In October 2008 we went to Dubai for a 2 week period with work. It was just before the GFC and construction was in full swing….. everywhere you looked in the city the skyline bristled with cranes. We were told (by what I considered to be a reliable source) that at that time around 70% of the world’s cranes were in Dubai. It seems an amazing figure but when you looked around it seemed like it could almost be true. The day before we left was the day that the Dubai Mall officially opened. I was one of the many who flocked there to see what it was like. Coming from Australia where I suspect we have some of the world’s strictest rules re workplace Health and Safety it was an eye-opening experience to be shopping in an area where construction of unfinished shops and structures was frantically going on all around us. Some of the photos in the Construct page above were taken at the entrance to the Dubai Mall.
We flew in to Abu Dhabi airport and then caught a coach to Dubai arriving somewhere around 1am from memory. It was our first experience of a country where English isn’t the first language and so were very unsure of how we were going to manage. When the coach pulled up in what seemed to be a carpark and dropped us all off it was a bit scary as porters grabbed our bags and started pushing us towards a taxi. We told the taxi driver we needed to go to the Splendid Apartments on Oud Metha Rd near Lamcy Plaza and he set off with us hoping he knew where we were going. We quickly found out over the next couple of days that the taxis are great to catch in Dubai but that night we were very relieved when he pulled up at the right place-especially as he hadn’t seemed to recognize the name! Our apartment was very nice and spacious…..very grand compared to where we’d stayed with our other courses and it was cleaned each day, which I in particular appreciated. The breakfast each morning was interesting… the Dubai version of the standard buffet fare of baked beans, eggs, hash browns etc….. with beef bacon ( pork is a not acceptable in an Islamic country).