1. At dinner one night at an Iranian restaurant, I sat next to a man with three wives. He had eight children. The three wives sat together and the children sat with the dad. The women were entirely covered, wearing burqas so were forced to eat very discretely or not all.
4. During my 10-day stay in the U.A.E, not once did I see a homeless person. If an expat loses their job, they have only a few weeks or a couple months to find work or they are required to leave.
5. A common scene in each of the malls is seeing women covered from head to toe (sometimes only showing their eyes, sometimes face completely covered), but holding large designer bags and wearing high heel shoes. While the women often wear the abaya as a concern for modesty, with the most devoted covering their faces, this seems to be hypocritical and a result of the unprecedented growth and capitalism.
6. One of my favorite parts of Dubai is that everyone speaks English, even though it's most people's second language. I loved hearing conversations between a sales clerk with a thick Russian accent and a customer with a strong local Arab accent.
7. Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world. It had every American restaurant imaginable--even a Vapiano's which most recently just came to New York.
8. The dilemma with Americans going to Dubai is that when you've been to Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles, it's really nothing special. It's obviously cool and very interesting, but all the malls aren't impressive. Unlike other tourist destinations around the world rich in history and culture, Dubai lacks much other than fascinating intercultural images and tons of Guinness World Records.
|A view of Ski Dubai from Mall of Emirates|
|Mall of The Emirates|
|Parking attendents wait in front of Dubai Mall (largest mall in the world)|
|Information desk at the entrance of Dubai Mall|
|Store inside Dubai Mall|
|Burj Khalifa stands tall on the right|
|From the top of Burj Khalifa|
|Water show outside of Dubai Mall|
|A section of Dubai Mall modeled after "The Grove" in Los Angeles, CA.|