Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat–We loved them all!

Back home, we are remembering some of the wonderful experiences we enjoyed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Muscat.   Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi was beautiful.

Front of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Photo from Wikipedia.

And we, as non Muslims, were able to go inside to see the largest carpet, largest chandelier and the grandeur of this mosque.   The fish market was fun and I, Zeb the Duck, got a fish.

fish market for a snack

An evening boat ride, dinner included, showed us old and new on the Abu Dhabi sky line.

Abu Dhabi skyline

A common sight, and sound, throughout our Middle East adventure, the minaret of a mosque with a speaker for the call to worship.

Minaret of mosque with speakers

We gave up a free day in Abu Dhabi to experience a little of Muscat, Oman.   Here we saw some old and some new.   Muscat is a few thousand years old.   We loved wandering through the souk.

We explore the souk

Driving through Muscat, we appreciated the absence of too many cars and the accompanying car noises.

Driving through Muscat, Oman

Here, our guide shows some of the new:  The Royal Opera House of Muscat, Oman.

Our guide in Muscat, Oman

Back to the United Arab Emirates, in Dubai we rode a traditional boat, or dhow, to cross Dubai Creek.

Tourists crossing Dubai Creek on Dhow

We admired Dubai Fountain with Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, all connected with Dubai Mall.

Burj Khalifa behind Dubai Fountain

Dubai Marina was bustling, but still relaxing for our lunch stop.

Dubai Marina from Salsa Restaurant

Mall of the Emirates provided indoor snow skiing and tubing on snow, in additional to fabulous dining and shopping.

Skiing and tubing

Souk Madinat Jumeirah was a modern souk.

I love meeting new friends

The narrow alley of Bastakia Heritage Area showed life before oil and oil money forever changed Dubai.

Narrow alley walkways

Aromas from the spice souk will be with us always.

Spice souk

Of course we loved the animals.   The unexpected flock of flamingos were wonderful to see.

Some are looking at me

And riding the desert native, a camel, made our trip even more memorable.

Our camel is friendly

Of course we will never the gold souk with those huge gold necklaces and gold hats.   But our fondest memories are of the kind, welcoming people we met.   Our trip was a tour through http://www.SmarTours.com.   We have taken tours from them previously.   This was Deluxe Dubai and Abu Dhabi.   The day trip to Muscat, Oman, was not connected to SmarTours.   Chanel’s mom made separate reservations for us and we loved our day in Oman.   We hope you visit Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman soon.   We loved it.

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Crossing Dubai Creek and Exploring Dubai’s Souks

We will ride in a dhow across Dubai Creek and then visit the souks.   We think that means shopping and maybe a little snacking.   Let’s find the dhows, the traditional boats used to cross the creek.

This is where we get a dhow

Those tourists are crossing Dubai Creek and will dock near the souks.

Tourists crossing Dubai Creek on Dhow

We are on the dhow.   Mom has to be careful that I don’t fall into Dubai Creek.

From dhow, looking back

This is not the time to go swimming.   Arriving on the other side of Dubai Creek, we are greeted with wonderful souks.

Souk stall near dhow dock

Doesn’t this look like a perfect place to browse?   It was great for us.  And there is so much more.

Traditional souk with great lamps

We love this place.  And the spices.

Spice souk

The aroma was enticing and exciting.   We did some browsing and buying here.   Mom doesn’t cook much, so she didn’t get spices, but we purchased and enjoyed small pieces of chocolate candy made with camel milk.   Yum!  Also dates with almonds coated with this same chocolate. And camel milk soap.   They made unusual gifts for friends.  Mom drinks lots of tea, so she purchased a blend of loose tea that the owner recommended.   We liked it!  The dried mangos were great snacks also.  The aisles of the souk are rather narrow with stalls or booths on each side.

Inside traditional souk

There are so many things to see here.

So much available

Wandering, we saw these colorful dresses.   Don’t they seem cheerful.

Bright dresses

They may be for special occasions as we never saw the women wear bright colors.   Now, the souk we have all been waiting to see.   The gold souk.  Here in the window of Kanz store, is the world’s largest gold ring.

World’s largest gold ring

Next to the ring, in the window is the certificate from Guinness World Records.   This ring, Najmat Taiba (Star of Taiba), has 5.17 kg precious stones sitting on 58.686 kg of 21 carat gold.   The total weight of the world’s largest ring is 63.856 kg.   And do you know that the ring is still there.   Our moms did not try to purchase and bring it home.  The gold souk is newer than the other souks.   This souk is several blocks long, on a pedestrian street.   Much of the walkway is covered, again for comfort in the hot summer months.

Newer gold souk is covered to provide much needed shade

This window shows so many gold bracelets and gold chains.

Gold bracelets and gold chains

Aren’t they beautiful?   We, Zeb the Duck and Chanel the Bear, have never seen gold necklaces like these.

Gold necklaces

They are beautiful.   Could they be used for protection from arrows or spears?

Gold necklaces, bracelets and ring bracelet combinations

We are fascinated by these necklaces.   And, here is a necklace of pearls and gold.

Necklace of gold and pearls

This is a great opportunity for a duck, a bear and human moms to see gold necklaces like they have never seen before.   Isn’t Dubai great?   Again, all this shopping and looking makes us a little tired, a little warm, and a little hungry.   Following directions from people on the street, look where we went.  We were searching for a local ice cream store, but this is where we were directed.  And we love this, too.

Shopping still makes us hungry. We love Baskin Robbins!!

We may never be able to eat at Baskin Robbins again without thinking of Dubai.   While eating, the humans talked about their purchases.   They each bought about the same things at the spice store.  My mom also shopped at the gold souk.   We got a solid gold bracelet for Soapy Smith Duck’s mom, and a necklace of multiple gold chains for my mom.   Chanel’s mom later bought gold bracelets for her granddaughters, and one for herself, from a store in our hotel.   But no gold for Zeb and no gold for Chanel.