DUBAI – A LEGENDARY AND LUXURIOUS WORLD
A 5-day trip to Dubai at the beginning of October helped me experience impressive feeling of an Arabian styled adventure. Dubai – where contrast constituted cachet and glamorous attraction challenged human imagination strongly by the thought that “Nothing is impossible to come true”.
Dubai in the past and at present
I arrived at Dubai International Airport after 7 hours on a direct flight of the five-star Emirates Airline from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. My first feeling was strong admiration of richness and splendidness of architectural works with declaration “Impossibility has become possibility”!
Upon arrival at Dubai Museum, we learnt about the history of development of this city, which strongly impacted on my initial thought of Dubai being wealth by nature. In Dubai, there used to be two main occupations namely fishing and pearl diving, but after 50 years since the successful exploration of oil field, Dubai has determined to develop at the number 1 level in the world in all aspects ranging from the world’s highest skyscrapers, most luxurious hotels, to the world’s most rapid economic growth and also the world’ most famous authentic luxurious goods paradise. That is a real image that I have seen today.
Sitting on a 24-seat car running at speed 100 km/h on streets with at least 8 lanes, I absorbedly viewed scenery though the car window, with a series of flyovers ahead and busy metro system…The car gradually ran in the inner city, scenery here was very animated, and streets were incredibly clean in the Islamic land. On both sides of the main line, there were a series of splendid skyscrapers; suddenly I wondered “whether it is a desert land?” In October, the weather in Dubai was relatively fine – for visitors coming from Vietnam. The distance from the hotel where I stayed to the city center was very short. The first destination I visited was an “incredible” but very unique work – the world’s highest skyscraper Burj Khalifa (828m) which looked like a sharp giant needle as if it was tearing the sky, and dimmed against any other skyscraper in the world. Named after the President of the UAE, the design of Burj Khalifa was derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture with Y-shaped foundation and built on a simplified shape of a 3-petal flower on the desert. This skyscraper was inaugurated in 2010 and one year later, Tom Cruise - a film star hired this skyscraper as the background for actions in the film “Mission Impossible 4” which became more famous. After one minute of getting on super-speed elevator, I set foot on the 124th floor which was the highest point allowed to visit. Standing here and looking down, I found that buildings, interlaced expressways below became very small in my eyes, and immense desert from afar only with sand and sand…
Not only with Burj Khalifa, Dubai also had impressive buildings with mixed Islamic and Western architectural styles, one of which was the world’s highest sail-shaped 7-star hotel known as Burj Al Arab (321m), especially the world’s largest artificial islands - Palm Islands off the coast of Dubai. Such “incredible” works made Dubai become the world’s famous tourist destination.
If skyscrapers had not fully made me admired, a visit to the world’s largest gold market - Gold Souk made me more surprised. Here, there were over 200 big and small shops trading in gold, jewelry, and diamond. Walking in the market, I seemed to live in a real story of One Thousand and One Nights. Each shop was an “Alibaba’s treasure” with different kinds of gold, silver, and valuables which dazzled any visitor as coming here. It is known that the Government of Dubai strictly controlled quality of goods so that visitors could feel secured and not fear of buying counterfeits. Nearby, it was a spice market offering hundreds of spices with different colors and flavor that made me hard to ignore tasting. Especially, everyone was hardly hesitant to buy date jam with moreish sweet flavor.
Safari desert, where you conquer yourself
A part from visiting world records of Dubai, I also had opportunity to try “strong feeling” on Safari desert. A young driver concurrently acting as a tourist guide Ali Mohammad picked me up by a new Land Cruiser car to conquer the desert. Passing over a road section across the desert, we stopped at a transient station for everyone to prepare Arabic scarf and for the driver to release tyre pressure a little bit before entering the desert with meandering sand dulls. The driver turned on animated Arabian music to further increase animation for us in our experiencing travel. He skillfully drove up and down sand dulls, sometime ran along sand slopes. The car stopped at a high hilltop for visitors to take photographs, especially to contemplate the sunset on the desert where the sun gradually set at the immense desert horizon. In spite of adventurousness, you would completely feel secured because any driver allowed to drive on desert terrains must spend 6 years of hard exercise in order to be possible for passing a driving test and getting a driving license and drivers also understood the tactics of driving in group and waiting for one another in order to ensure safety for the whole group.
My adventure on the desert was ended at a tent named “Al Sahara”. After a round of riding on camel’s back to have photograph taken, mainly intended for “showing off”, I enjoyed an outdoor roasted BBQ party in Arabian style in small tents with candle light and fanciful light of the stage and absorbedly contemplated beautiful female dancers in the traditional belly-dances with animated music…
Uniqueness of Dubai was also the shopping paradise for shopaholics interested in authentic luxurious goods from all over the world. With the policy on duty free and “sales off” up to 70%, Dubai attracted a lot of visitors coming from all over the world. In Dubai, I saw Islamic women in their black clothes taking luxurious handbags of Gucci, Louis Vuitton or Prada…and wore extremely luxurious jewelries. At big shopping malls such as Emirates Mall, Dubai Mall, buyers could easily find authentic luxurious goods of famous trademarks such as Hermes, Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Armani, D&G,…As coming here at the end of the year, you would have opportunity to buy goods with discount up to 50 – 70% ranging from fashionable clothes, perfume, cosmetics, gold, electronic devices, car…
A short trip to Dubai left in my mind much of impressive reminiscences of the splendid Middle East where you could wallow in a marvelous world, escape from the being. Proud of the world’s biggest “incredible” works, Dubai was a typical milestone for possibilities by the vision and determination.
+ “DUBAI - ABU DHABI” TOUR (4 days - 4 nights)
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Departure: 14, 21/11; 5, 12, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31/12/2013
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