Friday, September 3, 2010

Insane development in Dubai

I'd never been to Dubai before, so I was excited to get out of the airport hotel on a four hour tour. While I was waiting in the lobby with my brand new RedR hat in hand, I was spotted by Steve, another RedR deployee so it was nice to have a new friend on the bus.

The first stop was the Dubai museum, which wasn't very interesting.
Throughout the tour we passed the greatest number of mosques I'd ever seen. This one was particularly beautiful. I think the oldest mosque we saw was 70 years old, and it looked as fresh and new as any of the others we saw under construction.
We stopped in at the gold souk which was extremely boring and probably just a commission stop for the tour guide, and then headed for the famous 7 star hotel...if you don't have US$2000 for a night you can pay the low low price of $100 for a cup of coffee!
The bus took us out to the palm shaped island, which was so over the top. Most of the buildings along the 'trunk' of the Jumeirah palm island all look exactly the same. At least the villas on the 'fronds' allow a bit more room for architectural creativity.

And speaking of architectural creativity, if you're an architect and sick of designing boring buildings (or refugee camps) then head to Dubai. I saw some of the craziest high rises. And just the sheer amount of development is mind blowing. There's so much money in Dubai that if you had an outlandish idea for a tower, I'm sure there would be someone with enough money to actually build the design.

I think this is the definition of outlandish:

I couldn't capture the whole building in the frame, but this is the Atlantis hotel, right at the top of Jumeirah. Who in their right mind paints an enormous hotel bright pink???

After sweltering in the 40+ degree heat Steve and I were relieved to get back to the airport hotel. We met up with Elaine, the other RedR deployee and headed for the airport. There was time for one last glass of wine before we boarded the plane for Islamabad...I wish I'd savoured that more!!

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