Tuesday 12 May 2015

Arabian nights (& days) - Part 2

Dubai's Miracle Garden was a lot of fun, and it really is a miracle! Flowers blooming in profusion everywhere were lovely to behold.

Shades of Holland?

Which gal wouldn't love a castle like this?
An offbeat and excellent suggestion by a friend, to attend a traditional Arab breakfast in the old quarter of Dubai, turned out to be the highlight of the trip for me. Hosted in an early 20th Century "wind tower" house in the historic district of Al-Bastakiya, it was a heady medley of coffee, conversation and culture! A young Emirati girl hosted us and answered questions on Arab (specifically Emirati) culture, food and dress habits, and Islam. The food was yummy too and the three of us (S, Y & I) stuffed our faces.
Wind tower House

We also did the mandatory dune-bashing and desert safari the same evening. The dune-bashing was a different experience but the Thar desert safari was as nice as the Arabian nothing new there. Y thoroughly enjoyed the belly dancing and was almost up there on the stage with the dancer :)
We spent one morning at the Atlantis hotel/Palm Jumeirah to tick off another Dubai must-do. We never got down to much shopping (you get everything in India!) except for a few keepsakes and gifts. S and I salivated to see the huge variety of excellent-quality dry fruits on offer and stocked up.......yes we go bonkers over raisins and apricots, not over gold :)
The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was a pit stop on our way to the airport. It manages to be both immense and beautiful. How many monuments can say that?
So, inspite of all my reservations, we did enjoy Dubai - a LOT. Staying with extremely hospitable friends who went out of their way to show us a different side to the city made all the difference. The kids stayed happy with plenty of company and having all the home comforts let us relax even at the end of a long day. One of our best holidays. The only regret - we didn't get to do a day trip to Oman which we were very eager to do. I am now hooked on Arab culture and cuisine and cannot wait to explore more authentic locales!


  1. Such beautiful pics...that breakfast ensemble does look inviting.

  2. If you haven't done the Qatar / Bahrain circuit (Doha / Manama), I encourage you to do that next time. Nothing is more mesmerizing than the aerial view of Bahrain Bay
    Manama also has some of the oldest (and very well maintained) locales.

    1. Sounds interesting! Thanks for the recos.

  3. Miracle garden and breakfast at wind tower house- sounds interesting. Somehow don't have great opinion on Dubai as destination. Guess it's time to change


I would love to hear your thoughts :)