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Published: October 11th 2007
Burj al Arab
The famous hotel and the Venice canals
There is a few ways to describe the Emirates. Can be Arab Disney, the new Las Vegas, or anything else that would indicate a place with lots of money invested to create an artificial environment. I'm not saying it's not beautiful, is only artificial!!
After getting lots of trouble to get the visa, we discovered that the incredible advanced E-visa could be only used at the airport. This made us take a plane to cover a distance under 300 km from Muscat to Dubai. I love technology, but sometimes....
Our stay in the Emirates was basically in Abu Dhabi, sitting on the Fullers kitchen chatting the hole day over a beer or a glass of wine and cheese (How much we missed this simple things! Thanks Nikita and family for the great time)
. The few escapes were to go to the supermarket or walk the dog. With a temperature over 45 degrees outside, how can you walk around? We went swimming and the sea was more like a bath tub, boiling hot.
The UAE has big restrictions because of their religion, but as 80%!o(MISSING)f the population are foreigners, it is available all the haram (sin)
If you have a dream about building something considered impossible, go to Dubai. They will do it!
In the supermarket there is a special room with a big sign "Non Muslims only"
and all kind of pork meat is offered there. I think the Emiratis must look inside the room as it would be the hell itself, with the flames and all!
The alcohol more hidden, outside the supermarket a little door takes you to the bottle shop. Our favorite place, where we bought lots of wine and beers.
But to purchase it, you need a permit!
Even though we stayed most of the time in the kitchen, Martin and Nikita didn't allowed us not to visit Dubai. We drove there for a day trip.
The huge skyscrapers all in modern designs don’t remind anything of the Arabic architecture. They are so colossal that they fit perfectly in Dubai, land of the extremism.
One extreme is the Ski resort: Why built a ski resort in a country where the temperature can be over 50 degrees? Just to spend huge amounts of oil-generated power? To prove they can?
Well, I don't really know, but skiing there can be really fun!! In the 400 meters long slope there is a "experts only" slope and a
Wold's Hiest Building
It's not finish and is already the highest. And one even higher is being built
Swiss style chalet for a break and a hot coffee. And you really need one, is super cold in that big freezer.
Another extreme are the hotels. Everything there is artificial, Venice style canals where there used to be desert, date trees are custom sized, the "old" bazaar has air-con, the fire places of European style restaurants are LCD screens, the dive sites and coral reefs were put there, the white sand beaches were claimed from the ocean, even the sand of desert in the Abu Dhabi national park was brought by trucks.
Close to Fuller's place is the Emirates palace, we sneaked in just to see how is a 7 star hotel! Everything there is golden, mainly the prices. In the lounge there is a cafe and checking the menu we found a cup of tea for US$ 15!! For this price it has to be delicious!
Back to the buildings: I'm sorry for the Petrona Towers in Kuala Lumpur. Your time as the highest building in the world is gone. The new one is now in Dubai. With around 800 meters high is still on construction and already got the title. But not for long
The indoor ski resort. Outside 45 degrees, indoor -2. Just a big freezer (with a chair lift)!
time, just a few kilometers away, the next highest is starting construction. It will be one kilometer high! I don't want to be the crane operator of this construction... hehehe.
The Emirates are tax-free for many things, including vehicles. So the cities are packed with the newest models. All top end. We loved the parking places. Especially the mall where the ski resort is inside. Looked more like a car-show: Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys, Austin Martins, limousines, etc...
Time flyes when you have fun, so after two weeks of good life, just before our visa expires, we took a ferry to Iran.
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