The Dubai Museum

Let’s go to the oldest building in Dubai.   Al Fahidi Fort was built in 1787 and in 1971 became the main museum in Dubai.

Dubai Museum

As we approached Dubai Museum, a stop to admire this traditional boat was appreciated.

Traditional boat

As proof that this was a fort used to guard the landward approaches to the town from the raids of neighboring tribes, we spotted a canon and cannonballs.

Canon with canon balls

Before entering the museum we wandered around the courtyard.   This well intrigued us.

Well in courtyard of museum

Isn’t is impressive?  Time for us to enter Dubai Museum.

Going inside

After descending the spiral stairs we find ourselves on a path viewing dioramas of life in Dubai, before oil.   Today the museum is very crowded, so Chanel and I must stay in our traveling bags.   This man builds and fixes things.

He worked with these tools

See his tools at the front of the picture?   This man is teaching and the students are reading.   They all sit on the floor.

Studying and teaching

A very necessary person in any society, the tailor is busy at his sewing machine.

The tailor

These are traditional costumes.  We love the bright color of her dress.   And, of course, the gold around her neck.

Traditional customs

Continuing on the path we encounter these men building a boat, or a dhow.

Building a boat

Before oil, pearls were a major economic force.   The pearl diver is searching underwater.   This was a very difficult and dangerous job.   You may notice that the diver is not wearing oxygen tanks.

Diving for pearls

Nets are always needed and always need repairing.

Making nets

Here we see how the inside of a Bedouin tent looked.

Inside of Bedouin tent

We saw skeletons from the archaeological site in Al Qusais area that goes back to 3000 B.C.   The items in this room are from archaeological finds of Al Qusais.


Although the museum was very crowded, we enjoyed seeing how life in Dubai was before the discovery of oil.   Our moms did not want to go into the gift shop, but we did see what was offered from this view.

Gift shop

They said we will have time for shopping another day.   Maybe we will visit some of the other souks we heard about.   That would be fun also.

Dubai’s Picturesque Heritage Area of Bastakia with Zeb and Chanel

Pearl boats sailed from Dubai, divers submerged and searched for the elusive pearls.   The people of the pearl industry lived here in the Baslakiya quarter.   Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear visited this picturesque heritage area.

Heritage area of Bastakia

This area of Dubai was established in the late 1800’s, by pearl traders and well-to-do textile traders from Bastak, Iran.   There are also many galleries and restaurants in this area, but we were eating elsewhere today.   This was just a stop to explore and see old Dubai, before oil and all the oil wealth changed things.   Here were learned what the inside of a Bedouin tent probably looked like.

Simulation of interior of Bedouin tent

The Bedouin people are nomadic, so they need to be able to move easily.   We like this tent area.   We can even imagine camels nearby.  Originally the walls were built with coral.   Later they were covered with plaster.

Walls were made of coral

Here some of the plaster has been removed and we can see the coral.   We like the coral.   It does get very hot here, in the desert during the summer.   This, a wind tower, was the original air conditioning.

Wind tower–original air conditioning

The tower was open on all 4 sides.  The wind came in and was forced downward.   Often the open areas were covered with wet cloth.   The wet air cooled the living space.   This seems rather similar to some coolers, used in the United States for cooling in areas of low humidity.   The buildings were tall and the walkways or alleys were narrow.

Narrow alley walkways

This provides shade during the heat of the day.   When we were there, in February, the temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s were comfortable.   According to our iphones, the temperatures are consistently in the 100’s now.   Shade was be needed.   Look at these old, heavy and very ornate doors.

Heavy ornate doors

Aren’t they wonderful?   We spotted this door, partly open.

Open door

We would never go inside or even peek into someone’s home, but this shows that the homes consist of long, narrow rooms.   Wandering through Bastakia, looking down the narrow alleys, we see modern Dubai.

Looking through the old to see the new

What a contrast!   We found this mural by Ruben Sanchez.

Mural by Ruben Sanchez

Nearby we spotted these words, Respect, Dignity and Giving.

Good motto

That seems to be a theme and ideal around the world.   Here is the coin museum.

Coins Museum

It was closed, but this old building became the coin museum in 2004.   It houses over 470 rare coins.   It is believed that some of the coins are from the time of Mohammad.   Chanel and I liked this resting place, so we decided to rest.

Peaceful area to rest

This is lovely and peaceful.   You will notice that Dubai Creek, a main waterway through the city is right here, by Bastakia.

Dubai Creek is right here.

Our guide, Tariq, says it is time to get back on the bus and see something else in Dubai.   I wonder we will go next.


Zeb and Chanel Go Shopping in Dubai

Back on the bus.   We hurry as we don’t want to be left behind.   But it is hard to leave the beach–even when hazy.   Oh, we are going shopping now?   OK   Let’s go.   Entering Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

Entering Souk Madinat Jumeirah

This looks new and pretty fancy.   Near the entrance arch, we can see Burj Arab.

Burj Arab, still hazy

We just left that beach.   Inside the souk, we see many things that we do not see at the Denver, Colorado malls.   These are great shoes.

Fancy shoes

Our moms look, but no new shoes coming with us.   This is my new friend.

I love meeting new friends

He is selling more things we do not often see at home.   Mom and I go to antique shops at home and we think this store looks very interesting.

Sindbad Antiques

But, after walking around more of this area, we realize we are out of time.   The bus is taking us to our hotel, The Hyatt Regency.

Hyatt Regency Hotel

We are near Dubai Creek in the Deira area of Dubai.   That is a revolving restaurant at the top of our Hyatt.   Chanel the Bear, and I, Zeb the Duck, took our moms there one evening.

We ate here. Loved it!

The food was great, the views suburb and we had a lovely evening.   But, our human moms forgot to take pictures of us.   What to do with those humans?  Entering the Hyatt Regency we loved all the red roses.

I love red roses

The lobby is decorated with many fresh flowers and thousands of small lights.

Festive lobby

It seemed so festive for a small bear and a rubber duck.   I love spiral staircases.

Spiral staircase and a boat. I love it!

And I especially loved this ship.

Our hotel has a shopping arcade, and do you know what else?   We have an ice skating rink in our hotel.

Ice skating rink in our hotel. And a snack bar.

Our hotel has a roof top pool.

Roof top pool

The roof top restaurant would be a perfect place for Chanel and I to have lunch.   However, the humans were too busy trying to see many things in Dubai.   Nice to know that they are ready if we want dinner and it gets a little cool.

It does get cool in the desert.

This hotel, and all of Dubai, seem to be ready for anything.

Always prepared

Aren’t these flowers and large pots beautiful?


We really like the Hyatt Regency and Dubai is fascinating.

Lunch at Dubai Marina with Zeb and Chanel

We animals are getting hungry.   So, let’s go to Dubai’s marina for lunch.

Dubai Marina

Remember, Dubai is a little short on coastline, so this marina was built, with canals offering more water front property.   The menu at Salsa’s Restaurant appeals to us.

Menu at Salsa Restaurant. Zeb and Chanel approve.

After ordering, we admire the view from our table.

Dubai Marina from Salsa Restaurant

Our food is here.   This is great.

Lunch at Salsa’s

The french fries are delicious and plentiful.   Look, we each received two sliders, or smaller hamburgers.   But they really aren’t very small.   So much food.   We appreciate the umbrella over our table, as it once again begins to drizzle.   In Dubai, we are in awe of the many skyscrapers, and the new, innovative architecture.   We believe the twisted buildings withstand higher winds without damage.

A water park. For a sunnier day.

Driving to the beach we hope to get a good view of what some say is the most luxurious hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab.   Here we are, but the fog and drizzle are still obstructing the view.   Through the haze, we admire Burj Al Arab.

Burj Al Arab

But wait, hey mom, I think she wants me.    Yep, that young girl wanted me.

Burj Al Arab and a narrow escape for Zeb the Duck

Now I feel sad that she is sad.   Mom puts me back in my traveling bag.   This hotel is designed from the sail of dhow ships, formerly the main boat in the Persian Gulf.   After the design was accepted, an island needed to be built, as a ship does not sail on land.   And more coastline was created.   We love beaches, so another photo of Dubai’s beach.


Riding these vehicles on the sand is so much fun.


But today the weather is not great for beach activities.   Mom seems fascinated by this building with windows resembling a staircase.

New, innovative building design

Dubai certainly shows so many new ideas.   We love this city.

Driving from Abu Dhabi to Dubai with Zeb and Chanel

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.

Entering Dubai. Small sand storm and overcast day.  Reflections through bus window.

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.

Dubai. Impresses even through haze

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.

Imagine this on a clear day. Can only imagine.

We head to the Atlantis Mall.

Inside 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.

In the mall

Reminding us that we are in the United Arab Emirates, we spot this sign.

Sign in mall

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.

So many fish


Zeb and Chanel admire fish


Not our favorite swimming companion


Cute, but deadly




Beautiful colors

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.

Palm Island

We hope you visit Palm Jumierah on a sunny day, but even on a drizzly day it is impressive.

More Abu Dhabi and a Dhow Dinner Cruise with Zeb and Chanel.

Riding through Abu Dhabi, humans, duck and bear, are staring, wide eyed at all the development and the many palaces we pass.   Gazing toward the water, we spotted some planes flying low, then a few helicopters over head.   We do not know the occasion, but we enjoyed the colors left by the airplanes.

Celebrating something

Celebrating something

A celebration of some kind?  The palm trees along the streets are so pretty, and tropical.

Love palm trees

Love palm trees in front of a royal palace

Abu Dhabi has many mosques.   Most have speakers in a minaret, to call the worshippers to prayer.

Minaret of mosque with speakers

Minaret of mosque with speakers

Several times each day, we hear this call.   Our ears prefer some voices over others, but there is always the call.  Riding along the coast, we approach the beach area of Corniche.   Here again, we marvel at the innovative design of some new buildings.

Modern architecture

Modern architecture

Looking across the water, we enjoyed the view.

Emirates Palace Hotel across water

Emirates Palace Hotel across water

This is Emirates Palace, an exclusive hotel.   Admission is granted only with a hotel reservation, or a reservation at one of the restaurants.  This view of modern architecture and Emirates Palace my look familiar to many of you.

Old and new on the Persian Gulf

Old and new on the Persian Gulf

We were told that some of the recent movie, Fast and Furious 7, was filmed here.   Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is modern while retaining some older structures.   Abu Dhabi’s oil reserves are expected to last many more years, but this former desert community is now a world business center and tourist destination.   We enjoyed dinner on a Dhow Cruise.   Our boat looked festive with all the lights.

Our boat for evening cruise and dinner

Our boat for evening cruise and dinner

Our buffet dinner, delicious by the way, was served here.   The fish dish was my favorite.

Dinner served here

Dinner served here

After dinner mom and several humans enjoyed green tea with fresh mint leaves.   A nice change to our regular green tea.   Moving to the upper deck, I Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear, enjoyed the evening air and a wonderful view of Abu Dhabi.

Enjoying the evening upstairs after dinner

Enjoying the evening upstairs after dinner

The reflections of city lights on the water is a favorite sight for me.

Abu Dhabi skyline

Abu Dhabi skyline

We all marveled at and admired Abu Dhabi from our Dhow Dinner Cruise.

Abu Dhabi skyscrapers

Abu Dhabi skyscrapers

Such a pleasant evening in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.


Abu Dhabi Mall and Fish Market with Zeb and Chanel

The humans are hungry again!   Humans do like eat.   Tariq, our guide, says we will go to the mall and everybody can choose their preferred restaurant.  What is this?

Ferris wheel

Ferris wheel

I love ferris wheels, but mom says we do not have enough time.   We enter Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi

This fountain is a little different than ours at home.   The water comes from above, much like rain.

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Fountain inside Marina Mall

Chanel the Bear and I, Zeb the Duck, did not get very wet.   Too bad, because ducks love water.   And this…



A dinosaur in the mall to promote another exhibit.   Very interesting.   Having lunch, the reason for this stop, leads us to this Lebanese restaurant.

Villa Beirut for lunch

Villa Beirut for lunch

We order humus with chick peas.   The humus, similar to paste, lines the bowl.   Accompanied by a bowl of assorted olives, all very tasty, but not overwhelming our taste buds.

Our lunch

Our lunch

The aroma of fresh, warm bread teases our senses.   We eat the bread and then they brought another basket.   Heavenly!   But, don’t forget, we are from the United States so we ordered French Fries from this Lebanese restaurants.   Tasting perfect, they did not last long.   And the Diet Cokes quenched our thirst.   We also drank water with lemon.   A perfect light lunch for humans, duck and bear.   Wandering through the mall, we saw this sign.

Common sign

Common sign

Rather common here, but not usual in our malls at home.   Leaving the mall, the column caught our attention.

Column in Abu Dhabi

Column in Abu Dhabi

A tribute to the royal family, we think.    Next stop is the fish market of Abu Dhabi.

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

Fish Market of Abu Dhabi

I wonder if this is like the fish market I visited last July in Maputo, Mozambique.   Let’s go inside to see.   Yes, it is.   I love seeing the different kinds of fish.   This man is showing me the fish.

fish market

fish market

Another seller and I am with a human and more fish.

fish market

Fish market with my new friend

Well, what is this he is bringing near me?

fish market. eel??

fish market. eel??

I believe it is an eel.   This man likes me, too.   He thinks I might be hungry.

fish market for a snack

Fish market for a snack

Now, I, Zeb the Duck, am sampling a small fish.   Very nice snack for me.  Mom takes me to this display.

fish market

fish market

Some different kinds of fish here.   I like the fish market, and the sellers are always so nice to me.   My friend, Chanel the Bear, is here also, but she is made of cloth.   Mom can put me in a tub of soapy water and wash me.   If Chanel sat with the fish, she would smell like fish for the entire trip.   Maybe not a good idea, Chanel.   We are happy you watched from your carrying bag.