...they were showing the making of the Palm Jumeira in Discovery. Thats when I remembered that a blog on my Dubai Trip has been long overdue. This was in the beginning of 2008. A family trip to my sis's place, ya she stays in Sharjah. The first International flight for my parents and me. It was a long awaited dream for me, to take them there. The entire process of immigration, visa stamping et all, I was a little nervous. Finally we got into our AI flight on 25th Jan 2008, the plan was to celebrate my birthday there.
I was spellbound by seeing the Dubai airport..remember this was my first international trip. We took our own sweet time to go through all that caught our attention, at the immigration counter the officer was pleased to hear we are from Mumbai, he even spoke to Amma in Hindi. We finally finished our first sight seeing of the airpor after an hour, my sis, neice and my bro' in law were waiting for us, they even called us to check if something was wrong.
We were on our way to Sharjah and the roads, the buildings, cars you name it and I had questions for all of them. I spent a fortnight there, and had a great time, except one day I went out to see some place or the other. We went to Corniche the day after, Its a stupendous sight to see date palms in their full glory, right in the middle of the desert.
We also went to the E-max, I am told this is the largest electronics showroom in the whole of Asia. I brought quite a few of the gadgets. We also got some tool sets for Achan.One day we went to see the Carefour outlet in Sharjah. There was also a shop similar to the 1$ shop, where you get everything priced between 1 and 5 Dirhams..what a bargain. I went shopping also at a local mall Al-falah and Sharjah Co-op. In Dubai I did some more shopping at the Lulu hyper market and the Carefour outlet there. The shopping bug showed up only in my credit card bill the next month.
We went on a City Tour of Dubai on one of the days. Malik uncle as my Ammu calls him was our tour guide. He explained the history of the Emirates. Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE, Sharjah is the cultural capital while Dubai is the financial capital. The ruler is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum . He explained that Sheikh was used as equivalent to 'His Highness', Mohammed the name of the ruler, bin meant 'son of' and 'Al Makhtoum' was the family name . Wow my first few words in Arabic :). We went to Ibn Battuta Mall first. This is to signify the journey undertaken by the famous traveller Ibn Batuta. It has different wings representing China, India, Egypt and a few other countries. I liked the ship and the red dragon effect for the China wing, and the traditional decorated Elephant in the India wing.
Next was the Burj Al Arab, yes the second tallest hotel with a helipad and an amazing sealine as backdrop. We did not go in as the entry itself was almost as expensive as our whole city tour. We saw Burj Dubai under construction. This is the ......
We went next to an Al Madina Souk...it represents the old style of Arabian markets, they play the kind of desert music that adds to the ambience. I felt as if I am walking down the lanes shown in 'Aladdin' (remember potli wale baba that would come in DD1 while we were in school). We also drove down the trunk of the Palm Jumeirah, the biggest land reclamation project undertaken ever.
Next stop was at the Mall of Emirates, this has the biggest indoor snow park in the world.
We went to Gold Souk..yes the Gold Market. How could I come back from Dubai till I had seen if not brought a lot of gold. After coming out of the Souk, my eyes still felt yellowish...so much of Gold at display. That was our citi tour.
The day before I came back we went another shopping spree...at the Global Village where the shopping festival is to be witnessed the most. This as the name suggests, has pavillions of different countries, and they display the best of their wares. From Jordan to Pakistan, Egypt to Singapore, India to Turkey you can just walk it down. I did only a little shopping here, was busy most of the time clicking pics. We had some desert delicacies as well. They were really out of this world.
The only thing I missed was a desert safari...next time I will for sure.