Thursday, January 22, 2015

Abu Dhabi 2015 - High Tea at Etihad Towers

Our trip in the Emirates was blissful despite some hiccups. Although Dubai is home to everything pompous and showy, it is still not as rich as its humble capital; Abu Dhabi. While there were many things being said about how boring Abu Dhabi is because of its low profile persona, it's hard to ignore the ambitious projects Abu Dhabi have sustainably planned. In fact I am quite looking forward to all their new attractions! It's gonna be so huge!


The trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi was not as long as I thought it would be. From most people that I have heard of and most travel books I have read, I was told it would take about 2 hours to get there. Fortunately for me, it took me not more than 1.5 hours. I don't think my driver was speeding but it's hard to tell in such smooth car.

He even promised that we would reach less than 2 hours and I really thought he was going to speed but no, he didn't!


The distance between these two neighboring cities is actually less than 150km. So for those who're saying it takes about 2 hours, they were probably stuck in a traffic jam. Or were they lying?

Entering Abu Dhabi is a whole new world because the population there is so small, it almost felt like no one was in town. Besides, with the capital not getting much fanfare as compared to Dubai, I was actually grateful that this town is quiet. It's almost hard to believe that you have a country with a lot of money yet very little population. Your Royal Highness, please keep it that way!


Upon reaching, we checked in our hotel to freshen up, there's so much to talk about the beautiful hotel I stayed in but first, let me grab something to eat! We explored around town and had our high tea at one of the best places in town - Observation Deck at 300, at Jumeirah hotel.


Once we arrived at Etihad towers, we were brought up to level 74 of Jumeirah hotel where the Observation Deck at 300 is. That was tad higher than what I am used to at Marina Bay Sands. So there were some family having their high tea and we were so honoured to be given a tour of Abu Dhabi from the top of the hotel. So much convenience!

I personally stylize it as ObDeck 300 because the name is just too mouthful. I can't possibly say the full name with my mouth full of their delicious pastries! Rising 300m above the ground, ObDeck 300 is the best place to enjoy the city vista and indulge in savoury light bites!


I also personally find saying ObDeck 300 sexier than having to say it in full. I just can't imagine telling my friends over lunch -

"Oh, we had high tea at Ob-ser-va-tion Deck at three-hun-dred." I'd probably rain out everything that's in my mouth!

However you are going to say it, it's hard to miss this observation deck - high end place for high tea. I mean, look at the stunning view across the city and Arabian Gulf! Nowhere within Jumeirah hotel, or even Abu Dhabi, you get to enjoy such refinement at a higher point. Mind you, this was taken from just one side of the observation deck.


From the observation deck too you get to see the most luxurious hotel in town; The Emirates Palace. If you guys are really going to spend some time admiring all these architectural wonders, I'd strongly suggest doing it from the top here because you'll probably spend your entire day looking up at all these tall and wonderfully structured building. So much so, you're going to start getting neck ache.

That's when Jumeirah hotel starts calling your room offering you packages from their Talise spa.

I may be kidding, but trust me on the neck ache. You're going to need Salonpas!


ObDeck 300 has all round panoramic views from Etihad Towers complex, with its uninterrupted bird’s-eye perspective of the city’s skyline, the Corniche and Arabian Gulf, it's easier to tell after the orientation where is where. I have never felt so grateful being able to look down because looking up this beautiful Etihad towers was spraining my neck. Sometimes, being immersed in all these gets too distracting I do not know if I can ever walk straight there. So I really need to sit quietly and enjoy the sight. Haha!

Anyway, one of the many reasons we had our high tea there was not only because of the scenic view and our bodily pain, its café offers a wide range of mocktails, as well as desserts and salads. ObDeck 300 probably needs no introduction because it is popular amongst locals too!


With stunning sights like this, the ObDeck 300 serves the city’s highest high tea service with its high tea at the highest tower concept, offering TWG Tea Grand Crus Prestige exclusive blends such as Silver Moon Tea, Brothers Club Tea and White House Tea. ObDeck 300 also serves its own signature mocktail: the Etihad Sparkler - it's a tasty thirst quencher with berries in it!

The maître d' and waitresses were nice too! Their service definitely goes beyond their call of duty.


We were seated by the full length window facing this beautiful view of the city and blue waters and as you are higher from the ground and with views that literally has no obstruction, it is normal that you will be glared by the bright sky. The waitress asked me if I was glared by the sun. Of course I was, duh! What kind of question is that... Since she asked, I asked if she could draw the blinds.

Poof! She went off.

And then she came back;

With. A. Remote. Control.

How amazing was that! You're given the remote control just to adjust the blind at your own discretion! I'm sure most of you would understand how it must have felt! All you have to do is to compare how does it feel to have to turn on the television with and without a remote control!

Definitely an embodiment first class service.

By the way, you also might want to know that this place is available for private events.

Hmmm...

ObDeck 300, it's hard to object.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dubai 2015 - The Bedouin Journey


My journey in Dubai wasn't all about concrete and steel; nor was it about shopping. Part of it was living the life of the bedouin - the traditional arab nomads. It was one of the most exciting part of my trip because it's not everyday I get to stand in the middle of something so vast. It blew my mind away on how little I am in this big, big world.

Like the ocean, the desert is actually a very, very dangerous place. That's where weird animals like giant scorpions come out to life like the ones you see in Clash of Titans (only kidding!) and desert snakes come to terrorize your life (that's true). All being pun, dangers at the desert are real. The sand is so soft that without protection you lose your kidneys if it goes into your body, rattle snakes glide faster than you running on the powder soft sand, and temperatures are extreme day and night. That explains why traditional arab bedouin wear involves a lot of thick cover ups from head to toe; for self protection.

In Dubai, the desert safari tour is a must-go because there, you get to have a first hand experience of the desert, experience the belly dancing (watch, not perform!), arab food and for some shisha if you're keen. If you're lucky, you get to make new friends!



There were two timings to choose from, day or night depending on your preference. For me I'd prefer day because the sun is up, so it's really good to take photos and when the light reflects from the sand it makes it more beautiful but that day was so unfortunate and I was so disappointed! Almost cried, but I am a believer of what happened has its reason.

The driver arrived at our pick up location on time in the afternoon and we were really excited about it; because in Dubai, services are notoriously known to be slow (and sometimes, rude) and there's nothing much you can do about it if it happens. The journey started at about 2pm, and we were supposed to reach within an hour or so; but thanks to the massive traffic jam on a Saturday; which is Sunday equivalent in their working calendar, we were terribly late.


I was really, really pissed because I really wanted to enjoy desert safari under the sun because it's winter, it's not so hot, it's actually a perfect time to be under the sun, but I couldn't. I was in the traffic for 4 hours.

Four. Bloody. Hours.

Like, how can that be? Roads there are so wide that my highway back home feels like a street and we pay huge amount of taxes for it. Here in tax free country with so many freeways we were still stuck? I even managed to catch up on my lost sleep from previous days! I even asked myself, like is it usually this bad? To be stuck in the traffic for like half a day?

Turns out, there was a high-speed car crash on the highway. It was so major that the car was crushed like a metal ball. They even had to use police cars to cordon off the area. So can you imagine on a six lane highway, three lanes had to be cordoned off. That's like half of the lanes were cut off creating a bottleneck.

That's the road in Dubai people, they have one of the highest accidents rate in the world per head of population; a record I don't think she wants to own. Although unhappy at that time, I was so relieved to arrive safely!

The first thing we did once we set foot on the desert was the dune bashing. If I had a heavy lunch right before the ride, I'd probably dirty the car - but it's quite hard to get me dizzy in this kind of things. As an adrenaline junkie, I thrive on these kind of rides. One can easily make a protein shake in that car without literally shaking it with your hands! What made it more interesting was the music that was played in the car was so upbeat you can shake to it without being judged since it's already shaky in that car!

video

The dune bashing is like a phase that you have to go through to get to the heart of the desert where all the fun begins. Dune bashing is just less than half the fun. I think if you would like to skip dune bashing there's a way, but that would be so boring!


When we arrived at the more happening part of the desert, there were many other things that you can try which was pretty centralized so I rode the camel first! It's not the same as riding a horse! Honestly I find horses are smoother but camel offers a higher vantage point. Maybe due to its longer legs, it feels a little unstable, like it can topple anytime. Probably my camel was also too tired waiting for me all day long because I don't think I am that heavy to begin with!


Ladies and gentlemen, if you would like to ride on this, please wear something suitable for you to stretch your legs wide. No room for skirts. Just look at my thobe. Thank God for those jeans!

I love animals which was why I was exhilarated for the desert safari tour. I get to touch, see and ride on the camel and get my hands on the UAE's national bird, the falcon. The princely falcon is so cute! Gave it a peck before I go. Hehe! We did all these before the show which was the finale for the night. There were food stalls for you to buy some food to revel in while watching the exotic performances.


I definitely love my bedouin journey although I did not get to enjoy it under the sun. The next time I'm going to the desert though, I am going by an Apache. Cuts down on the traveling time!

Thank you to my dad's friend, Mr Ernest for helping me out for the arrangement! Appreciate it loads! Hugs!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dubai 2015 - Downtown, Where The Heart Is

We meet again! Previously we saw the old Dubai and after many days dwelling in old town; we needed to go somewhere richer - Downtown Dubai! Downtown Dubai is where all the major landmarks are - tallest building in the world; Burj Khalifa, one of the largest malls in the world, Dubai Mall and the world's largest choreographed water fountain - The Dubai Fountain. This three is enough to set Dubai as the city of superlatives.

In the old part of Dubai where Deira is, you do not see much of these. Mostly were low lying buildings since it's located close to the busiest DXB airport. Here in Downtown Dubai is where you can flash all you have got in your wallet and still feel like just a drop in the ocean. It's no wonder Dubai is labeled as the Vegas of the Middle East. Less the gambling, double the splendour.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is major! I can never get enough of the view of this skyscraper! I had my eyes on this man-made marvel ever since touched down and I was totally insatiable looking at this epic building. Known as Burj Dubai before it's inauguration, this building was renamed in honour of the President of United Arab Emirates: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It faced a crazy episode of changes prior to its opening back in 2010 because news had it that all signage on the Dubai Metro, opened just months before, also had to be changed due to the renaming because it is said that Abu Dhabi the constituent capital of UAE, gave Dubai a bailout during the financial crisis.


Skin deep, the tallest building in the world does not only hold the title of being the tallest building in the world. In fact, it holds several other record titles like the world record for highest night club, and inevitably the world's highest new year firework display.  Everything is so huge I lost my sense of scale for a while. Burj Khalifa is so gargantuan it can be seen crystal clear from the airport runway and old Dubai.

I really adore the architecture which incorporates modern and Islamic designs which carries a distinct touch that represents the Muslim majority in UAE.

The building is standing at about 800m high and even from far it does look near due to its monumental size. So if you ever ask me if I have ever been cheated in Dubai; I'd say yes. The sizes did. Even on Google map everything looks so near, contrary to when I use it back home.

Back home, I'd key in a destination, it looks far but it's so close. Here in Dubai, it's the other way round for me!


Cliche as it seems, this building was built as a symbol of their high aspiration, strength and progress. I've always wondered where does mine stand?

I think mine definitely stand beyond the height of Burj Khalifa. Only difference is - Burj Khalifa is always on the ground. If you get the pun. ;p


Nonetheless, it's always good to dream big because hadn't these Sheikhs who run Emirates done so, UAE's landscape will not be the same as what we see today. I probably would have never thought of going to Dubai if it had not been for these massive things that are beyond imagination!


Dubai Mall
Before heading to Dubai Mall, we were delighted to be invited to indulge on traditional biryani; courtesy of Amin's cousin whom I found out actually an old acquaintance of mine! Small world! We then headed to Dubai Mall which was nearby (everywhere is so centrally located, just that everything is so huge it feels far) and I was so thankful that she came along. The mall is so huge I don't know where to begin! Since it was a Friday, the mall was very crowded. The aquarium, the zoo and even the drop-off was chaotic with tourists who came in busloads.



It was funny because there were so many muscle cars which were parked in front of the mall, it became a little bit like a tourist spot where you see people taking turns snapping photos and taking selfies the cars. It was already crowded and people were just adding on to the the jam at the entrance by loitering around taking selfies! What is it an auto show? Haha! Don't tell anyone that I got caught in the hype too. Shh! Where else you get such thing if not in a city where grandeur is a norm?

As you enter Dubai Mall main entrance, you will be greeted by this grand atrium and several pathways to choose from. It doesn't matter which way you go because it's a loop. If you had watched the documentary or learned it's architecture, it's designed in a weird way that there's a cut through in between the quadrant of the mall for easier access. Otherwise you will have to make one big turn just to turn back!



Dubai Mall - Bloomingdales
There were about 1,200 shops in that mall and without doubt Bloomingdales was my favourite. I like the fact that most of their house brand souvenirs are localized which makes it a very sophisticated Dubai souvenir. I pretty much got all my souvenirs there so that I do not have to think so much about them after that. People always ask why bother getting souvenirs - I can't help but to have my hands on those swarovski pencils with arabic writing that spells "Bloomingdales" and glittery Bloomingdales tote bag with ornate prints and even flip flops that says "Bloomingdales Dubai". Call me crazy but Bloomingdales in Dubai is the only Bloomingdales outside of US!


While I was there, I had the chance to try on one of their best selling cupcake; the Red Velvet Cheesecake. It's so rich and delicious! You can order them and dine in by the water fountain in the departmental store.


Dubai Mall - The Souk
To give Dubai mall the Emirati identity, a part of the mall has a commercialized, modern and glitzy souk called The Souk. It has Turkish eateries like Mado, classic Arab perfumes and lotions, and even plush Arabian carpets. If you are not a fan of street shopping, The Souk is an awesome place to go to experience traditional shopping, the classier way.


Got myself Arabian white oud attar; it is a fragrance oil mainly used as perfumes. Attar comes from natural sources; it works and last much longer than synthetic perfumes!


If you are not a fan of shopping on holiday, there's always sightseeing catered for you in Dubai Mall! Probable sole purpose is to keep you there while waiting for others to shop! LOL.


Dubai Mall - Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Mall Aquarium has one of the largest acrylic panel to contain about 30,000 animal displays in the 10 million litre tank. Major! Downside, it's not worth it to go on a weekend when it's so crowded because it's not exactly as huge as the one in Singapore and the queue for the ticket was so long! If you are jaded with what you see at S.E.A Aquarium in Singapore, The Dubai Mall aquarium is just another tank.


Nevertheless, it's always nice to be able to gaze at the tank from three levels of the mall!


Dubai Mall - Level Shoe District

The Level Shoe District in Dubai Mall is divine and one of a kind! The forward-looking dedicated shoe district sure has a head-turning new take on shoe fashion, art and design. There you get to discover the latest trends of each season from over than 300 brands catering to all target market; men and women.

The place even have amenities for personal shoe styling, restoration and even fashion cafe!

If you are there, you might want to explore VOGUE Cafe, and check out the limited editions the Level Shoe District carries.


The Burj Khalifa Lake and Dubai Fountain
While most tourist tend to straight away marvel at the Dubai Fountain which is to date the largest choreographed water fountain laid at 275m, do not miss giving an awe to the largest man-made lake at the the Burj Khalifa Lake. Built over an area of 30 acres, this lake links to the Dubai Fountain which pumps 83,000 litres at one time to more than 70m. Considerably high but it is not even a tenth of the towering height of Burj Khalifa! I don't think the word small, short, or cheap ever appears in the Dubai's vocabulary.


You can always relax by the al fresco cafes along the Dubai Fountain to enjoy the more than 30 synchronized music performance half hourly in the evenings and enjoy the waters dancing to the tunes of the music with amazement. You will definitely hear a round of applause at every end of its spectacular show!


In the mean time before next update, enjoy a number by the Dubai Fountain. One of my favorites!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Dubai 2015 - Old Is Gold

Hey guys! How did you guys celebrate your December holidays? I hope all is well. I am sure most of you had a great time for countdown; even if it's just tucking in bed while everyone is gazing at the sparkly fireworks display from all over the world. Even if you're just doing that, know that you are having a better countdown than some people out there.

Many of you would have known by now that I spent my remaining days of 2014 in the Middle East. By far, this is one of the most amazing trips in my life! I can't help it but to share so many pictures online and tell you how much you guys should really be there this year; or at least within the next five years with Dubai EXPO 2020 coming up!

My Dubai trip has been a dream trip because I have seen it many times through documentaries of its sheer scale projects; which is beyond imagination. To see it first hand is a dream come true. What makes it more fun is the company I was with, so grateful to have this vacation with one of my best; Amin! Needs no introduction; by now you should have known he's my good friend since I was 12.

The SATS Premier Lounge
The morning before our flight, we lounged at SATS Premier Lounge while waiting for our flight. It was a little bit different than what we had in mind. Our initial plan was to window shop in transit; turns out we spent the entire time indulging ourselves to the automated massage chair, unlimited drinks, they even have cup noodles which I took some to Dubai - because I know on certain days I would be so lazy to go down for breakfast! Cup noodles are not that easy to find in Middle East! Even took some cereal just to make myself feel like I'm eating healthily - but those cereals were untouched even when I was back!


Thanks a bunch to American Express and SATS Premier Lounge because I needed that quiet space to call the banks to deactivate some credit cards for overseas use. After all those fiasco about credit card fraud and stolen identity, I just needed to be sure! Also because Wi-Fi connection is fast, free and unlimited at Changi Airport, I needed to sit by a power socket to keep my Samsung fully charged while scrolling my messages without looking homeless and the lounge is the solution!

Best part, the lounge was not busy at all. Pretty much have the entire space to myself.


Flight Without Plight
I took Malaysia Airlines; booking was made way before all the aviation fiasco happened - so, no ethic issues really. It's business as usual although there may seem to be some cutbacks. Even so, they still stay true to their Malaysian Hospitality identity. The aircrew unquestionably have my standing ovation for rooting to the company despite ongoing turmoil; sometimes for business, times like this really shows who your true employees and patrons are.


The flight to Dubai was indeed a bliss, because the plane was only half full, most of us had the back seat to ourselves. I was initially really pissed because my window seat does not have a window. No way I am going to endure seven hours of flight without getting to look outside! It's a beautiful day out there! I asked for a change of seat; I had no idea the flight was only half full until I was told about it. 7-hour flight is very long if you do not know what to do; after much camwhore, enjoyed looking at the clouds, I had a nap and woken up by the glare. Watched some shows and then talked to the aircrew about many things under the sun - from fashion to career and many other things to get us through the quite-a-long flight. I find them real and genuine, not at all phoney. You would agree some things are not seen in the eyes, but felt at heart! They are so relatable!


Also humble despite being 20 or so years with the company.

The Touchdown and Weather Surprise
We arrived in the evening, and I have never felt so surprised by the weather. I may know a lot about the places I want to go and that there's very little rain in Middle East. I had no idea; not a single bit that it would be very cold! Fair enough, I got a heads up from some friends saying it's about 26 degrees celsius; and it feels like air-con. I didn't know that that air-con feel on a natural setting bites you to the core. I was really grateful to have a thick piece of sweater with me. During winter in December, there's not much need for air-con. The weather is cold even with the sun so bright. Stock up some Vaseline though; it gets really dry your skin starts to flake and your lips start to chip. Not sexy at all.

The Old Dubai and Souks
We spent first few days of our trip at the old part of Dubai; Deira. Personally when travelling, I like being immersed in the history and culture. So for the first few days, I was on a mission to feel the bedouin lifestyle. I am not all about the shopping and fancy things. I really appreciate the old part of Dubai where I get to see all the souks and learn everything in the Dubai Museum. The textile souk, the gold souk and the spice souk. It was all amazing because souk, which literally means bazaar, you get to bargain and haggle for the stuff that you want. The only thing you really can't bargain though, is gold. As in pure 999.9 gold - you can't bargain for that. Gold vending machines are everywhere in the mall by the way. At every standalone ATMs you will see one standing beside it telling you real-time market rate.

The Dubai Museum
You definitely need more than a day to explore the souks and everything in the old part of Dubai; but first things first. The Dubai Museum.


Dubai Museum is located right across the Grand Mosque along Al Fahidi St. From there, it is really convenient and if you walk down further you will see some souks before bumping into the Dubai creek. The Dubai Museum is a definitely must go to find out more about Dubai's growth; how most bedouins become "sheikhs" due to gold rush; and their vision as a bustling cosmopolitan. For just AED 3 (~$1), you will be immersed in all the information you need about Emirati culture, from traditional outfit, traditional entertainment, religion, and even archeology from pre-Islaminization.


Don't be deceived by the exterior of the museum though, for a humble facade and that price, you may think that you will only get what you see. Most parts of the museum is underground so, you need about 2-3 hours to assimilate with what the museum has got to offer. Even if you are in Dubai not for its culture, missing it would be a mistake unless you want to appear vacant talking to Emiratis - because Emiratis are actually very friendly. Contrary to popular belief about Arab snobs.





After much assimilation into the Dubai culture, we headed down to the Grand Mosque which is just a stone's throw away from the museum. It is not as big as I thought it would be, but it holds historical significance in old Dubai. Since it's along the way right before the souk, might as well pay a visit! The mosque is not open for non-Muslims. You are free to take photos at the minaret though.



As you walk down further you will come across the Bur Dubai souk, where textiles from all over the world are traded and sold there. There are so many to choose from, so you really need some time to shop around to get the best designs at the best price! If you are not satisfied with what you see, walk down further and ride on the abra (water taxi) for just AED 1 (~30 cents) to get across the creek. Riding the boat was one of my most thrilling yet dangerous rides! That was the least safe boat ride I have been on! No life jacket; nothing to hold on and you are just sitting on the edge of the boat. Don't worry though because the creek is sound, not choppy. There were so many people to help you out anyway!



If you're looking for a perfect timing to explore the souks, night time is the most ideal and the most happening. One night is not enough though; be warned for good bargains. There will be lights and lots of people thronging the walkways of the souk. Expect a little touting, but that's normal. The souks are usually surrounded by other street shops and gift shop can be found at almost every corner of the street. So you don't really have to worry about getting last minute souvenirs. The famous gold souk called the Deira Gold Souk is located not far from the abra dock and of all souks, this is the one souk I really love!

It has all the gold there; the souk is still safe for night shopping. I'd say it's an epitome of 21st Century bazaar because there were screens around the souk telling you real-time prices of gold; brought to you by Dubai's Department of Economic Development. With benches, comfortable enough to probably allow you to monitor the prices. They really bring bazaar shopping to a whole new sophisticated level!



Stylized as Dubai City of Gold, you will be spoilt for choice on the designs offered ranging from India and Iran to name a few. Personally, I would suggest going for the gold souk last though - just to spend your remaining cash on valuable stuff that can appreciate in value. Only cash accepted for gold bars just so you know!



Moving further along Deira St, you will come across to another souk called Naif Souk; it is popular for traditional women's cloak; abaya. Ranging from AED 80 to 200, you can get abaya of different designs, and there's definitely a correlation in price and quality. You wouldn't want to get an abaya too thick because traditionally it is not a one-piece wear. It's a cloak for cover up; so you might want to look for something thick enough that does not see through, yet cooling enough to get by the desert heat. Usually by looking at the abaya close up you can tell the difference in quality and price. So bargain accordingly!

Most of the good quality ones are displayed inside their shops.


They even have nice arabic incense if you're a fragrance junkie like me. I'm a fan of perfumes and incense so I got the entire set just at a fraction of what they initially offered. For such bargain, I still have a nice smelling home now. Very grateful! If you are keen in owning them, get the bukhoor; wood chips soaked in fragrance oil (oud oil) - because it smells more natural and less synthetic. If you're going for the resin type, it smells as good, but not so good after. Just don't smell the smoke directly! Traditionally, bukhoor are usually passed around during congregation as a gesture of hospitality.

We should probably start doing it in public transport, for the sake of people who fail in personal grooming. Haha!

If you are going to get them, don't forget to buy the traditional censer; traditionally known as the mabkhara. There are many designs to choose from and it adds on to the traditional touch in the art of burning bukhoor. I picked one that is very ornate to go with the smell! Burning them is an art. If you don't know how to burn it, it wouldn't smell as good. You can always ask them how to burn it; they are more than willing to share.

By then you'd think you've done enough shopping but hell no! You're not done until you have visited the spice souk. They have many range of spices. These spices do not necessarily come from Emirates per se, they are widely imported from all over the globe which makes it more interesting because here's where spices from all over the world congregate. It's like mecca for spices!


Ranging from chilli flakes to curry powders and even cloves, this is heaven for people who loves to cook. I'd probably stop my mum from going or maybe just leave her there and meet her somewhere when she's done if I were to bring her along. Downside though, you need to know what to lookout for and what do you intend to cook with it otherwise your purchase and trip would be sort of a waste. I myself didn't dare to buy them because you need someone who can appreciate these things. I was just there for the smell of saffron since they're displayed out in bulk. Don't have to worry about it getting polluted and all. The souks are well sheltered, there is minimal pollution. In fact, all the souks were so clean it almost looked commercialised; but it's not! Everything was simply neat.


Old Dubai may not be as fancy and glittery, but what I really like is its cleanliness and sterility that keeps those Louboutins shiny!

Stay
Hotels are plenty in old Dubai and they are not bad. Anywhere near the metro station is good. It gets you to most places around old Dubai in no time because of its speed and there was not much crowd. Just know that on Fridays, the metro only opens at 1pm in the afternoon because Dubai adopts Islamic law; their weekend starts on Friday. I knew that all along, just that I had no idea when they say weekend, they seriously meant it. More coming up.

I'm turning in now, good night!