Roaming the streets of Dubai—with my apple juice in a large cup from McDonald’s that I can’t seem to get in the States.
There are seven emirates in the UAE—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, and Fujairah. I was in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and briefly touched down in Sharjah. But the goal next time is to visit all the emirates no matter how briefly—just so I can say I’ve been to them all. And you know I’ll do it just because!
The Palm Jumeirah & Dubai Creek
I had my own personal escort to the beautiful Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Creek. I can’t even begin to describe the beauty I saw as we drove around the crescent of Palm Jumeirah. It’s a sight to behold. We also went to a couple of nightclubs that week and I had a blast. It was not a problem for me to be out late at night especially since it was still daytime in America—my body clock was still trying to adjust to the time difference.
The time difference in the Middle East took some getting used to at first, but I survived. Since we had just turned the clocks back an hour in the States, I was in a country that was 10 hours ahead of America. But the first day I landed, I was determined to get on the Middle East schedule. And, boy, did I have fun once I did!
Here’s a video I found from the “Documentary & Life Discovery Channel” on how the Palm Jumeirah came about.
The Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is so massively huge that I didn’t have time to hit all parts of it. But I did see some of the highlights. I actually went to the mall on two different occasions with two different gentlemen who were kind enough to keep me company.
The aquarium inside the mall is the largest I’ve ever seen in my life and it’s so beautiful. You can actually go scuba diving inside it as well, but I didn’t have a big desire to swim with all the sharks inside of it—so I opted NOT to do that activity. I’ve grown to like my fingers and toes over the years and prefer to keep them.
The Dancing Fountains are also something I had the pleasure of seeing. I just loved it. The water dances its little heart away to music. And can I just say—this is a daily mall attraction that happens every evening right outside of the mall. Every 30 minutes for about 5 hours or so, there’s about 5-minute water show. (I’m still trying to figure out what the mall in my hometown does every day.)
The food court inside this mall is SO huge that I couldn’t decide where I wanted to eat. It’s a massive square you walk around. I walked around it three times and still couldn’t decide where to eat. So, naturally, I stopped at three or four different places—as only I would do—and got something from each of them.
There’s a huge ice rink inside this mall, too, but I didn’t have a chance to give it a whirl. It looks like fun and I’ll have to go skating on the next go ’round.
I was just in awe everywhere I went in this town. Something that impressed me was the Metro system. It reminds me of the subway system in New York City in the States—EXACTLY like it except that there is no driver on this Metro system—it runs automatically all day long—and it’s CLEAN and SPOTLESS!
There are thousands of people who ride this thing all day long sitting and standing everywhere—but look at how CLEAN it stays!! This is NOT what the subway in New York looks like—I can tell you that! It makes me wonder why the people in the States can’t keep their subways clean at all times. I was so impressed I had to take clicks of it.
I went to the Dubai Museum, too, but I wasn’t all that impressed with it. I don’t know why, but I was a little bored there. At least I got to see it though.
The Gold Souk
Oh, and the Gold Souk—this is a whole other part of town—like the “old Dubai” part of town on the other side of the creek. After I used the bathroom just one time on this side of town, I could pretty much tell on my own that this was the “old Dubai” area of town. Omg!
I had two lovely gentlemen escort me around this part of town where they have a shop they run. One of them came to get me from my hotel in the evening and we took the Metro to this area. It took a little while to get there, but we finally made it.
I told them I wanted to buy myself a hijab like I see some of the ladies wearing around town. I wanted to absorb the culture. They took me to a shop that sold them and the owner put it on me—SOLD! I could only wear it about five minutes though because I started sweating under it! I don’t know how they wear those things all day long.
Oh, you don’t even want to know how much fun I had sending a picture of me in a hijab back home to the States to my family and friends! Omg. You should have seen all the text messages coming back through on my cell phone after I sent that picture!
I also got to ride an abra back and forth across the creek. Of course, me being me, I’m looking around for life jackets—but NO—everyone just piles onto a rickety boat wherever they can fit and off it goes. No life jackets—nothing! You’re pretty much on your own during a sinking. All I was doing was thinking about what my move was gonna be should we capsize.
We were so close to a mosque in the above video that you can really hear how loud the prayer was during this time as we’re pulling up in the creek about to get off the abra.
So, if you have nothing else to do today, consider getting yourself a hijab if for no other reason than to conceal your identity when you really don’t want to be bothered.
Take-Away Life Lesson: Just sit and thank the heavens if you have modern restroom facilities to use in your hometown whenever you need to use the bathroom. Don’t ask me WHY! Never mind the details. Just thank the heavens.