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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

MapWe feel as if we've been transported into another life as well as another world.
Expectations and standards are so different.
Breakfast was food heaven!!
It's only when you come away from China that you realise how easily you become acclimatised, so many people rammed into the cities ( how happy they seem!) And with that all of the issues it brings-traffic jams, noise, pollution and smog, high rise flats everywhere, and yet not a Sign of graffiti anywhere - or indeed body piercing or tattoos- we did see a man with one..

This morning we had our city tour of Dubai, a 4 hour tour by private taxi, our driver was from Syria.
We had no idea how vast this city was. The ultra in luxury is here and yet you can still find plenty to suit the traveller's budget. It seems to be a place where you can enjoy the amusement of a modern city within the frame of the Arab world.
It's only 41 degrees today, apparently it cools off between November and April and that is the busy tourist season. The air conditioning is superb, even the bus shelters are enclosed with air conditioning.
Our guide has taken us to all of the main sights, we were able to stop and have a look round to take photos.
We went first to the Al Fahidid Fort which now houses an excellent museum. We then raced through the gold souk, we have seen enough of bartering and shopping,,
We crossed the Creek, first by the main road bridge and then by the Al Shindaghi tunnel. We drove along the Jumeirah road, first stopping at the mosque and then at the beach. We can now say that we have paddled in the Persian Gulf. The water was a mere 40 degrees. It seems incongruous that here the few sunbathers have skimpy swimwear. You re not allowed off the beach in such because of the decency laws and are not allowed to take photos of the beach at all, unless sneakily of course! There are special ladies areas set aside for bathing.
The beach was so clean but very hot..from here there were excellent views of the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Hotel, the one shaped like a wave. The houses along this road were lovely, and soon we were travelling long the Atlantis Palm, apparently prices here have triple since the Palm was first built, most of the owners of houses on the fronds rent out..
We stopped briefly at the Dubai mall to take a photo of the Burj Khalifa before driving along past the skyscrapers and the oppulent embassies -Britain's is the biggest and fanciest!!
Finally our tour took us past one of the sheik's palaces- the Za'abeel, it makes old Buck House look a bit sick..

We are just off to afternoon tea at our hotel before taking a taxi over to the Emirates Mall to see the snow and the ski slopes amidst the shops..