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The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (a.k.a. the Al Ain Palace Museum), is located in the oasis city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. The museum is located in the home/family palace of former U.A.E. President, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004). The palace was built in 1937 and Sheikh Zayed lived here until 1966. As you would expect, local building materials were used including adobe, clay, stones and palm trees. It features rooms for the royal family, official meeting chambers, and quarters for visitors.
The palace was converted to a museum in 1998, opening to the public in 2001. The museum does a good job of creating an atmosphere as existed here when the Sheikh called it home.
Al Ain is …
Where does one go on a hot summer day in Dubai when the temperature is up around 40oC? It seems everyone goes to the mall!
Dubai has many beautiful (and wonderfully air-conditioned!) shopping malls, most filled with the kind of shops you find on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Among the first of these built was the Mall of the Emirates which has more than 560 shops selling most everything you could possibly need or want. There is a large theater complex, a massive food court and many restaurants scattered around the mall as well. There are two adjoining five-star hotels — Kempinski Mall of the Emirates and Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel — very convenient if you’re a …
I never expected to find a pretty and interesting family-oriented zoo in the middle of the desert, and was pleasantly surprised by my visit to this fine zoo in the city of Al Ain, about an hour inland from Dubai.
The Al Ain Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, 30% of its 180 species considered endangered. The zoo is spacious (990 acres) and like most modern zoos has enclosures designed to resemble the animal’s natural habitat. Special demonstrations are held at certain times and activities like a petting zoo, giraffe feeding and camel riding let people interact with some of the animals.
The zoo has a large African animal section and offers “safaris” to explore wildlife like lions, giraffes, zebras and …
An oasis in any desert is viewed as a Godsend by people who live in such arid climates. The oases at Al Ain are important to the United Arab Emirates as they contribute significantly to the fresh water supply of the region (still, over 90% of Dubai’s water comes from desalination). Because of its sources of fresh water, the area has been inhabited for over 4,000 years.
Al Ain is known as the “Garden City of the Gulf” due to its greenery. It is home to extensive date palm groves which area irrigated by water from the oases.
Al Ain is one of the only areas in this desert where you can find public places with grass and greenery. People can enjoy …
In a country of spectacular modern buildings and architecture, the Burj Al Arab more than holds its own. A beautiful white structure, it was built to resemble a dhow sailing into the blue waters of the Persian Gulf. The Burj Al Arab was one of the first big constructions in modern Dubai and like the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Statue of Liberty in New York, it has come to symbolize today’s Dubai.
Some of the Particulars:
The Burj Al Arab is considered one of the world’s great luxury hotels and is the third tallest hotel in the world. It’s built on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeirah Beach and is connected to it …
When you disembark from the abra (water taxi) that takes you across brackish Dubai Creek and begin strolling the streets of the older Deira neighborhood, you’ll soon enter the market district. A favorite stop here is the spice souk, which you’ll smell at a distance of several blocks before you even enter it. It’s a pleasant aroma, associated with beautiful and colorful displays. The spice souk adjoins the popular gold souk and, like it, is shaded by a high roof.
There are large piles of spices in front of the many shops in the souk, including cooking spices, frankincense, cinnamon, rose (and other flower) petals. You’ll find an assortment of dried fruit as well. One of the most popular spices sold …
Dubai is surreal in many ways — an extravagant oasis in the desert that most logically shouldn’t be, at least were it were not for the influx of billions of dollars of petrodollars. Opulent, overdone, but still fascinating.
As many of you know, I collect photos of signs. The signage of Dubai proved an interesting hybrid. While mostly targeting Emirati citizens, it also needs to appeal to the large population of expats living and working here and to the city’s extensive tourist traffic. As such, many of the signs are both in Arabic and in English. As it is a mostly newly built country, the signs are generally clean and modern, and many reflect a luxurious lifestyle.
Some of the signs were …
Like many people, I enjoy chocolate. Especially goooood chocolate! Not only is it delicious, when done right it’s beautiful.
An example of what I mean, I encountered this chocolatier while wandering around the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall. The window displays were absolutely lovely — the chocolates were beautifully packaged and wonderfully displayed, as was an Easter-egg styled display of macaroons. I picked up a few pieces which I enjoyed while exploring this vast Mall — an affordable luxury.
Forrey & Galland is a Parisian company, founded in 1912. While the Parisian shops have disappeared, this shop in the Dubai Mall opened in 2008. All chocolate is crafted right here by a staff of 50 artisans.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, …