I went back to Dubai last weekend for the first time since 'the accident.' I felt quite safe as we were in a ginormous 4-wheel drive. My previous impressions of Dubai were that it was one huge construction site with unreasonble heat, traffic accidents and ridiculously big shopping malls.
This time it was a magic place. At sunset we wandered through the narrow cobblestone laneways of a souk near a river where dhows were making their way up and down and the call to prayer was sounding in the background. (The cost of a dhow trip is Dh1 unless you are a westerner in which case they'll try to charge Dh10. If you happen to be Japanese it seems that the cost is likely to be Dh100. The thing to do apparently is to hand over Dh1 and laugh if they try to tell you it is more.) We'll save the dhow trip until next time as the spice market across the river wasn't open; and that seems to be the place to go.
That evening we went out for dinner and had drinks on a lantern-lit terrace by a river upon which once again dhows were criss crossing. It was beautiful; straight out of a fairytale. I wouldn't have been too surprised if Aladdin had flown by on a magic carpet. The weekend was topped off by getting up at 8am on Saturday morning just in time to watch the Australian Football League Grand Final live from Melbourne. A sensational, unexpected treat; and Geelong won for the first time in over 40 years - way to go Geelong!
So what do I think of Dubai? Well, it has bad days, but it definitely has good days too.