Monday, June 4, 2007

Abras, Sheikh's House, Creek Tour

After much confusion we figured out how to get down into the older section of the city. Thought that we would brave the very warm weather and get some Dubai history under our belts.

Kenny & I trekked across the creek on an Abra for about $.30 each. We of course were the only ones on there that had the cameras out, tourists!
Boats on top of boats line the creek walls with everything imaginable on them. The head into the Persian Gulf with goods for the neighboring countries.

There is a great mix of old & new here with all the added cultures blended together to make up the city.

This is a "souq".... market. They are spread out everywhere in the city. They even have ones that are specific for different things... spices, gold, fish, veggies & fruits. This one had a lot of tourist sort of goods and some great shoes. The vendors come out and ask you if you want anything. Don't forget to haggle. Very Life of Brian. I didn't see anyone selling fake facial hair to women though.

One of the abra docks.

The view down the creek.

This is the entrance to Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum's House
He is said to be the creator of the modern day Dubai. During his rule the wheels started to turn to create the Dubai of today.
They have recently renovated the building and made it into a museum of sorts to show off the heritage of the area.

All kinds of rooms, towers and tiny doors...

Wind towers, not sure how they work yet, but they do look like a good perch for the pet falcon.

How tall was the Sheikh? Was his other name Papa Smurf?

Nice view down the creek. When this house was inhabited only 50 or so years ago, there was nothing on this stretch of beach except a couple grass huts and a small fishing village. Sand, goats and camels would have been the sites back then. It's amazing what can happen to a place in 50 years.

This is the central courtyard. The entire house wraps around it.

A very tiny inhabitant of the Sheikh's house. He is the first lizard that I have seen here. I thought that there would be so many more but, I guess the traffic is too much for them too.

Next door to the Sheikh's house is the Heritage and Diving Village. Pearl diving was big business until a bigger one came around... oil. Now there are very few that use it as a business.
No idea what they catch in this as the sign was in arabic. This is Kenny's impersonation of how a fish would feel caught in it's snare.

Time for a stroll along the waterfront to catch some rays and an abra ride back to the car.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

More Shopping malls

The one thing that there is a lot of here is SHOPPING. There are souqs or malls at every turn. Here are a few of our shopping highlights.

This is the Madinat Jumeira. It is a hotel and shopping center. There is an abra that takes you between the shops and the other hotels on the beach. The Burj Al Arab which is the 7 star with the tennis court up on the top and the Jumeira Beach Resort.

Here are some of the rooms for the hotel.

The Burj in the background looking out on all of us.

The abras that run up and down the creek.

Looking a bit tired (4am comes around really early, damn the radio business!) but, we were still going even after a stroll along the water and through the mall.

More of the hotel.

He doesn't look like he is going to share those does he? Freshly roasted nuts with carmel, chocolate, and other delicious toppings.... So yummy.

They have live music and entertainment out here in the evenings. There are restaurants scattered through the mall, on the waterfront and hotel. As it is part of a hotel they can serve alcohol. Many restaurants can't so they mix up really delicious fresh fruit drinks and mocktails instead.

Shisha water pipes. Just like Alice In Wonderland. They come in different flavors, strawberry, grape, mint, and apple are some of the popular ones.

The view from the top, well the top of the seating area.

The inside shopping area is fashioned like an old market. Tons of winding corridors and dark wood.

Here is the Wafi City Center.
Huge pyramids stick out of the city's skyline. This section is all done in stained glass.

Ibn Buttata Mall
This maze of shops has different sections. Here are some shots of the Chinese Courtyard.

Let's play where's Kenny?! You'd never know from this photo that he is over 6 ft tall.

Kenny found a friend at the Toy Store.

This is the Festival City Shopping Center. We have spent a great deal of time here as of late as this the the home of everyone's favorite Swedish creation.... IKEA.
The entire center is on the creek that runs through Dubai. When this is all finished you will be able to take a gondola type boat up the canals inside to the hotels, restaurants, and shopping. I am not sure if they are equipped to handle a king size bed and kitchen table with chairs but, perhaps they will come up with some sort of tug for that!
The whole theme is H2O as you can see from these pictures. Fountains everywhere. Again bring comfy shoes, it's a big place.

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