The Emirate of Dubai
“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”
Leo Tolstoy – War and Piece.
Well, the first time I visited Dubai, one of the 7 nation’s army, one of the 7 Emirates, the most famous destination, yet not the capital of the United Arab Emirates, I thought to myself “this city is not for me”.
It was August and the climate was far from pleasant and easy going. Extreme heat outdoors, freezing air indoors, it was hard to turn my mind upside down. The enormous highway, the humongous malls, the never ending sky scrapes, the glass ceilings climbing the sky, the desert, the sand and the cement under my feet. Palm trees older than the country’s age and buildings taller than the previously tallest.
At that point, I would have never thought that Dubai would prove me wrong. 3 years later, I’m off to Dubai, with lower expectations.
Burj was good to me.
Dubai Sillicon Oasis, an integrated community, a hub for all those companies that promote modern technology. State of the art infrastructure hosts master planned communities who care for innovation and mentorship in business services. Full surrounded with house compounds and urban facilities, down yet out of town, in the middle of the desert, just 15 minutes away from the Emirates twin towers. It’s just a viewpoint after all.
RHAS AL KHOR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
“Rhas al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary” A flamingo roost, right off the junction of Al- Wasl and Oud Metha Rds. will steal your heart. There are 6 different species of flamingo around the globe. The greater, the lesser, the Chilean, the James’s, the Andean and the American. Dubai is home to a great and growing number of greater flamingos, the most widespread population among the six species.
Dividing the emirate in two parts, Deira and Bur Dubai, Dubai Creek is a vital vein to Dubai’s heart. From the past till today, it plays an important role in Dubai’s economy.
In addition, it has a great environmental role as at its end, the depth decreases creating swamps, lagoons and mini islands surrounded by mangrove plants where many wildlife species such as fish, insects and others live. Thus, varieties of exotic and diverse birds migrated to the location “Ras al Khor” and created an amazing balanced natural ecosystem without human intervention.
Find yourself in a simple and minimal set up, after an exciting walk till the screened jetty to this magnificent flamingo hide, the second out of the three hides. Reach an observation room where you can pick up a pair of binoculars and find out that Walt Disney has never been high on drugs. Admire the majesty of those exotic creatures, how they rock and roll, how they fight to get their piece of shrimp, greedy and clumsy, yet gracious and talented!
Flamingo Hide: It is easy to access this hide by continuing west from Mangrove Hide, keep in the Right Lane all the way around the inlet onto E66 until you see an un-signposted exit to the hide lay-by at 25.190992 , 55.310547. Park here.
KHAN MURJAN RESTAURANT
“Khan Murjan Restaurant”. Find yourself in the Wafi Mall, the Pyramid shaped building and walk deep down, in the heart, where hidden amongst the extremely overpriced birc-a-brac of the Khan Murjan souk, the undisputed gem of local gastronomy lies.
An amazing collage of Lebanese, Moroccan, Egyptian and Turkish meze, as well as delights from the gulf region offers the most beautiful contemporary Middle Eastern culinary experience, away from the tourist oriented cuisines. A Shakespearean balcony among a Syrian courtyard, blue mosaic details and fresh fruit all around are meant to please all your senses straight away.
Dressed like Baghdadi water carriers, the waiters stroll across the exquisitely designed marble floors. A stunning culinary tour in contemporary Arabia that exceeded my expectations!
MAISON DU CAFE NAJJAR
“Maison du Cafe Najjar”. The temperature was smooth and sweet, the perfect weather to enjoy a Moroccan tea and a mint flavoured shisha in this cozy cafe. The most impressive thing about it is that it’s right there, in the middle of the high street, under the tallest building of the world and everyone is nice and easy, sipping those small pleasures of Dubai’s everyday life.
If you find yourself in Dubai, and specifically in this place, just ask for Lebanon from Lebanon. He is your man!
Louay Moursel, operation manager at the café, says, “We serve our coffees fresh as it comes. The beans are roasted in Lebanon and ground here when the customer orders it. We do not grind in large quantities, and it’s never kept for the next day.”
THE FARM DUBAI
The Farm Dubai, as the Zaal family puts it, an oasis of flavour and tranquility. A great ambience of calmness that inspires your leisure spirit and flies you away of the city jungle. A great peaceful escape for all those in search of some peace of mind for them, themselves and their beloved. Locals and travellers cast away!