Bigger, Taller, Richer

Trip Start May 08, 2014
Trip End May 20, 2014

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Where I stayed
Chez McNair

Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Saturday, May 17, 2014

It was such a treat to be greeted by the lovely Nancy M. upon landing at DXB. After a quick round of hugs, she whisked me into her air-conditioned vehicle and we caught up while navigating the expansive city freeways. We headed straight for Jumeirah Beach for my first glimpse of the Arabian Gulf. Since it was a relatively cool day by Dubai standards (30-ish!), the beach was packed. Luckily, Nancy warned me in advance to avoid stepping on any "breast implants" - jellyfish washed up onto shore all along the beach.

Over the next few days, Nancy was a supremely gracious hostess and tour guide extraordinaire, showing me everything from her lovely home and her daughter's school to the world's tallest building (Burj Khalifa), biggest mall, only indoor ski hill, and glitziest gold souk, not to mention the most beautiful mosque I've ever seen - Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

We rode the ferry across Dubai Creek to wander the alleys of the Bastakiya area in Old Dubai. It's filled with restored old houses that are now galleries, cafes and artisanal shops showcasing beautiful works from Dubai and all over the Middle East. We ducked into a few air-conditioned shops to escape the afternoon heat, I couldn't resist buying a gorgeous Iranian wood block-printed tablecloth.

Nancy had also prearranged a lovely cultural breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. We sipped cardamom-flavoured coffee and sampled delicious Arabic breakfast dishes while learning about Emirati culture and traditions.

On my last evening after our sunset to the top of the Burj Khalifa, we had a seafood dinner overlooking the Dubai Mall fountains. We met up with Suzane, whom I''d met on a previous trip to Cuba, and who also lives in Dubai. What a fun reunion!

Thank you Nancy for a fun-filled whirlwind tour of your latest exotic expat homeland. You made me feel so welcome that I just might come back if you'll have me!
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Brian on

Wow awesome trip, Mona. Highlight had to have been, Mr. Tambourine man!

Nina on

Amazing! What a great blog, I feel as though I went too :)

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