Scrambled eggs, variety of melon, sweet rolls and hot tea started our day. Southern Sun Hotel in Abu Dhabi treated us to wonderful breakfast buffets each morning. And we appreciated it. Our suitcases have been collected and loaded on our bus. Driving along the coast toward Dubai, we are reminded that Abu Dhabi planted thousand of palm trees, using hoses and pipes for irrigation. Crossing into Dubai, we notice that Dubai did not plant trees. This is a cool, overcast, windy day in mid February. The wind is fairly strong, creating a small sandstorm.
Visibility is very low; the Persian Gulf is barely visible from our bus. Conditions do not change, unfortunately. Our first glimpse of Dubai, even through haze, sand and light drizzle, still impresses.
We head to Palm Jumierah, or Palm Island. This island, made of sand and rock, no concrete or steel, is the largest man made island. This island was completed in 5 years and was a major engineering project. Dubai became rich through oil, but that oil is expected to be gone by 2020. The Sheikh, also the Emir of Dubai, wanted Dubai to be a world tourist mecca and trade center. A major problem for tourism was a limited amount of coastline. Building islands gives Dubai more coastline. Jumierah Island added 75 kilometers of coastline. This island features retail areas, business office space, luxury waterfront residential homes and hotels, including the Atlantis Hotel. Driving to the island, the bridge is the base of the palm trunk. Sadly, the drizzle is becoming heavier now and the visibility even less.
We head to the Atlantis Mall.
This luxury mall features exclusive shopping and our some of our favorite rest stops, such as Cold Stone Creamery. We enjoy their ice cream creations frequently.
Reminding us that we are in the United Arab Emirates, we spot this sign.
We were given tickets to the aquarium.
Seems everyone is enjoying indoor activities on this drizzly day. This is some of what we see inside.
To build this island, a large breaker was needed to reduce the damage by the sea. The environment of this area of the Persian Gulf is changing. Divers regularly evaluate these changes. New species of fish are now living in these waters and new reefs are forming. Leaving Palm Island, we imagine the inside of these fabulous buildings.
We hope you visit Palm Jumierah on a sunny day, but even on a drizzly day it is impressive.