Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Travel Log - "Do-Buy"

Do Buy - thats my new name for Dubai - the Las Vegas of the Middle East. Everything is geared for the shopper - endless malls and a mall for every block. And the malls are beautiful, you could actually spend a day at each one!


The most breath-taking mall that we went to is the Ibn Battuta mall. Each part of the mall is done up in a different architectural style from various countries. These photos are from inside the Persian section.

Every mall has similar stores. You can find the Pradas, YSLs and Guccis alongside the Forever 21s and Aldos. We spent 4 hours and saw 3 sections - out of 26 sections! As I said, you can spend an entire day...


Everything in Dubai is the tallest, biggest, widest, most ostentatious than anywhere else in the world. And they are very proud of that. They are right now building the tallest building in the world at the rate of a floor a week! And they are also building office complexes in the shape of musical notes! And the reason I compare it to Las Vegas is because its all right there in the middle of the desert - all built where only sand existed earlier.

Skyscrapers are everywhere. Our hosts even joked that the nearest neighbor isn't the next apartment in your building, but the neighbour in the next building whose apartment you can even reach into if you wanted to!

There are some beautiful mosques all over the city. At twilight, we saw the Jumeirah Mosque, all lit up. Lovely! Incidentally, its also the only mosque that allows non-Muslims to visit inside its premises.


Needless to say, the Middle Eastern food is very good. A special mention for Al Hatam and Automatic, which are available in most places and are Dubai chains. The food is excellent. The only cuisine that I didnt get to taste was the Persian - the man at the restaurant politely said "Sorry. Nothing vegetarian" and went on to the next customer!

We happened on an Asian restaurant called Japengo (also a chain - but a "nice" chain) which served the most delicious buckwheat noodles with beansprouts and tofu. I went back to the restaurant and ordered the same dish in the 5 days that we were there. It was that good! Here's a photo that does not do it justice:

While we were at the Jumeirah Beach Park, we indulged in french fries, sandwiches and some za'atar croissants at Malik Burger. I brought some of the herb home with me and have since used it in slow-cooked scrambled eggs. The herb gives a very mild flavor and can be used for just about any seasoning.

Of special mention from my meat eating husband is Calicut Paragon. The Calicut Biryani is different from others in that it isnt flavored with turmeric, thus making it a white rice and tastes much like a ghee rice. Its quite different.

The desert

The most stunning view is from the flight as you land. You suddenly come across endless sand and all the dunes. Its quite amazing. We don't really see too much desert while in Dubai, which is mostly concrete and glass. But drive 20 minutes out of Dubai and there it is, camels and all.

The activity I most recommend is the quadikes. Just travel down the Hatta road, and it takes about 25-30 minutes from Dubai. They are so much fun and anyone can do them. They rent it out by the 1/2 hour and have different sized bikes - even ones for the little kids. The dunes are high and whizzing up and down them is totally cool!

This is a great article by The Independent on spending 48 hours in Dubai.


Guys only said...

Great "do-buy" review. i really feel like going back there. love the food and the shopping!!

Arundathi said...

Guys Only - It is definitely a must-see town. I would go back anytime!

manoj S said...

Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again

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