For all its skyscrapers, duty free and desert forevers, Dubai definitely does not get enough credit when it comes to plain ol’ tourism. The flashy cars, modern buildings, and obvious grandeur overlap what lies beneath; and as I discovered recently, what lies beneath is nothing short of amazing.
Standing outside the Centro Hotel in the Barsha area, the clouds are brown, and the sun looks like a hazy moon. It just looks like a very windy day but residents say it’s a sandstorm and as workers repeatedly vacuum the dust from the hotel walkway, Sheetal tells me that the storm is a sure sign the weather is about to change.
Unbeknownst to us, the chilly wind was packing its bags and another visitor was coming to hang with the population of about 6 million people, who are responsible for making the emirate’s economy thrive at in excess of $80 billion per year.
Driving around that day and seeing the sand blow on to the roads, while palm trees swayed was a magical experience. Though we stayed indoors to avoid having sand blown into our ears and clothes, I had never seen one before and the sight blew me away.
But that was not it! The marvels of architecture with focus on dazzle and aesthetics was the most profound. Here are the top two outstanding features – for this particular trip.
The skiing slopes in the Mall of the Emirates.
This massive building is not the biggest shopping mall in Dubai but the amount of snow trapped for a skiing adventure within the mall is nothing short of breathtaking. It is designed so that whichever floor you are on, you will be able to see the skiers have some fun.
The dancing fountains of the Dubai Mall.
With the towering Burj Khalifa on one side and several cafes lined up on the other, the dancing fountains are activated at night. Arab music, Britney Spears or popular tracks are played and the fountains rise and dip to the tunes. Each ‘performance’ is started after about 20 minutes have passed. For those living in apartments that overlook the fountains, one can buy and CD and watch the spectacular water display from the confines of your home.