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Our first glimpse of the A380 in Dubai Miracle Garden.

Dubai Miracle Garden: Absurdity in the desert

The taxi ride promised little excitement. It was mid-afternoon and the traffic flowed smoothly past the shiny tall buildings. Impossibly green grass and brilliant pink flowers edged the wide highway, and beyond that we saw sandy vacant lots, parked cars, huge billboards advertising the next luxury development or flashy car, construction sites spiked with tall cranes….

Visiting Burj Khalifa

Visiting Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world … for now

About a year ago, I was in Dubai for a workshop, and decided to go see the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (830 meters). Getting there involved taking Dubai’s spotlessly clean and well-run metro to the Dubai Mall: the largest mall in the world. Trekking across the mall to the entrance, I…

Old Dubai: a quick visit

While I didn’t do any shopping in Dubai, I did manage a quick walk around the Bastakiya District: also known as Old Dubai. Dubai was originally a small port that made its living from pearl diving, fishing and trade, especially with Iran. Besides the nomadic Bedouins, who lived in tents, the populations who settled here…

Half of the main atrium of the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai

Not Shopping in Dubai

Shopping is A. Big. Deal. in Dubai. Whenever I asked people who live there what I should see and do, the answer usually included shopping. I am very much NOT a shopper. I enjoy shopping with friends, but that’s more about the friend than about the shopping. I just don’t have the patience for all…

an Emirates A80 being unloaded at Schiphol airport

Flying on Emirates Airline’s A380

On my recent visit to Dubai on Emirates Airline, I was pleased to discover that I’d be flying on a plane I’d only seen from a distance before: the enormous Airbus A380. The A380 The A380 is a behemoth of a plane. Like Boeing’s 747, it just doesn’t look like it should be able to…