December 12, 2007

Arabian Excursion Day 5: Beach and the City

Pin It

Took things very easy this morning, and laid out on the beach. The water was a bit warmer in the morning so I finally went in and swam a little. Very happy to have finally dipped in the Gulf. Water was very calm and clean.

Around lunchtime I checked out and moved into the Grand Hyatt in Bur Dubai. The hotel is indeed grand, with an attached convention center and residences. It has a massive lobby, with a man made garden inside and 4 dhows hanging from the ceiling, in addition to a gigantic chandelier. Outside there is a large waterfall coming down over the main entrance. The pool and garden area is also very large, making it a nice place to stroll around. They have a number of peacocks on the grounds as well as plenty of birds flying around the garden. It’s very nice for a business hotel.

Quick lunch at Awtar, the Arabic restaurant in the Grand Hyatt. Sampled a few mezzes only without mains. The fattoush was a bit on the acidic side for my liking, but the spinach and onion pockets were nice, while the scrambled eggs with mutton and pine nuts were interesting. I ordered Turkish coffee, and I am poured two cups of concentrated stuff with all the coffee grinds inside, filling ¼ of the small cup. Rings form around the inside of the cup as I drink slowly, but alas no one is here to tell my fortune.

The rest of the day is spent exploring the city. I spent a little time at Dubai Museum, built out of the historic Al Fahidi Fort where Dubai’s rulers used to live. It’s a bit Disney-esque with figurines showing various aspects of life in traditional society. The textile souk is uninteresting as it’s just a collection of textile traders selling cloth in bulk. I make my way to the jetty to take an abra across Dubai Creek to the Deira side. Not realizing that there are several routes, I end up at the Sabhka Station, a little farther from the old souk.

I make my way through the maze of streets that is the Deira Covered Souk, and eventually find my way to the gold souk. Some of the stuff is just amazing…no one in our society would ever dream of wearing this much gold, but these items are prominently displayed in the shop windows. I think these days the Chinese’s love of gold is far surpassed by those of the Indians and the Arabs.

I find the spice souk just a block away from the Deira Old Souk Station, and walk through some of the shops selling all types of spice. As I was snapping away, one of the shop keepers asks for me to take pictures of him. I ended up taking a picture with Abdolla, and I guess I’ll try to send him a couple of prints when I am back in HK.

I grab a quick bite of falafel and chicken shwarma with cheese for dinner.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails

TripAdvisor Travel Map