I awoke this morning to TWO wonderful and foreign delights: sunshine, and WARMTH!
Anyone who is familiar with global warming will know what a horrifying and never-ending winter we've been having
north of The Wall in Canada. So to wake up to blue skies and sunshine?! Sign me up!
Today was a lazy day, getting over any residual jetlag and exploring a bit while also thinking of what I wanted to see during the short time I'll be here. First up? Umm Suqeim Beach.
The weather was actually not warm enough to lie in the sun or anything (and I was nervous about testing the Western boundaries after my airport debaucle) so I donned my summer blue jeans and a cardigan and went to explore. It was windy so the kite surfers were out in full force:
They are in the midst of building a running track, although for now it seemed reserved for groups of Emirati men to gather (and point & whisper "infidel!" as I strolled past, sans abaya).
At the end of the beach was the Burj Al Arab, one of the iconic buildings in the Dubai skyline, and the world's first (? only?) seven-star hotel. You'll notice Dubai is a fan of world records. If it's possible to outdo something, especially another country, they'll do their best. (Most fireworks on NYE record of 445,000 by Kuwait? Dubai smashed it this year. Tallest building in the world used to the the CN Tower in Toronto? Not anymore, thanks to the Burj Khalifa.)
The evening was spent at a place called Madinat Jumeirah, which is this strange, kitschy, yet oddly beautiful complex.
Built to resemble a traditional souq, it's a weird mishmash of touristy tackiness, yet you can't help but admire the architectural beauty that went into it. With the Burj Al Arab as a backdrop, it's quite the place to have dinner.
I dined on steak & foie gras, a true testament to all that is Dubai: you want it, you can get it here.
I was reminded yet again of where I was when I saw the following sign on many restaurant doors:
Toto, we're not in Toronto anymore.