"Not all those who wander are lost..." - J R R Tolkien
September 26, 2004
City of Gold
Dubai is a city of contrast, where the old and new, traditional and modern blend to produce a fascinating and exciting place. A colorful mixture of people and cultures bring to the city a unique combination of influences. Last night we had a good rest. This morning, with the help of the concierge we went to Meena Bazaar at Bur Dubai for a shopping spree. This area is noted as Dubai’s bargain area. The streets are lined with stores selling textile. Bought quite a variety of materials for everyone that we could think of. Even had some sent to the tailor to be collected before we go back to KL. Went to the nearby Al-Fahidi Fort, which houses the Dubai Museum. The museum displays colorful and evocative diodramas, complete with life-size figure, sound and light effects. Quite impressive. I had my hand henna-painted there.
In the evening we joined the City tour. The route took us through the fascinating city where modern buildings tower over historical monuments and traditional dwellings. Stopped at the Gold Souk and bought two gold bracelets and a diamond ring. It was sunset when we reached the sandy beach of Jumeriah, and Jumeriah Mosque is beautiful by day and by night. Stopped for photo shots of Burj Al-Arab, the award-winning hotel that combines contemporary architecture with rich culture of the Middle East.The tour took 4 hours to complete and by the time we reached our apartment we were famished. Had briani dinner at Ghurair City Mall.
This morning we promised to meet Nor at Deira City Center at 10.30 a.m. He would be flying back to KL tomorrow evening. This would be his last flight with MAS. Effective October he will be joining the Etihad Airways, the new National Airline for UAE. Most probably Niza and kids will be joining him in Abu Dhabi once he has settled accommodation and education arrangements.Nor brought us to Naif district where we met up with a few MAS crew members at one of their favorite restaurants. Together we went to Phulwani Textile shop and had a good bargain. The prices were reasonably cheap and the cloth materials ranged from cool printed cottons to exotic brocades. Fortunately shops closed at 12.30 noon and to open again at 4.00 p.m. If not, would need to buy extra bags for the excess baggage.
September 27, 2004
The Arabian adventures
Pick-up time for the Desert Safari was around 4.30 p.m. The vehicles used for the desert tour were Land Cruisers and driven by well-experienced drivers. Could feel the rush of adrenalin as our safari drivers took us on an hour-long ride amidst ever-shifting sand dunes. Compared to the desert in Mekkah and Madinah, desert in Dubai was more captivating and breathtaking.The ride ended atop the highest sand mountain where we had a wonderful view of the desert sun slowly sinking into the horizon. One could marvel eternally at the magnificent sunset. We continued our journey to the Bedouin campsite where we got a chance to ride the camel. Enjoyed a cup of hot tea as we waited for a sumptuous Arabian barbecue. Later, I tried another round of henna painting around the wrist, and he got himself tattooed too. While lounging on Persian rugs and cushions, we were entertained by a belly dancer moving to the rhythm of Arabic folk music.That night the moon was full. In the middle of the desert, one could feel moments of magic, an experience that would live forever in my memory.
September 28, 2004
End of Emirates Holidays
Waited for the tailor to deliver my Punjabi suits and his pants to the apartment. While waiting, had breakfast at Kudu restaurant at Ghurair City Mall. We checked out at 1 p.m. Took a cab to the airport, where we claimed a one-day refund from the travel agent and stored our baggage. From the airport took a cab to Meena Bazaar to collect another 2 tailored blouses from the textile shop. Later, at the Deira City Centre we bought another bag and while away our time window shopping.At the airport, bought us Armani perfume at a discount. Met some Malaysian transiting from Rabat. Our flight to KL was at 2.15 a.m.
September 29, 2004
Togetherness is Happiness
The flight landed at KLIA around 4 p.m. Bought some chocolates for the kids. Passed by the customs easily with a wave. Told them that we just came back from Umrah, to justify the so many bags. Solat first before we took the ERL. Sara and Saufi were already waiting for us at KL Sentral. We were glad to be home. Glad that the 3 ikan kaloi were still alive and active. Glad that my Spectra and his Honda Shadow could start on a single attempt. We treated ourselves to a special dinner at Sri Thai. The tomyam and ikan siakap masak tiga rasa were so very delicious.
We were tired but happy. And left the unpacking till tomorrow.