When I worked at the mapping software company, one of my co-workers mentioned something she was very concerned about. She showed me pictures of this place called “Dubai” where they were building new land out of sand from the bottom of the ocean. She was concerned about the potential negative environmental impact.
What she was talking about is now the Palm Jumeira, a community built in the shape of a palm tree that boasts condos along each frond and a fancy hotel called the Atlantis at the end.
Here’s us at the end, braving what felt like a million degrees but was actually closer to 120 F. Either way.
The trunk of the palm features the highway that connects the whole thing together and provides access to each frond. When driving on it, you can’t even tell where you are. Here’s a quick shot of the Dubai skyline from the palm:
You can’t help but see this guy everywhere:
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world with several of the ubiquitous Dubai construction cranes.
Without a reservation, it costs something like $80 a pop to go to the top. We didn’t know what our schedule would be like, so we couldn’t make a reservation, and needless to say, I’m too cheap. So I checked it out from the ground instead.
Everything in Dubai seems new and fancy. And the main attractions are the malls, where you can ski, ice skate, shop for Prada, see Kim Kardashian or buy a souvenir. (Guess which one on this list I did!)
Let’s play a game. Pick out the Westerner:
It’s a multinational society where even at the grocery store you can buy passion fruit from Colombia, dragon fruit and star fruit from Asia, pomegranates from India and persimmons from South Africa.
But if you only visit the malls and flashy bits of the city, you’re missing out.
Stay tuned for a peak into a more forgotten corner of Dubai.