Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dubai-Vegas of the Middle East?

Boat ride at Festival City, Dubai

En route from Abu Dhabi to Dubai- The new waterfront city will be
"twice the size of Hong Kong (talk about an inferiority complex)"

In a word, Dubai is fantastic! After touring the city and visiting the malls, I am tempted to ask, "Is this for real?" Golf courses, fountains, artificial lakes, Olympic-size ice rinks, aquariums and water-parks ... all in the middle of desert country where the average daily temperature often exceeds 40 degrees Celsius in the summer (approx. 104 degree Fahrenheit).

Dubai city is growing at a phenomenal rate and serves as a prime example of Muslim capitalism. The city thrives on tourism, targeting not your average backpacking college student but the more affluent class of society including celebrities, sports icons, business and media moguls and members of royalty willing to splurge on luxury hotels, upscale shopping malls and glorious beaches. And so far, the metropolis appears to be safe from terror incidents plaguing other cosmopolitan cities.

The stars love it here! Queen, Kylie Minogue, George Michael, Alicia Keys, Maroon 5 and Shakira are just some of the musicians/bands that have performed in the UAE since October.

The nation is seemingly obsessed with setting global records- the world's tallest tower (Burj Tower), the largest mall (Dubai Mall), the world's most luxurious hotel (Burj-al-Arab) and now, the world's largest fireworks display in the capital, Abu Dhabi, adds to Emiratis' sense of patriotism and national accomplishment. Here are some pictures from my recent visit to Dubai Mall:

UAE flag

A view of the aquarium

Sting-ray up close


  1. the lead singer of queen is dead man... it just isnt the same !!!

    loved the kabab factory tho... don't know about usa but in uk kababs r supposedly the lowest form of food u can have!!!

  2. Good to know :) I guess it's macaroni and cheese in the US :P