Sunday, 1 February 2015

Meeting still more friends in Dubai.

On Friday we met up with Wajid, a friend from home who was on a nine hour flight stop over. Yet again, we’ve crossed paths with friends in the most unlikely of places.


Wajid, after overnight duties in England and then a nine hour flight was in need of sustenance so we popped to a local eatery for some breakfast.


Not having enough time to queue for a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa we went instead to …………..


…….. the Aquarium in the Dubai Mall.  You can walk in a glass tube through the middle of the tank. The array of fish is amazing – all seeming to get along with each other!


The sharks probably get the most attention  ………..


…….. but the little Moray Eels are so cute!


Wajid and Doug in front of the feeding cage – no comments!


It was quite amazing to get so close to those teeth!


Talking of teeth – a whole tank of Pyrana.


Still more teeth – this time, the biggest crocodile you could ever imagine.  He used to live in Cairns, Australia but his nightly strolls into the local neighbourhood weren’t much appreciated by those who lived there.  They are now very grateful that the Dubai aquarium has given him a good home. He’s a salt water croc and at the moment he’s 35 – 40 years old and over 5 metres in length. Weighing in at between 750 and 800 kg we’re told he has the potential for much more growth over the next 50+ years of his life.  By the way, he’s happily married!


This morning (Saturday) the view from our hotel room window ……..


….. was rather marred by an awful plume of black smoke. Later we found out it was a fire in a Souk on the other side of The Creek.


Today we headed for The Creek, which divides Deira from Dubai and, on the way, found breakfast in a super little (only two tables!) eating house where we were warmly welcomed by the local artisans and workforce.  We enjoyed savoury and sweet pastries and very sweet coffee – the chap whose table we were invited to share proudly explaining the ingredients of each morsel.


Getting down The Creek, which is only 500 yards from the hotel, we found an exciting scene of mayhem with dozens of dhows carting locals and tourists back and forth across the river.  The fast flow of the river causes the incoming dhows to crash into the outgoing dhows – like this! Nobody cares – it’s all part of life’s pattern.


The dhows are built with very heavy timber (very necessary) and they have very large and noisy engines to help them against the flow of the river.  It was a terrific ride upstream to the Gold Souk where we crashed heavily into the jetty before being able to leap ashore. 


In the Gold Souk they have the world’s largest gold ring – weighing in at over 84 kg.  The jeweller’s shop was heavily manned but certainly not enough to guard 84 kg of gold we wouldn’t have thought! It looked superb but probably not the real thing.


Just occasionally this old part of the city throws up the most amazing buildings – this mosque is entirely covered in mosaic.


Later in the afternoon we made a visit to the Dubai Museum, which is directly opposite the hotel. The ancient Al Fahidi Fort forming part of the museum has been well restored and with a large and very clever series of exhibits housed underground the entrance fee of 3 dirham (£1) represented great value.


There’s a lovely reconstruction of a ancient fishing dhow (the are so many special names for the many different shapes and sizes) above the museum which we look out of from our hotel window.

The temperature has been in edging towards the high 20’s today and James has lost his sunglasses and cap (!) but there’s a fair degree of shade to be had so all’s not lost.  There’s so much more of Dubai to investigate ………

1 comment:

  1. The view from the Arabian Courtyard Hotel I suspect? Right in the heart of the old town.