Big Bad Dubai

October 1, 2008 § Leave a comment

So I’ve decided to start my travel blog. What better place to start off with than Dubai. I think I should thank myself for starting in the Middle East because hey, it’s supposed to be the land of mystery and exotic happenings, right? Actually my first strange encounter was on the flight over, when a Middle Eastern national stood up in the middle of his seat, and asked me in a very loud voice if I was someone’s wife. Wtf?? As I sauntered embarassedly back to my seat, I hoped that I wouldn’t be asked that often.

I arrived in Dubai at 2am and loitered around for a few hours to wait to get to my couchsurfing host’s villa. As I rang Maria’s doorbell at 6am, the first thing I noticed was the massive black Hummer sitting on the front porch. I thought, ooooooh, and began to miss my 4×4. All those thoughts disappeared as sleepy-eyed Maria (sorry girl!) opened the door and welcomed me into her beautiful home, which even had a swimming pool. I could not have been luckier. After an hour of chatting, Maria mentioned something about an activity at the outskirts of the city and before I knew it, I was kidnapped and taken crab-hunting on my first evening in Dubai.

Crab-hunting at Umm Al-Qaiwain was something of a big novelty. It was at one of the most artificial looking beach resorts on the outskirts of Dubai, and all of a sudden, a wharf appears at the end of the ‘beach’ where a small tug boat takes a bunch of silly tourists (like me) out to stab crabs in the middle of the Arabian Gulf. I managed to get one crab and felt extremely satisfied with myself.

Today I got to see abit of the city in the day. There is nothing subtle about it. The shiny skyscrapers appear out of nowhere, and suddenly they’re everywhere. Everything is big, bad, and done to the extreme. Where else would you find a hotel plunged amidst an enormous aquarium, with a massive waterpark in which you can frolick with dolphins? At The Atlantis, I found myself joining the crowds to ooh and ahh at the giant stingrays and sharks at the lobby. I even sat on the giant Atlantis chair, surrounded by the giant seashells and the giant seahorses.

Tonight I’m being taken to some secret dinner location, and later on to Burj Al-Arab to sip cocktails in the world’s first 7-star hotel. Dubai is a city on crack and and ready to provide everyone their high. I’m totally giving in. Bring in on baby!

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