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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

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Driving in Dubai
Last Saturday when I was wandering in the old souks by Dubai Creek and admiring the great timber dhows laden with cargo, call to prayers pierced the air. The smells and sights and sounds and heat reminded me of similar wanderings in Riyadh. Except everyone else were still walking about and doing their things. I almost wanted to bolt when the exaltations came calling the faithful to their prayers. In Riyahd, men with henna stained beards waving canes would ensure either people were not walking about. But it was so different in Dubai. People go for prayers and life continued on for others.

I stay in a 5 floor Villa Rotana service apartment, but its really more of a hotel. Except two doors separate the corridor from my bedroom. When I looked over from the rooftop swimming pool, I am high above the old part of Dubai, where the two storey houses with courtyards would not even reach the first floor here with its high ceiling. Then on the other side of the hotel and separated by 10 lanes freeway (but with no toll), are massive buildings 50++ level high and of the most fantastic design and style. Those are further dwarfed by buildings so high I cannot hazard a guess. I have been told that will the the highest in the world.

The article and partial extract below can tell you part of the reason why I am here. And if oil price continues to go up, even more money will drive work and life here.


5 May 2008
DUBAI - With projects worth $931 billion currently
under way, the UAE is a key driver, along with Saudi
Arabia, of the $2.8 trillion Middle East construction
boom, a new research reveals.
A research by a database company, which monitors
regional construction projects across all industry
sectors in the Middle East, shows that there are now
3,339 projects estimated to be worth in excess of $2.8
trillion under way in the region, the bulk of these
developments taking place in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
"The UAE is firmly at the centre of the dramatic
regional construction activity. There are currently
1,248 projects worth $931 billion under way in the
Emirates which is home to more than 35 per cent of the
heavy equipment available worldwide, while 25 per cent
of the world's tower cranes are in use in Dubai," said

I was taken by a driver to my first day of work yesterday, a 30 mins drive into the desert where huge projects are being constructed. This morning I was taken the last time by a driver, passing a falcon training center. This morning my rental car was also delivered. Having a car in Dubai is essential even if taxis are plentiful.

After work today, I planned to drive back to my apartment via that falcon training place. I had not reckoned on 12 lanes freeway. While road signs are clear and in English, the squeeze of traffic at 120kph and more disorientate me. Finding myself totally lost and getting my bearings again and traffic jams in city made me feel lucky that I got back 90 mins later.

Perhaps the drive back tomorrow will be better and I can reach that falcon place.

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