United Arab Emirates
April 3, 2016
In a word, that is how I would describe Dubai: “Tall, very tall!”
Apartment blocks, apartment clusters, office buildings, hotels, even the minarets of the mosques are all very tall.
Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. Piercing the skyline, the spike of a structure stands at 829.8m or 2722 ft.
Set on a man-made island and shaped like the sail of a dhow, the traditional ship of Arabia, the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel stands at 321m or 1053 ft. Burj Al Arab is only (!) the third tallest hotel in the world. The other two? JW Marriott Marquis and Rose Rayhaan? Why also in Dubai, of course.
I had booked a room in an apartment in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) so on my very first day I took a stroll around the neighborhood. My building is part of Cluster J consisting of about a dozen other high rise towers. In JLT, I do believe there is a Cluster for every letter of the alphabet!
The weather was cloudy and wet the next day so I hopped aboard a tour bus. The rain persisted so I made the best of it and shot Dubai through the bus windows. (My apologies.)
My favorite spot is the walkway along the Corniche – fishing boats, low rise buildings and a small commuter boat. Along with a dozen workers from South Asia, I hopped aboard for a round trip across the waterway.
“Excess” is another word that comes to mind in Dubai. Hundreds of buildings huddled together. (The architects struggle to outdo each other.) Uncountable shopping malls. Six lane highways and boulevards – impatient traffic speeding in each direction. Tens of thousands of tourists elbow their way for the best photo shot.
Dubai is not my favorite city.
To quote Ralph Velasco, my friend and professional photographer, I could not locate the “Essence of the Place.”
Perhaps I am also impatient.
I left early. (My apologies.)