Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dubai--incredible building projects!

Friday April 3
Day at sea .Bonding over a beer with our new friends and neighbors—Chrystahl and Eddie from Germany. Liquor is very expensive on board so we have dried out pretty completely!
Saturday April 4
Day at sea. Sea has been quite calm for weeks now. Working on the tan and staying away from the chow line. We are so happy to see people are reading the blog—today, Andrea and Ben. Wow!
Sunday April 5
A German guide starts us out on our adventure around Dubai. A mountain of gabbroic boulders that are used to ballast the banks of “artificial “real estate in the sea greet us as we leave the dock. The old cruise ship Queen Elizabeth II has been purchased by a Dubai investor group and is tied up by our ship and is going to be turned into a 7 star hotel. We drive thru the city that is bursting with construction projects. Fifteen percent of all the new construction on the planet is here. Our first stop is the Burj Al Arab hotel supposedly the only 7star hotel in the world. After seeing it I can’t imagine anything more grandiose. Rooms can go for $10,000 a night. You will just have to see the pics. to get the idea. We have a nice ethnic brunch on the 24th floor with a great view of the city and bay. Then off to the Palm Jameirah Island. This whole complex is on an artificial island shaped like a palm tree—a huge water-front condo arrangement. Each branch contains back to back condos facing the water. That way every condo on the island has beach front. We take a catamaran ride out around the artificial islands of “the world” and a view of the Atlantis Hotel. The Atlantis is the largest water-themed and entertainment hotel in the world. Buy some trinkets at the dock and spend the rest of the day unwinding from the daze we were put in visiting Dubai. The area is in a temporary slump due to the world-wide turn down; a lot of the projects we saw were on hold. But still very impressive.

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