I landed in Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates early in the morning. A soft murky light shed over the Arabian sands, which allowed me to marvel at Dubai’s wonders on the way to the Hotel. I was not disappointed when I first saw the lovely sandstone houses with square flat rooftops, which are typically Middle Eastern homes. An unguarded black or white Audi was parked out the front of every second house, unveiling the opulent fortunes that occupy Dubai. The Arabic writing on the signs read much like cryptic art rather than words to me, and the flat dusty sand reached the horizon which kind of felt lonely somehow like the world was empty, bar the immeasurable amounts of sand that rest ahead. But Dubai is anything but empty, I discovered, as we travelled deeper into the city’s busy and glamorous world.
We stayed at the Jeremiah A’ Salam Hotel, one of Dubai’s finest. The faces of the residents varied between nationalities because Dubai is home to many. The heat in Dubai is bearable this time of year but all I can smell is the thick humidity that dominates the outdoors. Most people avoid the heat and gravitate to the air-conditioning inside the lavish buildings, which pride themselves on the power of humanities creations. The ostentatious buildings are designed by some of the greatest architects in the world, who see no limitations to possibility. Rich interiors crowded with heavy dark wooden furniture accompanied by deep red and gold material are the most common décor’s in the hotels that I saw, but no matter the layout, less is not more in Dubai; who fall back on traditional Arabian taste in even the most contemporary layouts.
The architecture is the essence of Dubai. In the middle of the desert is an organised landscape with modern shaped towers that stretch high into the sky, plants that side along the foot paths, perfectly green cut lawns and expensive vehicles everywhere; it is not uncommon to see a Ferrari or Lamborghini parked out the front of a Hotel. The plants spurt from the most unlikely of sandy places, fresh and healthy, powered by an abundance of water that is poured on them each day by the attentive gardeners. The vegetation is all deliberately situated, unlike Australia’s unkempt natural and wild environment.
Often abstract, modern and competitive, Dubai has spent fortunes to create some of the world’s most optimum and significant buildings. Although a few things had me baffled though, like the “veal bacon”? And the driving system that allows you to drive twenty kilometres over the speed limit before any penalty applies. Similarly to Bali and Thailand, the driving can also be chaotic; much like a swarm of bees buzzing around a honey pot.
The Jeremiah A’ Salam is one of three Jeremiah Hotels situated in a triangle like position, and is only a kilometre away from one another. At one in the afternoon, I went for a stroll along the beach. The heat was manageable but by the time I was half way home, it had finally defeated me. I stopped at a restaurant for lunch and a beer on the beach side; oddly, my beer is always served cold but ends up like a cup of beer flavoured tea after fifteen minutes, as the temperature outside often sneaks its way into the restaurants. The trick is to drink quickly and order often, after all, you are on holiday, why not indulge?
Despite the horror stories of Dubai’s legal system that suggest arrests happen to people, particularly women, people are still barely dressed as they work on their tans and bath in the ocean and swimming pools at the hotel. Young children frolic in the water and drinks are served to the parents and patrons by waiters all day long. The water is clean and clear blue and red roasted bodies of tourists parade the beach after basking in the strong Arabian sun. I can’t help but smile when I see them as I imagine them sit down later that day on their over-cooked bottom. Ouch!
The food is the most exceptional experience in Dubai for me. Never in my life have I wrapped my lips around food so delicious. I was seduced by the exotic flavours and textures; the Tiramisu especially (my absolute favourite dessert) was by far the best I had ever tasted. There’s an array of continental varieties to try, but you also have food from all around the world at your fingertips; fresh and cooked to perfection.
I would recommend Dubai to all travellers, especially those considering a honeymoon or a romantic getaway. There’s little to do for children (that I saw) because most of Dubai’s highlights involve food, shopping and bars, which might bore the kids but the beach is there and there’s babysitting facilities available that help entertain them while you relax. Dubai is an experience unlike any other, an absolute must see..