|Jon & Elaine & the Burj Al Arab|
I had to make this decision recently when good friends Jon and Elaine Krupnick stopped by on their way home from an extensive trip to Sri Lanka and India, immediately followed by my sister Paty Barr and her friend Kathryn Brandt who were stopping by to pick up me and Jani Diedam on their way to our excursion to India (more on that later).
|Paty & Kathryn's first trip to the desert|
It is a daunting task to entertain these two disparate types of travelers. Jon and Elaine are world travelers (I think that Dubai was country number 160). Paty and Kathryn have each made an international trip but never to the Middle East. What was I going to show them so they would appreciate the intriguing beauty of my adopted home? Things they had never seen or done!
Krupnicks & Fosters in appropriate attireto visit the mosque
Paty with beautiful
semi-precious stone inlay
Kathryn & Paty overlooking Dubai
from the Burj Khalifa
Better go quick as Saudi Arabia has announced that its KingdomTower will be completed in 2017 and it will be the tallest!
Best to order tickets online ahead of time as they do sell out – sunset is a prime time. Onlnine adults AED 100, children AED 75; at the door all tickets are AED 400.
3. Dubai Fountains
This entrancing $218 million performance of light, music and water was choreographed by WET Design. The same company that did the Bellagio Hotel fountain in Las Vegas – but as is the style in Dubai – Dubai’s is more spectacular – 6,600 light and 25 colored projectors accompanied by classical, contemporary and Arabic music.
Many restaurants offer a perfect place for a romantic dinner overlooking the fountain’s nightly show. Dinner reservations are a must. The show goes off every 30 minutes beginning at sunset.
Paty assists SMCCU Director Nasif Kayed
The Center is dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding among the different cultures in Dubai. It offers informative free visits to the Jumeirah Mosque every Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 10AM; cultural breakfasts every Monday and Wednesday at 10 AM for AED 60 and luncheons Sunday and Tuesday at 1 PM for AED 70. Especially nice is the Iftar dinner during Ramadan.
Paty, Kathryn and I went on my personal favorite - the walking tour of Bastakiya, the oldest Emirati neighborhood in Bur Dubai. The tour includes a Q&A session in the Bastakiya Mosque where Director Nasif insists you can ask any question you want about Islam. Tour cost AED 55. Contact the Center for a schedule of these tours.
|Jon checks out the red dunes|
Jon & Elaine enjoy the abra ride
UAE camels are such lovable, cuddly animals with beautiful expressive faces. Not the nasty spitting ones I have heard about.
While, from my apartment I can see camel rides on the Jumeirah Beach, I prefer to go into the desert and find some less domesticated ones.
|Photo courtesy of |
AHLAN! live .com
Cool hat Diane!
And as with the Ascot, when you have had your fill of the races, you can always “hat watch” as the ladies pull out all stops in the millinery department for the race.
Thankfully, Paty and Kathryn turned down my timorous offer to get us tickets (cheapest ones I found were $1000 each) so we had to enjoy it vicariously through our friends Diane and Steve's experience. Track open January – March.
Rashad enjoys explaining the intricacies of carpets.
My favorite is Sheba Iranian Carpets and & Antiques Store where Rashaad is very helpful and prices are reasonable for good quality carpets.
Take the Sheikh Zayed Road (E11) north towards Sharjah, after passing the Safeer Mall look for a large Carrefour on your right and take the next exit - King Faisal Street - toward the water (east). As you come across an overpass you will see the blue roofs of the souq on your left. Go pass the Souk to a very large confusing roundabout, staying to the left pass under the overpass twice coming back around to the souq – you want to park in the building on your right down at the far end.
|BFFs Jani & Carmen make friends at the Antique Museum|
Do yourself a favor and do not miss this experience. He has all the souvenirs you would ever hope to take home!
Owners maintain factories in impoverished countries that employ the unskilled and handicapped providing them with the means for self-sufficiency.
For those living in Dubai this is the best place in town for framing. Affordable and beautiful workmanship.