||[May. 12th, 2006|02:36 pm]
I left the hotel at 6:00am on Friday to go for a walk and to buy some coffee. The city was waking up and there were a few people around. On Mankhool Road I found a Choitram supermarket and bought a jar of coffee, a bottle of Almarai cow's milk, some Extra gum, and a box of New Zealand muesli bars.|
V. and I were keen to go exploring on foot, so after breakfast we found our way back out to Mankhool Road intending to reach the Dubai Creek. Dubai is built around a natural inlet from the Gulf, artificially deepened and widened into the creek they have today. The Creek is about 10km long and divides the city in two: on one side is Bur Dubai where our hotel was, and which appears to be an older part of town; and on the other is Deira which, looking from the Bur Dubai side, seems more like the modern metropolitan business district.
Turning into Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road we headed in the general direction of the Al Maktoum Bridge, which links Bur Dubai with Deira. On the Gulf, where the Creek begins, the undersea Al Shindagha Tunnel also connects the two districts. We had something of a plan to walk through town to the vicinity of the bridge, then along the Creek to the tunnel.
Generally speaking, the men in the street were well-dressed, but we saw few women outdoors. There is no street crime in Dubai, and both men and women can walk unmolested at any time of the day or night. This emirate is very tolerant of the ways of tourists, but the advice is still given for women to dress modestly.
The natives only make up about 20 percent of the population, the rest being visitors with permission to live and work in Dubai, so there is a real mix of nationalities. Someone in Dubai told me all the city's cab drivers were from Pakistan and I thought he had rocks in his head, but after I learned more about the place it didn't seem so strange.