April 14, 2009

Middle-Eastern Adventures...

I recently returned from a week in Dubai - I was visiting friends - and what a very superficial place it is: full of falsity and fakery. Everything is tailored towards being the biggest, the best, and the brightest. While there's nothing wrong with that, after a while it became more about the grandeur than anything else.

It is certainly a playground for the wealthy (in one bar a regular drink cost me £14!), and the opulence is there if you can afford it, but it's also a very fragmented city, with cranes and construction sites all over the place. It is literally impossible to look out anywhere over the city (when the morning dust isn't in the air, that is), without seeing at least half a dozen of the mechanical beasts towering over the skyline.

Don't read me wrong: I really enjoyed it. We had dinner at The Atlantis; played at Wild Wadi Waterpark; went dune-bashing in the Arabian Desert; rode a camel; had a Bedouin meal; threw snowballs at the largest indoor ski-park in the world; turned down criminally expensive drinks at the Burj Al Arab; and spent a day on an open-topped bus touring the city.

For a one-time-only deal, I would definitely recommended it, but don't be surprised if you have no money left when you get home.


Tuonela said...

I read somewhere that something like 20% of the construction cranes in the world are currently in Dubai. (Thinks: Do they migrate in winter...?)

Dalim said...

Ha your friend Ian has already said the interesting factoid I was going to mention about Dubai!
A work colleague just got back from there on his way back from a holiday in Italy... it must be the season!

Brian G Ross said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. I actually heard - from my mate who lives there - that it is 70% of the world's cranes, but that does seem a little high.