10 June 2012

Week 1: The United Arab Emirates

My flight left Detroit at 7-something pm and arrived in Abu Dhabi, UAE, via Amsterdam, at 10.30 pm the next day.  To say I had jet lag was a serious understatement!  It took me two days to recover to a point where I wasn't overwhelmingly exhausted during the day and wide awake at night.

On Tuesday, my friend Therisa and I visited the Moreeb Dunes.  Beauty comes in many forms and I never imagined there could ever be such majesty in sand!  Holy!  The ripples and formations are simply stunning.  The wind has so much power and yet is gentle and almost deliberate in how it shapes the mounds of sand.


 Um...park where exactly?  In the second photo, sand covers half of the road.

Later Tuesday evening, we visited the home of one of Therisa's friends for a prayer meeting.  It was my first time reading from the Qur'an and I found the verse and discussion very inspiring.

Thursday afternoon, I took a bus into Abu Dhabi.  Unfortunately, I do not have a single photo of the capital as I underestimated the intensity of the sun.  I walked around in the blazing heat for about an hour and had to retreat to the air conditioning of a local mall.  The heat was too much for me and I am *always* cold!
On Thursday evening, Therisa and I ventured out to Dubai.  Oh.  My.  Gosh.  I have to go back!  Two days in Dubai is not nearly enough to see and experience half of the city.  I was able to visit the Textile Souk (market), the Gold Souk (yes a market of vendors selling nothing but gold) as well as tour Dubai Creek and Jumeriah Palm.  I attempted to visit Sheikh Al Maktoum's palace, but the heat was seriously oppressive and I couldn't walk that far.

on the Big Bus tour
fabric store in the Textile Souk; closed for prayer until after 2p on Fridays
just one of many beautiful mosques
on my way to the Jumeirah Palm Island

The Palm Islands are man-made archipelagos created by dredging the gulf floor of sand, bringing it to the surface, and sustaining it with rocks and other matter.  There are three islands of this type:  The Jumeirah Palm (pictured above), the Palm Jebel Ali, and the Palm Deira.  Each island is shaped like a palm tree, encased in a crescent.  The pictures do not adequately show the magnitude of these islands.  The Jumeriah Palm is the smallest of three and it is HUGE; the distance from the top of the palm tree to the crescent is one mile.  Dubai also has a fourth archipelago under construction; this set of islands will mimic the shapes of the countries of the world.

apartment buildings on the main road (Jumeirah Palm)
Atlantis Hotel (on the crescent of the Jumeirah Palm)

 The crescent of the island is reached via tunnel.  In the above picture, we are approaching the tunnel entrance. 

the Persian Gulf

The Burj Al Arab (7-star hotel shaped like a sailboat)
The UAE is situated in the desert, yet there is a plethora of green vegetation:  grass, shrubs, palm trees, etc.  Forestry is achieved by an enormous network of irrigation tubes throughout the entire country.  Desalinization plants exist and are in continuous operation to assist in this effort.  Below is a picture of some flowering shrubs and the tubes used to keep them hydrated.

If the heat is too much for you and you want to get your ski on, visit the indoor ski slope - complete with real snow.  Being from Michigan, I think I'll pass...

 Mass transit anyone? The picture below is of a metro station. 

Below is a picture of the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa.  From the base to the tip, the building spans one half a mile (over 2700 feet).  This was the only way I could get a full shot of the building from my viewpoint.  I didn't have time to take a tour, but I will on my second trip!

I didn't buy many sewing items in Dubai.  I picked up some underwear elastic (about 20 yards for $5.50), Rigilene boning for about a dollar, a belt buckle, and two pieces of fabric. While waiting on my connecting flight in Amsterdam, I picked up the latest edition of Knipmode, which featured an special skirt edition.

I had a good time in the UAE and definitely look forward to going back soon.  In the next post, I'll discuss my second week abroad in Italy.

On the sewing front, my red silk dress is almost complete.  I inserted the lining and just need to sew the side seams and hem!

Until next time, be well!



  1. Looks like an amazing experience! Good luck recovering from the jet lag!

  2. How cool! Looks like you had an amazing time!

  3. Beautiful pictures! Kudos to you on having a great time!

  4. Whst an awesome trip! Thanks for sharing your great photos!


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