After 10 hours sleep I am feeling a lot better and ready to continue exploring Dubai. After breakfast, we headed back up to the big bus stop to finish the red route. Once again we went past all the malls and skyscrapers, then into the older part of Dubai. This is where you find the gold, spice, and fabric markets, plus the museum.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which was formed on 2 Dec 1971, and consists of Abu Dhabi (the capital and cultural center), Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Fujairah. Ras Al Khaimah joined 10th of Feb 1972.
Each Emirate has a separate ruler and together form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the Emirates rulers is the president. The elections are every 5 years and there is no limit on the amount of terms a president can serve. There are 9.2 million people in UAE, of which 7.8 million are expatriates.
Even if you are born in UAE and work there all your life you are not entitled to permanent residency and have to leave there within one month of turning 60. You also have no entitlement to a pension. If you do not leave within a month you get fines which get increasingly expensive.
If you own property you have right of residency of 99 years but you have to be able to support yourself.
Dubai is not as oil rich as some of the other Emirates and has worked hard to reduce its dependency on oil. Oil now only makes up 7% of the GNP.
The Emirate citizens are nearly all Muslim, and you hear the call to prayer 5 times a day. The % is 85% Sunni, 15% Shia and a small number of Shias and Ahmad. Religious tolerance is practiced and there is no friction. Both men and woman go to the Mosques to pray, but there are separate sections for men and woman. On the street you see a number of men in white robes called throne and woman in black called abaya and covered heads is hijab. Everyone here speaks English so it is really easy to get around.
We got off the big bus at the stop where we had the Dhow ride. Was great going for an hours ride up the creek and back. We could see our hotel from the Dhow, plus a number of other Dhow, water taxi and some huge super yacht. One of the super yacht was made entirely from wood which was highly polished and must take a huge amount of up keep.
After the Dhow ride we walked along the creek front, back to the hotel. We past a number of Dhow being loaded up with goods to go to India and Pakistan. There were huge mounds of goods ranging from fridges, air conditioning units, to fabric. There are no cranes – all the goods are loaded by hand.
When we got back to the hotel we packed and got ready to be picked up for our overnight tour to the desert. We had lunch at the hotel pub, decided to try the burger and beer. Burger was ok beer choice was limited and I ended up with Heineken beer. How tastes change – I used to like Heineken beer.
Then to the hotel lobby to await the pickup (to be continued).