From a fisherman‘s village to the spectacular metropole – Dubai 2005
Yet in 1950s Dubai was not more than few fishermen huts located at the coast of Persian Gulf and surrounded by the dessert. The rapid development of the city started at the nd of 1970s and continues until today.
During our first visit in 2005 the city was already an important economic and financial hub of the Middle East, however it still had a lot of local flavor and most of its contemporary landmarks were still under development or in the planning phase.
At that time, exploring Dubai was a great pleasure as this was our first contact with the Islamic culture wrapped up in a modern gift package. It was also very easy because the city was just on its way to the status of world’s no.1 luxury tourist destination.
Starting from the visits in the beautiful and clean public Jumeirah Beach with Mondays being reserved for women only.
Going through the guided tour to the Jumeirah Mosque including the purification ritual before the mass and the open Q&A session with imam inside the mosque.
Visiting Dubai historic museum (not very spectacular), walking through the narrow streets of Deira including the largest worldwide jewelry bazaar – the Golden Souk, traditional food market and the short boat trip on the Dubai Creek including skyscrapers skyline which lost its shine until today given other fabulous real estate developments in the city.
Enjoying the fun in the snow in the Mall of Emirates at -5 degrees Celsius while being aware of +30 degrees outside.
Spending lazy time at Wild Wadi Waterpark, the adjacent Madinat Jumeirah – a partly open-air shopping and entertainment complex designed in traditional Arabic style offering spectacular evening views on Burj Al Arab and its changing colors.
Enjoying the (night) walk through the modern district around Sheikh Zayed Road.
…and ending in my most favorite place in Dubai – Dubai Marina. Dubai Marina is a little bay hosting yacht marina surrounded by mainly residential skyscrapers, shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities.
Today Dubai is playing in a heavy weight category as far as it’s tourist attractiveness is concerned. On one hand it has a clear benefit for the visitors who want to see the landmarks description of which starts with “the most”. On the other one in our case we quickly got tired by “the mosts” which was motivating us to escape quickly into busy, narrow streets of Deira.
Burj Khalifa which was in the initial construction phase when visiting Dubai for the first time in 2005 is certainly a must- to- visit in Dubai. On the other side, the impression reduces when one realizes that you are going to hove the most expensive lift ride of your life which will bring you to some 50% of the building’s elevation and you’ll have to crowd through the plenty of shops of the Dubai Mall before you get out.
Palm Jumeirah – the artificial island with residential and hotel properties looks nice on the picture taken from a drone. When you get there, there is no difference to any other residential area of the city.
Little barber shops where I was taking a good haircut at 2 euro while being picked up by Philippine barber’s helpers (with no response from my side, however with a lot of laughs to me and them 😀) are hardly to be found anymore.
Enjoying the free time at hotel’s swimming pool while listening to imams’ calls for prayer is difficult to experience anymore because most popular hotel properties are now located away from the local heart of the city. Therefore, when going to Dubai I try to find a hotel located in Deira with swimming pool on the roof in order to feel the original noise I remember from my first stay in 2005.