Adam Bird

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Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Dubai

Dubai at night

Oppulance isn't something that Stephanie and I are too familiar with, but that could all change come September when we finally find out just where Mum and Dad will be sending us on our first voyage as Mr and Mrs.

Due to the inevitable future loss of income to the Emirate state from it's oil production, Dubai is looking to the future and how to ensure that it remains ahead of the rest of the world in earning income. Dramatically investing upon the thriving tourist industry has seen a boom of construction projects not seen anywhere in the world. Dubai has also understood that quantity is nothing without quality and have strived for perfection in everything that gets the planning departments approval, nowhere more so than the Burj Al Arab, a place where one thing is for certain. Unless Mum and Dad have been secretly hoarding millions of pounds in their underwear drawers is that we won't be staying at the the worlds only seven star hotel, although it's a place which must top our list of "to do's".

In fact, like Antigua, we could easily lay upon the beach all day for a week, but we'd be depriving ourselves of some of the worlds most unique sites and experiences.  For example, something like twenty of the top two hundred tallest building in the world are situated in Dubai, with plenty more on the radar, including the current worlds tallest - the Burj Khalifa.  The building itself stands at a staggering 2,717ft tall, which is only 500 feet less that the UK's highest mountain and has an observation deck at floor number 124, another place to certainly visit - if we are feeling brave enough!

Not only are supertall hotels, offices and residential buildings occupying what until very recently was wide expanses of desert, the Emirati are also expanding into and under the sea. Huge swathes of land have been deposited or dredged from the sea to create palm shaped archipelago's, or little islets which combine to look like a view of the earth from above. If that wasn't enough, the next architectual boundary looks set to be broken with the worlds first underwater hotel, the Hydropolis, which is pure science fiction becoming stark reality.

So if it's not the world tallest, or the worlds only seven star hotel we'll be in the worlds largest shopping centre or the worlds largest indoor snow dome or lazying around a river at one of Dubai's waterparks. In fact we could venture out down the road and pop into another one of the states that make up the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. A month before the last race of the Formula One season we could pop into Yas Marina and have a track day, although we'd be slightly too early to visit the new Ferrari Formula One theme park, which opens at the beginning of October. Plenty more to see and do indeed!

In fact, being on our honeymoon I can see how it would all unfold. Stephanie, laying on her sunbed, drinking her non-alchololic cocktail, reading her Jordan bestseller with her feet in the warm Gulf sea, whilst I, facing the other way looking at the cranes admiring the slipforms and steel strusses providing strength in the crossbeams. Afterall, I have a secret obsession with all things construction so we'd both be in our element.

Looking at September temperatures in Dubai, I may actually have been a tad premature. The highest recorded temperature has been 48° which is about 38° more than is physically humanely withstandable. After all the research and things to see, we'll only end up venturing as far as our hotel lobby!

With Dubai being the second place on my Mum and Dad's list, a place we never envisaged being there, we look longingly at the European destinations that we first thought of, which is where I'm heading now, but, you'll have to wait for that, I need to read all about it first.

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