As you are reading this, my wife and I will be spending our first few hours of a 48-hour stop-over in Dubai, on our way to her home-country of Zambia. Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, although the capital is Abu Dhabi, which is some 2 hours away by road.
Dubai is probably better known than Abu Dhabi, and has certainly made a massive effort in the last 20-odd years to put itself on the map with various iconic developments including the World’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and its iconic Burj al Arab 7-star hotel. “Burj” means “tower” in Arabic, so its a fitting name to both the World’s tallest building and the 7-star hotel (in which we are not staying!)
This is my first trip to this part of the World, if you don’t count a stop-over in Abu Dhabi airport on my way to Sri Lanka in 1986. Since knowing that we would be flying via Dubai and deciding to take a 48-hour stop over there, I have been referring to Dubai as “Blingville” to my wife 😛 We don’t have any plans to take part in the mass consumer frenzy in Dubai; we are staying in the old quarter and apart from seeing the Burj Khalifa and Burj al Arab, I really have no desire to visit the modern shopping malls.
Burj Khalifa stands at 829.8 metres tall, and is far and away the World’s tallest building at the moment. Construction was started in 2004 and it was completed in 2009. However, Saudi Arabia has recently announced plans to build a taller building, reaching 1km in height!
Tomorrow (Tuesday the 3rd) we are heading to Abu Dhabi to see a school friend of mine who has been working there for the past several years, and then we have an early flight out of Dubai to Lusaka on Wednesday morning, where we will spend the next nearly three weeks in Zambia.
I have no idea how much internet access I will have whilst in Zambia, so I have set up a few blogs ahead of time to be posted in my absence. I know WiFi does exist there, but how much of it is free will be the deciding factor in how much I use it! If I do get plenty of free WiFi access then I will post my own photographs of this incredibly exciting trip, but if not you will have to wait until I get back!