Trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi November 2014
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is on the Persian Gulf and borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman and is just across the gulf from Iran.
There are seven emirates (like states?) in the UAE. Today I flew into Dubai, which is the largest city in the UAE and also the fastest
growing and best known for luxury hotels, and as a fast growing international business center.
Tomorrow we will be driving to Abu Dhabi to work. Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate, the capital of the UAE and produces the most oil.
When we flew out of Dubai, we went north right
over Iran. I guess flying over Iran and Russia
makes me nervous but I have done it before
and guess it is just Americans who get nervous.
As you can tell by the beautiful photos, I did not take these. The sights in Dubai are so big that you need to be high up or far away
and have a nice camera to take a good photo.
My hotel was beside the Palm Jumeirah Island. This is one of two artificial islands built to look like giant palm trees extending out
into the Persian Gulf. It is filled with luxury hotels, resorts and houses, all on the beach and just a few feet above sea level.
Also from my hotel, I could see the Burj Al Arab, the sail shaped hotel and the Burj Khalifa, the worlds tallest building.
( I asked and burj means "tower").
The bad news is that I'm at DFW airport before 9 AM on a Sunday morning getting ready to fly all day to the Middle East. The
good news is that it's a direct flight from DFW airport straight to Dubai International Airport. So no three or six hour layover
somewhere in Europe before I get on another plane to the Middle East. Also no lost luggage, I am carrying it on with me.
More good news is that it's on the Emirates Airlines new Airbus A380 which I think is now the largest passenger airplane in
the world. These are new planes, with 2 levels. They had to modify some gates in Terminal D at DFW just to let some these
new planes park here and get people on and off. Emirates just started flying the A380 into and out of Dallas last month in October.
I did take these photos from the Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel.
Also a good photo of the Burj Khalifa from the bottom. I went to the worlds largest mall and then
went up to the top of the worlds largest tower.
These photos are from Abu Dhabi,
showing giant mosque and from
the Abu Dhabi Officers Club
Money in the UAE is the Dirham.
It is set so that $1 US = 3.67 AED.
At a lot of restaraunts and bars you can smoke some shisha (hookah, bubbly bubbly)
pipe. Yeah I don't know the correct name. I have a pic of me smoking one in Cairo
on our web site, made me feel a little fuzzy so I will pass on this now.
For lunch today they took me to a Lebanese restaurant so everybody could smoke the shisha pipe
(we call it the hookah pipe).
Ancient tradition in the Middle East is to smoke the shisha, drink Arabic coffee and talk. I decided
not to smoke since the last time I smoked one I got really dizzy. But it smelled good.
The secretary here told me that most people have one at home and most nice restaurants have them.
You order different flavors of tobacco, the shisha boy adds hot coals and starts it off by puffing on it
for you. The tobacco does not burn, so you get nice flavor but no nicotine to get addicted to.