I’ve been photoblogging through instangram. This city is so photogenic. I’ve seen a really amusing phenomenon though – heavyweight selfie errors. Selfie’s are huge here for some reason – I’ve never seen as many people doing selfies. The error though is where (picture the scene) – straight ahead, a beautiful vista or landmark or some such awe inspiring thing. Step one, person takes camera phone (often with selfie stick) out (or already has it out). Step two, they hold the camera in front of them and do a selfie. TURN AROUND PEOPLE!. For example, yesterday I was near The Gold Souk, a bit of a tourist trap but non the less, has its fair share of photo opportunities. Man with two kids. in front of him, a melting pot of culture, a vibrant pallet of spices and shawls, hats, gold. Behind, a rather bland plastic garage door. He chose the garage door as his selfie backdrop.
I think I might even start a side business called ‘Selfie masterclass’ where if people must be doing a selfie, they learn how to do it so the resultant picture resembles the place they were and looks nice. I suppose I could use some of the 15+ years of dragondrop selfies for some examples of what a good job looks like. Anyhoo..
Here’s a whistle stop tour of some of the things from the last month or so..
Of course, no photo tour of Dubai would be complete without the obligatory impressive sky scraper shots. I’ll get these out the way first – here’s a few of the many..
I went to The Louvre. It’s new, It’s in Abu Dhabi. The building is spectacular and whilst the curation is new and finding its way, it is a great spread of art. For a building that’s all about art it has a terribly designed car park and entry experience though. Oh the irony.
Whilst in Abu Dhabi I visited The Grand Mosque. Exquisite, stunning craftspersonship on a grand scale.
I’ve started a hashtag (or rather, I’m trying to hijack an existing one) called Duburbia. All of my friends and fam have no doubt seen the big hero shots of Dubai, but I am as interested in the backwaters, the suburbia, the Duburbia as I’ve dubbed it. Ah ha. The places where people live. As a result I’m snapping random bits of it and stringing them together on instragram with #Duburbia
Naturally, I’ve been enjoying the sun and the beaches. I like to think I’m the kind of person who can sit on a beach and bronze themselves all day – but even without kids, I can’t. There’s too much to see and do to waste time doing nowt! I love this shot – from an afternoon at La Mer. A relatively new bit of beach. Very nice.
Public transport is incredible – largely due in my mind to the design genius of architectural firm Aedas who designed the metro stations that look like this
New years eve, I drove out to a place in the desert. I was driving over a fly over and noticed the sun setting to the west (obviously). Not the best photo I’ve ever taken but here’s the last sliver of 2017 sun I saw…
After that, I came home, saw the light show on Burj Khalifa then went and sat in our neighbours back garden, drank green tea and smoked shisha. Nice. New years day, I spent like this for a bit;
Near our villa is a place called Motor City. Half of it seems to have been deserted. The scale of it suggests that it was destined to be on some of the main circuits – Grand Prix and the like, but now it lies in a state of not quite finished and in no hurry to be finished any time soon. I’m not sure if this side of it was ever open or just wasn’t / isn’t sustainable. I’d love to have a look inside…
However – the grandstand is still operational, as well as the most important bit.. the track. I went to the Dubai 24h race. I went for a bit of the practice then a bit of day 1 and 2.
Here’s a photo of the winner, about 2 laps before the end.
The same week, UAE hosted Ireland for two ODI cricket matches. I went to one. Convincing win by the lads in green both times. Good sport though. Bit of a reserved atmosphere at the ICC Academy. Expected more people – but still. Nice to see a bit of winter cricket (another thing ticked off the bucket list for me)
The thing I’m noticing is that is’s a city of scales and contrast. You can pay well over £1000 for a meal out or just over £1 as I did yesterday. Curry, rice, cup of chai. Very nice indeed. There’s the huge mucho money mega structures to go and look at, and there’s the old town and places like Al Fahidi with it’s gold souk and old fort.
Some parts of Dubai feel very futuristic, big city, bright lights. Other parts, forgotten worlds, some parts like another world..
I like it all though. I like the boat ride across the creek yesterday…
I like the golf buggy ride across the golf course I got from the kind security man when I got lost.