Dubai - A Booming City

Dubai Nights (01) by MeetaK
A stuning warm night - the view from my bedroom

I can't say I do not slightly enjoy the impressive and envious looks from friends when I tell them I am going to be visiting my parents in Dubai for a few weeks. In all honesty I am a modest person - but there is a certain thing that fills me with pride when I see their expressions.

What I can almost always expect is the one I question I am always asked.

"Is Dubai beautiful?"

No - not really!

At least not at first sight. Dubai is a fast paced, booming city, where the time it takes you to bat an eye lash, a new superlative has been crossed and literally stumped out of the sand. The world's tallest building - in Dubai, the world's largest man-made islands - in Dubai, the
world's tallest hotel - in Dubai, the world's largest mall, you can even buy a piece of the World in Dubai.

Burj Dubai(01) by MeetaK
The Burj Dubai - the tallest building in the World

Dubai resembles one huge building site, where one stumbles from one site to another. Traffic jams, dusty and chaotic. These would be the words that describe Dubai on first impression.

Burj Dubai(02) by MeetaK
The Burj Dubai - the tallest building in the World

A fairly young country, the modern emirate of Dubai was created with the formation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. So, there is very little one can find in history books about the region. I remember when I lived in the region, Dubai was a dormant city. Looking back now I can't help to compare it to a sleeping giant, that has awoken to take on the world by storm.

Dubai Bird Sanctuary by MeetaK
Dubai Bird Sanctuary with the impressive Skyline as a backdrop

People seem to think that Dubai is all glitter. The image everyone has of Dubai is of ultra-modern skyscrapers, opulent interior decoration, luxury, five-star treatment everywhere.

Well it does of course but there is more than just that.

Dubai Creek by MeetaK
The "old" Dubai on the Creek

One has to look a little deeper to find the charm Dubai offers. It is a city full of contradictions and opposites. A place where you can ski on snow topped slopes in the morning and spend the afternoon basking in the warm sun. Stroll through charming old souks one afternoon and the next, shop at high class shopping malls. Spend a weekend on a desert safari or take in the beauty on a beautiful mountain oasis. Where old windtowers stand tall against a skyline of skyscrapers, old wooden fisher Dhows sway gently in the harbor next to expensive yachts. Where old conservative Arabic culture meets the modern Western world. Nowhere else will you see a Muslim lady covered from head to toe in her black Abaya standing next to a European lady dressed in a mini skirt.

Mosque in Sharjah by MeetaK
A Mosque on the Sharjah Lagoon

Mosaic ceiling by MeetaK
An old traditional mosaic ceiling in a new and fancy shopping mall

Dubai Ski by MeetaK
Skiing in the morning

Dubai Beach by MeetaK
The Beach in the afternoon

I look at Dubai with other eyes too. Dubai and the Persian Gulf region is a part of my own childhood. A place where I grew up and spent some of the happiest times in my life. A place I always am sentimental about because that's where my parents are. It's a place I long to be in when I am far from it and when I am there look vainly for peaceful moments that I have found here. I love the beaches, sun and sand, but miss the seasons here. I enjoy the hustle and bustle but yearn for the serenity. Even in me Dubai creates a turmoil of contradicting feelings.

Sharjah Skyline by MeetaK
The Sharjah Skyline - a view from my parents living room

Dubai Sunrise (01) by MeetaK
A misty morning - a view from my bedroom

When in Dubai I simply enjoy spending relaxing days with my parents, going for walks on the lagoon just outside their apartment building, spending the day with Soeren at the hotel pool or beach where my dad works and of course eating all of the food I miss here!

Dubai Sunrise (03) by MeetaK
A misty morning - a view from my bedroom

Dubai Sweets (02) by MeetaK
Indulging in my favorite sweets

Dubai Sweets (01) by MeetaK
Indulging in my favorite sweets

Dubai Eats by MeetaK
Dining out with my family

Dubai Eats by MeetaK
Relaxing under the palm trees

Dubai Beach by MeetaK
Walking towards the ocean

Dubai Pier by MeetaK
A pier at the beach

It's never really a tourist holiday for us in Dubai but I have to admit even I am always left speechless at the incredible projects being created there. However, my favorite places are the "older" parts of Dubai. The old spice markets or a walk along the Creek, in my eyes is where the true charm of the city is portrayed with an inner beauty one does not expect in such a city.

Dubai Temple by MeetaK
Colorful threads at the Hindu Temple

There is a lot of glamor and glitter on first sight, in Dubai, and even though some will leave your head shaking and some will leave you in awe. Looking deeper and beyond all that you will find it - the real beauty - hidden in a beautiful misty morning, or a full moon over a twinkling city, or the colorful flowers at the Hindu temple or simply the glitter of thousands of colorful bangles.

Dubai Sunrise (02) by MeetaK
A misty morning - a view from my bedroom

Dubai Temple Flowers by MeetaK
Colorful flowers at the Hindu Temple

Dubai Bangles by MeetaK
Glittering of Bangles

Dubai Nights (02) by MeetaK
Full moon over a twinkling city

Just a few of the things I love Dubai for.

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2007 Meeta Albrecht unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved Please Ask First
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  1. Wow! The sheer opulence is mind-boggling!

    Haven't been to Dubai yet, but I can totally understand your drawing towards the traditional - old souks and such - that was a huge draw for ne when I visited Morocco.

  2. Beautiful pictures Meeta...the place where we grew is always so sentiment..and if its this

  3. Thanks Meeta, for the wonderful glimpse of Dubai. I have been only once in Dubai at the airport on transit. And as you mention in your post I thought the whole of Dubai must be opulent:) After seeing your post and pictures I long to make a visit....

  4. I had no idea, what an intriguing place.

  5. You've managed to stun me again Meeta. That is simply one of the best photo walks through a city I've ever seen! Really stunning photos.

  6. Atlast!! I was waiting to see Dubai through your eyes!!
    Wonderfully written and fantastic pictures!!! those skyscrapers look magnificient!!

  7. ive been to dubai a zillion times... but never seen it looking so beautiful.... thanks meeta for all the breathtaking pictures....

  8. lovely pics and an amazing write up :)

    A lot of it sounds like Gurgaon :)

  9. Beautiful pictures...envious of those magnificent views you got from your bedroom window...and of course, drooling over those sweets.

  10. I love the picture esp the ones with flowers and bangles.

  11. Hi Meeta,
    Another person who grew up in Dubai here. I enjoy your blog. Your pics do justice to Dubai :)
    Just wanted to know - are you the same Meeta who studied at IHS? Best friend Chitra? Class-Topper?

  12. lovely post. glad you and soeren had a great time.

  13. Beautiful Pix and post! glad u had a wonderful time!

  14. Hi Meeta,

    Such beautiful photos. We plan to visit Dubai soon, but after seeing ur photos, wish we were there already.

    Thanks for a peek at ur life there.

  15. Meeta,this was a great piece of travelogue to read on...enjoyed the pics a lot....virtual tour was really nice...thanks a lot fro sharing!


  16. Beautiful pictures.
    I loved the first pic the most. It is like gold......
    Hope you had your fill of the sweets and bought some of those bangles :-)

  17. You missed one - the biggest energy footprint in the world! Naturally.

    India seems to be well represented - even the orange flowers from the South; we don't get them here in Delhi!

    Fabulous pics. AS always.

  18. One of my contacts who lives in Abu Dhabi, posted some pictures of the Mosque on the Sharjah Lagoon.

    It was beautiful inside.

    Meeta, Love to see all the pictures here

  19. I am totally in love with Dubai thru ur pics Meeta esp the ones from ur bedroom. Awesome Awesome..:) I was totally speechless by the end of the post Meeta. Thanks for sharing with all of us..:D

  20. I loved the view from your window, the beach, the sweets and of course, the lovely colorful bangles!!! nice photo essay Meeta!


  21. Thank you so much for all your lovely comments. I am really excited that you liked my review about Dubai. I also appreciate all the kind words and motivation. Hugs to you all!

  22. beautiful pics...really stunning...i havent been to dubai yet...looks fab...wish to visit some day..

  23. I love love the pics, I haven't been home in almost 7 years and I miss it so much. Enjoy your stay there.. and please have a shawarma from Al Mallah for me!

  24. A great review Meeta, you said it well! And stunning pics too... I have been to Dubai once, amazing shopping and some good food , thats all I remember :)

  25. What a feast for the eyes! Thank you!

  26. Thanks for sharing this with us!


  27. What a awesome post Meeta! I was hooked from start to finish! Dubai is quite close to us and there are a lot of my coutrymen who go there for is indeed a city with a lot of lure :) I hope to see it someday! No matter how many places one sees the place where one grew up always has a special hold that can't be topped :)

  28. Beautifull Pics Meeta. Will visit Dubai if possible. But your post has definitely inspired me.

  29. Hi Meeta,
    Your pics are as usual stunning. I have been visiting Dxb over the last 15 years, and it changes every time. I used to love it there, a welcome break from fuddy
    Q8, but now I feel it is loosing something. All that glass and glitter - the concrete jungle-is becoming cold and monotonous and the traffic absolutely takes everything else away! But one good thing I love there is the food.. can you believe I got to feast on a Rajasthani thali there but didnt get anything like it when I visited Rajasthan last year! Angela

  30. Thanks so much for all the grand feedback. Hope I was able to bring the inner beauty of Dubai a little closer to you!

  31. oh my goodness, after viewing your captivating vacation-photos from Dubai, I feel as if I was there!! I'm completely awe-struck by that mosaic ceiling, especially!! so gorgeous!!

  32. What impresses me about Dubai is how a desert has been turned into a bustling city with even artificial islands. The property is so expensive there. I have watched a documentary on it and I was so blown away by it.

  33. Dubai here I come! I was asked if I wanted to work in Dubai,its something I'm considering. I'm just wondering, it it true that everything is very expensive?

  34. Thanks for a lovely visit Meeta. It reflects perfectly everything I had been reading about the region. Gorgeous pictures!

  35. Such a beautiful post- I really didn't know anything about Dubai, thanks for sharing such wonderful pictures and descriptions.

  36. That's lovely photograph. Good to have an insight about a place via a photograph.

  37. Appreciate all the great comments about the photography and I am really glad you liked the review!

  38. Thank you so much for sharing this insight into what looks like an amazing, diverse, colourful and awe inspiring city!!

    Your photographs are wonderful, you are so lucky to have grown up in such a place.

  39. Thank you so much for sharing this insight into what looks like an amazing, diverse, colourful and awe inspiring city!!

    Your photographs are wonderful, you are so lucky to have grown up in such a place.

  40. maan this is soo beautiful
    i love itt
    i love dubai
    never been there
    but i love it
    love the pictures


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