Traveling Texan from Tyler Explores Spices, Diamonds and Gold in Dubai
My adventures in Dubai continued on Wednesday, our second full day, and it was action-packed. We began again with an incredible breakfast buffet where I found an eggs benedict station and returned there each day. Fun trivia fact, eggs benedict is my favorite way to eat eggs.
We left the resort mid morning and headed out to explore the city of Dubai. The Atlantis Palm resort where we stayed is located on a man-made island shaped like a crescent that surrounds the Palm Shaped island also created by industrious men. The island is known as Plam Jumeirah.
We ventured off the island and into the city, stopping first by the Dubai marina and took a group photo and a few selfies, while looking at some of the architecture there and noticing docked cruise ships.
Our next stop was the Dubai Antique Museum where we explored aisles upon aisles of treasures made by local artisans. If you know me, you know I love cats… and I found quite a lot of them in the Antique Museum. We also saw furniture and various statues from local and foregin cultures. There were plenty of opportunities to find souvenirs in this shop.
From there, we went in search of glitz and glamor to the Gold and Diamond Park Shopping. Many of our group shopped for and designed jewelry to bring home. One necklace on display was worth $9,000,000 and appeared within reach. The wealth was incredible and awe inspiring.
From there we saw more of the city. We saw fantastic architecture, skyscrapers and a museum of culture that was futuristic and covered with Arabic writing. Then we had a traditional Dubai lunch with a cultural experience at the Centre for Cultural Understanding. Here we learned all about the local culture and were able to ask questions that we normally wouldn’t ask someone on the street. It was fascinating and the food was delicious.
The food was laid out on the floor as in the local tradition and we were given coffee and dates to try before lunch. Post lunch, we enjoyed a small taste of tea. The motto at the center is: Open doors. Open minds.
Following our lunch, we walked through some of old Dubai where I found beautiful doors, and felt compelled to take a few photographs. Next we took a short boat ride across the “creek” to the gold and spice market, known as the gold and spice souks.
This is where locals shop. You won’t see a Walmart or a Target over here in the old part of Dubai. You find local merchants who are willing to bargain with you to sell you their wares. We saw a wide range of local spices, coffee, and garments first, before traveling a few blocks away to explore more jewelry and lots of gold.
After a few hours exploring the souks, we made our way to the Dubai Mall overlooking the Dubai Fountains. When we arrived at the mall we had an incredible view of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, lit up at night. We dined at a restaurant that was located across a pool of water from it. In the water are incredible fountains. If you’ve ever seen the water show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas this is similar, and maybe even grander.
Every half hour there is a show, and each one is a little bit different with different music, lights and waterworks. It was fabulous. We had an amazing evening and when we made it back to the resort we were ready for rest and another adventure the next day.
More on that tomorrow with camels, a jeep safari and dinner in a Bedouin Camp.