I travel a lot with work, but mainly to Western Europe, and rarely long haul. This week was different as I got the chance to go to Dubai. To say that it's a different world is an understatement....I've never experienced anything like the place before, although not all of the experience was a positive one, for me.
Firstly, the positives and there are lots. The buildings, the weather, the food, the atmosphere....awe inspiring at times (although 43 degrees may be testing my limits, but I'm from Manchester....!)...Just driving down the main Sheikh Zayed road is an experience.....skyscraper after skyscraper, none of which existed 10 years ago....it was just desert. The speed at which buildings are constructed is incredible. Take the Burj Khalifa, the tallest man-made building in the world (currently, although this will be eclipsed by Kingdom Tower which is currently being built in Saudi Arabia which is set to be staggering 1000 metres high).
- Tallest building in the world.
- 828 metres high
- 163 floors
- Started work, September 2004
- Opened to the public January 2010
Size 'is' everything in Dubai....the tallest building, the largest shopping mall, an aquarium with one of the largest acrylic viewing panels....even the hotel I stayed in had 13 different restaurants in it....THIRTEEN!!! You also don't need to walk very far to see the fastest, most expensive cars too...in fact, stand outside the hotel for 5 minutes and you'll see a range of them. It can feel a bit fake at times, although this may just be my perception of the place.
One thing that did irritate me however was the attitude of some people, mainly when talking to people in the service industry (bar staff / taxi drivers etc.) Clearly people have money in Dubai and they love to spend it....but that doesn't give you the right to talk to people like they're below you...at least not in my book...I understand that this is probably a cultural thing however and may be accepted....it just didn't sit right with me.
That aside, I normally ask two questions when I visit a place.
1) Would I go back? Most definitely.
2) Could I live there? Probably not.....but then it's just too hot for me!!
I took a selection of shots whilst I was out there, some of which wouldn't have been possible without the Manfrotto Befree which is such a versatile companion for these types of trips.
Most of these images were taken the X-Pro and the x100s.
I hope you like them and feel free to leave a comment or share.