The Dubai Frame – Day 4 in Dubai

On our last day in Dubai we wanted to see The Frame. We already saw it passing by but there would be a museum and you can go up on the top to have a great view on Dubai. I was a little scared when my friend mentioned there would be a glass walk. But let’s see …

We had our morning ritual to go to the Arabian Tea House for brunch and afterwards a little window shopping on the way back. Then back in the hotel we decided to take a taxi to go to the Frame as it would be near but still too far to walk to. Shortly after the taxi arrived and – like many times – the driver was friendly, from Pakistan and very talkative. He told us about the traffic, where he is from, how life in Dubai is and what to see at the frame and the surroundings. He just left us in front of the entrance to the park where the Frame is located. It was still afternoon and a little too early for a good view from the enormous height of the construction. So we walked in the Zabeel Park, sitting at the fountain and enjoying the beauty of the place. Later we entered the Frame and had a look at the museum which was about the construction of the building and about the person who all started it all: H. H. Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. A very interesting man, by the way, with very interesting views. The initiator of the modern city of Dubai with very futuristic and great visions. And an amazing taste for beauty, I would say. It is also shown how Dubai changed from being a little fishing village to the modern city in just a short time.

The Dubai Frame is 150 m/492 ft high, the architect was Fernando Donis, an awarded Mexican architect. The construction started in 2013 and was completed only in 2017, inaugurated the 1st January 2018. It is definitely the biggest frame ever.

The construction is created out of reinforced concrete, glass and steel. It frames the modern city to one side, and the older city to the other side. Future and past seen from the present. The amazing frame is illuminated during the night and shines in gold and changing colors.

Of course at a certain time we took the elevator, which is panoramic and brings you fast up to 150 meters. The center top has a glass floor of about 25 square meters which shows the ground only when you walk on it. When you step off the glass floor it gets milky. I think that is a great idea, it doesn’t make you feel too much walking on ‘nothing’.

The view is stunning. The bridge between the two vertical panels is 93 meters long and gives a free view on both sides. In my opinion the best time for going up is right before sunset or very early in the morning in the winter-time, when the air is clear. In summer and especially during daytime the air is too hazy.

On the way down we stopped in a ‘virtual metropolis’ which was really 3D and an amazing feeling to stand in the future.

We left the frame much too early for the sunset and decided to wait in the nice park. We sat near to the entrance on the floor to take endless pictures of the frame when it started to change colors and was illuminated by the sunset. Just a magic time!

We left when it was already dark and walked to the metro station, maybe 20 minutes far. We saw a lot of joggers around, males and females, and I thought it is a city where the western and the Arabic world is perfectly combined.

This was our last day in Dubai, the day after we would leave around 1 pm, but before there would be still a nice brunch at our ‘usual’ place. I enjoyed these days very much, and I am very thankful to my friend who asked to join her here. It is an amazing city, modern, yes, but in a surprisingly beautiful way. I am no lover of modern art or architecture, but I learnt here that it is possible also in a harmonic, warm and beautiful way. I would love to come back for the Expo 2020!

(I know, too many photos, but I love them all!)

Dubai, Dubai/UAE:

For further information:
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Dubai by Night – Day 3

After a very full day we wanted an easy peasy one with visiting museums, brunch at the Arabian Tea House and in the evening a night tour through Dubai by bus.

We started our day by walking to ‘our’ brunch place and stopped at the Dubai Heritage Village. It was on our way, and we wanted to have a closer look at it.

There is a Coin Museum, a Coffee Museum, a lot of stores and galleries and a nice tea house (very small and cozy). We had a short visit at a camel enclosure where a mother and her calf stayed (I guess for tourists who want to have a camel ride). Walking into the museums’ area there is a nice mosque we didn’t enter as we weren’t dressed right and instead entered a gallery with a photo exhibition. We explored a heritage museum and stopped at the coffee museum. A short look into a few stores, and we were hungry enough to get out of them without buying anything.

Later we took the metro to the biggest Mall in the world: the Dubai Mall. The really interesting thing was, that walking from the metro station to the actual mall took us around 20 minutes through elevated glass walkways with air-conditioning. I felt like in a sci-fi-movie.

The mall is gigantic, tremendous, colossal, Brobdingnagian! I don’t know if there is a word for it. We didn’t get lost but it felt like that. It took us ages to go to the main entrance. If I remember right the mall has 1 million square meters and over a thousand stores. Plus an aquarium, multiple cinemas and much more. We didn’t look into the many retailers but just walked to the main entrance where our bus for the night tour would leave. And where the Burj Khalifa Dancing Fountain is located. It was the right time, at 7 pm when the sunlight is fading and let just enough to see the beauty of the colored lights dancing to the rhythm of the classic music theme.

I was amazed by the beauty and so happy that we were there at the most perfect time imaginable. The Burj Khalifa in the background was the Hit as well!

After so many emotions we went to the tour bus and had a nice ride through the night of Dubai. We even passed the Atlantis Hotel on ‘The Palm’. We had a good place to sit, on the open-top on the left in the back of the bus. Perfect to take pictures at least when the bus stopped. The audible guide (I think in 11 languages available) told us what we were looking at.

We came back a couple of hours later and took the metro back to the hotel – without any further look into the shops of the mall!

Dubai, Dubai/UAE:

For further information:
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Here is a video of the greatest dancing fountain, the Burj Khalifa Fountain

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A Boat-Trip in Dubai – Day 2

The second day in Dubai was more planed and much better for our camera life. We had brunch and a nice boat trip plus an amazing evening visit at the White Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

Today there would be the only planed trip to the White Mosque in the evening hours, right for the sunset. We were looking very much forward to it.

But first there was a whole day to fill until the late afternoon. And we decided on a boat-trip around famous ‘The Palm’. We took the Metro to Dubai Marina Mall from where the boat tour would start.

The mall is nice, very big, though the Dubai Mall is the biggest one, even in the world. We would find out the last day. In the Marina Mall we had a quick lunch, and then we walked a little around on the Marina Promenade waiting for our boat. It was a regular going pedestrian ferry which would stop only once, I think at Jumeirah, and then have the end-point at Al Ghubaiba Marine Transport Station, just a 20 Minutes walk from hour hotel.

The ferry was nearly empty, and we had both had a window seat (take a seat on the right to see the skyline of Dubai). Unfortunately it was too hazy to take any good pictures but it was nice to see the city from off the shore. The stop was none as there was no one waiting and no one wanted to get off the boat.

The view of the famous Atlantis Hotel on ‘The Palm’ was nice but didn’t impress me too much.

When we left the boat we walked back through the Old Souk which was much more pleasant than the day before due to fewer people trying to sell us something.

After a short rest in the hotel it was time for the evening tour. We were lucky that they came to pick us up from the hotel. But that is another article …

Dubai, Dubai/UAE:

For further information:
Visit Dubai

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Exploring the Souks in Dubai – Day 1

My first day in Dubai began with the perception of a very warm and humid climate. So much warmth and humidity that I couldn’t use the camera. The lenses were always super fogged when I was taking the camera out of the rucksack and it took ages to get right. But let’s start from the beginning …

I arrived at 1 am in the morning at the International Airport of Dubai where my friend, coming from Kampala in Uganda, was already waiting for me. We took a taxi to the nearby Al Seef Heritage Hotel.

The next day later in the morning, we decided to have a coffee somewhere and first have a walk through the Souks opposite the Creek. When we left our air-conditioned room, we had the great weather impact. Even I thought it is warm, though it was not more than 42°C, but very humid.

We walked to the station where the dhows leave to get a passage to the other side of the Creek – a water-street similar to the canals in Venice/Italy. For a little money we had a ride over the water, enjoying the light breeze and cooler air.

The other side is a busy city like all middle-eastern cities and the first thing I noticed was that there were nearly only men in the streets. Later when we switched to the Souks we saw also women.

In a little shop we stopped to have something to drink, and we got also a banana, just to eat something. We had a coffee which was good, the water was just not drinkable to us. It seemed to be pure chlorine. We just threw away the small bottle.

The gold souk was the first on our way. I wanted to look for a gold ring, my friend was not interested in jewelry at all. We had a quick look in a few shops, and I was amazed that with 250 shops and stores there was nothing I was interested in.

Soon we left and emerged into the spice Souk. This was much more interesting. A lot of colors, the display was often very nice in huge containers, spices heaped to cones. All sorts of spices and herbs: for cooking, for beauty, for health, for teas. I bought a bag of Harissa, a typical Moroccan spice mixture that I have difficulties to buy in Europe. Of course, it was a little like running the gauntlet with all the men (no women to sell anything) nearly jumping on us totally crazy tourists walking in the midday heat through the Souks.

So when we left the shady and cooler area to return to the Creek and set over to the other side we decided to have a look at the Arabian Tea House near to the hotel. We were a little hungry and that should be a good place to have something good.

We finished our day with a great, yummy dinner and went after that to a supermarket not far away. We bought some fruit and nuts for the mornings and during the day so we didn’t need to go more than once a day for brunch.

During the whole day and in the late evening we had problems with the camera and only carrying in the hand for a longer time it would adjust to the atmosphere. The temperature difference between outside and the rucksack was too much otherwise. Apparently it was the hottest and most humid day of our Dubai trip. The next day was much easier …

Dubai, Dubai/UAE:

For further information:
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Camel Milk Shake and Camel Burger

When I was in Dubai I had the perfect hotel room, but no breakfast included. My friend I was with in Dubai has the same nutrition style I have, and so we both didn’t want to pay for a breakfast which we couldn’t eat 98 % of. She booked without any meal. So in the morning where could we get my so needed wake-up-coffee? The answer was just easy and perfect: at the Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café.

Thanks to Google and my friend’s smartphone she found out it was a very nearby place we could walk to in just a few minutes through the heat. Ideal for getting used to a warmer climate. Ideal also for ‘getting lost’ on the way. There is a whole heritage village with shops and museums in between.

But we talk about our mornings and our brunch-time. I only eat once a day, so we used to go to the Arabian Tea House around 10.30. We had a kind of coffee (you know, the one out of a machine) already in the room before leaving. The way was short, about 10 minutes maybe, and we tried every day not to ‘get lost’ on the way to. But it never worked out, and we always arrived hours later.

The tea house is actually a restaurant. You can sit outside at the street side and inside. It is cozy, not crowded (at least not when we were there) and friendly people served. I especially liked the young coffee-man. He stood outside to greet people coming to the place and shortly after he always arrived with the coffee. I love Arabian coffee, it is made with cardamom. And they serve it in small cups like I am used to in Italy. So you never over-drink coffee.

We tried out the milk shakes made with camel milk. I was previously reading (on my friends smartphone) that camel milk doesn’t give problems with lactose and I had no problems at all. And I loved the shakes! The Arabian style salad was yummy and more than enough for a meal. The camel burger… well, special like the bison burger I had a few times in the US. You really taste when the meat is good, clean and lean. I was laughing: when I asked about a burger without the bread/roll, the guy looked at me incredulous asking: how does that look? Well, I told him we would not eat the roll anyway and this way he doesn’t need to through it away.

If you are in the area, you should go to the Arabian Tea House which I saw has three different places in Dubai. They are kind, the food is really good and the prices are good. Don’t miss the coffee or tea! They come several times to ask if you want another one!

Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café, Dubai/UAE:

For further information:
Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Café
Al Fahidi St.
(opposite Musalla Post Office)
Bur, Dubai

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 10 pm

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