12 hours in Dubai
I had a 12 hour transfer in Dubai before my flight to Sri Lanka and I was pretty excited to get out of the airport and explore this infamous city. I searched for the tourist information in Terminal 2 and was met by a very friendly Arab wearing the familiar white Thawb, I immediately noticed a HUGE and very expensive looking watch, it seemed a stark contrast to his traditional clothing. I obtained a map and instructions and asked him where I could see some local culture, "there is no local culture to see in Dubai" he said, "the culture is now a mix of the numerous nationalities that live here" - Dubai is the very definition of multi-cultural.
Dubai was easy to travel around as practically everyone speak English. I also found it pretty cheap, you can all day using public transport for less than £2.50. My lunch of a pizza and drink cost just £1.50, which wasn't too bad either.
The locals I spoke to see Dubai as a means to an end. The government provide large loans which are paid back through your salary; the Ugandan man I met was using these loans to buy property back home. He plans to stay in Dubai working in the airport earning a relative fortune, then move back to Uganda to “earn money while I sleep” on his property portfolio. He didn't seem to enjoy living in Dubai too much and resented the rules he had to abide by but the money was too good. Dubai is a testament to money and power and that is evident in the people that you see driving around in flash cars and shopping in the fancy malls.
The highlight for me was definitely going to the top of the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa. At 829 metres high it’s only 149 metres shorter than Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain! It cost $1.5 billion to build and has 160 floors, the view from the top was worth the trip to Dubai alone.
|Fish on the metro was obviously a big problem.|
The buildings are ridiculous, so ridiculous you can’t help but be in awe of these architectural wonders. Everywhere you looked were skyscrapers climbing to the intense sun. The sun was relentless throughout the day - serious, serious heat - I was literally sweating buckets and I couldn't quite believe this was considered cool compared to 3 months ago.
|Skyscrapers, lot's of them.|
|The marina and more skyscrapers.|
|The beaches in Dubai seemed nice and clean.|
|The world's highest building - Burj Khalifa.|
|Inside the elevator travelling at 40 mph!|
|View from the top|
|I was hoping this dispensing McVitie's Gold Biscuit Bars, unfortunately not. Whatever happened to them?!|
|Love this photo - shadow of Burj Khalifa on the left and a large hotel on the right.|
I enjoyed my time in Dubai but I was ready to leave, although 12 hours definitely isn’t enough time to form a valid opinion of a city. There is nowhere else like this in the world and the city is really fascinating. Would I go back? Of course, especially to see the nightlife. Would I live there? It wouldn’t be on top of my list, there is no history or heritage here and far too much focus on money.