I’ve always wanted to feature a guest writer on my blog except that I’ve always found it hard to convince someone to actually write for my blog. So I’m very excited to present the first part of a journey to Dubai written by my friend Mathangi.
Mathangi is a good friend, a fellow polyglot and now an ambitious traveller. She also writes in her blog. Enjoy the post and make sure you visit her blog.
Destination Dubai by Mathangi Jeyabal
Dubai was a plan that I never expected to happen right till I cleared immigration here in Chennai and there at destination. Crazy visa issues aside, the plan cropped up sometime in February thanks to some awesome friends I have there and finally materialized in the last week of April. Despite questions as to why I was going to visit Dubai in the lousy April heat, I landed there with absolutely zero expectations.
I was lucky enough to experience the two sides of the place – the new bustling cosmopolitan Dubai with the sunbathers, the absolutely well connected metro, fancy eateries, high rise buildings and the “real” Dubai of yore – the initial settlements, the ferry rides, wholesale markets, where you almost expect to hear the lilt of some Arabian music in the background.
True to my tourist spirit I did a bit of the entire things one might expect of a first timer, The Burj Khalifa, the Desert Safari, the Souks, mall hopping not shopping etc.
Day 1 was fairly low key, I went to the Marina. The beach. You have the whole package there. Water scooters, swimming, sand castles, mud pies ,camels, a jogging track, chance for a quiet nap, watch sports on a giant screen, souvenir shops, rental bicycles, play area for kids, and plenty of eateries ranging from Indian to Mexican to Shawarmas… you think about an option its bound to be some place close.
Over the next few days I visited Miracle Garden , The Burj Khalifa, and did the Desert Safari. Miracle Gardens as the name suggests is truly a Miracle! One doesn’t expect so many flowers to bloom and flourish in a desert. When you say desert – we imagine sand, heat and dry landscapes. But Miracle Gardens is the opposite – it’s a lush park filled with colourful flora and done up with some extraordinary themes E.g. Houses, cars, the Dutch windmills, Indian peacocks, The Burj and the Eiffel tower – all decorated with flowers. Small benches dot the area with shelters again with potted plants all around you. You get there on a sunny day (pretty much everyday) and this place is a photographer’s paradise.
The visit to the Burj was due next. It is a good idea to do your ticketing much ahead of your visit – you easily get much better deals online.
When you get there,you actually have to get to the basement at the Dubai Mall to get “At the Top” of the Burj Khalifa . Once you are whisked inside, ( first past the customary photograph against a blank background) , you get to see models of the skyscraper at various stages of construction, the people behind it , a view of the syringe like spire through a skylight, before a liveried gentleman shuts you in the elevator with a theatrical gesture.
And off you go to floor 124 – the observation deck for a splendid view of the city.
I was unable to take a picture right upto the spire from the deck, but the view from above is enough to make you feel really small – if you know what I mean. The Souvenir store could have had much better items stocked and the souvenir of your photo at the Burj would cost you about 250 Dirhams! The Burj is definitely a must do at least once.
I am going to tell you more about the desert safari next… but I am afraid that is going to be my next post. Do wait up a bit ☺
Hope you enjoyed that folks! If you’d like to know the rest of the story do visit Mathangi’s blog in the coming days.