the jewelry-buying experience, I can see how it’d be fun or interesting. I am a dude with no interest in jewelery.

    Re: whatever you are challenging me to do there at the end of your comment — this was a blog written for my friends and family so they could follow along my trip. I had hopes I might do more with it — but I didn’t. Sorry you had to come across it — you are not my audience. I shared my link with Lucky to show him I had similar thoughts when I was there.

    Re: the metro stations — most transit stations I’ve used around the world are not ornate. Some subway stations have a cool look to them. The Dubai stations were huge, beautifully-shaped structures. I love the idea of beautiful transit stops, but this seemed to go too far.

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