Dubai. The buzzing centre of the Middle East. The belly button of some of the world‘s most important businesses and base for one of the biggest airline company in the world. The city which encourages the conception of the best city in the world. So modern, neat and professional, yet deeply arabic and eastern inside.
Dubai certainly is impressive, in all respect. Although its economy was always essentially built on the oil industry, its western style transition turned this Persian Gulf‘s treasure into a tourist destination and also centre for financial services. It has grown steadily, only to become a respectable cosmopolitan and cultural hub. It’s a place which can, more than any other city, both disappoint and impress you within just one day only. What a day, even an hour! ..since Dubai is the city with two faces. A unique combination of an old, historical tradition and a new, compelling development.
Sweat, hard work and the real thing. The Old Dubai spreading along both banks of Dubai Creek is the city‘s heart and soul. However, most of the people have never heard about this part. It’s a place to go when you want to go back in time a little.. I would call it a piece of a real life in Emirates aside from all the polished beauty you are familiar with. The Old Dubai has it’s magic. You will be dragged into the atmosphere of an ancient East, whether you visit one of the old Souks (offering various textiles, spices or gold) or just take a sail in a wooden boat along the creek. It’s a place where normal people use Abras (a small traditional boats made of wood) as a ferry to cross the creek to get to work every day. Only in the Old Dubai it’s possible that the boat driver crashes the boat to the wharf when turning round down the creek. And I guess only in Arabic country there‘s suddenly at least fifteen Abras full of these all in white dressed men, all trying to help at the same time – although nobody knows what they’re actually doing. We ended up being pulled and pushed from one side to another for a good half an hour. With a happy ending though! It was like: „Welcome to the old world behind all the fame“.
Innovation, ambition, development. That is on the other hand the new face of Dubai, its downtown where all the wonders and magic happen. You probably know all the pictures of Dubai with all these skyscrapers, hotels and shopping malls. Everybody has heard about the symbols such as phenomenal Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world or no less famous Burj Al Arab – a fascinating, luxury 7 star hotel (where, just to let you know, all the hotel guests are picked up from the airport by a helicopter). You‘ve also probably heard about excesses such as ski slope in the middle of a shopping mall, standing nearby a huge indoor aquarium (quite a lots of attractions for just a shopping mall, huh?), tennis court on the top of the luxurious hotel or just artificially made islands shaped in a form of the world map. Perfection and neatness is everywhere. Dubai wants to amaze in every possible way. And it does it quite well, indeed. You will be amazed. That’s guaranteed.
But there’s more to Dubai, that’s why it’s so diverse. It’s the city of spices, oil and gold. It actually gets golden, every evening. How come you may ask? It’s simple – when all the tiny little grains of sand hovering in the hot air along the horizon encounter the sunrays from this huge red pulsating globe, slowly disappearing from the sky. And when the red meets the dusty yellow sand, the sky above suddenly turns gold. Colouring – modest, yet phenomenal. That’s something my mind will remember for a long time for sure.
It’s also a city where the climate is so hot, that even breathing gets demanding immediately once you exit an air-conditioned building. However, due to the arabic traditions and habits it’s still advisable to wear some proper, not too disclosing and provocative clothes.
A city that remains incredibly green although it lies directly on the Arabian desert. All thanks to the government which invests heaps of money to constantly water all the artificial lawns and parks during the whole day (mainly from the desalted seawater).
One of the most visited, fastest growing and most famous cities in the world. First to create a man-made islands. Having the world’s tallest building, largest shopping mall in the world or the world’s largest flower garden. Taking pride in having the most expensive and the world’s only 7* hotel. The world’s first shopping resort, first indoor ski resort, aquarium with the largest Acrylic Panel. The whitest sand and the bluest sky. Whatever… And that’s only a small fraction of what Dubai is actually proud of. Everything is just the best, or it’s about to become the best. Sounds crazy? It is impressive, no doubts. But it sounds also materialistic and little shallow to me. So much effort to become, to be and to stay the best. I can appreciate even the little things in the world.
Once again, Dubai. The glamorous city you definitely have to see in a lifetime. It shows you things you can’t find anywhere else.
Worth seeing. Only once though.
And what is your impression from Dubai?