Friday, 19 February 2010

A Perfect 24 hours in Dubai. (for me anyway).

The January evening temperature in Dubai is just right for a bit of Golf, well, not Golf really but practice a bit of driving. Dubai has really good golfing facilities, world class in fact. We have already been to The Emirates Golf Club on a previous visit, so tonight we went to The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. After hitting a few balls, we made our way over to The Boardwalk for a bit of Al Fresco Dining. The Boardwalk is housed at the Creek Golf and Yacht Club and is very popular among Dubai residents - both for its view and for delivering good value for money. The Boardwalk is perched on three wooden platforms on the edge of the Dubai Creek. In the day it has a great view of the busy creek side life. At night the wooden boats passing by were all lit up. For me, the real value of The Boardwalk restaurant lies in the fact that you are sitting under open sky, it is warm and you are enjoying a wonderful panoramic view of the city, even in the dark - and you are not asked to pay ten times the normal price... Now that's very unusual in Dubai!
The next day we drove to the Dubai Museum and found a place to park, then starting at the Museum, which is housed within the beautifully restored Al Fahidi Fort, this was erected around 1787 to defend the city against invasion. We walked to .........
Hindi Lane, this is behind the Great Mosque in Bur Dubai, it is one small narrow alley of tiny shops selling Hindu paraphernalia, such as gaudy pictures of blue baby Krishna's and bright Marigold flowers.
At the end of Hindi Lane, parallel to Dubai Creek is the delightful textile souk, where wholesalers hang pashminas and sari silks on the wooden shutters.I just love it here, especially when you emerge onto the creek. here the area is alive with the bustle of abras (water taxis) criss-crossing the creek and wooden dhows (boats) being loaded with goods.We did not cross the creek, but went back to the textile suq, walking again under the wooden latticed arches, looking at the shops selling everything from saris to sparkling Aladdin slippers.
Next stop was Bastakiya.
Bastakiya is a labyrinthine of lanes, lined with restored merchant’s houses, art galleries, cafés, and boutique hotels all dating back to the 1900s. You can go into some of the buildings, and many have beautiful courtyards and are decorated with decorative grilles, hanging oil lamps, and wooden lattice work.I went upstairs for views of the Bastakiya rooftops. I love the wind towers. This traditional form of air-conditioning, constructed to funnel cool air into the house, was an architectural feature of buildings in southern Iran.
We stopped for a drink at the Basta Art Café, in another splendid courtyard house.
Then we went to find the car and drove up the Sh Zayed Road to the Dubai Mall and the newly opened Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa was formerly known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, this is the tallest man made structure ever built, at 828 m. Construction began on 21 September 2004, The building officially opened on 4 January 2010.
First we looked around the MASSIVE Dubai Mall. As well as shops, The Mall has an Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.A large waterfall, adorned with divers,
A gold Souk,An Olympic size Ice Rink, Cinemas and a chair for a Queen.....
As well as a visit to the top of the tallest building in the world.
We had called prior to our walk and booked the tickets, very soon we were in the lift and on our way up, the lift ride took 60 seconds.
From the top, Dubai looked like toy town, and you could see how big the city is. Once back down, we waited for the sun to go down and the Dubai Fountains to start. If you want to see them, there is some good footage on u-tube.
For us, it was time to dash back to the flat, then out again to meet up with an old Friend at the Rock Bottom pub for steak and a free bottle of wine. A great end to a great week. And a perfect end to a prefect 24 hours in Dubai.