The city hums with construction as I swim on Tom’s roof deck pool recovering from an all you can drink brunch. The city is constantly projecting itself into the future and tirelessly preparing for an upcoming worlds fair. Some countries believe that the sky is the limit. Here in Dubai the sky is only the beginning. It’s hard to believe that all of this was mostly sand 50 years ago. Although it is my second time in Dubai, I hardly recognized Tom’s neighborhood. New buildings are going up every day.
When I look up at the Burj Khalifa I feel like I am no longer on Earth, rather in a sci-fi movie. I imagine that the Burj Khalifa houses an ice king. Finally, he comes out from his hibernation and restores Dubai’s desert into his magical snow kingdom it once was before man kind. Of course that is only a dream.
The architecture in Dubai truly inspires. Burj Khalifa lives in the heart of downtown Dubai. In the day time she shines, and by night the Burj Khalifa is lit up by led lights, putting on a show for all. I was elevated 150 meters up in the Dubai frame. The Dubai frame is exactly what it sounds like, a picture frame. On one side of the frame the picture is old Dubai from high up. Emirates planes have take off and land from there almost ever 2 minutes.
Standing below me I see where I began my journey, as the clouded floor senses my weight and becomes completely translucent. On the other side of the frame are views of new Dubai. Not only does new Dubai have some of the tallest sky scrapers in the world, there are circular buildings and ones that twist and turn beyond my wildest dreams with a spectacular sea or city view. The dizziest views are from tipsy night clubs.
Its hard to believe that in the midst of this huge bustling city you can find such immense peace and tranquility. Today Tom and I took a five minute drive to a free Flamingo Sanctuary. It was quite and the flamingos were free. It was truly beautiful. Staying among nature, Dubai has some of the most spectacular and over the top art parks. The Miracle Garden houses over 150 million flower arrangements.
It is yet another place in Dubai that is so amazing that it almost does not even seem real. It doesn’t stop at flowers though. Garden Glow is another park that has transcended beyond Christmas lights and moves it into the category of straight magic.
Real magic however has been around for centuries. Real magic is found just a short day trip to Abu Dhabi home of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the middle east’s very own Louvre. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a breathtaking must see in day and at night. The white floral mosaic walls glow at all times. On the way back home it is imperative that you stop at “Last Exit” to get a taste of Dubai through various food trucks. God bless whoever thought of putting Cheetos in chicken burgers!
“The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque stands out as one of the world’s largest mosques, and the only one that captures unique interactions between Islam and world cultures…The open-door policy invites tourists and celebrants from all around the world who can witness the spectacular onion-top domes, the reflective pools that engulf the courtyard and the iconic prayer hall, which not only overflows with blissful sunlight, but also houses the world’s biggest chandelier and carpet, both meticulously handmade.”
Every time I visit a new neighborhood in Dubai I decide that this is where I want to live. Good thing these are imaginary homes, or things would be getting quite expensive for me here. Dubai is filled with unique neighborhoods. Where do I begin? First stop is D3, Dubai’s design district. D3 is home to an art university, galleries, coffee, shops, small boutiques, and show rooms. I suggest researching online before going. A lot is hidden indoors, so it appears a bit small however I just think you need to know what you are looking for a little bit. Even if you are not there for a workshop, it is a great place to stop for a cup of coffee at a charming cafe.
All aboard my magic carpet. (Just kidding, I am not Princess Jasmine yet.) The Marina and La mer are both spectacular and similar boardwalks. They both have great public beaches, and restaurants for a lovely date night as the sun sets. There are parks and festival games that we never win, but it’s the attempt that counts right? The little beach shops are charming and locally owned. In the Marina I made a circle around JBR, a nice track to walk, run or stop at the food trucks. I skipped the run and opted for the wings.
The next spot I visited really does seem like a place for princess Jasmine. City walk is home to a boulevard of European looking building restaurants, chic local arabs, boutiques and a mall. Most of the restaurants serve alcohol here and there is even a lounge dedicated to truffles. Hello heaven! I really wouldn’t mind waking up in city walk every morning and heading out to the Secret Garden to drink my coffee surrounded in the flowers. The architecture alone makes City Walk really interesting. If you look to the left you believe you are in Paris, but if you look up you may believe you are in the future. I am leaving Dubai this week, and sadly there is so much of this future unexplored by me.