Friday, September 14, 2012

Dubai, a State of Business--Part 2

This adventure needed two parts. After our wonderful presentation at the mosque, we stopped for lunch at one of the nearby malls.  There were quite a few lunch options I ended up getting a juice smoothie from Jungle Juice that actually used real fruit in their juices and smoothies.  I considered getting date and banana juice, but in the end decided I wasn't that brave.  Instead opting for mango and banana.  I also bought a baked potato with BBQ chicken from Potato Hut.  This is such a cute idea!

After lunch, we started our typical tourist sightseeing of Dubai.  Here's the picture adventure.

The Burj al Arab; one of two 7 star hotels in the world.

If an Arab woman and Arab man marry, the government grants them one of these houses. along with a 20,000  dirham marriage gift.

Here are some of my classmates with the Atlantis hotel in the background.  The Atlantis hotel is the largest in the world and is located on the crescent in the palms.  It's massive and a very pretty building.

Here is down by the Dubai marina.  We don't know the exact purpose of the twisty building in the back, the student who works in the International Exchange Office, Moataz, says he left for his study abroad, came back and its was built and doesn't have a clue its exact purpose other than perhaps hotel accommodations or business cubicles or maybe apartment suites or restaurants

Dubai Mall.  The biggest mall in the world, supposedly.  It has an indoor aquarium and an ice rink.  I though the Mall of the Emirates was supposed to be bigger...

The Burj al khaleefa.  The tallest tower in the world.  I hope you are getting the trend now.  Dubai = tallest or largest, biggest or best.

The Penguin towers.  This was definitely one of my favorite buildings, but they all were so neat.

 Here are the gates to the Sheik's ancestral/official residence in Dubai.  We weren't invited in, so here's the main gates with the Dubai police out front.

Peacocks roam outside the residence of the Sheik.  I couldn't get any pictures of the peahens, because of other tourists, but here is the peacock hiding in the bushes, avoiding the paprazzi.

The Sheik's stables.  Have you ever heard of Arabian stallions?  Horses were very important in the past and still have a significant important in horse racing and horse exhibitions today, although there is no gambling in the country.  Instead you go online.

The small Dubai museum.  It held a few pieces from the beginning of the foundation of this city, from hundreds of years back.  It also had a somewhat freaky wax museum set-up, depicting early Dubai life, pearl merchants, bakers, spice merchants, tailors, etc.

Lots of maritime history and boats in Dubai.  Here's one from the musuem.

Here is a model of an old Dubai house, old here detonating before oil and when pearl diving was still a major income, somewhere before the mid 1800's approximately.

There was a small exhibit over folk music and dancing.  This is one big instrument and was a harp, but colorfully decorated.


We crossed the Dubai creek in one of these old fashioned dhows, although there was a motor to move the boat, no oars.  Although everyone realized we couldn't stand all on the same side if we wanted to float.  Below is just a picture of the edge, there was no railing and barely a lip.

 We visited the spice souq and some of our group bought spices like cinnamon for oatmeal or hibiscus for hibiscus tea.  One of my classmates said she was able to conduct the whole business deal in her native tongue of German.

One of the highlights wasn't the spices, but drinking coconut juice.  I hadn't seen a coconut outside the grocery store and I'm pretty sure that coconuts didn't look like that in our grocery store.

There was also a Irani ice cream that many people tried.  I it was almost too sweet to be enjoyable.  It's texture was ice with some kind of noodle, I think.

After the spice souq, we journeyed to the gold souq.  Which has a lot of gold shops up and down the walkway, although there seemed just as many people hawking cold drinks or hats or designer handbags.

This is the world's largest gold ring, certified by Guinness World Records.

Our trip in Dubai felt like it took longer than our similar trip to Sharjah, but that's perhaps because we had more places to go to within the same time period.  It was a very busy day, but an enjoyable one.

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