I loved the fact that this small desert oasis blossomed into this city. It was not a gradual thing like in other places where it happens over time. Rather their whole mantra is build it and they will come and build big. The Dubai Mall just speaks to the whole experience. If you are a shopper you will be in heaven and for a few days.
I hear people beat up Dubai for it being fake and just a money pit, no real culture, slave labor, etc. Well let’s say you moved to a new development in Maryland or Florida and they put in everything-schools, malls, restaurants, recreational things and a larger than life clubhouse, would you move into that area. How about we add an ancient, somewhat reserved, slightly behind the times in some areas, but offering so much of a mix—all that can be had if you seek it out, easier for a man, but still available if you spend the cash and time both researching and “manning up”. Yeah I never thought I could use that word in that way but I like it. Now can you say it is “FAKE”.
We took a drive outside of Dubai to Sharja and what we saw was not too unexpected. Dubai is the brother that went to Exeter, then Stanford and finally Oxford. The other cities steeped with an air of ancient ness and tradition like your basic community college and then you go to a very blue collar job. At times I wanted to just go into stores and shops as well as buildings and just let the atmosphere sink in but we were on a bus tour (this stop for the hop on hop off went to this city but you could only go to this one place). There was no real tourist atmosphere so we just visited a site and went back on the bus.
In Dubai we went to the less touristy part of town in search of goodies to take home. We ate non western and fast-food a few times. My fondest memory was the Indian or Nepali food that was spicy as f….
We splurged on a few things but the best was eating bad-for-you-ice cream at Haagen Daz. We saw a few months later, a blog of a guy eating some cheap cheap food and we were like whhhatttt,, next time.
Are we going back, hmmm. I will follow up with the stores, ethnicities local mall, and the water in my next Dubai post.