Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dubai - part 2

I thought I had experienced a lot on the first visit, but this time was utterly mind blowing! Along on this trip were my colleagues, Charles & Heather. The first day we made a visit to a special needs school, and on the way saw some amazing views & pictures of some of the construction projections underway, which our hotel happened to be smack in the middle of – literally feet from our front steps was a huge lot with at least 6 or 7 buildings being built.
After our work appointments finished, we took a taxi down to Jumeriah beach resort to take in the world’s only 7-star hotel and famous Dubai landmark, the Burj Al Arab and dipped our toes in the Arabian Gulf!
In the evening, we visited the Madinat Jumeriah souq where we had much clearer views of the Burj, possibly even more incredible at night, and a fantastic outside dinner at a Moroccan restaurant called Shoo Fee Mafe (translation = What’s Up). For appetizers we had pastillas, deep fried, sweet pastries with different fillings such as cheese, chicken, and pigeon!
Our second day was the absolute best. After our morning press conference, we went on a desert safari involving dune bashing (4-wheeling in a Land Cruiser through the sand dunes), camel rides, sheesha (hookah smoking), a delicious bbq dinner of grilled chicken, lamb, and beef kabobs, and a belly dancing show. The whole experience was incredibly surreal!
In true Dubai “shopping as a national pastime” spirit, the morning of our last day I went back to the Madinat Jumeriah and purchased the most expensive souvenir I have ever acquired - a beautiful beige Persian rug, with designs made from the skins of pomegranate and walnut, for my living room. It will serve as a daily reminder of all the great fun & amazing experiences I enjoyed in this wonderfully advanced, and unique Arabian country!

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