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Mind boggling Dubai
Over the years I have travelled through Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia as they were the hubs for the airlines I flew on. The glitzy air ports, the brands and style, free wifi and leather seats was all I really knew of the places. And of course the electronic goods and the gold ornaments.
I would save my DSA from the conferences and bought my DSL Canon camera, my Note book computer, and ofcourse my gold bracelets and chain indulgences. I spent my time in the airports in the shops. I was even put up in the Emirates hotel when I missed my flight to Madrid for a UN Water conference.
But this time spending time with my classmate in Dubai and travelling to see Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimer was the highlight of our trip. Every city had their signature towers, skyscrapers, malls and iconic buildings, but every city was different .
The heat was something I just could not get used to. Luckily that was just from the house to the car and from the car to the buildings we went to. We did however take a ferry across the creek to the souk which really gave us the feel of the old Dubai.
Spices and shiny clothes, curious, stunningly coloured decorative plates and of course the lamps and gold ornaments glittered and shimmered in the evening light. Spirals of incencse smoke curled up in the air around the shops and the aroma from the sacks of all sorts of spices filled the air.
It was a different experience from all the western countries that I visit regularly as my sons live in the US and UK. Right from the service on the Emirates flight coming in to zipping on the flyovers which stand in a tangled web across the cities, my Middle East experience has been an amazingly different blast of energy.
And the level of honesty in every city is something we from India are not accustomed to. Women do not go shopping till 10 pm at night for fear of being assaulted by brutal gangs of men And considering the country is almost run by us Indians, why is it that we cant be honest in our own country? Why do we cheat and lie and are corrupt for everything at home and yet are cautious in another country?
We went to the top of the Burj Khalifa, the worlds tallest free standing tower. Glittering like a diamond in the desert heat we were taken up to the 124th floor in a minute! What a view, we just stood and gaped at what they have made of what was just a desert.
I have loved my 10 day holiday here and my eyes have been opened to the beauty that can be conjured up by man with a focus. In our lifetime these cities have sprung up and its amazing what wealth and power and the best creative minds can do.
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