Dubious About Dubai day two #travel #thoughts


When I think about the Middle Eastern states I’m thinking Sun, I’m thinking Blue Skies, I’m thinking Sunnies and Shorts – no, maybe not shorts – but I’m not thinking…


Mist and Mizzle.


Sand storms and swaying trees.

But, hey, I said I was going to be open-minded, see behind the excesses. The largest this and the costliest that and the grossest the other. I just didn’t think I do so from inside a parka.

‘What shall we do dad?’

The Museum of Dubai maybe? The Old Port?

‘What about 9 holes of golf and you can see the Marina.’


Marina. The mermaid in Stingray.


Ah innocent days when having strings attached was a good thing.

We did golf, grinding out a score and the sand from our eyes.


We looked at the golf club, built like a three masted dhow


I quite liked it in a Sydney Opera House meets a Jamboree kind of way – took in the yachts and floating gin palaces, mused on whether the silvery looking coral was real or fake and had lunch.


It’s expensive here, more than I imagined but if you shave gold on your cappuccino rather than chocolate I guess that’s inevitable.

‘What next?’

‘Something erm middle eastern?’


We went camel racing. Not us. Not any humans in fact.

wp-1487359175304.jpgSeems they used to use children who got horribly injured so now it’s cambots on their backs. Camels are wonderful animals, the epitome of the nobbly  bit. Their knees are like root vegetables and with lips like those 50 Shades truly would have gotten darker.


I digress. The camel race, a few miles out of town was sparsely attended and oddly amateurish.


Maybe it was the lack of (obvious) betting, maybe the weather which felt more like Easter in Morecombe. Anyway we watch the start, with a dozen camels followed by a phalanx of SUVs, from which a hubbub emerged – very much a Muezzin with a migraine – urge the beasts on.


They lollop 8 km, disappearing into the mist and reappearing 10 minutes later amongst the cars which now resemble the vanguard of revolutionaries just told their dictator has left the building; the only difference being the lack of Kalashnikovs peppering the firmament.

We chose to cheer the one in Crystal Palace colours (I suppose they may have been Barcelona too) who came second. And that seemed to be that.


We needed a beverage and I’d had my bit of local so I was expected to endure enjoy the Dubai Mall, self declared biggest in the world.


Like I cared.

Some of the decor was neat.


As was the aquarium in the middle…


There was this cheesecake emporium with over 30 different cheesecakes.


At least I grabbed a coffee while others imbibed something more methylated.

‘Can I have a shower now?’


Apparently I could but for my good behaviour we were taken to the Dubai Glow Garden and Dino Park.  I thought ‘great legoland’ but you know my snob gene sometimes has to give best to a smile spectacle. If you ignore the ridiculous excess of energy use that is.


There was some beguilingly innocent about it and if the animatronic dinosaurs wouldn’t scare a neurotic pumpkin I would be the first to admit I’m hardly the demographic they are aimed at.


Unlike the Burg Khalifa the tallest yadayadayada… and its light show.


That was stunning but rather soulless. Somehow the reflective lights of the Glow Garden were that but more human. But the fountain displays, coordinated with local music, like aquatic belly dancing had me smiling.

This was a long day, starting at it did with a 7.30 wake up call (my body was screaming ‘go away it’s only 3.30) and my feelings so far? Sensory overload, a tinge of sadness that something traditional like camel racing doesn’t generate a following unlike the Mall and a small hope that if Dubai do things on a slightly smaller scale they may get them right.


And I did enjoy the key lime cheesecake

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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28 Responses to Dubious About Dubai day two #travel #thoughts

  1. Ritu says:

    At least cheesecake saved the day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never mind. Entertaining post with good photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Autism Mom says:

    You’re on an adventure, Bilbo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mary Smith says:

    Interesting post and you certainly crammed a lot into one day. I didn’t know they had stopped using child jockeys in the camel races. Loved the watery belly dancing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noelleg44 says:

    Wow, talk about a land of excesses. They adopted the worst of Western civilization. It looked like Las Vegas on steroids. Still, totally and absorbingly interesting and quite the experience, I imagine. I rode a camel in Jordan for an hour or so. Wouldn’t recommend it. Nasty beasts – they like to bite.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You gotta just go with it Geoff, you’ll be back home in no time reflecting on what happens when you have too much money, no respect for your own unique culture and a desire to out-materialise the US……. and maybe just the teeniest, ever-so-slightly grudging admiration for the fact that all this has appeared on land that was once arid desert?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Everything is so BIG and everything tries to outshine everything else. Still, what an experience. Love the photos, Geoff. Thanks for sharing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. jan says:

    Wow – that’s glitzier than Vegas!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s like the teenage phase of a country. We here in the west are not a lot better. I would find almost nothing appealing but you managed to do just that. Key lime cheesecake sounds good. 🙂 Always make the best of any situation is a good way to go as you have well demonstrated.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jools says:

    An embarrassment of excess and uncharacteristic weather. So far, you’re successfully reinforcing all my preconceptions (excluding the weather)… But the Glow Garden looked cool. Can’t wait for more from Dubai.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So glad you’ve embraced it all – though inevitably the highlight for me was Marina from Stingray!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. trifflepudling says:

    Yes, I think it’s all too easy to look at photos of a place and pass judgement on it without considering the influence the people who live there have on the general ambience. Once you’re there, you get the true feeling and that’s what you remember.
    Sad about the camel racing.
    The photo of Marina finally made me realise who poor Melania T looks like! She doesn’t speak either!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Those lights are spectacular. Beats Blackpool by miles.

    Liked by 1 person

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