Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dubai - From The Air... Part I



And this morning we set out to take a helicopter tour of Dubai city. We set out from Business Bay to head to the helipad at Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah. Our cab ride took about 30 minutes, our cabbie was a Mallu from Kozhikode, who seemed to be quite happy to be around in Dubai - he makes INR 0.15 million a month here, nearly 5 times he would make back home.
"Would you return back home some day?" we asked.
"Oh yes, when I have saved enough to buy a taxi fleet back home and save up for my kids' education."
"How long would it take?"
"Two more years."
The Indian workforce beats the odds they face here - hate, racism, exploitation - to support family and settle for a viable enterprise back home. Hats off to the Indian diaspora here...




We waited for about 30 minutes before we boarded the helicopter - this was to be our first helicopter ride. There were six of us - a Taiwanese couple with their young son, Neeti, me and an modern, attractive young girl who looked Indian. Neeti was a little curious and asked her where she was from. "Saudi Arabia" was her reply.
Well - all the stereotypes went for a toss. I was shellshocked to see that Saudi lass not clad head to toe in a black burkha. Perhaps that's the first thing that's shed when the plane lands in Dubai, and who knows, there may be much more that is shed...


Shimmering waters of the Persian Gulf...


A view of Atlantis, The Palm as we take off...


And the Palm Jumeirah behind it. The Palm is an artificial archipelago, created using land reclamation by Nakheel, a company owned by the Dubai government. It is one of three planned islands called the Palm Islands (Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jebel Ali, which us already under construction  and Palm Deira, for which plans are being drawn up)...


Construction started in 2001 and was completed in 2009 and cost an estimated USD 12 billion and nearly bankrupted Dubai. The Palm is home to hotels, condos and villas...


Indeed the Palm does look impressive, but there have been reports that the artificial islands may be sinking...



The dhow-sail shaped Burj al-Arab, which was said to be the first 7-star hotel to have opened shop... 


When the Burj al-Arab opened, it was indeed an impressive construction, but now it is overshadowed by other developments in the city...



The Dubai coastline...


The World archipelago - another fantasy reclamation activity underway...


Zooming up on the coastline...


The Burj Khalifa from Up In The Air...



The colour of the Persian Gulf looks amazing...



Dust is in the air...





The Burj Khalifa never goes out of the view...




The seahorse island...



The World...









Flying over South America and Africa...



1 comment:

2travelling sisters said...

Looks like you had an amazing experience touring Dubai through air!

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