(This is the fourth post in a series detailing my work trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.)
First, I must start off with letting you all know Heather and Megan FINALLY got their luggage at 3:30 a.m. Thursday morning. They went two days without their luggage and had to borrow some clothes from the fellow female trainers. I would have gone crazy had I gone as long as they did without their stuff. Kudos to them for keeping their cool as they did.
Anyway, everything about this place is amazing. As the title suggests, all the nouns associated with Dubai are spectacular.
First off, the people are awesome. Whether they are locals, from Europe, India or another Arab nation, each and every person here treats each other with the utmost respect. Initially, I was a little nervous about how to act to the people who live here. The last thing I wanted to do was disrespect the wrong person and end up in jail. However, everyone here is very polite, and almost everyone speaks at least some English, so communicating isn’t a very difficult issue.
Oh. My. Goodness. Everything about this place is spectacular, as I’ve alluded to in my previous posts. I just can’t get over the buildings here. They’re absolutely huge and amazing architecturally. They are beautiful. See …
I am trying my best not to take a thousand photos of the Burj Khalifa, but it is just awesome to see from all parts of the city that I can’t help but capture its massiveness compared to the buildings around it. The Khalifa is easily twice as big as the towers that surround it, and although it extends into the sky at a very sharp point, it dwarfs every other tower in the vicinity.
Today we finished our work for the day fairly early, so we hitched a cab over to the Dubai Mall, which is the world’s largest mall in terms of total area. We were there for just about three hours and I’m sure we only saw about a quarter of the shops within the mall. It has over 1,200 shops, including an indoor aquarium and underwater zoo, a 40-50 ft. indoor waterfall, and an ice rink, among other attractions. An indoor ice rink at a mall is nothing new to me, but to see the massive aquarium and the waterfall were really sweet. I took some pictures with my phone. I’m not going to post any of them just yet … I’m waiting to compile a slideshow / photo album when I return home to the States. For the time being, I’m going to try and stick to a few pictures per post (it takes a lot of time to post pictures with my slow computer, especially with the slow Internet I’m using at the Tim Horton’s on the ground level of my hotel).
I will post though, this picture, which is of a product that was just put on display today.
I’m sorry that the picture doesn’t do it much justice, there was just too much glare off of the display case and the gold itself. But MAN, that would be one hell of a souvenir from my trip to Dubai if I could afford it. Speaking of souvenirs …
Remember in my last post when I said things here didn’t seem too expensive? Yeah, I was wrong. Yes, I understand it is in the biggest mall in the world, but holy crap were there some expensive items! I went into the Nike store to see how much a pair of shoes cost over here, and with exchange the shoes they had on display averaged around $170 US. Yeah, looks like I’m not getting a new pair of kicks while I’m here.
In the same store as the gold-plated iPad mini, there was a 1/5th scale die cast Ferrari priced at 35000 Dirham ($10,000 US). Granted, it was in a store solely for collectibles, it still seemed a little ridiculous to charge $10,000 for a die cast replica. It better have included a working engine and come with a remote control for that price. Hell.
Also, Apple claims that the iPad mini hasn’t officially been released here in the Middle East yet, but there were a few random shops that had them throughout the mall, all ranging in price from $470 US to $590 US. Yeah, I want one, but it would definitely be cheaper to get one when I return to the States. In addition to the iPad mini, Black Ops II for XBOX 360 came out to $74 US. I was hoping I could get one for cheaper while I was here … looks like I won’t be getting it after all. Also, I’m not really familiar with the different models and prices for the Beats by Dre headphones, but I’m pretty sure the most expensive set is not $600 in the United States. I was way off when I said things weren’t expensive here. Other than a few things I found that some of my friends might be interested in, it appears as of the majority of my money will be spent on food and taxi rides.
I’ve said before, the hardest part about being over here was the limited (immediate) communication I will have with people back home. I’ve been able to chat with a few people on Facebook and one person on Skype (both when the shady Internet I am using here isn’t acting up). I can’t seem to get a good enough connection to use FaceTime with my parents, but other than that I’ve been off the grid with people back home with the exception of these blog posts.
That said, I hope you guys are able to live vicariously through me while I’m here. I must admit, though, I am finding myself staying up late to go through photos and write for you guys, but it is completely worth it. I want you guys to know what I’m up to and how awesome it is over here. Don’t get me wrong, I love the people I’m here with (we are officially the best Bennigan’s training team in THE WORLD), but it would be cool to get to experience this city and culture with friends and family. SOMEDAY, I’ll get that chance.
Until next time …