It's gorgeous in Dubai! Even though it's technically winter, every day is 75-80 degrees and sunny. Yesterday, for our first day in the city we checked out the huge Mall of Emirates, the largest shopping center outside of the United States. It has over 450 stores and also houses Ski Dubai, the indoor ski place.
In the afternoon, we went to a hookah bar and smoked some shisha in true Middle Eastern style.
Dinner was sushi (my favorite!) at the Medinat Jumeira souk. Souks are traditional marketplaces that sell everything under the sun - pashminas, textiles, jewelry, spices, trinkets and more. The Medinat souk is a fake souk - it's very new and overpriced.
After dinner we went to a Cuban bar - Malecon - in Dubai Marine Club for drinks and a bit of dancing.
Today we shopped at the gold and spice souks in the morning which was amazing. Each of us bought a jewelry souvenir at the souk. I bought a pretty sparkly white gold bracelet, Ariane got a white gold chain and Eva got an ornate gold link necklace (more pictures of that later!).
Here I am having a sample of dried and salted shrimp. It felt a bit like Fear Factor, reaching into a bin of shrimp and eating one whole...sanitary I'm sure!
Some old men enjoying the Dubai sun:
The afternoon was spent at Jumeria beach, sunning ourselves and hanging out with the AIESECers we're staying with.
And having a bit of a photo shoot:
And yes, we did wear our bikinis at the beach, but it was a bit windy towards the end so we put our overclothes back on!
I'm loving Dubai and experiencing this completely different culture, although Ariane keeps reminding me that I'm in for even more culture shock in Qatar, which is a much stricter Muslim country.
That's all for now, we're off to dinner at a really fabulous traditional Arab restaurant tonight!
Also, I've noticed it takes a day or two for my posts to show up on my blog for some reason. Very odd. Also the government blocks parts of the internet here due to its content being "inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates."