This was my last stop before I entered Asia. Dubai… thinking back now, it was a magical but a bit fake place. The things I’ve learned was amazing,it’s just so different from our world. But here is my story from last year:
This time I’m telling you some interesting facts and stories about my 2 days Dubai trip.
The flight was 6.5 hours long and it was really comfortable. The seats,the food,All was great. I watched three movies, we ate, and time passed quickly. I got here around 8:30pm local time so I didn’t see a lot that day, then we talked with my friend till 2am in the morning. As we talked, I’ve had a million questions about Dubai, the people, their culture, etc. And my friend,Saskia was more than happy to answer all of my questions.
These are the things I found out on that very first night:
– The local men and women don’t talk to each other in public unless they are relatives or married – so how do they get to know each other? Sometimes the man steps close to the woman and quickly tells his phone number; in the meantime the woman pretends as she is calling someone and then she enters the phone number – and there are many other little trick they use…
– The buses have separate seats for males, females and mixed people
– 80% of the people are men in Dubai
– Before the United Arab Emirates, before the Arabic people, they called themselves Bedouins who lived and traveled here. As men had to go different places for trading, their families were scattered around different places and they had marriages all around. That’s how they have more wives now.
– It was a bit difficult but I think I get it now. This is the royal family: Dubai’s ruler called Sheikh Mohammed, his father is Sheikh Sayed father of the United Arab Emirates. Sheikh Khalifa is the ruler of Abu Dhabi and he is like a prime minister to Dubai. Their pictures can be seen literally everywhere; shopping malls, on the street, on the highways, at the airport, shops, restaurants, you name it. The royal family is very important here, and they do a lot of help for charities, disaster zones, war zones, helping when floods, cunamis, earthquakes,etc happens..all over the world.they are like silent helpers, so most people don’t even know that they helped.
When Dubai run out of money, Abu Dhabi and Sheikh Khalifa helped them with giving money. That is why they named the tallest building (hotel) after him which now called Burj Khalifa.
– they have 7 emirates
– There are 2 main reasons why we see Arabic women covering their face. And no, none of them is the reason to cover it from other men. When they cover their entire face or just their hair, it basically goes back when they were Bedouins. As they lived in the desert, where was sandy, occasionally very windy and of course hot; they needed a cover against all these natural enemies. Then there is another case when they cover their face with a metallic, face mask looking thing ( you will se a wall paint writhing my pics), that is for covering their emotions. Arabic people never show their emotions and as women were always more emotional, they wear this, so no one can see how they feel
– Men wear long white robes and cover their heads with a white head cover, while the women wear long black robe. This is because the men were out all day so they had to defend themselves against the sun, while the majority of women were “housewives” so they were under the shadow
– Today, in the local Arab countries are no longer mandatory to wear these dresses. However, for religion and tradition, they still do
– If you were watching pictures on the net, you see that men headwear may be different colors. This is usually means they are from different Arab countries, to appoint karst or family and of course, for different fashion
– In the Arab emirates there is no such a thing as free speech… people can’t just say whatever they want in public so even we had to be careful with Sasi what we talked about in public
– 85% of Dubai’s population aren’t local
– Dubai is having a big issue at the moment what people don’t really know about -no visitors in the country and since the Brexit, a lot of business men left the country -the hotel occupancy is about 40% less than last year
After our interesting chat, we went to sleep. Yesterday we went to the cultural museum because I was so interested in this world.
We also visited a coffee museum where I learned a few more things while we were drinking a real Arabic coffee. Its made of green coffee beans, which is much stronger in caffeine content, because the roasting process produces less caffeine. People drinking it without sugar or milk so that’s how we had it. It may not be the finest coffee in my life, however, interesting things I learned here:
– The men only serve men, and women only serve women
– In the Arabic world they serve the coffee with the left hand, because they believe that is your clean hand
– If you want some more coffee, just raise the cup and you get served but if you do not need more, you just keep the cup by your belly
– When they sit down to have their coffee, they never wear shoes but they can’t show their bear feet to each other because that is disrespectful
Then we visited Saskia’s workplace. While she had to go for a quick menu tasting, I walked on one of the famous Palm Island branch as that’s where her hotel is. I have to tell you, it looks much better from the sky as when you are actually walking on it, you can’t recognise its a palm :). When she finished, I went in and she showed me the hotel. It has a very typical Arabesque inside, but it has its own little charm. We had a drink at the beach and then we went to a restaurant and we ate a very tasty and huge Turkish dinner. After dinner we drove to the Atlantis hotel, took some pics and then we went home.
Today we decided to visit the more touristic places so headed to the world’s biggest shopping centre. I wasn’t interested in shopping, I was more interested in what’s inside -aquarium- and the famous Dubai fountains just outside the shopping centre. Before we visited the aquarium, we went to see the wild flamingos in a park. They are coming here from Africa, stay here for winter and when it’s 40-50 degrees, they fly back to Africa.
We started with watching the very first water fountain show of the day and it was brilliant -even though there were hundreds of people-
The aquarium was a great experience… we’ve been on a bottom glass boat on the top of the actual aquarium where we could see what’s inside the aquarium but from a very different angle as you would usually see it. Then we went all around, saw a huge crocodile, penguins, lots of fish and a few night animals. It was great.
As we finished fairly late with the aquarium and my flight was at 3.30am, I just wanted to see one more last thing before headed back home; the Burj Al Arab which is the big sailing boat looking hotel. During daylight Ive seen it a few times but I wanted to see it when it’s lit up and it was very huge and pretty 🙂
We went home and I got ready to get to me next destination, Beijing. Now I’m sitting on the plane writing this and hoping I’ll be able to send this to you in China.
My friend told me before I left: ‘ don’t hate Dubai too much’. I don’t… I was sitting in the taxi on the way to the airport looking out to this shiny city and I only had good feelings. I’m glad I’ve seen it. Dubai is a place full of with its sparkles and luxury.. at least that’s what people think who haven’t seen the other side where life isn’t that luxurious. But even though, I’m fascinated by their culture, their life, the mistery around them… them. And Dubai,even for me has his little charm somehow which I actually kinda like :)*
See pictures in media ☺️