Dubai Part 1
Dubai is quite the adventure for Lourdes COBAL. We arrived early morning on Monday, yet we have seen some of the most beautiful sights in the world and met wonderful people during our business trips.
Tuesday: Old Dubai Tour and Burj Kalifa
The old Dubai tour was an experience that will not be forgotten. We first visited the Souks, or local marketplace for gold, spices, and textiles. The locals are very friendly…sometimes too friendly. Some of the merchants will so desparately desire new customers, leading to the merchants pulling random tourists into their shops; it is quite entertaining to watch. The gold and spice selections are most impressive…words cannot explain, but we will add the world’s largest gold ring resides in the souks; weighing in at 26 pounds of pure gold. After the souks, we enjoyed a traditional sit down lunch with an islamic cultural center. We enjoyed local foods, deserts, and Arabic coffee and tea.
We then transitioned to the Burj Kalifa, the worlds tallest standing building. Seeing the building was mesmerizing. The fact the 800+ meter building was built on sand is an engineering feat that was never imagined as possible. We traveled to the sky deck on the 124th floor, yet the final floor is 200 stories tall.
Wednesday: National Bank of Dubai and the U.S. Consulate
The national bank of Dubai and US consulate were brief meetings. The National bank had a presentation on its city’s development through a finance view and we enjoyed a tour of its national pearl collection. The pears were beautiful and interesting. Before the 1960s, most men in Dubai would embark on a 4 month diving trip to discover natural pearls near the inland shores of Dubai. The US Consulate meeting was discuss how it protects businesss and citizens of the US and its impact on the macro economy. If any business or citizen has trouble with the Dubai or United Arab Emirate government, this is the organization that attempts to assist the US citizen or business who is in need.
Thursday: Masday City, Yas Waterworld Amusement Park, and The Grand Sheikh Mosque
Masdar City is the worlds first sustainable city. The mission behind the city is to run on pure green energy through solar and wind energy. The city is also home to the international MIT students, whom make up a lot of the population. Then city however has experience financial issues due to the 2008 recession and it is now expected to be completed by 2030; it currently 5% finished.
Yas waterworld was our next stop. The park is one of the largest water parks in the world. However, it is the most unique. The park has embedded the traditional Dubai pear hunt culture within its park. Each section of the park tells the tale of a young adventurer who is attempting to find the “mother pearl”.
The grand mosque was our last stop. We were able to tour and experience prayer at one of the largest mosques in the world. The scenery was beautiful. The entire mosque is pure white with tall towers and gold accents. The sunset prayer was also an experience. Not only was the prayer strong, but the sunset setting behind the mosque’s background was a sight worth over 1,000 words.