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Saturday, 28 December 2013

It's a bit amazing over there! Dubai

In November I went to have a look around the Middle East and Far East..... and I feel like I'm just coming back to earth! It was such a fabulous opportunity to see how it's done on the other side of the world. 

First up some pictures of Dubai.  The home of my most favourite Sky-scraper, the Burj Khalifa, the Architecture in Dubai is Eclectic and could be seen as befitting of it's position as the melting pot of so many different cultures from around the globe. 

I checked out quite a few hotels, including the new Oberoi and the design classic for the UAE, the Park Hyatt at Dubai Creek.  Just beautiful detailing in an Arabic style, pictures below. Further afield is Bab al Shams, built in the Bedouin style, by the same designers from the Hyatt.  Really magical and atmospheric, well worth the trip out to the desert for a meal or to use the facilities for the day.  

Other favourite hotels include the new JW Marriott with it's fabulous Vaults Bar at the top!  Great view and great design.  A hotel worth checking out.

The malls are so stupendous here, as shopping could be seen as one of the primary "hobbies" of locals, visitors and ex-pats.  As everything in Dubai is Supersized, it's not surprising to see the worlds largest aquarium tank in the midst of all the shops at Dubai Mall. The lux stores leave nothing to be desired, and the proximity to the Burj Khalifa and all the stunning fountains make Dubai Mall a premier destination.

DIFC, the financial heart of Dubai boasts some stellar buildings, not to mention the Financial Centre itself, which was reportedly modelled on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris .... (Or La Defense, more like?!). A few galleries here, as well as the Rug Company and Andrew Martin. Top tip, pop into Zuma for a fab business lunch. Great restaurant, great value.

Burj Khalifa, Foster's Index Tower, and Damac's new development

DIFC Building and other more eclectic Financial Buildings make the
 architectural atmosphere a bit more interesting than your bog-standard city

Business Lunch at Zuma

Beirut/London based designers exhibiting here, great Contemporary Arabic art

Finally I have to say, the friendliness and hospitality in Dubai is second to none.  A truly welcoming atmosphere, it was a real pleasure to visit this Emirate for the second time.

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