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Dubai and Seychelles 2013

Paradise Found 7 degrees South in Seychelles - A Thousand Miles from Anywhere

 Part 1  Seychelles - Part 1 of Dubai/Seychelle Journal (About the Trip / Day 1 through 7))

Part 2  Dubai - Part 2 of Dubai/Seychelle Journal

Day 8 Tuesday, Dec 3 - Fly Praslin > Mahe, Seychelles > Dubai - Tour, shop

Day 9 Wednesday, Dec 4 City Tour

Day 10 Thursday Dec 5 - Fly Dubai > JFK >  Atlanta arrive 6:45 pm

The Palm Islands, The World, and THE UNIVERSE, Dubai UAE - Megastructure Development


Back to top


Day 8 Tuesday, Dec 3 - Transfer to airport for our 8:30am flight to ultra-modern Dubai! Arrive hotel by 2 pm

After 5 days in Paradise, our next destination is the most OPULENT city in the world. 

But first we had to get there from a tiny island in the middle of the Indian ocean.  The original plan was to take a ferry from Praslin to Mahe, then fly Mahe to Dubai.  But the ferry didn't operate early enough to get us to the Mahe airport on time, so they want to move us to a different hotel.  Suzy didn't want that. This was an email from Suzy to the group a week before the trip:

I had a horrible email stating they had to swap our hotels in order to accommodate our early departure on EK to Dubai. I pitched a fit as I always want to end with the best property. Now I feel bad. They will keep original schedule on our itinerary. Since no boats or ferries run from Praslin to Mahe at 6am, they chartered 2 airplanes for us at a great expense to them! (4 will fly commercial, rest of group splits into private charters.) This was very generous. Now the problem becomes luggage weight as all inter-flights limit bags to 30lbs. don't sweat it, Ill fix it on arrival. "

That email was another reason I was impressed with Adventures for Singles, Inc and Suzys organization. I can't imagine trying to arrange transportation and logistics of 40 particular people from a tiny island to Dubai. It went without a hitch (as far as I saw).  We stayed in the nicer hotel and they arranged VERY early flights to get us to Mahe.



We are up at 3 AM with a phone call. Ughhhh! Suitcases out at 3:30.


This a great hotel because they had some stuff out for our very early breakfast.

I am not going to have any coffee yet  I don't want to wake up yet....

We waited, then the first group of people departed from hotel lobby. I was in the second group.

4:30 AM and we are on the bus.

The clock in the picture reads 5:00 AM!

At the Emerites gate at the Praslin airport.   


It's a very small plane.  Here are the pilots welcoming us aboard:



There were 16 people (2 of the seats were empty) on the flight.

Maybe due to luggage/ weight issue. There are a lot of very big suitcases on this trip!!

Very beautiful scenery on the flight. Isolated islands floating in the water below us.


We're going to land on that short strip!

Fly to Mahe International airport. Get luggage.

Oh no! The last handle on my small suitcase got broken on this flight. I have safety pins holding on the front pocket. Looks like it is time to retire that carry-on bag and I get to go suitcase shopping when I get home.


We walked from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. Note that Seychelles holds the Guinness record for smallest international airport, so this wasnt a very long walk.


Check into Emerites. Now wait.

We are on big plane from Seychelles to Dubai.

Flight information

12/03/2013 - 12/03/2013 EMIRATES AIRLINES Flight No: 706
From: Mahe Island (SEZ) Departure: 08:35am Destination: Dubai (DXB) Arrival: 01:10pm
Upon arrival, after clearing customs and immigration, a Desert Adventures Tours representative will meet you for your transfer to your hotel. **
We are met and transferred to first class Auris Plaza Hotel city center.  


 Walk  out into the hot air.  Manny and Zeke help the bus driver load suitcases under the bus. 2:40 and we are on the bus in Dubai.out into the hot air.  Manny and Zeke help the bus driver load suitcases under the bus. 2:40 and we are on the bus in Dubai.    



Arrive Dubai.  Get luggage and clear passport control.  


Note:  We learn later from our guide that passport control does an eye scan and they scanned our passport. When we give our passport to the hotel to scan, the information is linked to data that police can access, any police officer, anywhere in the city has access to our information!  That's automation.


After we go through passport control, Suzy can't get the tour operator that is meeting us on the phone. We finally just start to walk out, and a guy starts waving and trying to get our group attention. He did NOT have an AFS sign so there was no way to recognize he was there to pick up our group. Suzy was relieved when he finally made contact.


We are on our way to the hotel.

What a city! WOW!





We are here in DUBAI!  The city of world records: 



Every single building in the all of these photos is different! 





This is from Suzys trip description:

After check in at the hotel in Dubai, relax at the pool or explore. Everything is so progressive here with an unparalleled infrastructure. It's the land of Guinness records. In 3 square miles, you see the world's largest aquarium, largest fountain (4 times bigger than Bellagio), largest 1000 person spa and largest two mile shopping mall. Zoom up the world's faster elevator (2000m per minute) in the world's tallest building. 

Enjoy Dubai's nightlife that pulses until 3am. Head to Global Village with its 140 restaurants or splurge for a dinner at the iconic Burj Hotel. B Auris Plaza 


Marketing fluff:

Dubai is a city that provides a new setting at every turn, richly mixing together the old and the new; it is without a doubt the leading tourist destination in the Middle East. Dubai is a city of ages that rises out of the desert and crowns the gulf coast with its presence.

Our route takes us to the magnificent view of Dubai Creek, passing by the heritage area of Bastakia, with its fascinating old Wind Towered Houses built by wealthy merchants.


We will have our stop at the 180 year old Fort Al Fahidi. Here Dubai Museum records the city's past with all its developing stages. We continue our journey by Abra - traditional boat, to cross the Creek towards the Spice Market followed by Gold Souk.

On our way to the most luxurious hotel in the world Burj Al Arab we will stop for a photo shoot next to Jumeirah Mosque - an architectural landmark of Dubai.


Weeks before this trip, Suzy was sending us emails. This is an informative pre-trip email:

On Wednesday, October 23, 2013 4:22 PM, Terry Pawelko <terry at> wrote:
Dubai info - This is great stuff.

Tourists taking a taxi around an unfamiliar city can often rely on drivers to offer up their take on the best places to visit. Taking this on board, the Dubai Taxi Corporation is now officially training its cabbies to act as guides while theyre on the job. 

Operating as part of the governments Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, the company has launched a course which helps drivers to sharpen their skills when it comes to providing information about tourist opportunities in the United Arab Emirate. Some 1,590 taxi drivers have already graduated from the courses, enabling them to provide extra value to passengers with advice on hotels, restaurants and sightseeing locations.

Much like David Weekes London hotel room taxi, the Dubai Taxi Corporation has recognized the importance of the mode of transport to tourists and extended its services to cater for traveling visitors. Are there other extra services that taxis could provide?

Website:     Contact:

Thanks, Suzy Davis


And another pre-trip email:   On Monday, September 9, 2013 1:49 PM, Suzy AFS  wrote:

Hi All, This is great fun. You can book on own. Our 2 groups to Dubai in Oct-Nov are doing this.

Link has details or perhaps on arrival.

Gratitude,Suzy Davis


And Another pretrip email:

We don't have much free time, but I want you to use it well after you are acclimated from our city tour.
We don't have a lot of free time for full day touring. Dec 3 we should be at fabulous Auris Plaza Hotel by 2pm! So much to do at night. Ask front desk for best suggestions. Id like to dine at caf at Dubai Fountains then.

Ill help you with suggestions if there is time for: Desert safari, dhow cruises, half day tour of Abu Dhabi, Fountains Lake ride, Gold Bazaar, Ski Dubai, Sheik Mohamed Cultural Learning Center (#1 favorite of all), Dubai Museum, beaches, spas, etc.

Note most places closes on Friday as its a holy day.

Dining you must make reservations on your own now if you want breakfast, lunch or high tea at the Burj (Google it) or 125 stories up the new Burj Kalifa at Atmosphere restaurant.



On Monday, September 9, 2013 6:01 PM, Suzy Davis AFS wrote:

Hi All - Imagine, the UAE was formed in 1971. Please take 40 minutes to watch this video from Anthony Bourdain's "No Reservations" - Dubai!


Dubai helicopter tour  and



Gratitude,Suzy Davis


Epitomizing an oil-rich sheikhdom isn't a bad life, but what Dubai, in theUnited Arab Emirates, really wants is to entertain visitors. Dubai's tourism appeal includes big-time horse races and sporting events, among the long shopping festival and a skyline that commands the attention ofDubai's visitorsnot to mention such fascinating hotels as Dubai's own Burj Al Arab and the world's tallest building, the frighteningly towering Burj Khalifa. For jaded, been-there-done-that tourists, Dubai, on the Persian Gulf,can throw in camel racing, sand boarding, sand skiing, ice-skating, snowskiing and unique cultural activities.

Dubai's rapid transformation has left it with a slice of old Arabia and a chunk of modern infrastructure. In Dubai, you'll find souks selling gold jewelry and traditional wares not far from modern shopping centers selling electronics and luxury items. Visitors to Dubai will also see wind towers and minarets rising up from old neighborhoods, dwarfed in turn by Dubai's office and hotel towers. The economic downturn hit the country hard with the seemingly endless stream of new building projects slowed down to a mere trickle, but for visitors, the city is still an experience not to be forgotten.

But the biggest contrast can be seen in Dubai's landscape: A splendid coastline and beaches are backed by an expansive desert, which in itself is an magnificent paradox of impressive sand dunes and starkly beautiful mountains.

Connecting Bastakia and Shindagah is Khor Dubai, the broad, winding Creek. Merchants load and unload old dhows lined up along the wharves, andArmani-clad businesspeople pass by while conducting business on cellphones. You can lunch or walk along the waterside or enjoy the sights by hiring an abra from the wharf next to Bastakiya Mosque. It costs 2 AED to cross the Creek and 100 AED per hour (motor-propelled) or 30 AED (oarpropelled)to cruise along the Creek.

After you've checked out the older pockets of town, take time to marvel at Dubai's modern and ever-expanding skyline, which reveals the city'senthusiasm for outlandish architecture. Currently claiming the title of tallest building in the city (and the tallest freestanding structure in the world) is the Burj Khalifa, set beside the vast Dubai Mall (which claims several world records itself) and Souk Al-Bahar, a charming Arabian-themed souk packed with restaurants. In front of the Burj Khalifa, and within great viewing distance of Souk Al-Bahar's eateries, lies the Dubai Fountain (another world's biggest), which puts on impressive watery displays each evening to music.


Other Sites:

The One&Only Royal Mirage

This is another example of Dubai's man-made wondersan exclusive resort property along the beachfront, with architecture and decor designed to create the mystique of exotic Arabia. Among the seven outstanding restaurants, Olive serves Mediterranean food, Tagine is traditionally Morroccon and Ozone, an Asian-fusion floating restaurant, has a spectacular view overlooking the Palm Islands. Phone 399-9999.


Dining Overview

With Dubai's diverse population, it's not surprising that the city has a wide range of dining options, covering everything from Thai to Tunisian. A good number of the best-quality restaurants are in hotels, but they are expensive, so be prepared to break the bank. There are also quite a few good mom and-pop places, particularly Indian and Pakistani joints.

Traditional Emirati cooking consists primarily of dates, fresh and dried fish and both camel meat and milknot terribly appealing to most Westerners.(Be sure to try Dubai's fresh dates, thoughthey're soft, succulent and delicious.) Outside of Emirati homes, it's difficult to get a taste of local cuisine, although some restaurants do have a few traditional dishes.

Most Arabic restaurants draw on Lebanese cuisine instead, with grilled meatsand meze (appetizer-sized small portions of salads, meats and dips). There are also literally hundreds of stands around the city that serve shawarma (pita-style flat bread filled with shaved lamb or chicken roasted on a spit), hummus, salad and pickles. They're good for a quick, inexpensive snack.

Dinner is usually a late affair: Tables start to fill up around 9 pm.

Friday brunch is an institution in Dubai, and competition is fierce among theproviders of all-you-can-eat (and drink) buffets, many with alcohol included.

Some restaurants even throw in entertainment for children. In cooler weather, alfresco dining is popular, whether on a terrace, a rooftop or at the beach.

Expect to pay the following for a dinner for one, excluding drinks, tax and
tip: $ = less than 50 AED; $$ = 50 AED-200 AED; $$$ = 201 AED-300 AED;
$$$$ = more than 300 AED.




Many cool buildings!  

A very cool building: Dubai Towers

The four towers, ranging from 54 to 97 floors,
are clustered to form a choreographed sculpture,
representing the movement of candlelight,
the architect write in their press release from January this year (2007)


Day and Night


Juliana's gorgeous photo:


Miriam is our guide in Dubai.  She was excellent. Lots of information.

This information is from our guide, Miriam.  She was VERY good and very interesting.


Temperature - She said that the temperature outside is about 30 degrees.

They officially say the temperature is 28 degrees, but you cannot believe that. 

They never announce the correct temperature because they don't want to scare the tourists.

Inside the mall it is 18 degree.

Bring a jacket if you are going on the safari because it can get down to 8 degrees in the desert.



English is the official language.

Exchange rate 3.3 hotel, and 3.6 at the mall

You are not allowed to take a photo of the Police, government dept, construction, men in white, women in black, no kissing, no topless.  OK.

But the reality is that it is difficult to take a photo outside where there isn't any construction, and it is difficult to take a photo inside where there aren't any women in black or men in white.  Photo with these things aren't intentional..


About buying Dubai:

No foreigners could own property until 1999.

Businesses threatened to close and move away since they couldn't purchase property.

So In 1999 foreigners could finally buy property.

Before you buy, you have to pay 14 months in advance before you get the apartment key to rent.

If you rent 5-6 years an apt, it is about the same price as buying it.



 10 million:  1 million local local emeriti and 9 million xpats


Getting citizenship

A lady can marry a local and get citizenship.
The government observes the wedding to make sure it is genuine.
10 years later, the lady may get citizenship.
Men cannot get citizenship by marriage ( or any other way is how she implied it)

Dubai income

45% tourism, then trading, finances and bonds, real estate after yr 2000., then aluminum?
Only 4.5 % of income is from oil.
In 2020 the goal of the government is to be independent of oil income in Dubai.

88% of oil income in UAE is from Abu Dhabi.


The Marina area has 180 sky scrapers, but it changes now so that area is only for locals


There is very little coast line in Dubai. So they started building the palms. But the commute is too far .


There are three types of beaches:

Public beach (at hotels)

Private beach - pay about $60 USD for the whole day

Open beach like the one we stopped near sail building. No life guard or facilities.


In Dubai, there are 4 million people and 6 million cars.

So they built metro

This is tax free.

Max $40 a week for gas for car.

Max $15 every 2 days to use a road.

Try to discourage driving

Charge them more and they drive less.

Toll road $2. Sticker on window charged automatically

They have strict traffic and laws

Speed limit

If you run a red light, it is a 800 USD fine, and you lose your license for 1 month lose, they take your car for 1 week

The second time, you get 3 days in jail.

If you miss work 2 days, you lose your job. Then you have 28 days to find another job.

If you don't find another job, you must leave the city within 3 days.



Symbol of city is boat.

We are not supposed to take any photos of construction because it is bad advertising for the city -

that is going to be difficult - there is construction EVERYWHERE!

The weekend is Friday Saturday

The 7 Emerites were separate countries. Oil was found then all 7 where united. UAE on December 2.

42 years of being united.

Country of Qatar is smaller than the city of Dubai. 






AURIS PLAZA HOTEL Elevators                

This was our Transfer to hotel voucher

12/03/2013 - 12/03/2013 DUBAI AIRPORT TO HOTEL TRANSFER
DUBAI, 025488 UAE
Phone: 097-144-504450 Fax: 097-144-504451
Emergency Contact Person Christin Freyer: +971- 4-450-4450

Hotel voucher

12/03/2013 - 12/05/2013 AURIS PLAZA HOTEL AL BARSHA
DUBAI, 390531
Phone: 097-144-554800 Fax: 097-144-558929


Pre trip email from Suzy: On Monday, August 5, 2013 1:51 PM, Suzy Davis AFS  wrote:
Hey guys, check out our Dubai hotel:

We stayed here Tues night Dec 3 and Wednesday night Dec 4 at Auris Plaza.


Overview of Auris Plaza Hotel - Dubai

Next to Mall of the Emirates

Location. - Situated in Al Barsha, Dubai, next to Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai, and close to Wild Wadi. Additional area attractions include The Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Marina.

Hotel Features. - Complimentary wireless Internet access is available in public areas and an Internet point is located on site. This 5-star hotel features business amenities including a 24-hour business center. Free valet & car parking for hotel guests.

Facilities - Enjoy a selection of shisha flavours in the Hookah Lounge, or relax over a coffee and a homemade pastry in the Auris Caf. Didon Restaurant offers an extensive international buffet breakfast along with an a la carte menu with a twist for lunch and dinner. 24 hour room service is provided.

Full leisure facilities include pool and Jacuzzi, gym and spa offering treatment rooms, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam room. A Kids Corner provides an escape from Mum & Dad for our junior guests.

Guest Room - Auris Plaza Hotel is a new luxurious 5 star, family orientated hotel. Offering rooms ranging in size from our Classic Rooms at 35sqm up to 110sqm for the Auris Grand two bedroom suite.

Rooms are equipped with complimentary tea and coffee, laptop size personal safe and a 42 flat screen Complimentary internet is provided through the Hotstream system. A state of the art media hub provides guests the opportunity to link devices directly to the TV in all rooms.

Other traditional amenities were included, and these interesting amenities:

Bathroom phone, City view, In-room safe that is laptop compatible, Pillow menu, Bidet, Deep-soaking bathtub, Bathroom scale (which someone the trip said "the scale was only supposed to be used to weigh luggage!")


Nearby Activities and Points of Interest
Mall of Emerites 600 yards
Ski Dubai 700 yards
Dubai Airport 14 miles, Dubai Al Maktoum Intl Airport 16 miles, and Sharjah Airport 25 miles,

.Laura, Melissa, Daniella, Suzanna



We had a little time to relax in the room.

Then at 4 pm, Laura, Melissa, Daniella and I met in hotel lobby


The Mall of Emerites is one of the 70 malls in Dubai.  It happens to be right beside (in my documentation I would write "adjacent") to our hotel.

We walked to the Mall. Wow. So much to absorb. 


We had our priorities: we got ice cream.  They had some very impressive tactics to draw you into their sweet liar - they throw the ice cream, up to 10 feet, into the cup or cone!!!!   They THREW Daniella's ice cream and there was a HUGE oooops!!! 

The carefully stylized, customized and perfected blob landed on the cold, metal, germy counter. In half a second they had covered it with a tub to hide the dropped mound of sweetness and they were remaking her order. 

 She got exactly what she wanted remade in a rushed flurry so they hoped we would forget the mistake.   A rush of sugar helps you to forget alot of things and just enjoy the major high occurring through your bloodstream. Life is a sweet as it's going to get at that precise high, moment.  


By the way,

"Dubai" means Do Buy! as in Go Shopping



This is what we see as we are walking to the Mall of Emerites.   This structure is "SKI DUBAI"


Here is what it looks like inside. We are looking through a huge window here:

 Tonya actually skied here! Send me a picture!   She has been skiing since she was 10. She did it just to say she had done it.

The skiing was "pretty lame. But she knew that before she did it.  At least now I can say Ive seen "Ski Dubai"  


FYI: A MAP of SKI Dubai and a price list:


They called this a "Giant Ball".  I call it "Zorbing"

So maybe you just asked "What is Zorbing"?.  Here is a picture of me zorbing down a mountain Tennessee. 

I got INSIDE this ball, and bounced down the hill. What a blast!

The two balls on the left have people inside.  The track on the right side of the picture is returning the empty balls to the top of the mountain.


The Mall of Emerites has 500 shops

Ski Dubai and Souk Madina

Open 10-10 pm


That mall was small compared to our next destination:


The Mall of Dubai has 1200 shops and 480 restaurants

Aquarium and underwater zoo, Cinema theaters (22)

Ice Skating, Waterfalls, Indoor theme park, Souk Albahor in Mall,

THE fountain show in front of the tall building  18:00-23:00 every half hour 5-minute show.

Open 10- midnight


We found the Metro inside Mall of Emerites.

On 9/9/2009, the metro was inaugurated.

It is VERY clean. No food. No gum, no trash cans

The Metro ticket one way trip in the Gold car (2 zones) about  10 Dirham or about 3.50.

To get out of metro station, you need to tap your ticket to get out of the gate.



Our guide told us that the last Metro train is at 23:20 (that is 11:20 PM)

Go to Rashidia station to Dubai Mall






The Dubai Mall


The world's largest shopping mall based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area

(surpassed in that category by the South China Mall (the world's largest) , Golden Resources Mall, SM City North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.)

Leasable space of 3.77 million square feet (35 ha),

Over 13 million sq foot (equivalent in size to more than 50 football pitches)

Total internal floor area of 5.9 million square feet (55 ha)

Includes 1,200 shops.   The mall is anchored by Galeries Lafayette, Debenhams, Bloomingdale's, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

120 restaurants and cafes (our guide said "480 restaurants")


250-room luxury hotel

Over 14,000 parking spaces across 3 car parks, with valet services and a car locator ticketing system.


World records and achievements:

World's largest mall with total area 1,124,000m2.

World's sixth largest mall with Gross Leasable Area (GLA) 350,000m2.

Worlds largest acrylic panel (Aquarium) inside Dubai Mall, which is (32.88 m wide 8.3 m high 750 mm thick and weighing 245 tons).

Worlds largest sweet shop "Candylicious" spanning over 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) inside Dubai Mall.


The Dubai Mall is the world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination

2009 - 37 million

2010 - 47 million (27% increase despite the economic crisis

2011 - 54 million (15% increase)

2012 -  65 million visitors (20% increase)   The mall had more visitors than New York City (52 million tourists in 2012, and Los Angeles with 41 million.)


There are four floors. Here is the map of one floor:

the world's largest candy store opened in Dubai Mall In October 2009

Worlds largest sweet shop "Candylicious" spanning over 10,000 sq ft (930 m2) inside Dubai Mall. 


Coffee on every floor: Caribou on top, Starbucks right below

Signs everywhere




 You can't miss it. It's right in the middle of the mall on every floor.


Dubai Aquarium, Under Water Zoo and the shark tunnel

Holds the Guinness World Record for the World's Largest Acrylic Panel.  

(32.88 m wide 8.3 m high 750 mm thick and weighing 245,614 kg).

It can withstand pressure of 10 million litres of water used in the aquarium,

It is larger than Japan's Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium (22.5 m wide 8.2 m high and 600 mm thick).

Over 33,000 marine animals on display- The Atlanta Georgia aquarium has 120,000 animals.

Representing over 140 species- The Atlanta Georgia aquarium has 500 species.

10 million litres (2.6 million US gallons) - The Atlanta Georgia aquarium has (38 million liters) 10 million US gallons

The Main tank measures 51 metres length, 20 metres in depth, 11 metres in height

Tunnel is 48 metres long ( 157 feet) and takes you 11 meters under the surface

In February 2010, a leak in the aquarium caused a partial evacuation and brief shutdown of a portion of the mall.


A Whale shark in the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta:

I can't resist providing some information on the comparable  Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, United States
The world's largest aquarium when it opened in 2005 

Four young whale sharks

The Georgia Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia housing whale sharks

They are kept in a 6.3-million-US-gallon (24,000 m3) tankIt measures 284 ft 126 ft (87 m 38 m) and the depth ranges between 20 and 30 ft (6.1 and 9.1 m), making it the largest indoor aquatic habitat in the world.

Their importation from Taiwan (by air, truck, and boat) had never been attempted previously. They were taken from Taiwan's annual fishing kill quota, under which they would have been eaten had they not been purchased by the Aquarium.

An exhibit showcases the aquarium's whale sharks, with the world's second largest viewing window.

Four beluga whales

Eleven bottlenose dolphins

Four manta rays  - the first manta ray on display in the country; and one of only four sites in the world displaying manta rays. Including an 8-foot (2.4 m) female and 9 feet (2.7 m), 265 pounds (120 kg) male. 


The photo below is only one sixth of the acrylic panels in Dubai.  Viewing the panel is FREE and open to all the mall traffic.

The big RED arrow shows the entrance to the tunnel. This is only part of aquarium that you have to pay for.

They had a MasterCard special so Melissa used her credit card and we go BOGO  (buy one - get one free) tickets.
Posted aquarium and underwater zoo: price 80 Dirham, $25 USD



This photo shows the world record viewing panel. 

This acrylic viewing panel in Dubai was at the limit of production abilities by major acrylic manufacturers when the project was commissioned.

So this record will remain until industry- approved manufacturing capabilities are redrawn to enable the production of bigger panels.

The Panel is free to view for all Dubai Mall visitors.  


Here we are going in to the tunnel surrounded by sharks!

Suzanna, Daniella, Laura, Michelle

This tunnel is 48 metres long ( 157 feet) and takes you 11 meters under the surface.  Here is Laura in the tunnel:


Daniella's great picture.


A gator chomping a (University of ) Florida Gator!

Aquarium penguins Humboldt and Gentoo penguins

Um. Ok.



Also in the Mall of Dubai

SEGA Republic indoor theme park 

A  76,000 sq ft (7,100 m2)

Over 150 amusement games

The Redemption Zone hosts one of the region's largest selection of redemption games as well as a huge selection of winnable merchandise for all ages. It is a park that is mainly dedicated to SEGA's icon Sonic the Hedgehog.

Reel Cinemas

A 22 screen megaplex with more than 2,800 seats.

Includes both 2D and 3D screens available.

A new movie starts at the Reel Cinemas every 10 minutes.



Dubai Ice Rink

Uses refrigeration plant technology by developing 1.5 inches (38 mm) of ice bed, 2 times the thickness of an NHL ice rink for Olympic-sized attraction.

Dubai Ice Rink can host a capacity of up to 2,000 guests, when converted into a multi-functional hall with a multimedia system including a 20 m 10 m LED screen.




 Youngsters used Penguins to lean on to learn to skate.








Wow!  One big waterfall one, then another one. Turn the corner and another waterfall.


"a spectacular water feature"


30 metres in diameter and 24 metres high

The Waterfall runs through the entire height of the mall - all four levels of the mall


It has art sculptures of human divers made of fiberglass it creates

"a dynamic visual spectrum that complements the rhythmic flow of water."



Water did not fall the entire length .  The water came out of holes in the wall.

there is an overhead reservoir feeding the recycled water.




My general observations:

Women really do wear just about anything here. You can cover elbow and knee to be respectful, but not necessary. Muslim women always cover in black, men in white. Some white material is so light and thin they have visible t-shirt line (like women VPL)

Some men really need to wear a slip ( like women wear a slip under a dress so you don't see the outline of legs). I guess it doesnt bother some men that you can see through their fabric...


This is from Wikipedia:

The Islamic dress code is not compulsory.

Most Emirati women wear an "abaya", a black over-garment covering most parts of the body.

Most Emirati males prefer to wear a "kandura", an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton.  On an average a UAE male national would have up to 50 kanduras as they keep changing their clothing to ensure the dress being kept clean.

The white cloak reflects back the sunlight. Conversely, the black clothing that women are obliged to wear absorbs and concentrates the sunlight.

Western-style clothing is, however, dominant because of the large expatriate population, and this practice is beginning to grow in popularity among Emiratis.






I am on vacation, but this store sure reminded me of work.  All Columbia merchandise is managed through our supply-chain software.

We found the 30-acre Burj Dubai Lake and highest building in the world!  The Burj Kalifa. 

Now ("now" being January 2014) by far the world's tallest building at 829.8 m (2,722 ft).


Burj Khalifa Fast Facts


 The concrete used for Burj Khalifa is equivalent to the weight of 100,000 elephants.

 The amount of steel rebar used for the tower is 31,400 metric tons. Laid end to end this would extend over a quarter of the way around the world.

 Condensate is collected from the buildings cooling system and used for irrigation of landscape plantings. Every year, 15 million gallons of water are sustainably collected this way.

 The cladding of Burj Khalifa contains over 24,000 individually cut glass panels.

 The curtain wall area of Burj Khalifa is equivalent to 17 football fields.

 Burj Khalifas observatory elevators are amongst the fastest in the world, with a speed of up to 10 metres per second.

 Burj Khalifa is the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world at over 800 metres high.

 The tip of the spire can be seen 95 km away.

 At the peak of construction, 12,000 workers were on site every day.

 With over 160 levels no other building has more storeys.


From our guide


Burg Kalifa built to withstand earthquake.

7 years to build:

150 meters down to 1.5 years.

Then 2 years to build elevators

840 meters height with antenna

3 years to build the building

160 floors

Top 6 floors are for engineers to monitor and adjust the elevators 24/7


"At.mosphere" This is the bar at the top of the Burj Khalifa building. We were told if you go to this bar, there is a one drink minimum purchase and one drink will cost you at least $75 USD!


The Highest Restaurant and Lounge on Earth

At.mosphere Burj Khalifa:

At 442 meters (1,350 ft high) on Level 122 and only two levels below At the Top, Burj Khalifa, the towers observatory deck,
1,030 sq m

The finest luxury dining and lounge experiences in the world,


Adorned in mahogany walls and ceilings, Adam Tihany furnishings and floors of caf au lait limestone and hand-tufted carpet, At.mosphere can host over 210 guests and features a spacious arrival lobby, a main dining floor, private dining rooms and display cooking stations. Led by Executive Chef Dwayne Cheer, who brings in over 13 years of international experience working in Michelin star restaurants, At.mosphere integrates two choices - lounge & grill.

Exuding style and personality, the grill at At.mosphere, is billed as the must visit restaurant in the city, on par with the worlds finest. The upscale lounge transports guests to a new realm. Featuring a stunning beverage display and cellar, At.mosphere pushes the boundaries of conventional lounges, and serves as an ideal stopover for a mouth-watering light lunch or even an afternoon tea. At night, the mood shifts by opening to glittering views of the city and stunning vistas of the worlds tallest performing fountain - The Dubai Fountain.

Great food, service, ambience and unmatched views that is the promise of At.mosphere Burj Khalifa.

For reservations, contact +971 4 888 3828 or email .



This another HIGH experience:

At the Top, Burj Khalifa star   and 

Be a part of history in the rising. High atop one of the worlds most dynamic cities, is one of the worlds most extraordinary experiences. On the 124th floor of the tallest tower in the world, nothing else matters but you. At The Top Burj Khalifa, only at The Dubai Mall.

Get ready to enter the record books and experience a journey through Dubais exotic Arabian heritage, the extraordinary story behind Burj Khalifa as the new icon for the Middle East, and view the spectacular panorama from the observatory At the Top, Burj Khalifa.

Experience 360 degree sweeping views from level 124 of the worlds tallest tower, At the Top, Burj Khalifa offers unparalleled vistas from the Gulf to the Arabian Desert and beyond.


Explore the unique, interactive Burj Khalifa multi-media exhibits.

Be thrilled by a high speed journey in one of the worlds fastest elevators.

Take a closer look at the world below through avant-garde, high powered, telescopes.

Step out onto the worlds highest public outdoor observation terrace overlooking the ever growing skyline of Sheikh Zayed Road and surrounding panorama.

Integrate reality and special effects with At the Top Green Screen Photography.

Browse exclusive Souvenirs from the At the Top Retail Boutique.

Experience gazing over Dubai as you have never seen it before; it all starts At the Top.


Admission - Dated & Timed based on 30 minute intervals

Introductory Admission - AED
Dated & Timed Adult (12 years +)..................125

Dated & Timed Child (3 - 12 years).................95

Immediate Entry Adult/Child.........................400

Infants (0-3).................................................Free of Charge



At the Top, Burj Khalifa
1 Emaar Boulevard    Downtown Dubai
Phone: 800 At the Top    800 28 843 867   Office: +971 4 888 8124   Fax: +971 4 888 8724    Online Ticketing:



It was dusk and there were many many people around.  We took some photos of the fountain and the building.

We found a great restaurant, Madeline. It had balcony seating and we could watch the Fountain show.   


We saw the water show 3 times (every 30 minutes).

They had different types of music every show.  Seemed to cater to different parts of the world.

Our dinner at Madeline was perfect. We got the most perfect table thatnks to Melissa changing good luck. We saw the water show 3 times!

Worlds highest performing fountain. 

I recorded the first one. Posted on you tube.  


The Dubai Fountain


Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft (150 metres), equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is 900 ft (275 metres) long and has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. It has been designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The Dubai Fountain performs daily, with the performance repertoire including Sama Dubai; Baba Yetu, an award-winning song in Swahili; the Arab worlds top-selling dance number Shik Shak Shok; and the signature piece of world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Con te partiro (Time to Say Goodbye).

Over 6,600 WET Superlights the most advanced incandescent large fountain lights available today and 25 colour projectors create a visual spectrum of over 1,000 abstract attractions. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world.


Dubai Fountain schedule

1:00pm First afternoon show
1:30pm Second afternoon show
Evening Shows
6:00 PM to 11:00 PM Sun - Wed
6:00 PM to 11:30 PM Thu Sat
( Every 30 Minutes)

*Please note that Fountain show timings can change by a couple of minutes depending on the specific day's prayer times.


key Facts & Figures

Worlds largest dancing fountain

In sync with classical, Arabic and world music

1.5 million lumens of projected light

Spray heights of up to 500 feet

22,000 gallons of airborne water

Set in Burj Khalifa Lake, right outside The Dubai Mall on Lower Ground Waterfront Promenade in the heart of Downtown Dubai.


After a great dinner and THREE water shows, we found the Taxi stand to take a taxi back to hotel .

Cost was 40 Dirhams.

Our guide told us about taxis:

Pay the taxi driver in Dirhams, local money

The Luxury taxi is black or gray. Dubai taxi is blue, green roof.

Write down the roof color and taxi number in case you leave something you can find it.


Our taxi driver

Daniella asked our taxi driver "what do you like best about your city? "

His answer the mountains, trees, and grass

He said in the U.S. too much dirt? not sure what that means.

He said 1 liter gas, 1.70 dirham

He is from Pakistan. He is married with 2 kids


It was such a great afternoon and nite.  I'm tired ready for bed.

I've been up for 20 hours!!!


Tomorrow schedule

8:30-12:30 tour

3 pm desert tour. About 55 USD

11:30 getting to bed.


Back to top


Day 9 Wednesday, Dec 4 City Tour


From trip description:

After breakfast, we offer an optional 5 hour city tour. (This $35 tour is offered optional because some of you have been to Dubai before.)

On the modern side, see landmarks of cutting edge architecture such as the 7 star Burj Al Arab Hotel. Along the turquoise coast see sparkling beaches. Visit the historical part to see Jumeirah Mosque, Rashid Palace and the old wind towers of Bastakuya. Then visit the Dubai Museum. Continue by traditional boat to sail across Dubai Creek to the alleys and souks of the markets. A visit to the Spice & Gold Market is a must.

After 3 pm Afternoon free with so many choices. Perhaps a Desert Dune Safari with camels, belly dancing, dune bashing and BBQ under the stars. Take a bus to Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Do a cage shark dive at the Aquarium or hot air balloon. Visit Palm Island or Ski Dubai, the world's largest indoor snow park with all outwear included. B Auris Plaza


Suzy made the City Tour was optional because half of the people on the tour have already been to Dubai. The tour was definitely worth repeating

She said I paid our coach company for 5 hours. Our guide will reveal all iconic sites and educate us on this amazing place.

We had to give Suzy an envelope with our name and $30 inside (Price was 35, but she reduced it to 30). I carried that envelope with me since the beginning of the tour, and I never remembered to give it to her. So in the Seychelles airport in the morning Suzy had her clipboard and was asking people about going on the Dubai city tour. I realized I still had that envelope , so I finally gave it to her.


Suzy's email said We should be free after 3pm. Youre welcome to join me to the new Aquarium and Gold Souk. Or go see nearby Ski Dubai in worlds largest mall. I heard they added penguins. Taxis here are dirt cheap. The govt. is now training drivers to be tour guides! Rather than Pre-plan with expectations, lets arrive and let the wind blow us where it will with the delightful element of surprise.


7 am wake up call. Daniella was up earlier and out and about. I was up early also. Its our last day. I can sleep later. I tried to call Scott again. Hes out having fun somewhere also.

It is so nice having 2 keys to the room. In all the other hotels, we only had one key that we would leave at the front desk. 



We had a voucher for the City Tour

12/04/2013 - 12/04/2013 HALF DAY DUBAI CITY TOUR
DUBAI, 025488
Phone: 097-144-504450 Fax: 097-144-504451
Emergency Contact Person Christin Freyer: +971- 4-450-4450


8:50 and we are off on our city tour.


Our guide, Miriam was VERY good and very interesting.   As we drove to each place she told us about the city - I put all that interesting stuff above beside the building pictures. 

Our first stop on the tour was a spectacular building  


 Burj Al Arab the sail hotel. The "first and only 7 star hotel in the world


1990 - Begin construction, finished in 1999

The first 1.5 years was digging down to make the foundation.

It only took 3 years to construct the actually building that you see here.

There are only suites here.

The size of suite is from 190 meters square to 780 sq meters

Cost is $3000 USD a nite in low season.

You must have private car or helicopter transport to hotel.

The only way for us to get in is high tea or a drink

After it was finished, they realized it was a mistake not to allow public, so in 2001 they added a panoramic area and another elevator now that is the main method to promote the hotel.


The architect is being paid to NOT give out the secret on how this hotel was built.

The same temperature is maintained throughout entire airspace.


Burj Al Arab marketing fluff:

Part of the international hotel chain Jumeirah, this hotel has a sail-shaped "Arabian Tower" that is one of Dubai's most striking landmarks.

Situated on an artificial island and spectacularly lit at night, it's an impressive sight.

Although it may not be to everyone's taste, the hotel's interior is worth seeing for its sheer size and opulent design.

Non-hotel guests can only visit if they have reservations at one of the hotel's restaurants.

Reserve well in advance; a copy of the reservation will be sent with credit-card confirmation.

Take this with you as security is tight, and you must show the document at the guard post at the bridge entry from the road. Jumeirah Beach, Umm

Suqeim, Dubai. Phone 301-7777.



The Burj Al Arab is a 5 star luxury hotel.

It is frequently described as "the world's first and only seven-Star hotel" but the hotel management claims to never have done that (attained that rating) themselves.

It is located on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) from Jumeirah beach and connected by a private bridge.

It is managed by the Jumeirah Group and built by Said Khalil.

Construction started in 1994 and completed in 1999. The design, by Tom Wright of WS Atkins PLC, is designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the sail of a traditional Arab dhow.

The hotel cost $650 million to build.

At 321 metres (1,053 ft) and 60 floors, it was the world's tallest building used exclusively as a hotel until the completion of the Rose Rayhaan by Rotana in 23 December 2009, also in Dubai.

Near the top of the building is a suspended helipad supported by a cantilever which has featured some of the hotel's notable publicity events.

The hotel's interior features the world's tallest atrium lobby at 180 metres.

the Burj Al Arab holds only 28 double-story floors, accommodating 202 bedroom suites.

It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The cost of staying at a suite begins at $1,000 per night. The Royal Suite is the most expensive, at $28,000 per night.

Dubai 6: Burj Al Arab

Dubai 7: Burj Dubai 

The only way to see inside/get inside this building is High Tea/Sky Tea (see photo below)

Here is the lobby inside the Burg Al Arab. Kelly in the very high lobby.

"42" is the number of years they are celebrating this year as UAE.



Sky tea (High Tea in the sky) at the Burg Al Arab (I got this from Juliana's facebook).

I heard it was about $110 USD. Maybe next time I'm in Dubai I'll do that. Women must be escorted up. 7 courses served.

Elizabeth, Kallie?, Kathy, Juilana, Gail, Christa, Amy




Next stop on the Dubai city tour was a unique crafts place. To see how bazaars came into being.

9:40 arrive at craft place Saga

at Al Qaarib St
Jumeira St

We only have 20 minutes here.
I took pix. Guard says no photos. Then I see the sign no photography please.
This is a very upscale place
This is a new kind of shops for today (for tourists)
Cottage industries UAE
High prices
Why are we waisting 20 minutes here? They want us to buy(Du bai)..
Back on the bus.
10:15 finally leaving craft place


This area was built for only locals are allowed to buy

We passed by the (free) houses built for the locals

The locals get houses for FREE but it was difficult to get locals to move here. 

People that refused free houses regret the decision because free houses are in the desert now.


The villas only allowed to be 2 floors high in this area. No high rises allowed in this area.

I took a picture of a cell tower adjacent to a minaret about the same height.


Colorful photo to the right is the palace where Sheik Mohammed Hamdan? Hamden? Palace.

We were only allowed to drive around the front driveway. Did a U trun, and exit

No pix, but maybe yes pix if you take the discreetly

That is quite an entrance!   (like Versailles)


These two pictures are where he worked and lived before he was a sheik.

Picture on the left Beige low building was his office. Picture on the right - the low white house was where he lived.


Across the street from these buildings was a BIG mosque:





Interesting stuff is from Wikipedia


ABOUT The United Arab Emirates   aka "the Emirates" or the UAE


Location: In the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south.  Shares sea borders with Qatar, Iran and Pakistan.

The UAE is a federation of seven emirates (equivalent to principalities).

It was formed on 2 December 1971 after the "former protector", Britain, left the Persian Gulf in 1971.   

1. Abu Dhabi,

2. Ajman,

3. Dubai,

4. Fujairah,

5. Ras al-Khaimah,

6. Sharjah, and

7. Umm al-Quwain.

Capital is Abu Dhabi, which is one of the two centers of commercial and cultural activities, together with Dubai.

Each emirate is governed by a hereditary emir who jointly form the Federal Supreme Council which is the highest legislative and executive body in the country.

One of the emirs is selected as the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Qatar and Bahrain chose to remain independent nations.

In 1973, the emirates adopted a uniform currency: the UAE dirham.  The monetary union with Qatar was dissolved


Islam is the official religion of the UAE, and Arabic is the official language.


In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil.

The late Sheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first president of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Today, Emirates oil reserves are ranked as the seventh-largest in the world, along with world's seventeenth largest natural gas reserves.

UAE is one of the most-developed economies in Western Asia with the world's seventh-highest GDP per capita.



1095 AD - The earliest mention of Dubai

Portuguese rule (15061620)

Saudi rule (17441891)

1799 - earliest recorded settlement in the region dates from

British rule (18921971)

Independence (1971)


Driving roadsigns in Dubai                                                       


Dubai is an emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federation. 

The main city of the emirate is also called Dubai.


It has the largest population in the UAE (2,106,177) and the second-largest land territory (4,114 km2) after the capital, Abu Dhabi.

As of 2009, the population of the emirate was 1,771,000

Which included 1,370,000 males and 401,000 females.

As of 2005, 17% of the population of the emirate was made up of Arab UAE nationals, with the rest comprising expatriates.

About 85% of the expatriate population (and 71% of the emirate's total population) was Asian, chiefly Indian (51%) and Pakistani (16%)

There are over 100,000 British expatriates in Dubai, by far the largest group of Western expatriates in the city.

The median age in the emirate was about 27 years.

The crude birth rate, as of 2005, was 13.6%, while the crude death rate was about 1%.


Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East, Africa and the Persian Gulf region.

Dubai's economy was historically built on the oil industry, but now the emirate's Western-style model of business drives its economy with the main revenues now coming from tourism, aviation, real estate, and financial services. 

Dubai's economy was built on the back of the oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas currently account for less than 7% of the emirate's revenues.

The emirate's share in UAE's gas revenues is about 2%. Dubai's oil reserves have diminished significantly and are expected to be exhausted in 20 years.

Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrept (15%) and financial services (11%) are the largest contributors to Dubai's economy.


As of 2012, Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world, and the most expensive city in the Middle East.

Dubai has also been rated as one of the best places to live in the Middle East


Dubai has been ruled by the Al Maktoum family since 1833,

It is a "constitutional monarchy" with no elections (but the Dubai citizens elect the Federal National Council of the UAE).

The current ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and member of the Supreme Council of the Union (SCU).


Dubai's GDP gross domestic product as of 2011 was US $83.4 billion.  


City of Deira                  

Now we are going to the old city.

We are driving near The "Karama" market. It is a market where many fake goods are sold.
Black market of stuff

Al Karama Al Ain Za abeel near Zaa beel St.


There is a huge cruise ship industry here.

They dock and many people from the ships come to shop here.


The haze that we see in the air is from the humidity. It is worse in the summer

Pollution from oil refinery, aluminum process, water processing


We do not have mineral water here. 

It is NOT mineral water here, it is purified water. It is desalinated ocean water.

They import bottles of mineral water

There is Water processing plants in industrial area in the south.



City of Deira has sky scrapers across the water

In the photo on the right

A Dhow yacht

 the first square building on the left is the Sheraton. That was the first hotel In UAE!  It 45 years old.  It has had many renovations. Renovation going on now, so it is closed. 


The third black building is the  Pregnant Lady Building is the richest bank

"DIFC" stands for "Dubai International Financial Center bldg




Embassy's (including US embassy) was across the street from this pier

Libya Embassy
Saudi Embassy
United States Embassy


After the embassy, we drove by some of the first houses of the Bedouin

these are free for Local Emeriti no pay electricity, no pay for water

For xpats, cost is about $300,000 USD a year rent


Locals get Free medical, free university

Woman get $1500 USD a month.

You must have a job to stay and live here.

You must productive

Either open your own business or you must be employed by somebody.

Blood test every 2 years. No STDs are allowed.

If lose work/job you have to 28 days to find another.

If no job in 3 days, you must pack up and they buy you a ticket OUT OF TOWN!  

Fort Al Fahidi  and the Dubai Museum


Fort Al Fahidi  and the Dubai Museum

11:30 we arrive at the museum.


There are 3 parts of the museum.

Our guide said we should concentrate on part 2 - the movie of the Life of Dubai: Past, present, and future

1700-1800   Portugal colonization

Part 3 is Bedouins

The front of the museum is the "Wall of Dubai"



Wall of Old Dubai sign


City walls are one of the prominent architectural features of the urban context of old cities. These walls surrounded cities to defend and secure them against external attacks. Throughout history, there were many examples of walls that had played an important role in protecting cities, such as the walls of Cairo, Damascus and Baghdad.

In the past, Dubai city had two such walls that defined the city context. The Oldest one was constructed in Bur Dubai about the year 1800 A.D. It surrounded the old city, which included Al Faheidi Fort, the Grand Mosque and residential houses. The second one was built in Deira side in the fifties on the nineteenth century.

The Bur Dubai wall was build using Coral stones and Gypsum. It was 50 cm thick, approx. 600 meter long and 2.5 meter high. In the beginning of the twentieth century the wall was demolished to accommodate the expansion of the city.

The Only remaining evidence of this wall is a part of the foundation which was explored and restored in 2001 by the Historical Buildings Section in Dubai Municipality.


European bronze cannon dated 1785, used in Dubai during the 19th century

Dubai Creek sign

Dubai lies on a natural creek Khor Dubai which runs inland for about 10 km and was the nucleus for the city to develop. Historical sources record that the Creek extended inland as far as the Al Ain area. The ancient Greeks used to call it the River Zara. The Creek epitomises Dubai's unique beauty. People settled on both side at Dubai and Deira. Prosperity as a port dates from around 1902, when Dubai became the main anchorage in the area for dhows coming from neighboruring ports and as far away as India and East Africa.

North winds causes silting in the centre of the Creek, which made the passage of large vessels difficult. The late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum started a dredging scheme in the 1950's to deepen the channel and reinforce the banks. This gave a much-needed boost to Dubai's economic development. The two sides of the city are connected by Al-Maktoum Bridge build in 1962, Al Garhoud Bridge - 1976 and Al Shindagda Tunnel - 1975,

Today, Dubai Creek is the main artery for trade in the Emerite. On both sides of the Creek, there are hundreds of dhows of different sizes, loading and unloading a variety of goods which induced Dubai Municipality to construct the new Dhow Wharfage, inaugurated in 1993. This was to cater for the ever increasing number of ships docking on the Creek as well as the recreational facilities of the Creek Park and Dubai Golf Club.

Old Dubai sign

At the beginning the twentieth century, Dubai, which grew up around the Creek, was about 3 kms long and 1 km wide. This nucleus city comprised traditional quarters build using various materials and methods of contruction. Most of the houses were made from palm fronds, while along the edge of the Creek houses were constructed from sea stones.

The countryside around the old city was flat, surrounded by oases of palm trees and was no more than 2m above sea level. This provided ample space for eventual expansion of the city.

Dubai, with its long history of trade and human and cultural diversity gave the city a distinctive feel. Landmarks, areas and markets had names which reflected this diversity. In 1908 there were 350 shops in Deira and 50 in Bur Dubai, specializing in selling certain goods. This led to the establishment of famous souqs (markets) such as Al-Kabeer, Al-Manazer, Al-Tomorr, Al-Arsa and Al-Sabkha.

This early city was surrounded by watchtowers and had a fort for deference. Among the buildings were mosques indicating an Islamic culture. Before regular schools were opened children were taught by scholars in the mosques and traditional schools (Al Katateeb). Local culture has been enriched by the customs, songs, dances and sports of a people whose life was shaped by the unique environment of desert and sea. 


Another sign

Archaeological excavations as Hatta, Al Qusais and Jumeira reveal that there was a high degree of civilisation in the Dubai are around 3,000 BC, as well as in the early and middle Islamic period. An Italian explorer in the 1580 described Dubai as a prosperous community, its people engaged in pearl diving.

Dubai first became an independent political entity in 1833, when 800 men of the Bu Flasa tribe, under the leader Maktoum Bin Butti, settled in the area. Most of the population settled in Bur Dubai, which was surrounded by a defensive wall. Bur Deira was not populated in larch number until 1841, followed by Al Shindagha.


Dubais economy prospered after 1894 when Sheikh Maktoum Bin Hasher Al Maktoum gave tax exemption to foreign traders. The citys exports were pearls, shells, and dried fish. Import included dates from Basra; rice, sugar, popper and cereals from India wood and cane from East Africa.

Subsequent rulers followed an open policy, particularly the late Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, who pioneered Dubais modern development as a renowned world trade centre. Dubai faces the future with confidence on the strength of a modern infrastructure, combined with excellent trade and an international financial reputation.



 1950s sign

During the 1950s Dubais prosperity increased with the growth of the gold trade. Dredging the creek was the first step in laying the foundations for a modern commercial city. The government departments of Dubai; the Municipality, the police, the courts, electricity, water and the airport were formed in addition to the first town planning and road network project.


Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai (1958-1990), with his son Mohammed, born in 1948.



1960s sign

The 1960s were years of massive growth for Dubai, both politically and economically. Oil was discovered and the city began to reap the benefits of the hard work of the previous decades.

By the end of the 1960s most of the infrastructure for the modern city was in place; electricity, water, telecommunication, airports, and roads. Al Maktoum Bridge was built to connect Dubai and Deira. Work began on the building of Port Rashid. Plans for the withdrawal of the British were in hand and in 1968 the rulers Dubai and Abu Dhabi agreed on unity between their two Emerates. Oil exports began in 1969. The population was now 59,000









1970s Sign


The United Arab Emerites was formed in 1971 and Dubai became the commercial capital for the newly established country, putting all its resources at the disposal of the Emerites, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum took advantage of the high price of oil to create the miracle of modern Dubai.

The decade ended with the opening of Jebel Ali Port and the Free Sone, the Dry Dock, the World Trade Centre and the Aluminum Company, in addition to completing the Shindagha Tunnel, the Gathourd? Bridge, and the water desalination plant. Plans for the beautification of the city were put in hand. The population had jumped to 207,000? by 1977.











1980s and 1990s Sign


During these two decades, Dubai continued to grow and prosper. Service industries expanded to meet the needs of a growing population and thousands of housing projects were initiated. The airport was extended to provide a base for the newly formed Emerates Airline. Recreational and sporting facilities grew to provide the infrastructure for international tourism. Conservation project began. Gas and oil were discovered in the desert at Margham. By the beginning of the 1990s foreign trade had reached $16bn and the population had risen to 550,000.


In 1990 Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed dies and his son Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum became ruler. He instigated his own ambitious plans to make Dubai a modern city, ready for the 21st century.



"Today" sign

As Dubai's population increases through improved economic conditions, more water was needed. By 1993 consumption was 74,920 million gallons a day. The demand was met by 56 water wells producing 5,340 million gallons a daily and seawater desalination plants producing 69,580 million gallons daily, under the auspices of the Electricity and Water Authority.

Heat generated by the electricity power plants and the Jebel Ali Aluminium Smelting Plant is used by the desalination plants, which convert seas water into vapor at 90 degrees centigrade. Limestone and chlorine is then added, plus a small quantity of sea water to obtain drinking water.

Wells are still the main source of water in the Hatta area. There were 15 new wells drilled in 1993. The development of desalination has not affected the dependence of many people on the falajes in the area for drinking and agriculture.









This is the movie: Life of Dubai: Past, present, future.



The proximity of mountains, desert and the sea were setting within which the lives of the people of Dubai developed. The Bedouin with no fixed homes spent their lives travelling in the desert with their herds of camels, sheep and goats. Semi-nomads settled near the oases and water sources where they developed agricultural skills.

The desert thrives during the winter, when grazing and agricultural activities are at their peak. There is leisure time for hunting and camel racking before the hot summer, when people settle in the oases or take part in coastal or offshore activities.

Nomads who settled in the Al-Aweer desert and Hatta oasis areas established communities whose culture, customs, and folklore gave Dubai a rich heritage.

Water in the desert sign

Settlements and civilization depend on the availability of water for their existence. Streams and wells are not the only reason why tribes settled in the desert. The valleys also contributed to the growth of the population by preserving the winter and spring rainfall. Heavy rain pouring down from nearby high mountains flooded the valleys to create fast running streams which reached into the heart of the desert, increasing water levels and filling wells. Water is very valuable to the Bedouin as it provides him and his sheep and camels with grass and means of life.

Nearness to water is relative matter for the Bedouin. In summer he pitches this tent about half a mile from water. In winter, when camels and sheep drink once every four days, tents are erected twenty to thirty miles away from the wells. Water for home use is carried on a camel's back in the large water skins. Sheep are lead to the sources of water to drink.


Survival in the desert sign

The United Arab Emerites has a desert climate with very little rain. The average daytime temperature reaches 40 degrees centigrade in summer and 20 degrees in winter. Annual rainfall exceeds 122 mm. Climatic conditions, the nature of the soil and the quantity and quality of the water have shaped the environment. The green area is limited to the plain, which is covered with sand and silt near the hills, and to the fertile plains near the valleys.

The plants which grow after the winter and the rainy season, have a short life span. The beautiful Ghaf tree extends its roots to around 60 meters to reach the rocky water sedimentation.
Desert animals have adapted to the harsh and tough environment. They rarely go out during the during the heat of the day, but stay in deep holes or under rocks and trees. They come out during the cooler night time to forage for food.

The Emeriates region contains many types of grass, plants and trees, despite the difficult climatic conditions. Grasses grow on the sands, plains and hills. Some are about half a metre high, such as Al Ramth, whilst others are lower and spreading, such as Al Nussay, which is known to be one of the most nourishing sources of food for camels. Lesser varieties include Al Ghurna, Al Kuhul and Al Raabi. Another grou of plants indigenous to the Emirates area includes Al Yaadheed and Al Thamam. There are other creeping plants like Al Handhal, Al Shakaa, Al Burkan and Al Zaahar which is a sweetening agent for camels milk. Some plants have stems which can be used for fuel and leave which become food for camels and sheep. The most famous plant is Al Jaad, which is used as medicine to cure fever and Al Shenan powder - an alternative for soap. Al Kara, Al Saabe and Al Alga grow on the sands and plains.

There are about 18 types of trees between 3 to 8 metres high, such as the widely-spread date palms and Al Ghaff, which is thought to be one of the largest trees in the Emerites. In the Al Aweer and Hatta areas among others, the Al Ghaff, Al Samr, Al Ashkhar, Al Artta and Al Athel trees have been found. People in the regions depended on these trees for wood, charcoal and to feed their camels and sheep.


Control of water sign


There is abundant ground water in the coastal region of the Gulf. Desert people are renowned for their ability to detect the presence of underground water and to drill accurate artesian wells. They have also mastered the technique of preserving these wells from sand-storms and erosion. Water is bought up (sic - should be "brought up") in a bucket (Al Dallu), tied to a rope on a wooden sheel (Al Fark). Sometime the bucket tied to a rope with a load on one end. The water is then poured into storage tanks or taken home in a skin container.

A perfect irrigation system Al Falaj was devised around 3,000 years ago to water the date palms. Openings were cut along the underground stream to regulate the water supply, remove silt and for generate maintenance. The irrigation time was divided into smaller units (Badah) between the farms, using complete astronomical calculations. There are many Falajes in the Hatta oasis.

Water in the desert and oasis sign

Water is the source of life. Nomadic Life in the desert was defined by the routes to water sources. Even in the vast desert around Dubai there are numerous springs, pools, and streams and secret of survival is knowing where to find them. There are many known wells within the Dubai area, which were once used by the inhabitants of the desert.

The desert becomes green after the winter rain and news spreads quickly among Bedouin, who arrive in the area to settle until hot weather. They have their own elaborate methods of irrigation and tracing underground water. They dig their wells and make pails (dallu) from animal skins and, in the oases use astronomical calculations to regulate the flow of water.

The importance of wells of Al-Aweer and its surroundings is as great as the streams and valleys of Hatta with its fruitful date plantations.




Dhow (boat) building

Dhow building sign

The people of the Emirates have always been dependent upon the sea and upon having the raw material to construct and manufacture dhows. The craftsmen Al Galaf were able to build sea-worthy vessels, using only the simple tools available locally.

Early dhows for two passengers were made from palm tree fronds Al Shasha. The leaves and branches were tied with ropes made out of coconut palm coir. Another kind of boat Al Baanoush was hewn from a tree trunk. Accurate boat-building skills developed without any specific training, using simple tools such as the adz, saw, hammer, and scales of measurement.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the Emirates produced 50 sailing dhows annually. Allied trades, such as sail and rope making and tools for fishing, pearl diving and commerce also prospered.

Some sailing dhows Al Baghlah, Al Boom and Al Bateel were designed for long distance travel, others Al Shouee, Al Baggarah and Al Jalbout were for pearl diving and fishing. There were also small transport boats Al Houri and Al Shahouf for use in the creek and around the coast.



Pearl Diving


There have been pearl divers for a thousand years in the Emirates. It was one way to make a living. In 1905, the revenue from pearl sales was 5 million rupees. Pearl divers made three main journeys between the 5th and the 9th month eash year. Summer was the busiest time, when thousands of men left in the dhows, carrying simple tools and provisions, financed by the wealthy pearl traders.

At Dubai Creek in the early 20th century, there were about 300 pearl diving dhows with over 7,000 sailors on board. The captain (Al Nokhaza), sailors, diver and apprentices left to the haunting melodies of the song Al Nahham. When the divers reached the pearl beds (Al Hiraat), the started work under the burning sun. They made very deep dives, with only a nose clip, leather finger protectors, a basket made of rope, a stone weighing about 5 kg to pull them down, and a rope to raise them to the surface again. About 50 dives were a made a day, each about 3 minutes long. They earned between 200 and 300 rupees a year, compared with a pearl traders average income of 1,500 rupees.

50 daily dips in the sea, with all their associated difficulties made the joy of returning home more precious than the pearls collected by the captain in his ornate wooden box.




The Bedouin's

Bedouin society is founded on the need to move from place to place in search of pasture. It is a nomadic life, always on the move reading their flock of sheep. The Bedouin belong to a tribe which is divided into branches, sub-branches and families. They live with relatives, in a community bonded by blood ties and marriage. Tribes combine for defense, to preserve their existence and social customs. They share a joint code of ethics, and consult their sheikhs and wise men on important matters.

The Bedouin love good deeds and hate evil. They are proud of their customs and are very sociable and hospitable by nature. They have strong personalities. They are generous and will give guests the most valuable sheep or camel as a token of respect and welcome. They are very patient, will protect their neighbors and are very happy with their way of life.

The Bedouin generally live in tents made of animal hair. Their possessions are few and light, enabling them to travel quickly.

Women are respected and have their own special rights. They work beside their husbands and are free to manage their own personal and home matters. Settled Bedouins live in oases, near water for their flocks and agriculture, with sufficient food for their families. In the agricultural valleys, their homes are made with date palm trunks, fronds and mud.

Bedoiuns practised their crafts in the course of their daily lives - rearing livestock and cultivating date palms. They tanned animal skins which were used for housebuilding, for making buckets to raise well water, for waterskins and for sacks to contain food. Belts, shoes and other clothing were also made from leather, as were the containers that sheep and camels drank from.

Fronds from date palms were used in the home and for making mats, buckets and fishing nets. Wood was used to make camel saddles and milk pots.

Pottery was made from rich clay found in the mountain areas. Clay incense burners were beautifully decorated by the women. Metal, which was available in the nomadic areas was made into coffee pots (Al Dallah), pot of different sizes for cooking, for holding water and preserving dates and traditional weaponry, such as swords, daggers, spears and arrows.

Women joined with the men in producing all these crafts, an ideal example of family solidarity.

Astronomy and natural phenomenon sign

Allah the Almighty says: "He created the sun, the moon, and the starts' all governed by his laws under his command." (THE QURAN). Dubai has clear skies throughout the year, enabling seamen and desert travelers alike to navigate by the moon and stars. The bright sun was used to calculate time during the day.

Early sailors from the Emirates contributed to a rich store of astronomical information - about 48 stars are still universally identified only by their Arabic names. Knowledge of the stars plays an important part in agriculture, navigation of the desert and weather forecasting.

The moon has always been a good companion for travelers both on the land and sea and is used to determine the month's cycle and tidal movements.

The movement of the sun determines the time of worship, working hours and agricultural processes such is the distribution of falaj water between the farms. Wind movements are studied to determine direction for sailing vessels and climactic conditions on land.






Lisa and  Frank emerge from a Bedouin tent:


Next stop on the tour: Madinat Jumeirah

No visit to Dubai is complete without a visit to this huge yet lovely development, located at Jumeirah Beach next to the Burj Al Arab. Although Madinat Jumeirah is pitched as a boutique resort, it is anything but small. It consists of three hotelsMina A'Salam, Al Qasr and Dar Al Masyaf75 shops, 22 waterfront cafes, 20 restaurants and bars, a theater, amphitheater, a spa and the three-floor Trilogy nightclub.

The extravagant Arabic architecture stretches along a private beach for 0.6 mi/1 km, andabras transport hotel guests through a maze of canals. Imagine a mini-Venice of man-made waterways connecting the various buildings andrestaurants in this incredible establishment. With the seafront running parallel, it is an amazing sight. Stroll next door to the Madinat Souk, a recreation of a typical Arabian marketplace, although in posh, air-conditioned comfort. Then dine at one of the many splendid restaurants along thewaterways. Phone 366-8888.


Burg Dubai water taxi to market across Dubai Creek

Spice market

There was a couple of long streets packed with shops, and whafting smells that draw you into (or away from!) the shop interior.


Then a short walk down the street to the Gold Souq


Shopping for everyone:  Emirati women in an "abaya", a black over-garment covering most parts of the body.

Men in "kandura", an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton.  Business men.


The first thing that I see on the street is a HUGE gold ring!

THE Guinness Ring




Gold purity
18 carat
21 carat
22 carat
24 carat only gold bars.


If 10 grams of 18 carat gold, and the cost is 2000 dirhams: Divide 10 grams into 2000 dirham, and get 200 dirham per gram.

You may consider that over-priced gold

But you must decide on the value of the workmanship.


Rick and Judith told me their experience in the souq

They shopped and shopped and found exactly what they wanted.

They bargained on the price.  To no avail. They walk away.

The shop keeper waved for them to come back (this is the traditional "haggle" dance the occurs at most all market purchases around the world.)

They come back and they are ready to buy.

Rick has a credit card. The shop keeper requires a photo id and the hotel still has our passports.

The name on his driver license did not match his name on the credit card. Richard and Rich don't match. So NO Sale! 

To use a credit card in the gold market, the name on the credit card must match the name on a picture id.

They had to go back to the hotel, get the passports and return to the souk
to purchase that drop-dead GORGEOUS necklace that Judith was wearing on the plane home.  Wow. That was worth the effort! 



I heard comments from more than one person that gold was less expensive in airport.

Judith said was $38 a gram vs. 42 a gram in Gold Souk.

but for what carat?
100 grams = 1 ounce?
37 grams, 40 a gram, ?USD



Hmm. I can't believe that I heard this conversation as we were walking from the gold souk back to the bus:  A certain (female) person, who was wearing a tank top and Bermuda shorts was approached for conversation by an Emerite man while we walk. She asked him a question about what he is wearing. She responds "Well I like it. I think its sexy."  He is speechless. Enough said. 


So many buses in the parking lot.  We were told the license of our bus is 25200.  That was a good thing to write down.


3 pm a big group of us met in the lobby for DESERT SAFARI

aka "Dune Bashing" aka "The Dubai roller coaster".  That's my kind of fun!


Safari price was 180 but someone changed their mind and decided not to show up, so the price for everyone else went up to 194.

I heard somebody was not happy with that and didnt want to pay the extra. Whatever. Just pay it and go on with life.

I think anyone in the group would have gladly paid that persons extra 14 just so they did not have to listen to the complaining.


We ride for awhile out of the city.

At 4:30 - a toilet stop. We stopped at store/gathering area for all the cars going on the safari. There must have been 30 cars there.  We used the (stinky) toilet.

The drivers let air out of all the tires to drop the tire pressure and get more traction.

They deflate them 15-18, or 20-22 if there is rain. 

Rain causes sand to be hard. 

The tires look flat on the highway! They go through about 2 sets of tires a year.

The drivers train for 1 week.


5pm We start the drive / roller coaster ride.


Our very nice driver tells us: "There is a bag in the door in case of vomiting"

No pregnant lady or person with back operation are allowed they are transported straight to camp site.



We are in a conservation reserve.   There are 4 routes,  prescribed routes to follow.

No cars have rolled over.  There is no problem if you know the shape of the dune. And the shape is constantly changing.

There are no rocks. All sand. Dry sand. It does not stick!

We might see:  Gazelle, fox, mouse

See sunset 

Very soft sand.  I have never experienced sand like that. It DOES NOT STICK to your shoes, skin or clothes.  It is so dry it falls off everything.


Juliana captures the sun!


Dinner in Bedouin camp. 

The camels are only owned by local people.


Beautiful Henna "tattoos":

Kelly's photo of Valerie: "He tried to get us to smoke and when we wouldn't he was more than happy to showoff his skills for me."


Our entertainment: A spinning ? not sure the right word, Dervish?






When we got back from the safari to the hotel that night, instead of going up to the room to pack and sleep (2 hours), some hearty souls, including Amy and Elizabeth, went to the Hookah lounge next to the hotel.

I was not one of them, but I heard later.

Many flavors to choose from.  Very fun.

You get your own mouth piece.

I didn't know that nicotine was added later.



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Day 10 Thursday Dec 5 - airport transfer, arrive JFK 1:50 pm, 4 pm to ATL arrive 6:45 pm

From trip description:  Enjoy a morning at leisure. At noon, transfer to airport for non-stop Emirates flight back to NY arriving at 1:50pm same day.


3:30 wake up

4:30 am depart hotel

Tip if porter brings your bag down.

Box breakfast

Transfer to airport voucher

12/05/2013 - 12/05/2013 HOTEL TO DUBAI AIRPORT TRANSFER
DUBAI, 025488
Phone: 097-144-504450 Fax: 097-144-504451
Emergency Contact Person Christin Freyer: +971- 4-450-4450


12/05/2013 - 12/05/2013 EMIRATES AIRLINES Flight No: 201 (30 Ticketed Passengers)
From: Dubai (DXB) Departure: 08:30am
Dest: New York (JFK) Arrival: 01:50pm


This is long flight.

The man behind me is snoring. And it is loud. He is comfortable and oblivious to the yamming noise all around us.  I'm jealous

I squished foam ear plugs in my ears.  It's a cool experience as the foam expands, the sounds slowly disappear blocking out the world, less to listen to, but you still have the visual distractions so I have an eye cover.  It enables me to temporarily pretend Im someplace else.

Close my eyes and I can attempt to forget that Im squished into this window seat. Cocooning. I called it.

Food:  Here's our menus

Emerites invites you to enjoy its award winning cuisine, complemented by the finest beverages from a selection of Wines, Spirits, Beers, Liqueurs $ Soft Drinks.


Herb omelete - served with golden fried potato wedges, creamy spinach, and mushrooms

Breakfast selection - grilled chicken fillet with turkey bacon, chicken sausage, lyonnaise potatoes, and baked beans

Aloo bhaji - served with black chana fry and paratha

Croissant - served with butter and preserve

Tea or coffee


Saffron moghraieth salad with red pepper and coriander

Rosemary chicken with a creamy tomato basil sauce, garlic roasted potatoes, and seasonal vegetables

Lamb mouloukhia - traditional Middle Eastern lamb and mouloukhia stew with steamed rice and sauteed vegetables

Vegetable biryani - seasonal vegetables cooked in a biryani spiced gravy, topped with the classic vanilla cream sauce.

A box of gourmet savousies

Tea or coffee


Light Bites

Vegetarian pizza topped with tomoatoes and cheese 

Fruit and snack bars are available in between the meal services

All drinks served are complimentary with the exception of champagne (15 USD).

Meals served on this flight are Halal.


On Emerites airline you can

Recharge laptop

Mobile or tablet from your seat.

Plug devise into power socket in your seat.

All international plugs work. Socket is 110 volts

There is a USB media player

Plug into the USB port to view, listen music, view PDF files.


5 hours 41 minutes left to fly.

I feel like a sardine in a tin. Peel the top away and get out outta here.
Actually its quite comfortable. Really good chicken lunch. We started the flight with breakfast omelets. Lots of entertainment to select from on my screen.

Need to nap. Im very tired.


I heard some folks talking about the first hotel right now I can't think of anything to complain about. It would have been nice to have 2 keys.  Other people

Flooded and wet suitcase.

No water pressure

No hot water

Rude staff

Re: the "rude staff"  I have learned that people respond to what is presented to them.

If you present them (the staff / the gate agent) with a calm smile, you may get that in response.

If you present a harsh demand, the response is a also a harsh . Albeit it shouldnt be because guests and customers

Are supposed to be catered to. I say rude begets rude.



8 hours to go. Weve flown from Dubai to France. Now were headed out over the ocean.

I have experience the involuntary yawn that desperate attempt for your body to gasp for air so you can keep functioning.

Cover your mouth so you

I cover my mouth so I can make the yawn last as long as possible.

I stay awake till the next yawn to keep me going.


Suzy said to "allow around 2 hours to clear customs upon return Dec 5 or after 350pm"

I needed a teeny bit more time. It was very close for me.

I was row 78 on the Emerites. I finally got off plane. Since I had connection in under 2 hours I got a "Quick pass" to go thru passport control.  I showed my pass and the man directed me to the regular line. I got out of the regular line, waited till he was not looking, and I slipped in to the Quick Pass line. I got to the front of the line and the passport control folks had a shift change, so they closed all the lines.  Talk about frustrating.

New passport control guy just starting his shift tried to chat me up with questions "Is your trip for business"  "What did you do in Dubai" etc etc.  I wasn't in the mood. I told him that I was going to miss my connection and I really need to get to security.  He let me go.

I get to security. There is only one screening line and several (more than 5) other TSA folks standing around.  After 25 minutes, I get to the front of that line and they finally open another screening line. 

I run to Emerites and direct them to get my bag to Delta so I can get it in Atlanta.

I RUN as fast as possible to my gate.  Suzy and Melissa are already there.

The plane from JFK to ATL is late.  Yeah. That is good.  I made the flight.


JFK > ATL DL 843 Depart: 4:02 PM Arrive: 6:45 PM
JFK > ATL : DL 407
Depart: 4:02 PM Arrive: 6:45 PM
FLIGHT TIME: 2h 43m   About your Aircraft: Airbus A320

And I'm home.



The Palm Island, Dubai UAE - Megastructure Development - artificial archipelagos in Dubai


Palm Jumeriah 2005

copyright Commander Leroy Chiao
Palm Jumeriah 2012

copyright Richard Schneider from Los Angeles 






The sand is sprayed from the dredging ships, which are guided by a Global Positioning System, on to the required area.

Construction resources involved 5.5 million cubic metres of rock brought from over 16 quarries in Dubai.

94 million cubic metres of sand brought from deep sea beds 6 nautical miles from the coast of Dubai.


The islands are created by dredging and marine contractors

All materials are quarried in The UAE.


The Palm Island is made out of only sand and rocks

(no use of concrete to build the island) 



Palms videos:





Information from Eikongraphia Iconography  Michiel van Raaij 2006-2013, and Wikipedia




#1 The Palm, Jumeriah -The first (and only) Palm island

Palm Jumeirah 

Palm Islands are artificial archipelagos in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

As of 2013, only Palm Jumeirah exists.  Palm Jebel Ali and Pam Deira are coming in the future.


June 2001 - Construction began with the Palm Jumeirah island

2006 - The developers announced handover of the first residential units


There are luxury hotels, residential beach-side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas.


The Palm Jumeirah is in the shape of a palm tree.

 It consists of a trunk, a crown with 17 fronds, and a surrounding crescent island that forms an 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) long breakwater.

The island is 5 by 5 kilometres (3.1 by 3.1 mi) and its total area is larger than 800 football pitches.

It adds 78 kilometers to the Dubai coastline.

The crown is connected to the mainland by a 300-metre (980 ft) bridge and the crescent is connected to the top of the palm by a subsea tunnel.

The island doubled the length of the Dubai coastline

The island has been created using 94,000,000 cubic metres (3.3×109 cu ft) of sand and 7 million tons of rock.


The Palm Jumeirah was created by pouring sand fill onto the 10.5-metre-deep seabed using dredgers.

Above sea level, 3 metres of the reclamation were achieved by a dredging technique known as "rainbowing", in which the sand fill was sprayed over the surface of the rising island.

Calcareous sand was used for the reclamation.

The island includes a curved breakwater using natural rock, intended to encourage the creation of a natural reef and provide habitats for sea life.

Total cost reached US$12.3 billion and maintaining the island is a costly expenditure.

Approximately 40,000 workers, mostly from South Asia, have been involved in the construction of the island.

In early October 2007, the Palm Jumeirah had already become the world's largest artificial island.

Also at this time, 75% of the properties were ready to hand over, with 500 families already residing on the island.

By the end of 2009, 28 hotels were opened on the Crescent.

Controversy, per Wikipedia

The complexities of the Palm construction have been blamed, in part, for the extended delays to the completion of the project, the date of which has been pushed back multiple times and is now[dated info] nearly two years late.

Further controversy was engendered when it was revealed that after launching the project, Nakheel increased the number of residential units on the island (with a concomitant reduction in the amount of physical space between individual properties) from the originally announced 4500 (comprising 2000 villas purchased early in the expectation of greater separation between properties.

This increase was attributed to Nakheel miscalculating the actual cost of construction and requiring the raising of additional capital, although Nakheel has never commented publicly on the matter.

The outer break water has been designed as a continuous barrier, but it was realized that by preventing natural tidal movement, the seawater within the Palm was becoming stagnant.

The problem was corrected by adding an additional gap in the barrier.

As explained in the National Geographic Channel's documentary Impossible Islands, part of its MegaStructures series, the breakwater was subsequently modified to create gaps on either side, allowing tidal movement to oxygenate the water within and prevent it stagnating, albeit less efficiently than would be the case if the breakwater did not exist.

This same episode addressed the issue of marine life as well, but stated that the breakwater has actually encouraged marine life and that new marine species are moving into the area.


In a 2009 article describing the collapsing Dubai economy, The New York Times reported that the Palm was sinking and this has been confirmed now by geological surveys, at the moment it is 5 millimetres (0.20 in) per year but this could increase rapidly.

Furthermore there are many reported cases where people had bought houses before they were built and are furious about the space available now and the way they seem to be living on top of each other.[17] Nakheel refuted the claims by the New York Times who had quoted one small ground survey firm that the island was sinking.

They defended the single claim by saying that there had been no reports of any structural problems on any of the buildings on the island which would be expected if there were any subsidence.

Nakheel also outlined that claims suggesting Palm Jumeirah has sunk by 5 mm, as detected by remote sensing (satellite) techniques, are not possible given that NASA's laser altimeter satellites have an accuracy of only + or – 50 millimetres (2.0 in). 


#2 The Palm, Jebel Ali 

Palm Jebel-Ali 

"There once was a plan for the Palm Jebel-Ali. It has been redrawn, and redrawn and the final draft has not yet been unveiled. "

The Palm Jebel Ali began construction in October 2002, and put on hold in 2008.

It was supposed to be 50 percent larger than the Palm Jumeirah.

Palm Jebel Ali includes the creation of a four-kilometer-long peninsula, protected by a 200-meter-wide, seventeen-kilometer long circular breakwater.

It will include six marinas, a water theme park, 'Sea Village', homes built on stilts above the water.

Expected to house more than 250,000 people. 

There are 210,000,000 cubic meters of rock, sand and limestone that were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali entrance channel dredging work).There are 210,000,000 cubic meters of rock, sand and limestone that were reclaimed (partly originating from the Jebel Ali entrance channel dredging work).

There are approximately 10,000,000 cubic meters of rocks in the Slope Protection Works. 


#3 The Palm, Deira

Palm Deira   Palm Deira will be a "center for business"

"At Palm Deira pragmatism is taking over. The dead-ends in the water, that are featured in Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel-Ali, here have been skipped, solving the problem of stinking water that is heated up by the weather, because it can't go nowhere. At Palm Deira it is only a small step to abandon the idea of the palm altogether. Good chance next year it looks all different."



The Palms, The World, and THE UNIVERSE !!!!


Photo copyright Nakheel    Eikongraphia Iconography  Michiel van Raaij 2006-2013 


1 The Palm, Jumeriah - the first palm island
2 The Palm, Jebel Ali - construction on hold
3 The Palm, Deira - not built yet
4 THE WORLD - started
5 The Waterfront
6 Jumeriah Islands
7 Jumeriah Village
8 Jumeriah Park
9 Jumeriah Heights
10 Ibn Battuta Mall
11 Al Furjan
12 The Gardens
13 Discovery Gardens
14 International City
15 Dragon Mark
16 Dubai Promenade
17 Redevelopment of Port Rashid



4 The World

 The World


About THE WORLD ISLANDS Per our guide

There are 6 countries that are done: Germany, UK, Ethiopia, Russia, Canada, Austraila

They have a la carte islands

The islands are NOT connected with land area. There is no road access. No cars.

You pick the country that you want and you must pay the whole/entire amount in ADVANCE and in cash before construction of your country starts.

You must own boat or helicopter transporation so they can build the proper facilities.

In the Palms, people make a down payment, and if they are not happy, they walk away.

Some people found that living on palm island it was long commute time to get to work and to get home.

4 km of the world - Mega project. 

Keep islands private.

There is a casino.


Per the marketing audio on Emerites plane: 

There is a very long 15-25 year planning horizon.

Over 2/3 of the world has been sold

Development master plan group islands into types of groups in how they are used.

Most islands will be private villas, but the World Island Beach Club is open to the public in the country of Lebanon.

You can walk around it in 10 minutes.


About the FIRST spectacular development on the Arabian Gulf off the coast of the Emirate of Dubai has opened its doors to the public. Being the first this iconic BEACH CLUB/RESORT destination will offer travellers and visitors an unimaginable and unforgettable experience never to miss of being the first to see a most remarkable skyline of the new and modern Dubai from the World Islands.

The World Islands project is an artificial archipelago constructed in the shape of the world map developed into the continents located about 6 Km off the coast of the Emirates of Dubai.

The Royal Island Beach Club covers a total area of 38,941 square meters and is strategically located on Lebanon Island, in the Asian cluster of this iconic development and borders with Europe and Africa clusters. The Club encompasses an International Restaurant with Indoor/Outdoor Dining, Beach Swim areas, Swimming Pool, Day Use Chalets, Events Area and Non-Motorized Water Sports activities making it the ideal destination for tourists and holding private as well as corporate events.


THE WORLD / THE UNIVERSE adjacent to the Burg Al Arab 



18 The Universe 



The Universe

Dubai (Copyright Nakheel)


On 20 January 2008 Nakheel presented The Universe, a reclaimed island development which draws its inspiration from the wonders of the solar system, with islands in the shape of the sun, the moon and the planets.

To confront the very round form of Palm Jumeirah a very round island agglomeration in the form of the sun is projected.

On the strip of sea between The World and the coast a meandering line is drawn, surrounded with planets.

And Palm Deira is faced by an abstract representation of the circular solar system itself.

The infill-design of The Universe also points to another, more prominent problem: how can one urbanize the sea in a beautiful, economic and environmental way? To put it another way: How does a tapestry of vacation islands work, when in 2050 The Universe part IV has been finished? Are for instance boat-highways needed to avoid boat-traffic-jams? Are continuous rivers through the islands needed to refresh the water in the area?

From Web site about Dubai: The story so far 

Eikongraphia Iconography  Michiel van Raaij 2006-2013 


FYI Here are some other things to do in Dubai:


Ferrari World           AED399 108USD   Waterworld             AED399 108USD
Safari                    AED285  77USD    Jet Ski                   AED250  68USD
Swim with dolphins AED600 163USD     Marina Dhow Cruise AED250 68USD
6 Emirates Tour       AED375 102USD   Dubai City Tour       AED150 41USD
Dubai Night Tour     AED175 47USD     Helicopter Tour       AED795 216USD
Burj Al Arab           AED375 102USD    AbuDhabi City Tour AED200 54USD







Whew. Next trip is Antarctica!!!!

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