"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years." - Abraham Lincoln

Posted on November 20, 2016 by Sioux under General
3 Comments

 

The first human settlement in the history of Dubai was in approximately 3000 BC, when the area was inhabited by nomadic cattle herders. The area was sustained by fishing and pearl diving for a thousand years, with the first records of the town being made in 1799.

 

The invention of artificial pearls in 1926 and the Great Depression in 1929 caused a collapse in the international pearl market, which resulted in Sheikh Saeed looking for an alternative source of income and Dubai becoming one of the leading re-export ports in the world.

 

In 1966, oil was discovered in Dubai, which changed the country beyond recognition and led to Dubai becoming the vibrant, modern, business-centered city it is today. 

The fort is the oldest existing building in Dubai and includes several dioramas                                                                                         portraying life in the emirate before the advent of oil.

 

Al Fahidi Fort was built in several phases. The oldest tower was built around 1787 and is believed to be the oldest building in Dubai that still exists today. The fort was used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighboring tribes. It has also served, at various times throughout history as the ruler’s palace, a garrison, and a prison. Al Fahidi Fort is square-shaped with towers occupying three of its corners. It was built of coral rock and mortar in several phases. Just off the southern wall lie the remains of the city walls. Next to them stands a tall dhow (traditional boat) in the middle of a large courtyard that covers the underground galleries. Two cannons guard the main gate to the fort on the eastern wall, adorned by flags of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. 

Getting around on the still-new metro rail system was an experience as the trains are driverless. Sitting at the front of the train, watching the view out the front window as we sped along was somewhat surreal.

The Burj Khalifa known as the Burj Dubai before its inauguration, is a mega-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and standing at 829.8m, it is the tallest structure in the world. Construction began in 2004, with the exterior completed 5 years later in 2009. The design is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region. It holds 18 world records from being the tallest building ever built, to having the world’s highest observation deck on the 148th floor at 555m. During low tides and dustless horizons, you can see the shores of Iran from the top, giving the term ‘skyscraper’ a whole new meaning!

We took a water taxi across the bay to The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall based on total square area.  Due to it being Ramadan, the malls were devoid of people during the day, and purchasing of food was not easy. Food Courts for non-Muslims were set aside, for purchasing only, no food was allowed to be consumed in any public areas; so we could look but didn’t buy. Not easy!

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of

indoor ski area. Opened in 2005, the indoor resort features an

85metre-high indoor mountain with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a 400metre-long run, the world’s first indoor black diamond run, and various other features.

 

A quad lift and a tow lift carry skiers and snowboarders up the mountain. Adjoining the slopes

is a 3,000-square-metre Snow Park play area comprising sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and an ice cave.

 

Ski Dubai also houses a number of penguins who are let out of their enclosures several times a day, allowing the public to interact directly with the penguins.    

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To wash the 24,348 windows, totaling 120,000m2 of glass, a

horizontal track was installed on the exterior of the building at levels

40, 73, and 109. Each track holds a 1,500kg bucket machine which

moves horizontally and then vertically using heavy cables.

 

Above level 109, and up to tier 27, traditional cradles from davits are used. The top of the spire, however, is reserved for specialist window cleaners, who brave the heights and high winds, dangling on ropes to clean and inspect the top of the pinnacle. Under normal weather conditions, and when all building maintenance units will be operational, it will take 36 workers three to four months to clean the entire exterior façade. 

The Burj Khalifa at night

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The Human Waterfall in Dubai Mall comprises two cylindrical structures, 30m in diameter and 24m high, with an overhead reservoir feeding recycled water.

 

With the wall being well-lit at night and designed to reflect sunlight by day, the fiberglass divers look like they are suspended in mid-air, while the water cascades down the wall behind them.   

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is a giant sized fish-tank inside the Mall, containing thousands of fish and other underwater wildlife for visitors and residents to watch. If you want to get closer to the sharks you can pay to walk through a tunnel which takes you through the tank. I just loved the way the lights inside the mall were creating rainbow-like reflections on the windows.

My dear friend trudged along while I explored all over, through a souk and on to the Dubai Museum, the main museum in

Dubai, located in the Al Fahidi Fort. 

My friends treated me to dinner on a dhow and a river cruise. 

 

Her hubby met up with us and we ate as we cruised.

 

Even with a slight breeze it was extremely hot and once the cruise was done, we were all happy the head home to the cool airconditioned house.

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3 responses to “Middle East part 2 – high high high…”

  1. Pauline Smith says:

    Oh my word, that looks absolutely awesome.. The human waterfall looks so real.
    The evening cruise whilst dining – Penny and I did that when I was in Singapore. The only downside of that was we couldn’t chat, eat the superb meal and watch the scenery all at the same time! We decided to eat and look first, talk later on the bus home…

  2. jackie says:

    wow just wow – how awesome are these

  3. Ursula Evans says:

    When I see your pictures, all I want to do is hop on a plane

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