01.03.2017 - 01.03.2017
Arrived in Dubai at 5 .45am on Tuesday. The Grosvenor House is to be our home until Thursday.
This place is posh and a long way from our camper van days.
A walk up along the marina and back via the beach was very pleasant and helped us get our bearings. (Sort of)
A slight weariness has set in so we took it easy for a few hours in our suite of rooms until our tour guide arrived to collect us for a tour of the city.
What did we learn about Dubai:
The Sheik Mohammad is the twelfth member of this family to rule Dubai and by all accounts has changed the city beyond recognition.
Less than 20% of the people who live here are native, Indians and Pakistanis make up a large portion of the residents today.
Tourism is the main source of income, oil is now in short supply.
Dubai has no fresh water supply, desalination plants make the sea water drinkable.
There is almost zero crime rate, no rubbish or littering tolerated, no poverty, no homeless, no wreckless drivers. The penalties for breaking the law are extremely severe.
Great concentration on sporting facilities.
Everything built has to be the biggest and the best in the world.
On our tour our first stop was for a photo opportunity at Hotel Atlantica on the Palm, an amazing hotel with every facility imaginable. Stopped again at the beach by the Burj Al Arab built like a ships sail and is a 7 star hotel.
We visited the National Gallery where we saw furniture made from Camel Bones and gold and precious stone encrusted wall hangings for sale at a steal for up to a million dollars depending on size.
We then called to the old town walls and a museum of the way things were in bygone years. We took a dhow across the water to the old town and visited the spice markets and the shops displaying and selling mountains of gold jewellry. I have rarely if ever seen so much loud gold necklaces and jewellry of every size and shape.
A talk on the Muslin beliefs outside a Mosque left me feeling I would like to learn more about this religion and it's customs.
It was a good tour and we learned loads.
On day two we took a taxi to the shopping mall and took a few photos at the tallest building standing at 830 metres high, 163 floors the Burj Khalifa.
We visited the excellent aquarium where we saw several sharks and other sea life.
Afternoon we were collected for our Desert Safari .
The minibus took us to the heart of the desert, about 40 minutes drive in heavy traffic. There we got our headgear for the trip.
the jeep took us at speed across the sand where we spotted Oryx and gazelle, camels and piles of sand.
A falcon display and traditional food served at a typical Bedouin site. Bedouin is the name given to the formerly nomadic Arabian people.
The meal consisted of Lentil soup and traditional pancake type bread, a mixed starters of meat, salads and other unrecognisable bits, main course was Lamb, Chicken Kebab and Camel, rice and sauce. Very tasty indeed.
Dessert of fresh fruit with tea, coffee, chai, juices, sprite.
No alcohol. Traditional dances interspersed the meal and a real treat - 5 minutes of lights out to just watch the stars.
Camel rides and pipe smoking also henna tattoos all also available included in the price.
These guys do a good job.