21 November 2015
M Y _ D U B A I
My trip to Dubai last week was the final proof that Dubai is anything but fake and franchise dominated. I used to think that myself - at first glance Dubai seemed rather 'designed' to me and I was missing a true inspiration. But last week I experienced a different Dubai, one that is rich in culture, traditions and heritage. I was grateful to discover local foods, spice markets and a distinguished modern way of Life. From Heritage, Beachclubs to Sunsets - sharing the Highlights of #MyDubai with you.
The Tag #mydubai was created for Tourists, Locals and Expatriates to capture and share their very own impressions of Dubai on social media with the world. Capturing the very spirit of versatility that Dubai has mastered in an unmatched fashion - Dubai is adaptible for any preference of lifestyle. Modern decadence to cultured conservatism - Dubai offers it all sans friction.
Here are my favourite Places I discovered during my trip to hopefully serve you as inspiration to you next time you visit DUBAI
Bab al Shams - Desert Resort
The desert Resort is perfect to experience the beauty of a desert sunset. Visitors have possibility to view or ride a camel, as well as to hold a falcon used for hunting, or just to enjoy a drink and watch the sun sink into an ocean of sand. After Sunset there is a lavish feast with a rich buffet serving a great variety of specialties from all over the region with dinner entertainment, live singing, belly dancing and shows. Its a bit touristic, but at the same times provides a nice insight into the great variety of the middle eastern culture.
One & Only the PALM - Lunchplace
On the first day after arriving I visited the Waterfront Restaurant of the One&Only Resort on the Palm for Lunch together with my Hosts. The Location is a modern cubic building architected on the water accessible only through slender bridges or directly by boat. The menu is modern cosmopolitan, with Josper grilled delicacies, salads and catch of the day.
After the Lunch its possible to take a ferry shuttle for DHS 100 directly to the Jetty Lounge to watch the sunset. The Jetty Lounge is a stunning beachside location with large varied seating areas, pillows, lounges shaded by palmtrees. Soft pink & blue colour splashes and a helpful staff. The drinks are rather mediocre compared to the OO - but the setting is superbe.
Cove Beach - Beach club
This is a hangout spot for a lot of young local crowd as well as tourists. Located inside the Jumeirah Beach Hotel right next to the hotel own gym & fitness area - its a fairly new location and a very popular one. One Fridays reservations for tables or beach beds are mandatory, and the view on the sun setting past the Burj al Arab into the sea it a spectacular one. The location is of modern architecture with a large spread swimming pool down the front - the venue sort of reminded me of a private house in Ibiza with lot of glass panels and white floors. The music is a unique chilled electronica playlist mixed up with pop, french and oriental music. The food and drinks are standard - its really the athmosphere and 'it location' factor that has guests coming back.
Spice Market - local Souk
Great opportunity to see the less glamorous side of dubai. The Spice market resembles scenes I saw in Marrakech or Turkey. Its a basic Bazar with lots and lots of selections of spices, fragrances and oils from all over the region. The prices are low, but there is a certain amount of hustling going on - one trader tried to sell me oud oil from a bottle only half full - he somehow managed to switch the two bottles and as it was in an aluminum flask it was impossible to tell by eye - only the weight made me double check and notice the 'trick'. Right next to the spice souk there is a gold souk aswell - if you are there why not jump over to have a look at that aswell. I would never buy gold off such a market though as I may not mind being 'hustled' over some inscents or oils - but when it comes to buying gold thats a whole different story.
JBR - Seaside Promenade
The place where everyone strolls to see and be seen. The seaside stretched out on one side, shopping and hotels on the other. It reminded me of walking the waterfront of Cannes. Peoplewatching, Shopping and just enjoying the lovely November weather - walking down JBR is the perfect place to do so. Tourists as well as locals love it - and on the weekend its absolutely packed.
Little Venice of Dubai - Boat Tour
Another Jumeirah Location - nice to visit in the evening when the temperatures are a bit cooler. Its tourist dominated, but nice. Theres some shopping, plenty of bars and restaurants and for a small fee one can take a boat tour through the whole resort which lasts about 15 minutes and gives a spectacular view on the Burj al Arab by night. The Boat Tourguide is a trained photographer and will take a pretty picture with your own iphone (I sense theres some Social Media Staff training happening there.)
Toy Room - Nightlife
It was my first time out in a club in Dubai, and it was a lot of fun. My first time in years dancing off to hip hop music. Unlike in Zurich though, the hip hop parties in Dubai are actually 'happening' - here hip hop seems terribly out of fashion, but in Dubai its totally working. Table and Bottle service, and a toy teddybear dancing around the crowd, stunning women as far as the eye could see - it was an outrageous and hilarious night and I had lots of fun. At 3am the whole thing is over and the lights turn on - a bit unusual for me aswell being used to 'Zurich nightlife hours' but in a way I was happy to have made it to the end of the night and pretty ready to go home.
Dubai Life for the residents of Dubai is not only about going out - the home plays a central role in the life of especially the local people where they like to receive guests to speak and socialize. The hospitality is deeply rooted in the culture of the region and still given high meaning. I observed many such rituals from the burning of bakhoor to honour a special guest to the serving of a whole lamb - I felt deeply grateful to be a part of and experience this culture which I perceived as to be far more cultivated and distinguished than the one we practice in Europe. It at times made me sad to realize that we seemed to have given up a lot of our culture and practices to make way for the modern life. I look for value in life and heritage is of value to me - I wish to recognize and honour it.
Returning from Dubai I am set with the ambition to honour my own heritage, family and traditions more - to seek for and appreciate our ways of life, as well as to keep seeking and embracing the customs of other cultures. Its my aspiration in life to find and absorb the best of each culture in my own way of living. I have always done so - in Asia I have learned bowing, to use both hands when giving or receiving something of value, to avoid saying No, to smile at strangers because I reconize a fellow human being. During my Trip to Africa I learned patience, to sit and silently observe, to appreciate 'existence' - and to smile in gratitude for being alive today. In Italy I learned passion for simple good food and precision in preparation - in France I learned to deal with Pessimism, in London I learned to handle cold, to understand black humour and perceive things with cheerful nonchalance.
This is my Story - my experiences, my memories that I am sharing - it is them that make me who I am. The more diversity I see, the more everything falls into a balanced relativity.
I try to meet every person with a maximum level of empathy tolerance and understanding for his/her particular situation. The most valuable souvenirs I have taken from traveling are not artefacts stored in my cupboard, not even pictures on my walls - its the things I have learned from the people I met. My Blog is about more than sharing healthy food or nice restaurants. I am trying to make it about Life Quality. I am trying to share that without making it sound cheesy. I am happy that you are here and reading my stories.
At this point I would like to thank everyone of you for your kindest feedbacks (be it supportive or critical) I appreciate every interaction and response. Thank you for being a part of my Journey.