FIRST DAY IN DUBAI CONTINUES Nov. 20th, 2009
The next stop on our agenda was to see “ATLANTIS, THE PALM.” It is located on Palm Jumeirah, covering over 113 acres and 1539 rooms and suites. The Atlantis Palm features two towers linked by an arch. There is a 42-acre water themed amusement park known as Aquaventure and the Lost Chambers, an undersea city, which are free to guests. There are so many beautiful hotels on The Palm and surrounding the entire city that it would take all day to take photos of them, although I did try!
We then went to Al-Fahidi Fort, home to the Dubai Museum. It was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. It maintains a collection of historic artifacts including pieces associated with the Emirate's traditional pearl-fishing industry. In addition to artifacts from recent discoveries as old as 3000 B.C. The fort was used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighbouring tribes. It has also served, at various times throughout history as the ruler's palace, a garrison, and a prison. The fort was renovated in 1970, and opened as the Dubai Museum on May 12th 1971 by Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, then ruler of Dubai. Additional galleries were added in 1995. If you like Museums I would recommend it.
We then went to see The Burj al Arab. It is a unique hotel that is a symbol for Dubai. The Burj al Arab was designed to look like a giant Sail of a dhow, and was built on sand that rests on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft.) off shore. This is unusual as most tall buildings are founded on rock. The columns that support The Burj al Arab go 45 meters under the sea. The columns rely on friction to hold the building up. There is a screen that encloses the third side of The Burj al Arab atrium that is made of 1mm thick glass fiber fabric with a Teflon coat to stop the dirt from sticking. The screen is the largest of its type and covers an area of one and a half football fields. It is hung from the top of the building by over a kilometer of 52mm cable. It is one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The cost of staying in a suite begins at US$2,000 per night; the Royal Suite is the most expensive, starting at US$28,000 per night. Dubai is becoming a world resort location so the building had to say, holiday, fun, and sophistication. This mixed with Dubai's nautical heritage decided the shape of the building.
Our next stop was Jumeirah Beach, it is Dubai's main stretch of sand. It runs for miles along the Arabian Gulf, flanked by hotels and their private beach clubs. The Jumeirah Beach Park is one of the public areas that doesn't require a guest pass, though they do charge a nominal entry fee to enjoy its picnic spots, children's play space, and swimming area with lifeguards. For those who kite surf they head to Wollongong Beach, known locally as Kite Beach. More beaches can be found on Dubai's man-made island, the Palm Jumeirah, the fronds of which have effectively doubled the length of the coastline. I am a Florida girl, and have lived by beaches all my life, so I wasn’t too impressed with the beach. My friend Betsy just wanted to see the Red Sea and put her toe in it. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and she was unable to do that. MOORE TO FOLLOW...