Driving down the main drag the highway is lined with reflective windowed buildings in every height, shape, and size. All built since 2003. There are at least 15 more under construction. You can easily see and understand why one forth of the cranes are here in Dubai. The bus turned a corner by the famous seven star hotel whose name is beyond my spelling ability that costs $28,000 a night. The bus pulls over and the guide says you can get out see for 15 minutes . We are many blocks from that hotel and there are construction walls across the street from us. All with amazing paintings on them. But like the good lemmings we are D and I followed the troop down the street. Then before our eyes a beautiful, crowded beach appears.
Next stop a mammoth souq (market). All inside with hundreds of stalls like a maze for humans. I asked the guide if there were a place to buy a glue stick. Directions in D’s head we followed the many turns arrived at the place but alas no glue. On our way back,directions in reverse, there were purchases. They accept US dollars with a rate exchange $1 usd = 3.65 Dirhams change was given in Dirhams. So T-shirt costing 79 Durham’s was 20 us. There was a Starbucks with a Hookah bar outside. I could of spent a happy evening at the souq but back to the bus. Edward, our guide, just held up his magic RC #1paddle and all the traffic stopped and let us cross.
Next was the Burj Khalifa, Armani Hotel, where we were to have a drink and watch the famous fountain show. Drinking laws were explained. A drink NO MORE! Then were Lamborghini’s waiting to be valeted, young men and women wearing formal gowns and tuxes, We then walked down the entrance hallway through several long corridors to an elevator but took four flights down winding stairs, like a lighthouse, and landed in front of a bar where we could choose a glass beer, wine, or soda water. It was already dark and the music began then all 10 ponds of fountains danced to the music. It was lovely to watch and not too long. Of course people were at the bar trying to buy more beer and the guide stepped in and said absolutely NO!
As we were driving away the building lights came on, the palm trees lit up, the tallest building appeared to be covered in neon lights that changed patterns every few seconds. An entire street looked like is was lit up with giant glow sticks. Traffic was fierce and then some passengers wanted to go back and take their own pictures of the tallest building doing its light show. 30 minutes later we are parked, they troop off, arrive at the bus and we are back where we started by fountains. Sat in traffic another 30 minutes, parked in a round about and were told to follow Edward into the Mall of the Emirates. Given 20 minutes on our own then another light show mid mall. I can not describe the amount of people out on Friday night enjoying this magnificently huge mall. I can not imagine how many countries were represented. Lots of children, men in many variations of long white shirts, some with traditional head pieces some with baseball caps. Woman in Burkas, some severe some not, many with just a head scarf. The fountain show was African animals showed on screens high around the fountain and images projected on the water. It was new and different.
The ship terminal came into sight after our 7hr, 4hr tour. Wearily we got ready for bed without any supper. It appears that yes I can fall asleep on an empty stomach.