Arrived to Dubai darn late at night and drove to the hotel in a fancy cab. Morning wake up around 9 and after a laaaarge breakfast we decided to hire a driver to show us around. This guy, a young man from Afghanistan, decided he wanted to show us the "old" part of the city, which eventually turned into a big mistake for a couple of reasons. For what we have seen there's not a real old part, and on top of this, since the more interesting part is a market area, being a Friday everything was closed. So much for the historic land.
The things turned out to be a tad better when we headed for the modern, galactic development of the city. The Buri Al Arab hotel, the incredible estates around Palm Island, the Buri Dubai Tower and so on. Everything showed a great deal of futuristic architecture, and everything seemed to be over the top, built to amaze the poor tourist who cannot believe his eyes.
You might like it or you might not. Personally I do like few things and don't like the majority of the others. Is a bit tacky for my taste, and a sort of Disney world for the modern traveller or the real estate buyer looking for the coolest thing around, if cool that is. Said that, I left the city with mixed feelings, not sure whether I like it or hate it, and kind of puzzled as well. We are living in a difficult economical moment and Dubai is investing on its development a huge deal of money. Is there people around able to pay for such luxury and modernism ? There's thousands of apartments, houses and villas to let or for sale, if they don't go away for how long the oil will be able to pay the bills ?
I loved Emirates Airlines though. Great service, lot of room for your legs even in tourist class and great looking flight assistance. None of them was Arab, mostly Asian and Europeans, I also met a girl from La Garrucha, a small village near Almeria where I sometimes go fishing. Not many women around in the city as well, few tourists and few locals with the burka
One of my friends said that Dubai was betting in a different kind of tourism development, for once the oil is gone. Looks like a tough assignment to me, but I ain't no sheik...