Trip Start Oct 31, 2006
Trip End May 2007

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Friday, December 8, 2006

We left Jordan and made our way to Dubai for a couple of days to visit our friends Karen and Duminda. They live the fab expat life in the city of cranes, hotels and shopping malls. We are not exaggerating; this city is a developer's and real estate broker's dream. Evidently, there is no issue of running out of beach front property to develop since more is created simply out in the middle of the sea. The city also has the world's largest desalinization plant, which explains the lush manicured lawns surrounding every hotel and condo development. We spent one night at the Buddha Bar. An absolutely gorgeous bar and restaurant, which made my first great bombay sapphire martini since the commencement of our trip. Friends, I love my maritinis and this deserved a special recognition.
With regard to our Dubai activities, we spent most of our days immersed in intense cultural and social anthropologic study through a global market and international trade lens. Uh yeah, we were in shopping malls. But not just any ole' food court sandwiched between two anchor stores kind of mall. We are talking about shopping malls that are more like entertainment complexes, where you can go downhill skiiing one hour, enjoy your apres ski cocktail the next and then spend the third hour deciding which wife is going to get the $800.00 pair of Blahniks. OK, so this wasn't Uddy's experience necessarily but we did have great Shawarma in the food court and I bought a pair of black shoes ( I've rounded out my global travel shoe collection to FOUR. How is a girl to decide what shoe to wear?).
We spent one afternoon, doing the Big City Red Bus tour which took us all over the city. We visited some art galleries in Bastakiya and in The Courtyard area, a few of which were interesting.
On our last night we headed to Souk Madinat, which happened to be hosting the opening night of the Dubai International Film Festival. Our run-in with film festivals is sheer serendipity. The opening film was Bobby-perhaps you've seen it? Well, we didn't have tickets to the opening gala, but we did have one important thing--a pathetic and shameful desire to stand alongside papparazzi and other onlookers to watch famous actors (famous somewhere supposedly) and local celebreties walk down the famed red carpet. The truth is we decided to stand by on a rumor that Richard Gere was going to be gracing the red carpet. Given the great admiration for the officer and gentleman by one member of our party [not Uddy or still have two choices], we thought it completely rational to postpone our cocktail hour based upon this totally baseless rumor. Thankfully we managed to snap out of this delirium in time to salvage our self-respect and the last 30 minutes of 2-4-1 happy hour. Ladies and gentleman that deserves a round of applause! 
In Dubai, it was great to spend time with good friends in their home...good conversation and food, and much needed good use of a washing machine. They have a great home and I'm sure the next one we visit will be just as wonderful. Thanks again Karen and Dimunda.
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