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Dubai, The suprise stopover!

Written on: Sunday July 30th, 2006

A journal entry from: Dubai and Italy

Just as we're about to head to the airport to head off we recieve an unusal phone call. Hi, it's Tom from Emirate's, I'm very sorry Sir but your plane has been delayed by 5 hours due to a fault with the airconitioning, (they flew a part up from Melbourne to repair the problem). This unfortunatley means you'll mi your connecting flight to Rome so we'll have to put you up for a night in our hotel in Dubai. Now I have to say I wasn't to upset by this, (actually it's freekin' awesome). I really wanted to have a stopover in Dubai either outbound or inbound but our time frame with our mates in Italy/London just didn't allow it, now it's been forced upon us so it's out of our hands ;-)


We eventually leave Brisbane about 1am and arrive in Dubai around 10am. Gee it's hot here, temperature of 42degress celcius standing on the tarmac waiting for a shuttle bus to take us to the airconditioning of the terminal. The airport is undergoing monterous development and when completed will be double the size it is presently. We go through customs and catch another shuttle to the hotel. It's nice enough but were itching to check out Dubai itself.


After a quick shower we're on our way to Maj. Dauber. I'm so glad we had the presence of mind to grab our Dubai, lonley planet guide(Can you tell I wanted to come here?). Maj Dauber is a huge shopping centre with lots of European brand name stores with heaps of western fast food outlets, eg the Hungry Jacks veggie burger it pretty much the same but with a spicy Indian style bean patty instead of peas, corn and potatoe that we're used to. We spent a couple of hours there and headed back to the hotel. Turned on the TV and had a flick, there was Gilmore girls with subtitles, an Arabian sitcom complete with a laugh track, a a show that looked very much like an Arabian version of Kumars at 42.


At 4.30 we were off on a Sun city tour. Now this is must do in my mind. If you ever come here do this tour early on and it will give you a great insight into this culturally diverse and historyically rich city. 1st stop is a art museum with lots of artifacts from the surrounding Arab countries. Next stop is Jeremiah beach, the suburb were average rents are 70,000usd per year. There were some rather large houses with the same design over and over again. They are very nice and very large. The site was originally had fishermen's shacks on it. They were run down so the King ordered them to be demolished and built the new homes for the fishermen. We saw the worlds only 7 star hotel. I have to admit it didn't look as pretty and shiney as it does in all the promo pics. Although seeing a specil on vacation show Getaway it is totally luxurios inside.


Some interesting stats here.

  • Dubai has 5,000,000millionvititors each year ,incidentally the same no as Las Vegas.
  • There is currently 135 Billion US$ being invested in commercial property with the view of increasing guests to 15million per year.
  • Dubai has 10% of the worlds cranes here at the moment, 10%, ponder that for a moment!



We passed the world's largest indoor ski slope on our way to catching a diesel powered long boat, they drive these things like their cars, with complete neglect for their or anyone else safety and with a lot of use of the horn. The river is like a high way with plenty using as a means of transport and with others using as a means of income. There was a cluster of small run down freight ships used to trade goods with Kuwait (an 11 hour trip) and India, (a 5 day trip). There was piles of goods stacked on the shore ready to load with everything from food and drink to 2 piles of 8 small car tires with minimal security, a couple of guys no fence or anything in one of the busiest places in Dubai. This is commodity trading at its purest without government taxes or multinationals getting involved, just hard working individuals carving out a niche for themselves in a business that's hundreds of years old.


Next and final stop, the gold market. Dubai is referred to as the city of gold as it's the cheapest country in the world to buy gold as there is no sales tax in Dubai. The markets are huge and it dawns on me that it's 8.30 on a Sunday night and the markets are packed! Check out the photo, it's just one of the many buildings in the gold souq district.

We're back at our hotel by 9.00pm and have the worlds quickest buffet diner in ten minutes then fall asleep as we a: we're shattered, and b:we to be up at 4 for our flight to Rome.



It's now Monday and we're up at four to catch our flight. We end up with aisle seats but the guynext to us is from Italy abd kindly takes a few photos for us, there is an excellent one of a development under way of reclaimed land in the shape of a palm tree. This was such an inredible sight and I'm sure most people have seen this delopment and the world. If not check out the World. Gotta love this place, no such thing as it can't be done! Go now or in a few years, this place is just going to get better and better.