Arriving in Dubai was a huge difference from arriving in Egypt.  Already you can feel the different vide of the city.  Here it’s more conservative and stand offish.  Airport officials are in long crisp white robes and head dresses.  Not so many smiles.  As we exit the airport our local guide is ready to greet us, a South African woman of Indian descent.  Eighty percent of the residence here are foreigners.  I’ll tell you about that later.

Our first day is a day of leisure and most of the group take the metro to the Dubai Mall, which has over 1000 stores and a watershow that puts the Bellagio’s to shame.

Burj Khalifa, the tallest building
in the world.

We start our touring on the 6th with a city orientation tour that is about the architecture and the fast growth of Dubai.  We visit the Palm Island which is the home of the Atlantis Hotel.  The Palm Island started with many investors and very high property value but after the global economic melt down prices were cut in half.  Still very expensive by any standard the original buyers have seen a lost.  We enter from the base and trunk of the Palm and the branches or leaves are the residences.
At one point Dubai has 2/3’s of the worlds cranes and now the cranes are gone, there are shells of buildings that were abandoned mid construction but the opulence is still around. We also go to the Dubai Museum.  It’s interesting to see how the lives of the people of Dubai have drastically changed ove the years after the discovery of oil.  People had a very simple life and Dubia was just a dessert.

Charlotte on the Dhow
It’s her birthday!

We finish with a cruise along the harbor on a Dhow.  A traditional wooden fishing boat.  It’s a typical evening dinner cruise.  However, six months prior to our arrival they stopped serving alcohol and lowered the volume of the music.  Outside of the views from the harbor this is just OK.