2nd day in Dubai

Today was another fabulous day in Dubai – there are some parts of it that is a total La-La Land.  I went out to the exhibit and worked a chunk of the day.  Scott and I then snuck out early and went with my Honeywell friends on a desert safari.  Basically you get picked up in a Chevy Tahoe and they drive  1 hour to get into the desert where you then go 4 wheeling in the sand dunes…then you go to their camp where they have a bbq dinner/henna painting/bellydancing/hubbly bubbly pipe smoking/camel riding and star gazing.  Overall a really good time. Regitze who is a contractor on Honeywell’s staff just like myself used to live in Dubai and her husband worked for the main DMC.  She called and got us hooked up with the best tour guide.  I forgot his name so I will call him “Sam”. Sam has lived in Dubai his entire adult life and was very interesting with  telling us stories on the drive out to the desert.  Dubai is seriously an incredibly big wonderland. I  would like to come back here and do a 10 day vacation and still barely scratch the service. 

After Sam picks us up we go downtown to pick up one last passenger. Her name is Jenny and she is from Sydney.  Jenny is taking a 4 month sebatical from her job and taking 2 of those months to travel the world visiting friends.  It is here that Sam  showed us a section of downtown Dubai that the Sultan of Brunai and I probably mispelled that has bought.  Just another day at the office buying out a 200 block chunk of a major downtown city. All the shop owners have 2 years to relocate and then he is ripping the place to pieces to build his own town and exclusive shopping.  There are also many school buses on the road. I find these very kool. These busses just were switched to the color of yellow.  It used to be that each “school” had they own color of school buses.  This got to be  too confusing so they switched the busses to one color. The concept is still new in Dubai and very much a novelty amoung the locals.

School busses in Dubai

School bus in Dubai

The main drive that takes you out to the desert preservation  is a 6 line highway because it connects several of the other Emiriates to Dubai.  Sam said that it is much cheaper to live elsewhere and drive into Dubai for work. Just like people who work in New York do.  We drove past the Camel Race Track on the way and Sam told us that years ago people would sell their children ( primarliy people from India) to be camel jockies. The children were ranging from 6 – 12 years old.  Then if the children won their races  people who owned the camels would pay the families more money.  To add to the horror of this these children were too young and were getting killed being camel jockies.  Now this is of course against the law and they use robots and remote controls to ride the camels. It is teenagers from 15 – 18 years old who can and dol jockey the camels during practice only.

We then drove past their big outdoor stadium and there was a cricket match going on – Pakastan against New Zealand…further up the street was Universal Studios under contruction. Sam said when it is done it will cost 2.3 billion dollars.  Because of the economy Universal has put the project on hold although it is probably 30% of the way built…further down the road a big discount outlet shopping that has 40% off which is probably a great deal and the bonus of Dubai is they don’t have any taxes on anything. 

Sam also confirmed what Umesh told us the night before – that when you are issued your papers as a citizen of Dubai you are entitled to free healthcare and when you marry another citizen then you get free housing etc.  It did say it is very difficult to get your residency papers. He is in his early 40’s and still doesn’t have them and he has lived in Dubai the majority of his life.

Also on the drive Sam has  Kim read us the rules and regulations of being on the tour.  The last one is no talking to the women and I forget the formal name  in the black robes.  Another woman even a western woman can approach but under no circumstances can a man.  These Muslim women are not allowed to talk to men at all.  If you are at a mall and you see a woman who is dress in full Muslin robes and you think you might be interested in her then you make eye contact with her.  Then you walk past her again and if she makes eye contact with YOU then you know she might be interested. Next you walk by her again and hand her a piece of paper with your name and phone OR you walk by her and throw the piece of paper on the floor hoping she will pick it up.  A long way to how it is done in the states don’t you think?

Kim on the way out to the desert.

Kim on the way out to the desert.

When we get to the desert  Sam has to deflate the tires in order to have traction in the soft desert sand.  While they do this the bring over 3 camels for guests to have their picture taken.  We aren’t allowed to pet the camels just have our picture taken. What struck me the most is how very still camel sit and on their bent knees it has to be uncomfortable.

One Camel, Two Camel, Three Camel

One Camel, Two Camel, Three Camel

Camel Thoughts ~ It's a job ok?

Camel Thoughts ~ It's a job ok?

What amazed is was how soft and fine the sand was in the desert – Scott with Freeman started writing in the sand and taking pictures. I thought it was a good idea an followed suit. My father hasn’t been feeling well so I thought he might enjoy the picture.

Rx for Events

Rx for Events

I Luv You Dad

Luv You Dad

Here are a bunch of jeeps driving - it was like being in a jeep rollercoaster

Here are a bunch of jeeps driving - it was like being in a jeep rollercoaster. It is very common for people to get sick on the tour Each jeep has several barf bags. They tell you when booking the tour don't eat a heavy lunch before going on the tour.

A Jeep that got stuck - someone came and pulled him out in all of 5 minutes everyone was back on their way.  Sam said when someone gets stuck the driver gets teased for the next couple of days.

A Jeep that got stuck - someone came and pulled him out in all of 5 minutes everyone was back on their way. Sam said when someone gets stuck the driver gets teased for the next couple of days.

Here is a picture of a guy in our group taking a picture of the sand dunes. We stopped here to see the sun set before going onto the "camp" site for dinner etc.

Here is a picture of a guy in our group taking a picture of the sand dunes. We stopped here to see the sun set before going onto the "camp" site for dinner etc.

Me, Jenny our Australian friend and Regitze

Me, Jenny our Australian friend and Regitza.

Jenny took this picture of everyone in our group

Jenny took this picture of everyone in our group

The desert preservation is on the border of Dubai and Aman -when we were driving we could see the mountains of Aman.

 

Desert sunset - it was really pretty I am just not a good enough photographer to capture it.

Desert sunset - it was really pretty I am just not a good enough photographer to capture it.

A bunch of people from our group standing on the hillside watching the sun set

A bunch of people from our group standing on the hillside watching the sun set

After the sunset we went to the camp and had dinner yada yada. Before we went we sat around and everyone smoked a hubbly bubbly pipe.  It is very smooth and sweet. Our group (but I didn’t) do green apple.  Scott said it was like smoking an air freshner.

Hubbly Bubbly pipes

Hubbly Bubbly pipes

One the drive home which was an hour back into town no one talked much as we were all very tired for a very fun trip.

This is my story for now and I am sticking to it.

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