Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Dubai: city in the desert

D Dubai is a place I had only read about and never really thought I would visit. But now as I cruise on the Queen Mary 2, it will be the destination at which I disembark. Apart from the 16 nights of dancing on board ship as we cruise from Hong Kong, one of the reasons I had for choosing this cruise was the chance it will give me to visit with one of my past students, who is now a department head in the adjacent emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Not knowing much about that part of the world I had to do a lot of reading, so here is my brief version of Dubai Introduction 101. If there are any errors in my summary please feel free to  comment and let me know
Dubai is one of the 7 emirates that constitute the United Arab Emirates, on the Arabian Peninsula.
The Emirates, each governed by a hereditary emir are Abu Dhabi (the capital of the UAE), Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain.
Dubai, also known as the Golden City,is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, with modern skyscrapers, soaring from a desert land.
It is a city of contrasts from the old city al Bastikiya area, where wind towers provide the "air-conditioning" to the modern luxury of the Burj al Arab Hotel. The Palm Jumeira area where the world's largest three man-made islands have been created, seems to be a "don't miss" area. Other areas of interest are the Gold Souk, the Jumeirah Mosque - stunning moderm Islamic architecture and the Sheik Zayed Road, the "Manhattan" of Dubai.
I will be spending two days in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi so the full stories and photographs on will only be posted midway through the A to Z Challenge, but this is what I am looking forward to seeing.

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