Dubai: Some Observations

Let me just sum up Dubai in 2 words: Clean & Extravagant. Yep, those 2 words pretty much say it all.

Here’s some other observations:

1. Cleanest city I have EVER been too. By far. Extremely clean.

2. Big water shows at malls & waterfalls everywhere. Water “features” are prominent in all areas.

3. There work week is Sunday – Thursday. Holy day is Friday. Also, most people we know work 6 days a week.

4. There is no alcohol in public. Only place you can drink is in a hotel or at home. Which makes the hotel bars the “trendiest” places in town. Hotel bars are crowded but not until 10pm.

5. My nephew is “a good looking boy”. I know this b/c whenever we are out in public people touch him on the head and tell us this. They definitely favor the men.

6. My sis in law had to get my brothers permission in order to get her driver’s license.

7. Everything you want can be delivered to your house for free.

8. All bathrooms have a “booty washer hose”. It’s actually so Muslims can clean their feet.

9. No matter where you park, there is someone waiting who will wash your car in the spot where you parked it while you do whatever it is you parked to do.

10. Everything is Extravagant & Luxurious. You see high end brand names everywhere. It’s like the entire country is Beverly Hills.

11. Egg yolks are orange in color.

12. Blonds are popular. At lunch with my 2 brunette friends, i seriously felt all the waiters staring at me and they would only address me when taking our orders.

13. There are many fun things to do in the desert. Camel riding, bellydance shows and sandsurfing just to name a few.

14. The Emirates have money. You know this even though they are covered in a burka. You can see watches and sunglasses sticking out that are definitely designer made. We know the government have given them some sort of financial guarantee but no one seems to know exactly what it is. Only that they are taken care of for life.

15. If you wake up before noon it seems like there is literally no one around. Like a ghost town. By 9pm though everything is ROCKING. This is definitely a city that comes alive at night.

16. Tobacco is still a major part of the Middle Eastern lifestyle. Hookah’s are everywhere and smoking inside restaurants and bars is very prevalent.

17. Men hold hands and rub noses to show friendship in public. However, a man & wife can not show any forms of public affection.

18. There is no way to describe the architecture. Everything is beautiful and modern and buildings are like works of art.

19. Women in burka’s are fascinating to watch. We can’t figure out how they eat or drink and are curious as to what they what they wear underneath. They are also into fashion trends. There are “levels” of burka wear and many of them are bejeweled or bedazzled on sleeves or on the seams.

20. Customer service is impeccable. No matter where we go they aim to please. If something is not to your liking not only do they not charge you but they keep bringing you out different options until you find something you like.

21. Security is SERIOUS. You can not go in any hotel, condo, etc unless you belong there. Everywhere asks for ID. All the hotel beaches have security out there.

22. Allah (pronounced In-shallah) means if God wills it. You will hear this alot from the locals.  For instance, question: “Will you be at work tommorrow?”  answer: Allah.

 

 

 

 

Dubai: Day 1 Dune Bashing

Check out this sunset. Yep, desert sand for miles. So gorgeous.

So, we’ve been in Dubai less than 24 hours and here is a short list of all the new things I have done today.

1. Wore my first (and last) burka.

2. Got my first tatoo (just a henna before anyone (specifically my parents) freak out)

3. Did a little Dune Bashing.

What is Dune Bashing you ask? Great question. When my sister in law first told me we’d be doing it Day 1, i had 2 thoughts. We are either going to go try to climb them or we are going to go make fun of them.

Dune Bustin
Great news, the answer was #1 and we got to do it in dune buster buggy’s.

Most of the time, our car looked like this one on the right. Or at least it felt that way.

It’s hard to describe so I took a video. Before you watch, i warn you of 2 things. It contains Shakira’s music and lots of motions that could make you sick. If you are good with that then you can watch it here.

By the way, at least 3 cars stopped for people to puke. Dune Busting is not for the weak of heart people.

I think my 7 year old niece summed it up the experience best with this quote “You never feel more alive than when you are almost dead”.

 

Dubai Bound

Sitting in JFK waiting to depart for Dubai.

Why Dubai you ask?

Well, even though it’s been on my “short list” for awhile in terms of travel, I’m actually going to see this guy to my left. Yep, that crazy skydiving fool is my brother. And he’s got himself a gig at SkyDive Dubai. So for now, he lives there.

Of course, he’s just part of the equation. i also have a niece, nephew and sis-in-law that go along with him. And on most days, we like them better 🙂

Anyway, I’m off and can’t wait.

I have no idea what to expect. But, I do know I’ve travelled enough not to believe what the media says about other countries. For instance, I doubt I will become someone’s 5th wife on this trip even though I’m blond and possibly a commodity.

I also know this. I will not be chewing gum or falling asleep on the monorail because it has been confirmed that those actions result in fines. And possible imprisonment (ok, that part is not actually verified but it sounds good). And if you don’t believe that although I talk a big game but am actually scared to death of law enforcement you can refer to my time with the Hong Kong security guy.

So, my plans are (as always) to look for adventure. I will be going skydiving, sand surfing and dune bashing (even though I have no idea what dune bashing is). Right now, I’m not sure if I will be punching the sand dunes or sitting around making fun of them.

Either way, I’m IN.

PS – I will also be spending some serious time with these 2. These kids are 2 of my favorite people in the world and having them halfway across the world kinda sucks.