Dubai Europe & The Middle East

Dubai – From Al’s Eyes

I promised myself that I would let Jon blog about Dubai since I have been hogging the blogging (I swear I didn’t make that rhyme on purpose), however on this flight to Jordan after a long, long day in the Dubai airport I was struck with inspiration and wanted to share some of my impressions of our first stop, Dubai. I will try to be brief!

Dubai is a city of incredible contrast. The difference between the dusty old Arabian city, where life is centred around the creek and the new city with huge condo developments, beaches, shiny malls and fancy everything is mind-boggling.

We spent our first, jet-lagged day in the former and I don’t think either one of us was convinced. However, days 2- 4 when we got to experience the latter in the life of an ex-pat in all it’s air-conditioned glory made me do a 180 on my feelings about the city. Highlights from this part of Dubai included the highly recommended tour of Jumeira Mosque tour, the vast malls full of wonders like indoor ski-hills and (believe it or not) Marble Slab, the excellent Desert Safari, going and going back again to apple sheesha, the even more highly recommended water park, the ever-present view of the almost complete and exceedingly tall Burj Dubai, and the chance to go to the very good but maybe not the “best-bar-in-the-world” (as voted by someone or other).


Adding to our experience was the time we spent with Jon’s friends from school Liisa and Jared who relocated to the UAE last August and our friend Greg who was there studying-for-his-bar-exams/visiting-Liisa-and-Jared-in-Dubai. Liisa was an excellent tour guide during the day and both she and Jared were fountains of information and it was so much fun to catch up with Greg!


We even went back to the old dusty Dubai on our last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were finally found the Spice Souk (market) and were dazzled by glitzy gold and diamonds in the Gold Souk. Last night we took some time out to eat street shwarma, and drink cold fresh fruit juice and watch this totally different Dubai go by. I have to say, I quite liked it the second time around.

Taking off today on our Royal Jordanian flight to Amman, Jordan we flew over the World and the Palm (for the uninitiated, the reclaimed land projects, shaped like the world and a palm tree that you can apparently see from space) and seeing the grandeur of those projects from the air was an entirely apt flavour on which to end to our visit.

… It seems like I didn’t do a great job of keeping this post brief, I guess sensory overload like that doesn’t easily translate into few words!


  1. Oooooooooh it sounds wonderful! I want to go to Dubai! That Apple Sheesha is pretty good isn’t it?! There will be a lot more of that when you get to Turkey….Mmmmm Turkey…..

  2. It sounds amazing. I’ll have to make my way there at some stage.
    It would be so cool to actually see the we saw on that documentary we watched on Christmas day!

  3. It appears that Jonathan may have forgotten how to write. He’s probably pulling together PowerPoints of the trip to walk us thru over Chrsitmas!

    Dubai is all that you described, and more. It’s a bizarre corner of the world – Disney, Las Vegas, Neverland and Lawrence of Arabia all at the same time. Can’t wait to see your pictures!

    Hope you’re having fun in Jordan!

    Love from the SutersinFlorida

  4. okay, so im quite computer challenged… how do I comment on your pics? WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING ALLISON???

    REPLY FROM AP: Apple Sheesha… yum!!!

  5. Dubai is on Branon and my list. We will make it there with in 5 years, maybe sooner after reading how wonderful it is!

    Are you remembering to keep your eye out for a baby for me. Or getting me some contact info?

    Reply from AP: Hmm, I don’t remember this talk of getting you a baby? Where from?

  6. Sheesha sheesha sheesha sheesha!

    Books I highly recommend for this leg of your journey: A Thousand Splendid Suns and the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini…

    Mmmmm… Sheesha!

  7. apple sheesha! nice! great pics from Dubai, you guys! keep up the good work and travel safe!


  8. A message from your MOTHER:
    1. uber cool pictures
    2. love the inuksuk
    3. are you being careful on those rocks?
    4. WHAT are you smoking?
    Don’t make me come over there…..

  9. Hi Jonathan & Allison:

    Pictures look wonderful and it sounds like you are both already having an amazing time.

    How is Turkey? Roark has a chance to go there next June.

    Looking forward to reading more about you travels.

    Take care,

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