Day 2 – Dubai – scarf shopping, skiing, desert and relaxing…

How Dubai retains it’s colossal momentum of building huge architectural high rise buildings, a vast network of new roads and creating expansive waterways well into the desert seems incredible. It moves so fast and the changes since my last visit in August 2103 are considerable and very noticeable .
This juggernaut is moving into the desert turning sand into cities -creating life for people from over 231 nationalities . A massive number of companies from all over the world have offices here. It’s safe, very friendly and for many an opportunity to work and support their families back home – (where ever that might be)

On day 2 in Dubai with my tour group, I once again visited the Antique Museum owned by the Fakih group . These guys have now become my friends after taking many tours here over the past 6 years . It is certainly not on your average tour groups itinerary.
Actually it’s not a Museum at all. It’s found amongst the dusty industrial side of Dubai tucked up beside a cement works. (I’m sure my group wondered where on earth they were going) But… It put the true meaning into ‘ an Aladins Cave ‘ …. Goods here are bought from third word countries encouraging local handcrafts and sold through the group to tourist shops all over the region.
A labyrinth of rooms filled from floor to ceiling with ‘stuff’ from huge carved wooden elephants to scarves,ceramics, glittery clothing, and thousands of gifts….


The Fakih driver kindly dropped us off at the Mall of the Emirates where everyone got to see how the locals , who live in 40 deg heat can ski on a unique indoor ski field.
Today children were enthralled by a group of penguins and we could watch out through the vast windows at this white winter wonderland.
Dubai is now serviced by a new ‘monorail which sits high above the ground and provides a stunning view from the Arabian Gulf to the desert sand. We had ‘Gold Class tickets which entitled us to …. more seats and comfort at the back of the driverless train.

Our last night in Dubai provided a choice of a desert safari four wheel drive tour or a bit of …. shopping in the largest mall in the world, time by the glorious hotel pool with a wine and a meze dinner in the busy hotel restaurant.
The group from the desert returned with hilarious tales to tell of precarious driving in the sand Dunes accompanied by the screams of our NZ group. Riding camels, belly dancing,smoking shishe and eating Arabic food in the Bedouin camp.
We had a slower pace back at the hotel but it ended a perfect relaxed two night stopover in a city that has become a real favorite of mine.
Tomorrow is Turkey and time to meet 4 new members of the tour group and my guides Alison and Hasan and Ali.