Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 99 - Dubai, UAE

Saturday, April 19

I booked the "Dubai, the Golden City" tour so I had to be up early (for me) at 8:00 (once again I did not get my eight hours).  

The tour was very interesting.  Last night at the dinner I noticed that none of the people working at the hotel looked to be local.  Today I found out why.  The UAE has made so much money from oil (which was discovered in the mid 60s) and other ways, that the people who work in stores, restaurants, building roads or whatever are foreign workers.  There are more foreign workers in Dubai than citizens.  The government provides the citizens with all kinds of perks and they do not need to do the required day to day jobs.  Our tour guide was a foreign worker from Egypt and our bus driver was from India.

Dubai is one of the seven emirates in the UAE.  The oil in Dubai is supposed to run out by 2030 but it has an economy that is based on many factors besides oil so Dubai continues to grow.

The cost of gasoline here is the equivalent of US$1.55 a gallon.  You can be fined if you do not keep your car clean.

We started the tour with a photo stop at one of the public beaches to see the Burj Al Arab Hotel.  Then a photo stop at the Jumeirah Mosque.  We had glimpses of the high rises of Dubai including the Burj Khalifa which is currently the tallest building in the world.

Then we headed to the old part of town.  We toured through the Dubai Museum which traces the start of the settlement as a trading and pearl diving center.  The museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort which is one of the oldest buildings left.  We saw examples of the wind towers that were used to bring in cooler air before air conditioning.  While going through one of the old doors of the fort with metal studs on it, another person and I bumped into each other.  My elbow got scraped and bloody even though it didn't really hurt.   After having free time to look at the exhibits we walked to the Abra (water taxi) that took us across Dubai Creek.

We had free time to walk through the spice souk and then walked to the gold souk.  Some of the gold pieces were outlandish.

We returned to the ship a little before two and I spent my last 100 Dirham (the local currency) at the two little shops in the cruise terminal.

Back onboard I purchased the soft drink package for this last segment at the Golden Lion Pub.

After putting my purchases in my stateroom it was time for lunch in the Lido.  But where were my glasses?  After contemplating a fuzzy month with no glasses before I got home, I decided to go back to the pub.  Sitting right on the bar were my glasses (big sigh of relief).  While there  I met up with two of my Cruise Critic friends (Maggiemou and her husband) and we talked about what we had done today.

After lunch I sat in the small lobby between the pub and the casino working on the blog.  One of my favorite servers saw me and brought me an orange juice.  A little while later two more of my CC friends came by and we talked for some time.

Took my book back to my stateroom and turned in my landing card at the purser's office and then to deck nine for sail-away.  I was sitting and waiting for us to sail when someone came up behind me and asked if the chairs around me were free and I said yes without looking up.  The man asked again and then I realized it was John and Andrea, two more of my CC friends.  They had done the Southampton to San Francisco portion and had just boarded today for the Dubai to Southampton segment.  We caught up on what we had been doing for the last two and a half months.  We finally sailed late (near 7) and the QE and QE2 exchanged horn salutes.

Back to get ready for dinner and got sidetracked looking at my pictures.  Got to dinner a few minutes late.  There were ten of us with a new couple (never heard their names).  Heard the sad news that one of the people who had to be disembarked in Muscat did not survive.  Evidently he had had previous health problems.

After dinner Hilda and I stood overlooking the grand lobby where they were setting up a massive chocolate art display for Easter.

Picked up my orange juice and back to work on the blog.

We have five wonderful sea days coming up and this will be our last long stretch of them.😥

a view of the skyline including Burj Khalifa

Burj Al Arab Hotel

Jumeirah Mosque

Al Fahidi Fort

In the Dubai Museum

most of the fort was built from coral taken from the sea

an example of the wind towers

more examples of wind towers

water taxi

at the spice souk

Who wears these and where are they going?

gold market

transporting goods in the gold market

Smooth sailing until next time!

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