Sunday, September 21, 2008

Dubai World Trade Centre

The Dubai World Trace Centre (DWTC) building is probably the most iconic building in the city, a blend of the charm of old Dubai and the vibrant and modern new Dubai.

Built in 1979, DWTC stands tall at the start of Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) and is part of an entire complex including the Dubai International Convention Centre, Novatel and Ibis hotels and the recently constructed Dubai International Hotel Apartments.

But the Trade Centre building itself is what makes this a landmark. Many people use the building as a reference point to describe their location. It is also one of the highest security buildings in Dubai. The building houses the Dubai Financial Markets besides 7 other consulates/embassies. The more prominent of them being the consulate of USA.

I have fond memories of this building. Our office used to be located at this building till moving to a more spacious building 2 years back. But DWTC will still be a special experience of my work life in Dubai. The building carries a certain amount of charm and pride. I remember having my bag scanned every morning besides being searched every time we went to work. It was almost like getting into a high security area with so many Dubai Police walking all over the place.

I make it a point to drop by sometimes just to experience the feeling of being there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The fine art of parking a la Dubai

I don't claim to have traveled all cities across the world but of the 8 - 10 cities that I've had the privilege to visit, none have stooped down to such depths as Dubai. I make this statement in context of the ways residents park their cars out here.

Look at the pic above as an example. This gentleman (???) has chosen to park right over the footpath with scant respect for the pedestrians or the laws. I am at times infuriated just looking at the carelessness of these drivers. And these kind of incidents are becoming more and more common every other day.

Have you also experienced such nonsense?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Dubai's Mall Culture

An important motivation for this post is a recent conversation with a colleague from office. She was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her family for a short holiday in Dubai. When I asked her how she planned to entertain them, her plans included visits to 4 malls around the place.

How much time do residents of Dubai spend in the malls? While I haven't seen any specific data, my guess is that on an average many people spend about 6 - 8 hours each week hopping across at least 2 malls.

Shopping malls in Dubai have been virtually converted into entertainment venues. In fact of late I've noticed that most malls have live entertainment every weekend. This includes various kind of performances by visiting artists like dancers, magicians, cultural artists etc.

Dubai has witnessed an unprecedented growth in the retail sector in recent years. This has prompted investors into putting up extravagant malls aimed at inspiring potential visitors. My friends abroad still cannot believe that, 'Mall of the Emirates' one of the recent developments, has in fact an artificial ski slope!!

The new malls to look forward to include Dubai Mall which has recently opened a part of the mall and Mall of Arabia, a new mall located at Dubailand. 

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ramadan Kareem to all!!!


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