Dubai 2011 – Part 2

Click here for Dubai Part 1

 

Lobby of Burj al Arab. It’s amazing. Fountains at the front, huge fish tanks alongside the elevators to the main lobby, and the amazing golden arches and painted ceiling of each floor in the lobby.

Here we are standing in the center, looking straight up the inside of the sail shape to the roof. Quite incredible.This dancing fountain co-ordinated the bursts of water and the splashing with musicFinally at the Al Muntaha restaurant. Through the windows you can see the gulf, as well as the mainland.They even have free wifi! 😀Gold flakes on my cappuccino – this place is nothing if not excessive

Even the menu is gold leaf

From the ultimate luxury we go for an uncomfortable session of “dune bashing” in the desert. A driver takes you into the sand and thrashes the car around, bumping your head off the ceiling and making you feel sick. It’s great fun though.

This is quite a touristy thing to do – we are following a small convoy of other cars through the desert

 

Waiting for sunset in the sand dunesThe sun goes down very quickly, and suddenly it’s pitch black
We then watch a (touristy) show of traditional dancingAfter that, we head back to Dubai City to explore

This is the more plain look of the rest of the city, away from skyscrapers and huge shopping malls. It’s fairly standard really. Normal shops at normal prices, mosques and restaurants.

Shipping port – very busy with imports from around the world. We saw food, TVs, washing machines and air conditioners arriving on a large scale

 

And now it’s time to finally go up the Burj Kahlifa. You need to book a ticket online for this for a specific timeslot. We wanted to be up the top during sunset, which was around 5:30pm. You take an elevator to the obervation deck, which is “only” the 124th floor (considering the building has 164 floors), but still provides a view from significantly higher than anything else. In this view you can see the Dubai Fountain and the mall on the left.

This is the 40+ floors still above us

The view at night is incredible. This is downtown Dubai, with the Gulf on the left and the airport in the distance. The roof of the mall is green in the bottom right hand corner

On the way home we took a wrong exit and ended up in one of those empty subway stations I mentioned earlier. This tunnel just went on and on and on forever it seemed. And not a person in sight.

And here it is, exiting into nothing. This area was just sand and grass and totally fenced off. Maybe they had planned to build something here in the future, but not we needed to walk back through another half mile of tunnel!

Atlantis – an enormous aquarium on Jumeira, the Palm. 60,000 fish in here – so large that it is almost a self-supporting ecosystem that needs little human involvement. You have a full predator, prey, scavenger etc relationship inside.

The real Dubai now, with some shots taken through taxi windows. Empty skyscrapers galore – mostly without windows

There must be 30 skyscrapers here – all unfinished. And unless the economy recovers fully and people start to invest again, they probably never will be finished. They’ll be buried in the desert and forgotten

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Darryl Cannon - May 28, 2012 - 2:50 pm

Fascinating story and stunning photography. Thanks for sharing!

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