Dubai is not what I expected, but then when I think about it I’m not sure what I actually expected — and there in lies the attraction of Dubai.
I have had the opportunity to visit some amazing cities around the world, cities steeped in history like Beijing or breathing power and influence like Washington DC. Cities that link their past to the modern day like Montevideo and its barrio Ciudad Vieja, or reinventing themselves for their future like Taipei is doing.
Dubai is all of these things and yet it is still wanting more. Like a teenager that to desperately wants to become an adult, Dubai is straining at every opportunity to take on some new challenge.
Our stay during Ramadan has added an authenticity to the visit and an insight into the unique melting pot of nationalities, in what is truly a international city.
I enjoyed visiting the Old Deira along side Dubai creek, which is home to bustling and chaotic souks. This was what I expected for my Arabian adventure; lane ways with exotic aromas, buildings with geometrical patterns reflecting their Islamic design, food vendors with local delicacies and dhows gently plying their trade along the water way.
But look closer and you see modern Dubai even here as the lane ways are refurbished, and air conditioned bus stops are located next to the dhows who have foreign workers at their helm. Well at least the dates are authentic.
It’s time to go back to glittering Malls that dot the landscape between Dubai creek and the Dubai Marina where we are staying, past the architectural wonders that reach up to the heavens and the man made islands that dot the coastline off shore.
One day the teenager that is Dubai will become an adult and hopefully settle into itself a little bit more comfortably.