Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Souk Madinet Jumeirah in Dubai

Dubai, Souk, Souk Madinet Jumeirah, Burj al Arab Jumeirah Hotel

The dictionary definition of a “SOUK” is an "Arab market or marketplace; a bazaar."  In Dubai, there is a large area of the older town that is full of “souks” in winding roads and alleys.  The most popular area of souls are the spice and gold souks.  The Spice Souk is located in eastern Dubai, in Deira and is adjacent to the gold souk in dubai The Spice Souk, is situated on Baniyas Street.  the gold souks are in the locality of Al Dhagaya. Al Dhagaya and there are over 300 merchants selling exclusively gold and jewelry.  Wikipedia estimates that at any given time, there are is over 10 tons of gold for sale in these Dubai gold souks. 

Entrance to the Dubai Gold Souk, courtesy of Wikipedia

If you visit here, don’t forget to “haggle” or negotiate on the price to get the best deal. We did not have enough time to visit this area of Dubai, but we did find time to visit the Souk Madinet Jumeirah.

A spice souk in the Deira Souks, Dubai, Courtesy of Wikipedia
Spice Souk, Marakesh, courtesy of Wikipedia.
A Food souk in Amman, courtesy of Wikipedia
This is the site plan for the souk Madinet with a list of all the places to shop, eat and relax

This souk is actually a modern version/re-creation of an ancient Arabian marketplace or bazaar. It has a Middle Eastern flair and was built along the shore of the Arabian Sea very close to the entrance of the Palm Jumeirah islands and the Burj al Arab Jumeirah Hotel, the most luxurious hotel in the world.  This souk is in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah The Arabian Resort, Dubai.  

Entrance to Souk Madinet Jumeirah

A view of the Burj al Arab Hotel from one of the many courtyards in the souk Madinet
It is a Unique Shopping, Dining and Entertainment experience where “visitors from around the world can enter a world reminiscent of ancient Arabia through sight, smell and sound as sunlight peeks in through the wood carved archways showcasing an intricate Arabic architectural design."

Inside the Souk Madinat

Inside the Souk Madinat

Inside the Souk Madinat

"Guests can explore a myriad of winding streets in this traditional bazaar-like atmosphere that hosts waterfront cafes, restaurants and bars and boutique-style open-shuttered shops and intimate galleries. Through these meandering pathways, visitors can purchase goods from barrows and shops spilling out into the streets selling a variety of wares”.  There are also with boutiques, selling home wares and gifts from Italy, France and the USA.

Inside the Souk Madinat

Inside the Souk Madinat

More views from various courtyards and some of the restaurants and bars in the souk Madinet are shown below.

Another view of the Burj al Arab Hotel from the souk Madinet

For dining or simply relaxing, there are over 40 world class restaurants, bars and lounges to choose from.  For more information about dining at the Souk Madinet Jumeirah, just follow this link:

 This is most surely a place you will want to visit during your stay in Dubai.  It is a popular stop along one of the "Big Bus" tour lines, so it is to get to from almost any place in Dubai.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bucket List: Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Tallest Sky Scrapers in the World

Bucket List: Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Tallest Sky Scrapers in the World

Most of my younger generation followers most likely do not have a bucket list, and certainly don’t think much about such things as go about their busy lives.  But let me assure you as you grow older, a bucket list is an important aspect of your life as you grow old.

Several dictionaries define a “Bucket List” as follows:
“a list of things that a person wishes to do or hasn’t done before but wants to do before he/she dies or grows too old to do.”
“a number of life experiences or accomplishments that an individual hopes to have achieved, accomplished or simply experienced during their lifetime, but has not has the opportunity to do so in the past.”

Well, when it comes to my bucket list, the list grows shorter every year as I continue scratch off one or two items at a time.  For more than a decade, visiting the modern Dubai of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been number one on my Bucket List…..But, NOT any more.  This will be one of several blogs regarding my UAE visit and what I saw and experienced!

I have always been fascinated by skyscrapers since I was a small boy growing up in Ohio.  At the time it was built, the Terminal Tower (771 ft. tall) was the largest building in the world outside of New York City.  I had a chance to go to the top when I was in college, and that was just the beginning.  Since then, I have gone to the Empire State building in New York City; the Sears Tower in Chicago; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; Taipei 101 in Taiwan; the Twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and skyscrapers in Yokohama, Japan; Shanghai and Beijing, China, and Many more.  For decades, the tallest buildings struggled to approach or achieve a height of 1500 to 1900 ft. or more.  Only in the last decade has architects achieved modern skyscraper marvels over 2000 ft. tall.  While I can’t visit everyone, I just had to visit the Burj Khalifa (over 2717 feet tall and 160 stories, originally known as the Burj Dubai).

 Courtesy of various Web Images

There are other taller buildings under plan and at least one under construction.  The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia started construction in 2013 and is said to be at least 3281 ft. tall or taller when completed. 

  Courtesy of various Web Images

There are other huge skyscrapers that started construction but stopped for various reasons.  The following are some of those stopped projects:

  Courtesy of various Web Images


The Burj Khalifa is located in a new area of Dubai.  It is part of a mega complex including the Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the world and a number of other exiting tourist attractions.  To visit the 124th floor or 160th floor of this majestic structure, you can buy tickets at the Burj Khalifa, or on line.   The web site ticket price for one adult is 125 AED (approx. $35 USD) for the 124th floor, and 350 AED (approx. $95 USD) for the 160th floor.

From the Bonnington Hotel, we took their free shuttle service to the Dubai Mall, and walked for what seems like 1 mile or more underground in the mall until we reached the entrance of the Burj Khalifa.  We picked up our ticket and started our journey towards the top.   

The underground path to the elevators is also a long journey to "AT THE TOP and along the way there was immense information, graphics, videos and much more to see describing the plans, construction design/construction team, etc.

Images on our Journey showing the construction progress timeline:

 Just some of the Team that helped plan and build this incredible building

Pictures from the 124th floor:

OMG !!  Workers window cleaning about 1/3 of the way up to the top of Burj Khalifa !!!!

The Beautiful Dancing Fountain at the Base of the Burj Khalifa and just outside of the Dubai Mall is a must see.   The sound system all around the fountains is amazing, and the images below show just a small part of this huge fountain.  The fountain spouts move the water and seemingly dance to the music!

The Dancing Water Show runs at various times of every day

There is so much more to see and do in Dubai so please my next posts for more of this amazing place to visit.