Monday, January 25, 2010

Dubai, UAE

Dubai is my last stop on this Middle Eastern lecture tour. I arrived on time aboard my flight from Dammam, Saudi Arabia (the above picture shows the Dubai skyline at night). Thankfully, there was no waiting on the airport immigration line and I arrived at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (hte one along Sheikh Zayed Road) on Tuesday evening (January 19). The following day, I gave my lecture at 12:30 pm. Total speaking time was about 45 minutes followed by the usual 15 minutes of Q&A. (About 25 people in attendance.) And then my tour was officially completed and I could then begin to rest and relax.

Now the fun part - a friend offered to show me around the Emirates (fyi - there are seven emirates of which Dubai is only one) and I eagerly accepted his generous offer. (Note: to allow me the time to do this sightseeing, I paid the extra night at the hotel but the added cost is worth it to me!) My friend picked me up at 9:15 am and we drove to the eastern most part of the UAE near the Omani border. We soon encountered some fabulous mountains and stopped at the Hatta Fort Hotel for a pleasant lunch and some excellent scenery that most short-term visitors to the UAE never encounter! On the way back to Dubai, I snapped a few pictures of the mountains and at one location I had inadvertantly photographed a small portion of a UAE Army barracks nearby where I was standing. Oops!! A soldier came out of nowhere in a jeep and took my little camera and ordered us to follow him. At the base camp, he handed my camera to his commanding officer who scanned thru the pictures and then ordered me to delete two (2) of the pictures I had stored in the camera memory. Fortunately, that was all! We then shook hands, he handed me two pieces of fruit and I was outta there, car tires spinning in the desert sand as we drove off!

The next day (Friday, January 22) I departed from the ultra-modern Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. The Emirates Business Class is so huge they have a directory of the various sections of the lounge!! I boarded Emirates 857 to Kuwait for an on-time departure!!

NEXT POST: Kuwait

The Burj Khalifa - now the world's tallest building! I wanted to go to the 124th floor observation deck but the hotel concierge informed me there might be up to a 2 hour wait in line to get tickets and that the ticket price ranged from 200 to 400 Dirhams .... depending upon the length of the que!

Some scenic mountains along the road to the Omani border.

Where we had lunch ....

A view of the pool area at the Hatta Fort Hotel.

Who knows what this building is for but it sure looks nice ....
Reply to Comments:
Al: Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Using my rule-of-thumb which states a person needs one day for every hour of time shifting, I am already caught up from my jet lag (9 hours between Houston and Kuwait time)! Now it's time for "real" oilfield work!! And YOU know better than anyone what that entails!
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Thumbprint: Yes, Saudi may be sometime be viewed as "boring" but for those of us expats lucky enough to work with Saudi Aramco (or I suppose some of the other major companies within the Kingdom), there are enough unusual everday events that make for an interesting life and for many memories to reflect back upon in our later years. At least that is my opinion. Glad you like my postings. Many thanks for your recent comment! I just hope I can reach out to more followers like you who take the time to leave comments!
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Hindsfeet: Many thanks for your recent comments as well. I just haven't had the time to properly express my thanks to you and to all my other followers who make time for leaving a comment or two. That lets me know I am at least managing to reach out to a few dedicated followers out there in the blogosphere.
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Ron: In reply to the comment you left a few days ago (regarding my Doha posting), Doha is a lot smaller than Dubai, less frenetic - probably a lot like Dubai WAS many years ago. However, given all the construction cranes, I'd say it won't be long before Doha becomes like Dubai. I am frankly surprised that the pace of construction has not slowed despite the woldwide recession!!
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Ryan Schellenberg: Glad you liked my pictures from Doha. I only wish I can go there again soon! A truly unique place to visit!!

3 comments:

Al said...

Terrific! Wonderful scenery, and gorgeous colors!!! Thanks for sharing these.

Sure hope you are getting a little well-deserved rest after an exhausting lecture tour, and jet lag.

I look forward to the next chapter...

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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