Friday, May 18, 2007

I do buy, in Dubai

My time in Dubai was all about SHOPPING! See, in the past few ports we've had culture and history(temples, wonders of the world, memorials, museums, boat-trips) which is all well and good, but let's face it, a girl needs RETAIL!

From Port Rashid (my Dad built this port! My Dad was involved in much of the construction of Dubai, which is after all, a city built in the middle of a desert. My Dad ROCKS!) the shuttle bus provided took us to the Mall of the Emirates, which wasnt opened until some time last year. I was last in Dubai around ten years ago, and it's changed a great deal. They have a marina here now, and a town shaped like a big palm leaf!

The shuttle dropped us off at the Mall of the Emirates, a huge mall with the greatest of all daycare-for-your-boyfriend-who-hates-shopping ideas, a Ski slope! It's great, it's like a nursery for adults, for $40, you can leave your boyfriend there (take away all valuables and breakables first, he can have them back later) he can play, uh, I mean ski, all he wants, and you get to shop in peace without having to hear about how bored or tired or hungry he is!

Mark and Eric both went. This is a picture of Mark snowboarding and Eric although you can't see them, and this is both of them going up on the ski-lift. Eric's actually waving. Wolfie was unimpressed with the whole affair, and chose to shop also.

It seemed like no time at all before the boys were done, and Eric had to leave for a rehearsal, making me free with my money and nothing to do but shop, all the livelong day with my friend Carla who is new to the ship. We ate pizza and Subway subs in the food court, and I even went to a movie to take a break in the huge mall at one point, I saw "Road to Terabithia" which if you're an artist, romantic or have a vivid and colourful imagination you'll love.

I love that the stores also have the names written in Arabic. These are some well known English shops. It's true, there IS more than one Harvey Nic's (famous English store) and it's here in Dubai!

There were two guys doing a hip-hop tap dance battle on a stage in one of the atriums, it was an interesting dance concept, and they were really good.

I met Eric back in the mall, which was still very-much in full swing, with many western-dressed and many traditional muslim-clad men and women milling around (men wear white, women all-black, both head to foot, I couldn't get any good pictures because someone was always watching me!) and we left the mall to go to the creek (the river) for dinner.

On the Bur Dubai side of the creek, there used to be a little restaurant called Boum, sadly, it's no longer there so we found this other place called The Monument, which apparently has been open since the '30s. It was a traditional Arabic restaurant, so no alcohol was available (Shock!Horror!) but we did have a great fruit juice cocktail with thick layers of kiwi, avocado, strawberry and mango juice in it.

The food, houmous, chicken skewers, spinach parcels (of another name, Eric LOVES these, he gets them in Montreal apparently) and Arabic salad was gorgeous.

After dinner, we decided it was time for a drink with some liquor in it (forgive me!) and decided to go to the Jumeira Beach Hotel. This is, I was mistaken, NOT the hotel I've stayed in before, the one I stayed in was much further down the beach, but it did rock. It's the closest you can get to the greatest hotel in the world (arguably of course) the Burj al Arab without going inside. Alas, they don't let mere mortals in, you have to have a reservation, so we got these pictures of the nightly light show from the "sail".

We went up to the 24th floor to the terrace cocktail bar, and Eric drank a Tom Collins while I drank a Jumeira Beach Song (it had date-juice in it!) even by my Londoner standards, they were pricey drinks. TheJumneira Beach had this great mural solar system, here's the sun and outer planets are below us, as you can see.

Our taxi driver on the way back was stopped by the police for speeding! Rightly so. Even after he drove away with a ticket or points from his licence he continued to treat the road as if it was a formula one racetrack, and I let Eric give him some fighting words when we got back to the ship.

The next day, we could only manage, given the time available, a trip to Carrefour. It's one of those places you don't NEED anything, and end up with something that looks like this. This is Eric, with bread, and wearing the T-shirt I bought for him at the mall the day before. We got a coffee before leaving, and I was most impressed, having worked at the most well-known coffee chain, at this beautiful detail crafted into the froth on my cappuccino.

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