Daisy and I had a brilliant day in Dubai today, sampling a non stop series of the pleasures on offer.
First off was a trip to the New Gold and Diamond Market. This is a mall environment built as a modern extension of the fabulous traditional gold souk sited in Deira, the old part of Dubai down by the creek. The new market has jewellery perhaps more to European tastes, not quite so heavy on the gold, and not quite so “yellow”. Lucy had bought Daisy a lovely diamond ring for her 30th birthday but it needed to be resized smaller, hence our visit (honestly, Bob!!!!). My goodness, what a place though! We’d been recommended to go to a store called Cara as being the best.
I expected that they would measure up and tell us to come back maybe tomorrow. No. “Follow this man and he will take you to our factory and they will do it now. Free of charge”. We followed the man past shops literally radiating with diamonds and precious stones. Cara alone had multiple large stores specialising in different types of jewellery. We went downstairs into the lower areas and he opened a door and we were in a different world. Literally hundreds of men at work over polishing and cutting machines, at computer desks, all very high tech. They were all Indians, or possibly Pakistanis. It was a good environment, a/c, a lot of tech. We waited about 10 minutes and he came back with Daisy’s ring all done and polished up. Brilliant – she was delighted. They he waslked us out to our cab! What a service.
From there it was off to Casa Havana our go to beauty salon where Daisy got her nails done and I lazed around in a great big comfy armchair lounger till she was done.
By now it was 1pm and we cabbed down to the Dubai Malll for an afternoon of shop exploring. The mall is huge, well over 200 shops plus an ice rink, an aquarium, massive fountains… I always get lost there and I’m not alone. There is now an app which guides you round plus touch screens in the mall to do the same, and you can use google maps. I still get lost. We walked and walked, window shopping along the way at all the amazing stores. All the UK ones are here plus many of the American stores like Bathworks, the Pier, Pottery Barn, Bloomingdales…… We had lunch, walked on…. there is a lovely Souk area which is my favourite bit really, full of Middle Eastern perfume shops. Delicious. All in all we walked 13 km!!!!!! And made no purchases at all!
We were meeting Lucy for dinner at 6 in the adjoining modern souk area, just across the little bridge over the lagoon where the Dubai Fountain show is. Inside the souk is a newish food area called the Time Out Market. Lots of amazingly high end food stalls and pop ups. We went to the outlet for the bbq chef whom we sampled at Expo. His restaurant was called Fire. Lucy arrived and we had massive slabs of bbq brisket on bread with potato salad and coleslaw. Daisy and I shared one because we were still full up from lunch and portions were large. It was just under £20 each and I don’t have a photo because we fell on the plates like ravening wolves and by the time I thought of it, well…… We also bought a bottle of wine from the br (£35 ouch) to wash it down and also medicinally for our aching feet. The brisket was superb. Actually far far better than the expo version in my opinion because it wasn’t shredded.
We came out just in time to catch the fountain show and see the Burj Khalifa illuminated too. I always enjoy this free show. The lagoon is just beautiful by night. Daisy was entranced.
Finally we went into the 26 screen cinema in the mal to watch Dune. It was an amazing film, far far better than the dismal 1980s version and the first in what I think will be a trilogy covering the books. Beautiful visually and well acted. I have to pass a discreet comment here on the extraordinary behaviours in the cinema which was largely fillled with locals. Talking, phone calling. Torches. Moving about. Photographing the screen. Decided the Marina cinema was much more to our taste. Still enjoyed the film but had to work at it.
Absolutely exhausted but a great day.