The upside of a sleepless night in the desert? The sunrise.

The upside of a sleepless night in the desert? It’s really easy to get up early for the sunrise.

20120512-215943.jpg Continue reading “The upside of a sleepless night in the desert? The sunrise.”

From the glass towers of Dubai to the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi

Right now, I’m sitting in a building of sorts at the Jebel Shems Heights Guesthouse in the Hajar Mountains in Oman. It’s a beautiful, almost lunar landscape. There are few people around, no Internet connection, and not much to do once you’ve been for a hike and the sun is setting, so it’s a perfect opportunity for a couple of catch-up posts once we do connect again.

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Continue reading “From the glass towers of Dubai to the sand dunes of Abu Dhabi”

Dubai is a tale of two cities

So far, we’ve definitely seen the luxury side of Dubai. To be honest, it hasn’t felt at all like the Middle East we’ve experienced in the past. While cities like Amman and Cairo have their developed aspects, Dubai is in a different universe. The metro here makes the one at home look rather “developing”, especially when you find out it was built in three years.

So it was time to leave the world of the ultra rich – both because we couldn’t afford to stay and wouldn’t want to – and head, for lack of a better phrase, back to reality. Not our reality, but a reality for many people.

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Continue reading “Dubai is a tale of two cities”

Living Large In Dubai

What’s the saying? When in Dubai do as the Emiratis? Something like that. As we’re starting this trip in Dubai, we decided we’d kick it off with a taste of the highlife.

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You’ve likely heard of the Palm Jumeirah, one of two man-made items visible from space, it’s an artificial archipelago built in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Dubai. It’s somewhat symbolic of the over-the-top construction in Dubai, so we decided to spend our first couple of days on the islands at the Atlantis Palm hotel. Continue reading “Living Large In Dubai”

Turns out the Emirates A380 doesn’t guarantee bliss

Blood curdling screams and foul stench! Yes, this is life on one of the world’s fanciest airline’s state-of-the-art planes.

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The A380 may be the world’s largest passenger plane, and Emirates one of the world’s best airlines, but that does not guarantee a luxury experience. For all the technology and size, your flight still comes with one thing common to all flights, passengers. If you’re unlucky, some of passengers are small, but surprisingly loud, and others, well, let’s just say not everyone’s as fond of deodorant as they should be.

It would be fair to say that we had high expectations when we decided to fly to Dubai with Emirates. I mean, we knew we weren’t going to be up in a private suite or even in business class with access to the in-flight bar, but we thought it would be pretty fancy. Continue reading “Turns out the Emirates A380 doesn’t guarantee bliss”

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