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Full Day in Dubai #1


Yesterday was my first full day in Dubai. After some cereal (the hostel provides free breakfast), I walked outside-not sure what to do. As per usual, when I get to a new city, I am not always sure what to do. Fortunately, the tram runs right in front of the hostel. A woman working at the station could see i look confused. Looking at a map-i figured I would to to the tallest building in the world, which is in Dubai-that seemed like a good area to go towards. She pointed me to the direction I needed to go to. So I took the tram 10 minutes to the metro.

It was then when I realized how sprawling a city Dubai is. The hostel is located in the Marina District-near the shorefront, which is a city in itself. The hostel is on the 66th floor of an 80 something floor building, and there are a bunch of these very tall buildings around here. But to get to where the tallest building in the world is-I needed to take the metro 1/2 an hour, past other districts of very tall buildings, past office parks with big Multinational companies like IBM and Microsoft, past sprawling giant car dealerships (just about every type of car is sold here-including Tesla-go figure in an oil-filled city), and past giant shopping malls.


I finally debarked the metro near the tallest building in the world, and found a hop-on hop-off bus. I normally don't like these buses, as I don't want to sit on a bus with headphones-but I wanted to find out more about the city. The driver suckered me into paying around $100 for a three day pass.

From the lady with the pre-recorded voice on the bus, I learned that there is a free-zone in Dubai, where money earned can easily be repatriated back to their own country, and passed by the leader of Dubai's residence. I passed by a golf course, and a natural preserve was a little bit of the desert left in Dubai. After a while the bus came to the Dubai Museum, where I debarked. I learned then the entrance to the museum came free with the fee for the hop-on hop-off bus. The museum was interesting-I learned how Dubai was founded by diving for pearls, and about the Bedouins in the desert, and how the UAE came into being when the two separate Emirates' of Dubai and Abu Dubai were combined in the 1970's,

After roughly 45 minutes, I got back on the bus, rode past the gold and spice souks, and came to a short boat cruise. I learned that the boat cruise was also free with purchase of the hop-on hop-off bus, so I got on the 2 story boat, which took me up and down the river, past large yachts, and beautiful looking historic buildings (there wasn't much of a narration-so I don't know what I saw). I met an older woman who came from Italy on the ship. We both met by taking some food the boat's crew was passing around-as we both thought it was free until the second mate came along looking for payment (That was stupid on my part, as why would a free boat tour also have free food?). The lady didn't speak any English-but we we're able to communicate via my limited Spanish. I learned she was on the Costa cruise stopping in Dubai, and lived in Venice. She also taught me how to say some words in Italian.


After the tour, i got back on the hop-on hop-off bus. By now I was tired, and haven't eaten since breakfast at the hostel. The bus was creeping through the late traffic, and the narration was speaking about malls in Dubai, which unlike the US, keep growing, and they keep building, because of the demand. Being hungry, I got off at the Dubai mall, and looked for the food court.

At the Dubai mall, a uniformed doorman opens the door to the shopping mecca, with high-end stores like Cartier abound. There is a separate part of the mall called the Souk, which is supposed to be like a Middle East Market, and a ginourmous ice skating ring in the middle. I found the food court, and had some Indian food. When I was done, a mall worker actually took my tray.


I was trying to find a bookstore to find a book on Dubai, and found one, but I couldn't find a book I wanted, and I was exhausted. I followed a pathway to the metro so I could go back to the hostel. It was a loooong pathway lined with much more stores....I walked along the pathway-about 1/2 a mile in I think-a pretty woman spritzed me with cologne. I didn't really smell it. Then 2 doors down, a man with a beard splashed me with more cologne, which was quite pleasing. I kept walking along the pathway-probably another 1/2 mile to a mile passing the stores and over the highway, and I thought that it has been a long time since I have bought cologne, and that woman was pretty-so I walked 1/2 a mile back to her kiosk, and bought her cologne. After popping down approximately $50-I learned I didn't like the smell that much (I guess I confused her colognes smell with the man's).


Then I took the metro back to the tram back to the hostel for a nap.

After a few hours, I walked out looking for a place for a drink. I wandered around and found a Westin hotel across the street from the hostel. I wandered around the grounds. I met a woman from Nigeria-she suggested we go to a dance club next door for a drink. After buying her a drink, it was then I learned she was a hooker and I excused myself, bought some dinner of salmon cakes and Simosas at the Carrafour market next door, and went to bed.

Posted by DavidPearlman 20:55 Archived in United Arab Emirates

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