A city where nothing is impossible
The capital of the emirate of the same name has become rich mainly due to oil and, more recently, tourism. There are many of the best, and although temperatures basically never fall below 15 ° C during the year, you can also ski here. Let's go for some of his uniques.
3 days in Dubai
If we flew to Dubai around 1970, we would have a small sleepy airport with a single runway and a building smaller than the one at the old airport in Ruzyne. But as this happened almost 50 years later, we are greeted by the world's third largest airport, with several terminals, dozens of departures, kilometers of escalators and travelators, numerous time indicators bearing the proud Rolex logo, and also the largest fleet double-decker Airbuses in the world. And not only the airport has changed. During this time, the city's population has also increased from 170,000 to today's, slowly attacking the three million mark. Profits from oil production have massively affected the construction and development of not only Dubai, but the entire United Arab Emirates. And since money can do a lot, you will find the „BEST“ places that would not be like the blackest building in the world, the largest shopping center in the world, the most luxurious six-star hotel, the longest driverless metro system in the world or a covered ski slope. for these parts so atypical or artificial palm island. So now let's take a look at some of them. First of all, it is necessary to solve how to move around the city, because the distances between the individual attractions are tens of kilometers. Renting a car is not the best idea due to the volume of traffic. There is an extensive public transport system in Dubai and the prices are very favorable for us. An all-day ticket valid for buses, trams and the metro costs 20 EAD, which is some 125 CZK. At the beginning it is necessary to buy a card, for tourists the most suitable is either a red NOL card, which is cheaper but the fare is a bit more expensive or the so-called Silver NOL card, which costs a few small more, but the fare is then cheaper (all-day tickets does not apply). Dubai is then divided into three zones and the fare is calculated according to the number of zones passed. However, three transfers are included in one ride and, for example, for 2 and 3 zones, up to 180 minutes apply. Important notice The card is chipped both when getting on and off the vehicle. And auditors walk, I know that from personal experience. I would also like to draw your attention to some differences in urban transport, the front cars of the metro and trams are always designed for women and children, and one is the so-called Gold Class, ie 1st class for gold card holders for double fares. In buses, the front is also intended for women and the disabled, but anyone can walk through it. And there is a ban on chewing, as pointed out by the pictograms. Public transport is in operation from 5 am to midnight, on Thursdays and Fridays until 2 pm, the intervals at the metro are about 3 minutes at peak times, but even so, sometimes at times of return from work, the sets may be overcrowded. Buses then have intervals between 15 and 30 minutes and their use can be a little more difficult, because some information (eg line plans) is outdated. Another mode of transport in Dubai is the taxi service operated by the local transport company and they are more than favorable. For an 11-kilometer route, we gave CZK 250 in terms of a tip. There are also taxis with a pink roof, which are intended only for women, and you will also find them behind the wheel. So we have the transport solved and we set off for the first attraction, the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah (in the shape of a palm tree). It is ideal to take the red metro line to Damac station and change to a tram here, which will take us to the monorail on the above-mentioned island. The tram is a bit strange, it doesn't use a trolley, but it draws current from the third rail between the tracks. As is customary everywhere in Dubai, it is air conditioned and waiting rooms as well. We get off the tram at the Palm Jumeirah stop and through the multi-storey garages (above which something is still being built) we follow the signposts to the monorail station. As this is a private company, public transport cards do not apply here, so the journey of about 5 kilometers there and back will cost us less than CZK 200. But it's worth it. Monorail is actually a track with one rail, which runs mostly over the terrain, so ideal for enjoying and taking photos, but only if it was not through dark glass. We hover over the terrain with an imaginary trunk of a palm tree, from which the individual leaves with family houses come, at probably astronomical prices. The monorail also has one intermediate station and the other, which is still under construction. It then crosses the sea level to the last ring with the Atlantis Hotel, while the road reaches it through an underwater tunnel. In front of the final station we still see a water park with lots of attractions. Because something is still being built on the island (almost like everywhere in Dubai) there is a bit of chaos. We go to the promenade overlooking the sea and try to get around the hotel. In the end, we succeed with minor problems and we get to the beach of the hotel (even that is narrowed due to construction). Such minibuses in the form of golf carts run around the hotel and take guests to the beach and other leisure activities. And if you want to take a shower, you can use the stylish beach, imitating a leaky wooden bucket. When trying to return to the monorail station, we finally have to go through the hotel, which actually serves as a luxury shopping center and there is a smaller aquarium. Our next route led to the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. To get there, take the red metro line to Dubai Mall / Burj Khalifa station and from there continue for about 15 minutes walk through the glass tubes to the Dubai Mall. In addition to a number of shops, you will also find exchange offices here, so if you need to exchange money, it is not a problem. At the same time, even in relatively good exchange rates, you can buy exotic currencies for us, such as Omani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Bahraini, Pakistani … so if, for example, you continue to other foreign destinations, you can pre-stock here. Tickets for the tallest building in the world are best bought online on the official website. The best time to visit is said to be at sunset, but beware, given that Dubai is often shrouded in a smog haze and visibility is not the best it may not always be a good choice in addition for this attractive period of time to pay extra and not a little. The fact that the entrance to this skyscraper, together with the aquarium in the department store, comes out even after a certain discount for a combined ticket of over CZK 1,500 is worth careful consideration. The price can be more than double on the spot. The building is then entered directly from the shopping center and you will be let there about 15 minutes before the current time stated on the tickets. But even then, be patient, first at the box office they will exchange your voucher from the printer for tickets, then you will be thoroughly inspected, then they will take a picture of you so that they can be cashed even when leaving the building and then you will wait in line for one of the 3 elevators. visitors will be taken to an observation platform on the 124th floor at a height of 452 meters. The journey by elevator takes one minute, and despite the fact that it is not glazed, during the entire ride on the walls, the path is projected upwards, as if driving through an open space overlooking the city. I am already performing here and virtual reality is being replaced by real reality. The view to several sides of the illuminated city is breathtaking and is further enhanced at half-hour intervals by the program of the Dubai Fountain at the foot of the skyscraper. Of course, there are also ubiquitous photographers to get some dirham out of visitors. On the 124th floor there is an open-air viewpoint and the windows between the windows can be photographed without glass between the panorama and the lens. The view one floor higher is then a common floor and the photos are not worth much thanks to the not very clean windows. There is also a queue for the elevator back, which in turn plays the history of construction and we can finally read it down in the connecting corridor between the skyscraper and the shopping center and also see a model of an even taller building, the construction of which is already planned. When I wrote about the Dubai Fountain, it is also accessible from the Dubai Mall, its program starts at 6 pm and always plays one song at approximately half-hour intervals, alternating between Arabic and world music. The fountain is free and can be viewed from several places by the lake or from the verandas at the restaurants of the shopping center. The best view is said to be from boats, which charge around CZK 350 for a half-hour cruise. Souvenirs can also be bought in the center and there is also a large aquarium, which was included in the combined ticket to Bjur Khalifa. Again, the necessary photography and then we continue through the tunnel, where a number of exotic fish swim, including sharks, stingrays or piranhas. The aquarium is divided into several floors and in the upper one we find a mini zoo where alligators, jellyfish, turtles, chameleons and also very exotic animals – otters – are bred in this country. The next day we have a bit of the other side of Dubai, the historic centers of Deira and Bur Dubai. As our hotel was located about 1.5 km from Al Fahidi Fort, this time we chose to move our own limbs. The fortress is located on the street of the same name and has a museum mapping the history and customs of Dubai, you can see what households, schools, shops, but also even boats looked like in old Dubai. Admission is rather symbolic 5 AED. In fact, in the whole of the Emirates, the main draws are overpriced and the rest is either cheap or free. Not far from the museum, the real Souq or traditional market is starting, but with very intrusive sellers. Once you walk in, you usually don't leave without making a purchase. And during this purchase, the price in thousands of dirhams can become a contracted price of less than a hundred, and the sellers are grateful for that as well. But if you do not want to spend tens of minutes in the store and face all possible offers, then do not respond to the invitation of sellers at all. And you can also calm down after such a purchase with the excellent and refreshing sugar cane juice, which is offered here by the sellers of drinks and fast food. This market is followed by the old district of Al Shindagha, the traditional center of Dubai, where Sheikh Al Makhtoum, who ruled the emirate of Dubai, stayed for a time and pulled it out of the recession to economic prosperity. In his house there is a museum where you can see the photo of the airport, which I talked about at the beginning. There are more museums in the area, however, construction activities continue here as well, so not everything was open. We return along Dubai Creek to the wharf of small wooden motorboats called Abra, which will take you to the Deira district on the other side after paying a small silver coin with a motif reminiscent of an Aladdin's lamp (1 dirham). There are more markets in this part, especially the spicy market (Spicy Souq) and the gold market (Gold Souq). Above all, the latter is worth wondering about and photographing incredible gold necklaces (in some cases, rather carpets). Behind both markets across the main road there was supposed to be a fish market, but due to the lively construction activity in its vicinity, we did not get to it. Behind him is the coastal promenade but … So we take the subway to Palm Deira station and return to the hotel. Dubai also includes swimming. However, many beaches belong to different hotels and there are not so many public ones. So at least one at that six-star hotel in the shape of a Burj Al Arab sail. We take the red metro line to the Mall of the Emirates station. A large tube rises above it and it is in it that there is a cable car with a ski slope. But due to the fact that we have enough snow in our winter, this attraction does not attract us so much. So we just change to the bus line No. 81, which goes to the coast. From the stop at the hotel (by the way, the bus stops are also air-conditioned … so if the air-conditioning works) we return a short distance and walk through another Souq Madinat Jumeirah market. This covered and already modern market is surrounded by canals and there are also numerous restaurants which, in many cases, only open in the evening. But we are moving on. We pass the above-mentioned hotel, another amusement water park and after a few hundred meters we finally come to the public beach Jumeirah Beach. Well, honestly, the view of the hotel and the possibility of taking a nice photo spoils the cranes in the area (again, something is being built), there are no changing rooms (there is a ban on changing clothes on the local toilet), the water has a bath-like temperature at the end of September and it's similar in showers. we bathed in Dubai. That would be all from Dubai, of course, this city offers much more, but we extended the stay with a trip to Oman, Muscat and the village of Hatta, so there was simply no time left. It is often said that Dubai is simply expensive, but probably yes if you are staying in five-star hotels, but your stay can be purchased significantly cheaper. Also, eating does not have to be expensive and varied. In various restaurants that bear labels of Indian, Pakistani, Yemeni, Syrian and other other cuisines, you can eat relatively cheaply and well, especially in Deira and Bur Dubai in the old quarters. You usually pay 20 – 40 EAD for the main meal and drinks, some menus for fast food chains are even for half price. And the menu mainly includes chickens, fish and seafood. Only a ignorant person orients himself according to the pictures. And if you want to buy cheap in Dubai, there are a number of shops marked 1 – 20 EAD, where you can get both souvenirs and clothes or various clothing accessories for a small amount of money. In short, everyone can do their thing in Dubai. All that remains is to wish you a „happy journey“.
Sunset at Dubai Mall
The evening sun is reflected in the pond where the fountain performs its musical number every evening at half-hour intervals.
This hotel does not deny its place in the Orient. The most beautiful view is of him from the monorail crossing the sea from another part of the palm island.
Hotel Burj al Arab
Of course, the only six-star hotel in the world must have its own heliport. Accommodation prices also correspond to this.
Al Fahidi Fortress
This fort is located in the Bur Dubai district and today houses the Dubai Museum.
The most typical traffic across Dubai Creek is the small wooden Abra boats, carrying passengers between Bur Dubai and Deira. And the very bank of the latter is located in the picture and in the clutter of alleys are hidden the famous traditional markets – souks.
The ancient district of Shindagha
The original district in the BurDubai district, with several museums, craft workshops, mosques and a touch of the Orient.
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