Dubai: getting to know it.

Dubai really is the city for everyone. It has two distinct sides which tick boxes for just about every traveller. These side-by-side photos should show you the difference.

This is the beauty of Dubai. On one side you step off air-conditioned driverless trains into malls which have dinosaurs in the middle of them.

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Mall dinosaur.

Yup, full size actual dinosaur skeleton. Why? Because Dubai! Never mind the dinosaur, the same mall has one of the world’s largest fishtanks in it. Why? Because Dubai. 

Now, I’ve always had a fondness for sleek and shiny, but during this trip I was actually delighted to stumble around the old city in the areas of Deira and Bur Dubai and find this:

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Look how normal it looks!

It was awesome just to see that this shiny new city has an underbelly of hard work, dust and dirt swirling beneath it. For every Dubai Marina and copy-and-paste mall, there’s a battered old shop selling Iranian, or Pakistani or Lebanese food for a fraction of what you pay for a coffee in a mall.

That said, kudos on the malls. In a country where summer regularly sits around 40 celsius for 6 months, air conditioned malls are a great idea.

I’m growing to like you Dubai, both sides of you. The biggest, tallest, shines side, and the grimy, dusty, hot underside. East meets West and its the best of both.

What did you think of Dubai? Have you visited? Do you want to visit?

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Okay, one more falcon!
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