Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Around Dubai

I guess being locked in our bathroom for 45 minutes wasn't a deal-breaker for our friendship, because the day after that, Robert and Ingrid took us out on the town. We got some errands done (bikes for the girls, power transformer for the piano) and enjoyed having someone in the know take us around. Here are some pictures of our day that would be totally mundane if they weren't, you know, IN DUBAI.

(OK, maybe they're still mundane. Some of them.)

 IKEA Dubai, a cool 20-minute drive from our house. Be still my heart.

Sharjah is a dry emirate, meaning no alcohol allowed. But if you want to buy alcohol in Dubai, you can, provided you acquire a license to do so. This is a liquor store in the parking garage (!) of the Festival City mall. Very nondescript. Interesting.


I thought this sign was quirky just for it's "100% Halal" decal. You see that at McDonald's too and it gets me every time.

Am I the only one who thinks this Dunkin Donuts kiosk (also at Festival City) is gorgeous? Please note the green, pink, blue, and yellow frosted donuts. Green was apple, pink was strawberry, and yellow was lemon. I can't remember blue. I also can't decide if a lemon donut would be delicious or disgusting.

Heading toward Dubai proper. You see all those tall buildings that are dwarfed by the Burj al-Khalife? They are skyscrapers in their own right. Yeah.

Inside Dubai Mall.

A Hershey's store, apparently.

I was so happy to see they have ice skating rinks here. Miriam never got a chance to go in Ithaca.

Yes, this is the food court in Dubai Mall. I've never seen such an amazing food court (which sentence I never thought it possible to utter). This picture doesn't do it justice and I am sad that KFC somehow ended up in the background. There was a huge fountain outside the window, and dozens of restaurants from all over the world. I had a strawberry shake from Fruitesca. It was divine, but FYI, their shakes are made with milk and their smoothies are made with ice cream. Go figure. Jeremy had a burger from Johnny Rocket's that had Tillamook cheese on it. Tillamook cheese! We couldn't even get that stuff in Ithaca.

A candy store in Dubai Mall making an attempt at Halloween. Woohoo!

OK, this was incredible. There is a huge aquarium inside the mall, as you see.

 You can pay to walk through the tunnel and get a little closer to the sharks and stingrays and whatnot swimming inside. You can also pay to get even closer, like inside the actual water. No thanks!

Fancy schmancy sweets.

OK, I confess, I actually took this picture to get a shot of the woman in the golden face mask behind the glass. I have never seen that in all my time in the Middle East. They do things a little differently here.

That's Banana Republic in Arabic.

And that's Sephora in Arabic. Obviously.

Random high fashion.

Outside the mall in the shadow of the Burj al-Khalife there is a beautiful lagoon with fountains. They do water shows in the evenings.

 THE BURJ. I think the only person more excited than me was Miriam. She had been waiting for this moment:
for so long. In fact, when we decided to move here, we broke the news to her by telling her we were going to live near where the tallest building in the world is. I think it helped soften the blow.

I knew the Burj was half a mile high but to see it in person was really something. I think my brain broke a little every time I looked at it.

So, have any of these pictures enticed anyone to come visit yet?

15 comments:

Sherwood family said...

The Banana Republic picture did. Followed closely by the aquarium one. I had no idea that the first world existed around here!

Sarah Familia said...

We'll be on the next plane over! Well, maybe not quite. But you totally did entice me to get on Kayak and check prices. Turkish airlines flies there for 350 euros. Not too bad.

Melody said...

I want to come! Too bad I don't have spare cash for a random vacation. Sad. I guess that happens right after you buy your first house.

Liz Johnson said...

I WANT TO SWIM WITH THE SHARKS. And I'm not even kidding. Dude, Dubai is rad. I really, really, really want to come visit you. Perhaps Ireland 2012 will be scrapped in favor of Dubai. I'll keep you posted.

Spencer said...

Your pictures remind me so much of Egypt.

Oh, wait.

No they don't.

You guys live in some kind magical make-believe land!

I am, however, interested to hear about the 'culture shock' that will come out of this latest stop for you guys. How do you get used to living in a place like that? How do you move somewhere else after that? What do you kids make of it all?

I think living in such an affluent society would make me much more uncomfortable than living in Damascus or Cairo (although both cities definitely have people from every rung of the socioeconomic ladder). Not unlike certain aspects of popular culture in the US . . .

The world is a big place. What an adventure . . .

Jessie said...

I am in awe. I would so love to go there! "Ice skate in Dubai" just jumped into my top things to do before I die.

Jessie said...

Oh, and I'm glad you picked "Bridget of Arabia"! It's perfect.

Lark said...

I had no idea that Dubai was so "fancy!" Between the shark aquarium and dancing waters, its like your living in Vegas ;)...only way way cooler. Dubai actually looks much cleaner than Vegas.

So happy they have an IKEA for you.

Shannan said...

I'm coming over. and since you've never actually met me in person, you'll have to guess which one is me at the airport. Be there Thursday!

PS - I'm reading the Elna Baker book you talked about in goodreads and I love it. maybe because I'm kind of like her in relationship with my religion but that's another story for another day. :)

Lisa Lou said...

Do they have an H&M? I just want to live in that mall. Wow. Kind of makes me want to live in Dubai.

Bridget said...

Spencer, this place really is unlike any other I've ever been to. You'll have to come visit sometime (WITH KARINA AND THE CHILD) to really understand it. I do miss some of the shaaby-ness of places like Damascus but then again, we're only a cheap plane ride away from there...

Liz Johnson said...

Um, I just checked, and they have 8 H&Ms in the UAE, and two are in Sharjah?!!?

I might just move in with you. Between IKEA, the sharks, and H&M... I can't think of anything else I would need.

Bridget said...

Yeah, sorry, I forgot to mention that yes, they do have H&M here. They seem to have everything here. Including Zara, which I am going to have to check out sometime soon.

sarah said...

awesome pictures! i was pretty excited to see sephora! woohoo! can't wait to visit!

Kristen said...

It just looks like a dream world. No fair.

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