April 27th, 2014
We arrived in Dubai at noon. The city is like a fantastic mirage rising from the sea.
The architecture is very modern, almost space age. Like in Oman, the rewards of oil money are evident throughout the city. Beautiful parks, housing, freeways, and malls (one with an aquarium and one with an indoor ski slope!)
We opted for a "hop on, hop off" bus tour as we were sick of being herded and rushed from site to site. We went to the old part of the city to experience the souks. The vendors are charmingly aggressive and we got caught in the "dress up" pitch. G's transformation into an Arab sheik was very convincing!
The old part of the city was very beautiful and authentic.
Gold Souk (see what they wear under the burkas!):
Although it was well above 100 degrees, there was a pleasant breeze! and we discovered the real genius of the place: air conditioned bus stops! Just like a regular bus stop, it is completely enclosed and blissfully cool!
All in all, except for the souks, I found Dubai to be a bit soulless. It reminded me of Las Vegas: all glitz and glamour. Admittedly, we didn't have much time as we needed to get back to the ship, finish packing, have our last cocktail and glass of champagne, and get to the airport for our midnight flight to Paris.