Source: Wikipedia (our pictures didn't come out so well)

Source: Wikipedia (our pictures didn't come out so well)

We went up to Dubai last weekend, perhaps the most ostentatious place I have ever seen. It is sprawling from side to side and top to bottom, with the obvious sign of new construction everywhere: as many sky cranes as skyscrapers. Its centerpiece is the Burj Dubai, topping out at 2,684 feet it is nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building, and by far the tallest manmade structure in the world, ever.  It’s exterior is complete with the grand opening scheduled for sometime near the end of this year.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Dubai is also in the process of adding to its urban sprawl by doing none other than increasing its size by literally making new land.  They are ‘reclaiming’ the Persian Gulf by building a host of islands in the sea, from The World Islands to several other custom built landmasses designed solely for the rich and famous to show off.  Despite the obvious comparison of Dubai to male strutting in the most expensive and creative sense, it is still a damn cool city, and has a lot more to do, especially during Ramadan, compared to Abu Dhabi.  Plus, they just completed the construction of an aboveground train system that will (hopefully) greatly improve the traffic issues and create an easier way to get around town for visitors instead of taking taxis everywhere. The metro officially opened up this week.

Dubai has in it everything you could ever dream of doing, and then a few other things as well.  We visited the two main malls in Dubai, the Dubai Mall and the Emirates Mall, both of which make any other mall you have ever been to seem cheap and boring. We saw skateboard shops with skate ramps in them, one of the largest aquariums in the world, the famous indoor ski slope (pretty reasonably priced at 180 AED, about $50 for 2 hrs with all the equipment), and the Gold Souk, a strip of jewelry stores that makes it impossible to believe there’s could be a shortage of anything anywhere.

Skate ramp above skate shop in Dubai MallDubai Mall AquariumIndoor skiing at Emirates Mall

In the two days we were there, we celebrated the nightlife as well, grabbing some pricey cocktails at a Neo’s bar on the 63rd floor of a building that comes up to just near the belt line of the Burj Dubai, but provides a spectacular view of the water fountain show below. We followed that up at the more reasonably priced Barzar, where we sipped on Hoegaardens and shisha (hookahs) until closing. The next evening we spanned the city by going to some bars near the Dubai Tennis Stadium and ended the evening at a really cool place called Buddha Bar.

We’re planning to return in a few weeks after Ramadan. I’ll start saving up my fils (100 fils = 1 dhiram = $0.28).

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Thomas Richard on November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    hey man, i was just wondering, in which mall was it the one with the rage tiny skate bowl in, the skii dubai one or the huge dubai mall with the aquarium?.. please reply as an email


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