United Arab Emirates stands out as a land of amazing elements: plentiful enormous traffic roundabouts; roads chopped by huge speed bumps; some of the world's most memorable architecture, men in crisply starched, pressed and creased snow-white jelabiyas; gorgeously made-up women in every arrangement of wispy draped ebony abayas; vast cloudless skies; bathtub temp Gulf waters; worn but fragrant neighborhoods typical of Middle Eastern cities, all of it spiced with flavors and colors contributed by Asian and African immigrants.
The city of Dubai is Vegas on steroids. But as Craig says, "it's real." No imitation here. The world's tallest building hovers over the world's largest indoor shopping mall and possibly the world's largest water show. Hordes of families from every continent bring their big bucks to spend. We spent hours at Dubai Mall without stepping inside a store. Every storefront featured stunning, eye-catching displays and it was all I could do to window-shop dozens of them. Dubai Mall must hold the record for the most fine chocolatiers and Bombay style furniture, most spacious food court, and the largest aquarium and zoo inside a mall. Ordinarily I'd rather have a root canal than head for a mall, but this place was as good as Disneyland (without the rides) (although it wouldn't surprise me if a few of those appeared someday).
In Dubai Mall I consumed the most delicious fruit drink ever, blended from pomegranates, lemons, and oranges. I'll post some photos of the mall today and more about UAE later this week.
one of many fantastic focus points in Dubai Mall
scores of restaurants
gifts from many countries
children's clothing and gifts
one corner of the huge food court; yes you see McDs and Subway, but they have Arabic, Thai, Japanese, Lebanese, you name it--even Johnny Rocket's hamburgers
one of dozens of candy shops
the gold souk--if you plan to shop here, don't forget to take out a second mortgage before you come
fine pastries and cakes
gelato served here!