I needed to visit Jumeirah the other day, so thought I would do what I do whenever I visit a new city – go for a wander. Sadly, Dubai is not much of a city for wandering. It’s hot and poorly laid out, and the footpath often ends randomly and you are stuck in a construction site. But I like a challenge, and I was pretty bored – so I went anyway. The first thing I noticed were the gates.
Lots of big, ostentatious gates, with what I can only presume were flashy villas behind them. I had a look on Dubizzle at what was for rent in the area. Interestingly, some of them aren’t as expensive as I thought – given that the location is pretty good, and you’re nestled between the sea and the city. On the other hand, I did walk past a few properties like this, and this, so someone is clearly bringing home the dirhams.
I suppose its the same anywhere else in the world in a wealthy neighbourhood, but there were very few people around. Probably due to the 33 degree heat. Apart from workers, I only saw three people during my walk through the streets. A woman and her child, and an Arab man on a bike. I must have stood out (a white woman not in an SUV!), because the Arab man on a bike – who I must say, was wearing a magnificent hat – gave me the heartiest (and only) wave I have received since I arrived in Dubai.
When I told Matt I was going to go for a walk through a nice neighborhood, he joked that someone might leave something fancy out on the sidewalk for me to drag home. I did actually come across some abandoned roadside fare.
I headed from Jumeirah towards the beach, expecting it to be a buzzing little coastline like in New Zealand. Instead, I found a near-impossible to cross four highway and a crappy mall. Unperturbed, I found a safe(ish) place to scuttle across, and wandered down to where I thought the water was. Obviously very few others could be bothered doing the same, because it was near deserted.
I’m not really a beachy person, but even I’ll admit it was a nice break from the rest of Dubai. I managed to locate the one beach kiosk and purchase myself a delicious BBQ beef sub and iced teach, and had my lunch on the beach. After that, I wandered a few kms along the beach running track. On one side, there were people in bikinis, but a sign made it clear you were expected to wear modest dress the moment you were off the sand.
I enjoyed wandering along and intended to walk all the way to the end of the beach, until my walk was stopped – in true Dubai fashion – by a construction site. So I aimlessly circled for about twenty minutes trying to find a way to cross Dubai Water Canal, until finally giving up and calling for a Careem.
I asked the driver to take me to CityWalk – you guessed it, another mall. But, actually, this one wasn’t too bad. It is a mixed use development, which includes a range of cafes, restaurants and shops, a movie theatre, and my favorite – the Green Planet Biosphere.
Visiting the Green Planet is one of the few things I’ve wanted to do since we moved into the apartment and I spied it out the window – so hopefully Matt and I will get a chance to check it out soon.