What a contrast: Dubai

Trip Start Jan 28, 2012
Trip End Mar 12, 2012

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Tuesday, March 13, 2012

We couldn't have witnessed a bigger contrast than the last two days Dubai compared to Sri Lanka. Two days on the Big Bus and a quite bit of walking gave us a good impression of the high development that can be seen in Dubai. High rise after high rise, but more spread than in Shanghai and all with a special beautiful design. And 50 years ago Dubai was only a small fishing and pearl diving village under the protection of the British. In 1966 oil was found and in 1969 the first oil was exported.

The ruling sheikhs of the Bani Yas tribe had the vision to spend the profits into improving the infrastructure in the last 30 years. Now Dubai has the highest building in the world. It has an automated metro system, it uses automated drop irrigation the keep the city green. It gets 97 percent of its drinking water from desalinating sea water. Many big and luxurious shop till you drop shopping malls, one seven star hotel, many five star ones and many more to come. The tour guides say that oil contributes these days only 7 percent to the national income.

Eight out of ten of the 1,2 million population is coming from other countries. Indians, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Philipinno do the work that most of the Arabs don't want to do anymore. It is the most liberal and economically free society in the Middle East. It combines refined Islamic culture with an intense night life. We found out that in our hotel there were three night clubs operating until three o'clock in the morning. See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dubai for more about Dubai emirates and the United Arab Emirates.

The Dubai Museum is worth a visit, so is crossing the Creek where the city started in small public transport boats for 1 dirham (20 Euro cent). Our dinner in the rotating restaurant of the Hyatt hotel was to close off the six weeks that we have been traveling. A technical problem made that it did not rotate. I realise only now that our first dinner of the our tour was also in the rotating Mandarin restaurant in Dhaka. In this Bangladesh beat Dubai: that actually rotated.
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Eila Harkonen-Hart on

Thanks for many entertaining moments when I was reading your stories and info!
I admire your perseverance to explore temple after temple in India. For me one day and four temples were enough in Siem Reap. Maybe India was more peaceful; at Angkor Wat there were so many tourists that we were walking in lines.
Please keep our email in your list, so that when you go to your next adventure, we can again read you blog.
All the best!

slambez on

Thank you for the experience that you gave us
In some places really was a sense of "we were with you"
Thank you
And hope to you be back soon in your next tour - convinced it would be fascinating
Many thanks, health and success

Najma Haque on

I was in Dubai for a couple of hours between flights also very late at night so I saw Dubai at dead of night,which looked exotic. The water bus looks scary. Devp.is awesome but if oil contributes only 7% where does the rest of the money come from? Will write more later. But we just finished two short trips to Shillong and Gauhati and then to Kustia. They were all quite enjoyable except for the fact that all movements were vertical & WITHOUT any lifts. Can you imagine. I"m glad it was short and that I came back in one piece (but quite maimed and in pain. Might go to Sikkim,Darjeeling and Bhutan. Take care.

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