I had the opportunity to visit Dubai on a company business trip and extended a couple of days for my own personal trip. Having heard so many tales about the overflowing abundant riches of this country and its surreal cityscape, I went there with many preconceived expectations.
‘Dubai is a cautionary tale about what money can’t buy: a Culture of its Own’
– Quote by Reem Al-Marri
I would not say all are completely unfounded – the lavishness of the hotels and grandeur of the shopping malls does live up to its name. Look left for the world’s tallest building, look right for the world’s biggest shopping mall, ahead is the World’s greatest indoor ski slope. Dubai is the benchmark of hardcore competitiveness, having to be the best in everything. A passing remark I made when I was there ’ Is there a Dubai Zoo?’, to get a reply from my colleague ’ Not unless it can be the world’s best’. LOL
But the city does have more than what one perceives. Lets open with an introduction on its first impressions:
What to expect in Dubai?
1. The Rich New Dubai – Stunning skyline with towering shiny buildings
Stretched along Sheikh Zayed Road ( the Boulevard of Dubai), you have shimmering buildings towering to the left and right. Each building looks completely new and untouched with its glass windows reflecting off the next shiny clear building across it. For a city in a desert, this is quite unexpected.
Glistering skyscrapers line the Sheikh Zayed Road
On the way to Atlantis hotel, we caught a glimpse of the infamous 7-Star Hotel – Burj Al Arab
The view of the stunning Infinity Tower from the Dubai Marina
Themed interior at the Ibn Battuta – the longest running mall I have seen
2. The ‘Old’ Dubai – Traditions and Authenticity
Dubai never quite had a long rich historical background, with its humble beginnings as just a desert with limited resources. Whatever you see now is also not 100% replicate of of its true beginnings. But still, through the little preserved architecture and cultural places, the sights I see are true and beautiful to its Middle Eastern heritage.
View of the Dubai Old Souq River from the Dhow Wooden Boats
View from my hotel – Morning sun rays hitting the whitewash buildings
A beautiful mosque we walked by while strolling around
Passing through a New market selling with silk scarfs and handmade Aladdin shoes
Beautifully woven shoes hung on display
Lovely ornaments and items for sale along the market, a feast to the eyes
Those captivating eyes lock the mystery beneath the dark veil of these Middle Eastern women in their traditional Abaya.
Despite Dubai being a city that has little to no resources other than oil, they do a pretty fine job creating their own natural reserves. If you have more time in this dazzling city, another great addition to your multi-day itinerary in Dubai is to check out Miracle Garden.
3. Miracle Gardens – a lovely man-made garden a bit off the city center
My favorite segments of the garden
Favorite photo of Miracle Gardens, the sky looks so unreal here
My crazy Dubai colleague-now-buddy that brought me around for a day and a half in Dubai. Thanks for the adventures and being such an awesome host!
Now for the FUN stuff to do in Dubai for the adventure lovers:
4. Sand Buggy and Drifting
The Dunes we went up while Sand Drifting around in our 4wheel drive
More photos spamming at the Dunes
Camel Riding on the Dunes
Quad Biking at the Dunes ( just posing, didn’t actually get to do it)
The empty ‘below the stars’ dinner area before the crowd comes
The sun setting in the distance, couldn’t resist another photo
Never ate so much Mediterranean and Indian food in my whole life ( A collage of the many meals I had in Dubai)
5. Ski in the Biggest Indoor Skiing Slope
Dubai might be hot all year round and will never ever get the chance of snow, yet this country has the world’s biggest indoor ski slope.
Imagine the amount of energy and electricity needed to keep that temperature of winter cold!
However I must say it was a great experience to ski here. It is nothing like those kiddy snow playgrounds you see in other countries that is so bad that you want to laugh. This one is actually extremely impressive and a full good length! Of coz it will not have the mountainous views and pine trees, but its a really good ski nonetheless!
Looks small, but don’t be deceived, it actually runs for metres!
View from midpoint on the slopes
Everyone is provided the SkiDubai Ski Wear, that’s me in my oversize one, smiling from ear to ear.
Hence to round up my trip, Dubai is a country overflowing with wealth and modern advancement, and yet they still have some traditions still very much preciously preserved till this day and age.
Me in the traditional Abaya clothing Definitely Dubai
The gorgeous Jumeirah Open Beach
Thank you for reading Definitely Dubai!