What a contrast. Dubai has limited oil reserves left and a limited production at best compared to Oman and Oman is small, self-contained and restrained while Dubai is over the top trying to outVegas Vegas or outDisney Disney (however you see it). I’m clearly letting my prejudices show.
We did the Dubai sail-in at 8am and as you can see there was a mist in the air – this mist was with us all day and actually became quite thick in the late afternoon. Its probably like what you see on the Sketeton Coast of South West Africa – but air was cool, water warm here.
The skyline of the city is awesome – tall skyscrapers along the length of the coast. The Burj Khalifa – the worlds tallest building – is obvious. This is likely to be surpassed in height soon by either (or both) the competing towers – one in South Korea and one in Shanghai. Many of the passengers took the elevator to the top to see the 360 degree view offered – you can see the sea and the sand.
One of the few 7Star hotels in the world is here – Burj Al Arab. We were offered a tea there for $390 each – decided against it but a number of folks took it up.
Many ships were docked with us – the Amsterdam (for a while), the Costa Deliziosa, Seabourne Sojourner and the poor old QE2. The QE2 was bought by some businessmen from Dubai with the idea that it would become a floating hotel – money or plans haven’t worked out (some say it’s the asbestos). Then it was going to be used at the World Cup Soccer in Cape Town – didn’t work out. So here it sits.
We took a shuttle into town and it dropped us off at a Shopping area – we had no desire to do the Museum / Gold Souk tour we had booked. We also didn’t feel like going to the Mall of the Emirates – the worlds biggest – they have a ski slope and ice skating rink. Seemed rinky dink.
Spent the morning wandering around. The Mall true to form was a mall. Lots of dudes in local dress sitting around drinking coffee.
A millinery display by famous hat designers – Bonnie you’d have loved it.
Expensive stores – I priced watches to fulfill the fantasy but recoiled from reality. Pianos designed for those with everything they need in the world (except taste).
All, and I mean all, the staff are expats – Pakistani, Indian, Philipino etc. Beautifully designed building. Zero shoppers. See Michael pose for a shot in the empty mall.
Returned to the port and spent a few happy hours getting free Wi Fi so I could catch up on my e-mails and some business stuff. On the ship internet access is 25c/min and the speed is sloooooow. Downloading photos is souldestroyingly slow. Being able to do it quickly and free was lovely.
Back on the ship and on our way again to run the gauntlet past Somalia and Ethiopia then South to the Seychelles. Five Days at sea.