Monday, June 08, 2015

Random Thoughts on Dubai

I spent a week in Dubai in April 2015. Here are my random thoughts:

  • It is very hot. The daily highs were around 95F, and this was in the springtime. One time I brushed my leg against a metal railing near the airport and got a minor burn.
  • There were a lot of people who speak English.
  • There are many malls and they are very large. Some of them are fairly empty much of the time.
  • Many of the stores are American and carry American clothing. If you go into an athletic store, for example, they will carry Nike, Reebok, etc. with all of the English slogans. They do not carry anything at all in these stores with Arabic writing on it.
  • They have just about every American restaurant chain, from Johnny Rockets to Burger King to Elevation Burger, etc. However, there are also plenty of local restaurants with Arabic food.
  • The drivers are very skilled but also rude and impatient. They will honk at a stop sign if you don't cut your way in to traffic. If there is an opening, you need to just take it. They will slow down and let you in.
  • The subway/metro was very clean and easy to use. There was only a red line and green line. It was also very cheap. The only down side was that it was overcrowded during rush hour and you had to push your way no and off. This was partly due to the Sharia type restrictions that had cars dedicated to women and children that the men were not allowed to ride in.
  • There seem to be a lot of Filipinos everywhere you go. Sure enough, I just looked it up and 22% of Dubai's population is Filipino (450,000 people).
  • You do ocasionally see people wearing the full Muslim garb. This can be on the street, in a business meeting, at the mall, etc. However, in total only about 3% of the people will be dressed in this full garb (burkas, white robes, etc.)
  • The sand is actually a bit "sharp". If you get on your hands and knees and shovel around the sand rapidly with your arms, you'll end up with small cuts on your hands and knees.

My pictures are available at:


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