A Footnote to Our Trip to Oman and the UAE

Sultan as a Sea to His People (although not necessarily to his hired help) We heard this phrase in both the UAE and in Oman. It generally refers to how the Sultan (aka, King) channels the country’s great wealth to its citizens to improve their lives and their children’s prospects. Certainly, the sultan and his [Read more …]

Oman: Musandam Peninsula and Khasab


We made our way from Dubai to Oman, which is independent of the UAE (United Arab Emeritus). Oman is roughly the size of Kansas, but with much, much more variety. With its combination of oil, gold, minerals and fish, it is almost as wealthy as the UAE. Unlike Dubai and other areas, it [Read more …]

A Cultural Daytrip to Sharjar


Sharjar, which extends from Dubai as an extension of the city, is indeed a separate Emirate. It is the third largest Emirate and is and home to 800,000 people. This is the only totally dry of the Emirates (no liquor stores nor alcohol in even tourist hotels). It is particularly rich in the [Read more …]

Eating and Sleeping in Dubai


As usual when we travel, we sought out both local foods as well as interesting restaurants. We had a lot of hummus, kebabs and gyros, but we also ate at a few particularly interesting restaurants. These included: Qbara, one of the hottest new restaurants in the city, is a beautifully and expensively designed [Read more …]

Desert Safari and Dune Bashing


Although Dubai is mostly about scale, luxury and excess, the Emirate has another side–sand. To experience this, we had to take a dessert safari. Our experience included about an hour of dune bashing where four-wheel drive Land Rovers sped up and down dunes, taking sharp turns where the cars lean at precarious angles and throw [Read more …]

Exploring Old Dubai


"Old" is something of a misnomer when applied to Dubai. True, the Al Fahidi Fort was built in 1787 (and is the oldest building in the city), but the buildings that surrounded it are long gone. The current “old” sections of the city was rebuilt in the 1970s to appeal to tourists—which is Dubai’s number [Read more …]

Dubai: The Glitz and the Reality


Dubai, is Abu Dhabi’s smaller, less wealthy cousin with an outsize attitude. Since it lacks the natural resources of Abu Dhabi, it chose its own model–one apparently modeled after Las Vegas, except, bigger, taller and with far more glitz, although with less alcohol and without gambling and sex. Although its present site has been occupied [Read more …]

Al Ain


One of the side trips we took while in the UAE was to Al Ain. This city/area is actually part of Abu Dhabi, is and is the site of the largest, first discovered oasis in Abu Dhabi. Not surprisingly, as an oasis, it was a primary cradle of Emirati civilization, having been established about 4,000 [Read more …]

Abu Dhabi


After leaving the exotic Stone Town (Zanzibar) behind, we flew into the UAE (United Arab Emirates) on Emirates Air. The positive experience started the minute we stepped onto the plane. If Emirates Air ever comes into the US in a large way, all US airlines will be toast. Coach seats had room. Service was amazing. [Read more …]