Saturday, 1 June 2013

The land of folly

Dubai, Dubai, Dubai. I seriously do not know what to say about this place. To be honest the only reason why we went was because it perfectly divided up the 26 hour flight from Australia. Also we have both always been a bit curious, so we thought 'why not?'. Well I'm curious no more, and to be honest didn't really get it. The image of this super fast-paced, vibrant skyline, rising up from the desert dust looked quite different in reality. To me it felt like two little hubs of rising skyscrapers miles apart with the 'Sail Hotel' standing lonely in the sprawling land between them. Most of your view was taken up by building sites, warehouses or desert. And what to do? Well shopping seems to be the recreation of choice, but not in the way we're used to. It was all about the Gucci, Prada, Marc, Dolce and Yves. We decided to experience Dubai's two most famous buildings instead. The 'Sail Hotel' otherwise known as the Burj Al Arab, having afternoon tea. And the world's tallest building otherwise known as that building that Tom Cruise jumps out of in the last Mission Impossible film. A stunt that he did for real! Crazy SOB. Or you know you could call it the Burj Khalifa. There we had cocktails on the 124th floor. While the views were breathtaking, it was scary as hell.

We were smart and decided to stay in the old town to get a bit of history and culture. Especially since Dubai is experiencing an art revival. Art is everywhere with galleries and boutiques opening up all over the place. We were also close to the old Souk's, or markets which sold everything from spices to gold. This was a real taste of old Dubai. We stayed at the gorgeous Art Hotel which had beautiful rooms, a cafe, boutique store and art dotted around the entire building. A walk to your room was like being in a modern art museum. That would be my tip if you ever find yourself in this part of the world. Stay in the old town, it's a lot more interesting with more culture and you see the real Dubai.

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