Sunday, April 6, 2008

Seeing Dubai through a man's eyes

The Middle East is clearly a man's world. After being based in Dubai for nine months I am still desperately searching for things to love about this place - at the moment my list is restricted to (1) the red sunsets (2) the tax free shopping and (3) the creek at night. Yet, when the men in my life visited me here recently, they were well impressed with this 'city of the future'.

My brother couldn't stop taking pictures of the Hummers and Ferrari's, while the latest gadgets in the electronics stores kept him amused for hours.

"This city is so cool. I wish I could live here," he said.

I booked a couple of excursions for us with Oasis Palm Tours and especially the city tour was really good value. If we had to cover all that distance with a taxi it would have cost us at least three times as much. The tour covered all the forts, souqs, beaches and architectural highlights and even took us to some specialist stores where we could buy Middle Eastern treasures at fair prices.

My father's favourite outing was the Desert Safari. All that dune bashing had me feeling a little ill, but the boys were having great fun. At least I got to see my red sunset over the desert from the back of a camel.

The package included a mezze dinner at an open air venue in the middle of the desert and while the food was delicious, the belly dancer was a bit disappointing. Once again, the men enjoyed the visual delight immensely, but personally I found her dancing skills less than impressive.

To see Dubai through my family's eyes were great fun and they even bought me a cashmere scarf at the souq, which is certainly one treasure a woman can relish in this male playground.

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