My first time in the UAE

Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
1
Trip End Oct 22, 2010


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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Thursday, October 21, 2010

I was on a business trip that took me to India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Arab_Emirates). Fortunately I had a personal day in each location to take in the sights. I had seen all the power point presentation of the UAE that people send over email, but I now realize that most of these had to with Abu Dhabi (capital of the UAE, which I did not have a chance to visit) and Dubai.

I arrived in Dubai from Delhi onboard an Emirates flight (http://www.emirates.com/). I was surprised to find it smoggy, which I am told is normal there. I stayed in Sharjah at the Radisson Blu resort (http://www.radissonblu.com/resort-sharjah). The emirate of Sharjah (http://www.sharjah.com/v/history/) is the third largest of the seven emirates that form the UAE. The city of Sharjah is also the third most populous city in the UAE after Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The city is spread over an area of 235 kmē and the population is approximately 800,000. The emirate of Sharjah is the only emirate in which the sale, possession and consumption of alcohol is banned.

I was surprised (not sure why) to find this region with lots of western junk food stores: McDonalds, Pizza Huts, Baskin Robbins, Quiznos, etc. Perhaps it is my ignorance that lead me to believe I would find just  "Abduls Kababs".

People here are friendly and hospitable. I found that the work force consists mainly of Indians, Pakistanis, Philipinos and Sri Lankans. It is also a very safe area. Penalties for crimes are so severe that the crime level is very low.

Dubai is apparently famous for it's nite life, but regretfully I did not have the time to experience this. I met up with an ex-colleague of mine Patrick C. who is now living in Dubai and working Abu Dhabi. He spared some of his time to give a quick tour of the area - thanks Patrick. In Dubai I got to visit the Burj Khalifa (www.burjkhalifa.ae), which is the tallest building in the world. Although the building has more than 200 floors visitors are only allowed up to the 124th floor, which is where the observation deck is situated. The view was fantastic although the smog did not allow me to view the Palm Jumeirah (http://www.thepalm.ae/) or The World (http://www.theworld.ae/) from this vantage point.

In my free time I took a desert safari, which came highly recommended by my colleagues. This was good fun. In 4x4 vehicles we went into the Arabian desert for some 4 wheeling fun in the sand dunes. Thereafter we were taken to a camel farm and then to a camp where we had dinner and were treated to a camel ride, sand boarding, and a belly dance show.

Another fantastic destination that I have the good fortune of visiting.
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