My first ever visit to the city of Dubai, and while I wish I would of had more time to explore some other parts of it I somehow feel like it would all seem the same. It’s a wonderful place. Very clean, high levels of service, many options for shopping and food. Everything done just a bit more grandiose than any of its counterparts. Its hard to imagine that whole parts of a city like this night scene below didn’t exist a mere 10-12 years ago. However, this makes everything new, like Disney new. In fact, its almost as if its all a replica of something else. Any of you that have walked the countries reproduced in Disney could relate to the impression of Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in Dubai. The tallest building in the world. 820 meters, over 1/2 mile into the air. It’s an incredible building. More importantly you can live there – what more than to have wonderful views of the desert or if you are on the water side you can use your telescope to monitor Iran!
I didn’t get a chance to go up inside the Burj but standing outside and gazing up at it was most enjoyable I took this picture, but then added a little treatment to make it seem even more ominous.
In the foreground is the Burj’s own lake. Perhaps it doesn’t look like a lake, but it is 30 acres so it’s pretty big. You quickly notice the serpent of pipes winding around the entire lake – the backbone to the largest fountain in the world. One that spurts 22,000 gallons out during its choreographed show with water shooting some 500 feet into the air. Yes, much like Las Vegas and developed by the same architect – but much much larger. Of course.
Surrounding the Burj’s lake are many different buildings. I found them quite interesting and in fact I treated some of the photos I have so that these areas of building take on a bit more surreal look to them. A painting you say? Fake? Hmmm?
Okay so the picture above takes on an almost painting effect. Yes, it is a real photo I took of a real building surrounding the Burj lake. Just to see the effect – a little Disney effect! I’ll provide the two version of another photo below. This just shows you the impact that effects can have on how an image looks.
I have to include one more photo of a bridge that crossed part of the lake. I used a software-based “Tilt-Shift” treatment on this photo to give it a bit of tiny model look to it.
As we walked around the lake I was seeking any photo ops, but it was a lot more buildings like above and yes I do have more. However, I was seeking some images of people, capturing some form of the local life. Yet, at the same time I read about taking pictures of people (especially women) as being very frowned upon, so I avoided it too much. I did catch one interesting picture of a young lady standing near this decorative stone statue with her family. She noticed me, but luckily her family did not.
In another part of Dubai is the famous Burj Al Arab hotel. Claimed as the only 7 star hotel and the most luxurious in the world. My door key didn’t work there so I could not visit. Since we were there in the evening I only had a change at a nighttime photo.
Immediately in front of the hotel is yet another hotel called the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. There is a huge waterpark next to it and I suppose inside of it, but since we had to walk through it to get to our beach side dinner place the center has an interesting and colorful inner tower. These pictures give you a feel for its colors.
Okay, now with a little more treatment to give it some depth…
During my stay we also did a visit to a remote desert resort. Strangely enough, among hundreds of miles of desert there is a plush resort… just in case you need a retreat from the big city! It was a busy eve so I didn’t get to take too many pictures, but when we arrived they had a couple camels there for us – which I had no interest in mounting even though they would clean and nicely dressed with saddles. They even had a colorful muzzle to keep them from biting or spitting on us!
I did get a moment to explore some of the edges of the resort and found, well, lots of sand! Except for this fellow that was just hanging out with his bird. Did he have it hunt things? Bring special notes to guests? I don’t know and I didn’t get to go ask him.
One last picture. This is our team in EMEA during our night before our partners came in to visit. A great team and a nice dinner before a very busy but successful few days doing business together! Thanks everyone for your hospitality!