I have visited Dubai three times previously and although I have had lots of fun every time I go (thanks go largely to the Irish Village for that...remember....I live in a dry country (dry...dry...no alcohol people...not a drop...cough cough), but even still, I have never been overly enamoured with the Dubai.
This time though, I was pretty much blown away by Dubai. If there was ever an icon of the shiny city-this could be it. Coming from Kuwait, a place built on oil and money but, lets be honest, quite an ugly place to live in, to go to Dubai, where roads, buildings, parks and green spaces are planned and where things just seem to 'work'. It is so much more 'civilsed'. It is hard to explain, but there just seems to be more respect by the people that live in the emirate than there does here.
There are air conditioned bus stops, a high tech metro system, road signs (road signs everyone! Signs before the junction you were supposed to take!), police men doing their job (!)...what can I say. I was blown away.
Fine, Dubai is in a still climbing out of the dark hole of recession, even with the help of a $20 billion 'get out of jail' bail out from Abu Dhabi. (Factoid-In 2011 over 2500 expats left Dubai every month, many leaving debts behind and cars unsold at the airport with keys in the ignition). There is a long way to go before the country is financially stable once again, but when people are wanting to spend, Dubai is ready and waiting. Ready and waiting I tell you, with smiles as they stamp your passport and shiny white gloves to help take your suitcases.
During Eid, Dad treated me to birthday champagne (and a martini or two) from a fancy-smancy bar in a fancy-smancy hotel, with views of the Burj
|The crowds at the Dubai Fountain|
|Dad in a Disney shot!|
Yep-it was pretty great. You should check out this very funny post on the nutstopolis, considering the writer doesn't live there, they pretty much got it in the bag.