Sunday April 29, 2012
Welcome to Dubai! I arrived in the Emirates last night after a very nice flight from Seattle on Emirates Air. I know you have already read from Rita’s posts that the airline is excellent, but let me just reiterate that here. I was pleasantly surprised with an upgrade, then we were served champagne before take off. The seats recline, so after dinner and watching a couple movies, I actually SLEPT on the flight. It was supposed to be a 14.5 hour flight that was shortened to 13.5, and when I reclined my seat and went to sleep, I think only a few hours had passed. When I woke back up there were only 3 hours left in the flight! I was amazed.
I finally got to my hotel, had some dinner and went to sleep for the night. I have a view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world from my room and it is all lit up at night – very pretty!
This morning we went to a Dubai Tourism presentation at one of the luxury hotels on the Palm islands. It is amazing to see how much the Emirate has grown in such a short period of time. In 1990 you would not recognize what the city of Dubai has become. There are still plenty of construction projects going on and demand for more hotel rooms and services is on the rise. The airport (already huge) is getting an expansion. They are really trying to make this a one stop destination for vacations – you can visit an aquarium, go snow and sand skiing, drive through the dunes, go sailing, go to the horse races, enjoy fine dining, and shop til you drop, and much, much more.
We had a brief tour to visit the Dubai museum, which also shows the development of the city, and then took an abra ride across the creek to the souks. The souk in the older part of the city is much like those in other Middle Eastern cities. The gold souk is huge, so if you want to buy some gorgeous jewellery you will have lots to choose from!
I will try to get some photos from today posted in just a bit, then it is off to dinner at the Zabeel Saray on the Palm Islands. More to come!