Being Thankful
in Dubai...
Racing camels.
November 21, 2007

I discovered something yesterday. Something very, very good. Alex lives just blocks away from my beloved Lime Tree Café!
What are the odds in such a big city that he would live just a 5-minute walk away? Can anybody guess where my day started?

From there, I moseyed on over to the still-impressive-to-me Jumeirah Mosque. I didn’t go in and get my tutorial on Islam like
I did last time, but I did make a lap around the thing to take in all of the views.

Other than this, I just led a life of somebody in the developed world – stopped in a shopping center and looked at the stores
and then went into a bookstore (that has an intellectual camel as their logo – how could I
not go in?) that had every book under
the sun. I’ve been so used to seeing counterfeit books that it almost felt strange looking at so many books that are properly

Oh my gosh. It just dawned on me that it’s Thursday. That means it is Thanksgiving in this part of the world (though not at
home yet). For some reason, I don’t foresee turkey this year. Or cranberry sauce. Or stuffing. I think all of those things might
take a backseat to alcohol.

In any case, maybe I should say things I am thankful for on this day…

Having a friend who is putting me up in his house.
Being in a country that has stores that are fun to browse around in.
Being in a city with one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
Staying so close to the Lime Tree Café.
That the weather out here is absolutely gorgeous.
That I am in a city I love.
That we are going drinking tonight.

I realize there isn’t much depth to this list. I’m in a simple mood right now…and I’m okay with that.

November 23, 2007


Things I am not thankful for (as it is Thanksgiving at home right now): the excruciating hangover I have this morning.

We went with Alex’s friend to several bars last night starting from very nice at Cin Cin in the Fairmont and only going downhill
from there. I must say that the further down you go, the better the people-watching options are. I don’t even know what time
we got home last night. I know it was after 3:30am. I wish I didn’t even know that. There’s no point knowing information like
this. It just reminds me how little sleep I got.

After getting sick this morning, taking Advil, drinking water and having a shower, I feel a bit more functional.


But then it was the cappuccino at the Lime Tree Café that made me a normal person once again. And let me just say how
thankful I was for that!

From there, Alex and I hit the streets while he took me on a tour of Dubai.

We pretty much saw it all. The first stop on our ‘Day o’ Dubai’ was the Burj Dubai – what is going to be the tallest building in
the world. Everything is in the process of being constructed – from hotels to residences to a lake to the surrounding office
buildings to the tower itself.

We then ventured to the other end of Jumeirah Beach. This was where my trip started with Lea three years ago. We spent our
first night at the Sheraton which was a remote property back then. The only thing surrounding it was lots and lots of
construction. Now all of those buildings are completed and make up the ‘Jumeirah Beach Residences’. It is crazy to see all of
the buildings that have gone up since I was last here. Just near here is the famous ‘Palm Island’. We drove down the trunk of
the palm tree – we went as far as non-residents were allowed to go. It was kind of cute seeing a sign that said ‘Fronds and
Crescent’ that took people to their villas that are placed on the fronds of the palm tree and the crescent that surrounds it. Oh.
And the right side of the trunk has quite amazing views of the Burj-al-Arab.

From here we went down to the beach and marina area near Alex’s house where there is a view of the Burj-al-Arab from the
other side. I have to point out how beautiful the color of the Arabian Gulf is – stunning shades of blue.

Next, I told Alex about my love of camels. He said “Why didn’t you tell me?” He then directed the car towards Nad al Sheba –
the camel racecourse that has camel pens in the nearby areas. I got my camel fix along with my fix for ‘camel crossing’ signs.
From here we could see the view of the Dubai skyline and it was now apparent just how tall the Burj Dubai is.

As we were driving to the Dubai Marina, Alex pointed out where Dubailand is going to be. It is going to be the largest theme
park in the world and will have an Epcot vibe to it. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect so we sat outside at the Park
Hyatt Marina to have a drink while looking at the Dubai skyline.

On our way home he drove through Deira which is the ‘old’ area of Dubai where the creek and the souks are. For some reason,
it was more picturesque than I remembered. Part of me might even want to head out there on Sunday to spend a couple hours
out there. Who knows if that will happen? But it’s a thought.  

Today just confirmed how much I love this city…


Tonight was kind of a ‘bust’. I think it was because we didn’t get the memo about it being gangsta night at the Apartment (the
club in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel). With the help of some beers, it wasn’t as bad. Yet it was still a bit on the painful side. Yes,
there were many people-watching possibilities. But some of them were just plain disturbing between what the girls were
wearing and how they were dancing. It was time to call it a night.
The Jumeirah Mosque at night.
The Burj Dubai on the left.
Back to UAE.