Dubai - Atlantis Sanctuary
Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
26Trip End Jan 09, 2009
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Chris woke up around 8:30 and headed in to work. I finally rolled out of bed at 9am, took a shower, and walked to the DIFC building. Even as I type this in a Caribou Coffee sipping on my Mint Condition in the DIFC it just seems right. Really guys, this place is so westernized that it's pretty hard to imagine that we're in the middle east. If not for the men wearing white robes you would have no idea. I'm waiting for Ayman to come pick me up so we can go to the Bank and get some lunch with Chris at around Noon. Hopefully we will pick Ahmed up as well.
Hahahah, ok, what a funny story. Ayman came and picked me up and Chris called to have lunch at the Marina area. Dubai has a bunch of pockets of different themed locations and the Marina area is, well... a marina with a ton of high rise buildings around it, very exclusive and awesome. Anyway, since Dubai is constantly building things Ayman wasn't really sure where to go, so we got lost, asked two cabbies where to go (who had no idea by the way...yes cab drivers!), and it finally got to the point where Ayman looked at me and asked "Is this the right way?" hahahah, me the tourist would know right? Too funny! After driving around for about 1 hour we finally find the place and had some lunch with Chris. The place is called Saj Express and is a little café overlooking the bay in the Marina Tower building. We all went to go and pick up Ahmed from his uncle's place and had trouble finding that as well since it's all new development. Ayman almost got rear ended so it added to the "you've lived here for seven years and still don't know the roads" joke. After we picked up Ahmed, Chris went to work and the remaining three went to a mall called Festival City.
We went trying to find a SIM card and power cord for my phone so that I had a local number here in Dubai. Things are different with phones here. You basically buy a SIM card, pop it in for your number and you add minutes to it. There is no monthly charge or x amount of minutes per month. Anyway, we walked around everywhere (by the way the mall is awesome looking) and couldn't find a place that sold the type of phone I had. I also found out that there is no such thing as a return policy here in the AE. There was a supermarket in the mall called Hyper Panda that we went to and bought a few things, and there was also an IKEA. Everything looks very Americanized, it's like you're not even in the Middle East.
I must say though that the King here, the Sheik really takes care of the locals... meaning people born in the country. Basically the Emirates make up only about 10% of the entire AE population so there are rules in place that if you start a business, a local person has to have 51% of the ownership in that business. Foreigners are not able to buy land, and the locals get higher pay for less work time than other people. However, there are no taxes on the first 88 grand you make here so it all kind of equals out. The Emirates all where white robes and hats, it's actually pretty cool looking. What other country actually takes care of their born citizens that way? Very very cool!
Anyway, after the mall we headed back to the apartment and got ready to go out. Huda got reservations to a Indian place called Jambaya and it was awesome. I had a Beef Szechuan dish in a crispy basket made of potatoes. Chris left early so Ahmed could go back and change and Mona, Huda, and me went to the Atlantis hotel to check out a lounge/club called Sanctuary. On the way there was saw an awesome Porshe driving on the street that I took a video of. Once inside we took some pics in front of the aquarium which was sweet looking (and it's not the biggest in the world, the one in Dubai mall is... I bet Atlantis is pissed by this...hahahah). Took some silly photos and then went into Sanctuary.
Santuary was pretty dead (Monday night) but we had a blast. We got a table on the edge of the outside area and had some shisha and drinks. The other guys finally met up with us and so the girls left cause they were tired and had to work in the morning. We stayed till about 1 am and had a blast. Afterwards we were hungry so we ate at a place called Zaatar we zeit (thyme with oil). It was basically a fast food Mediterranean place which was pretty good! After it was all said and done we got to bed around 2:30 am or so. Awesome day!