Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Gold and spice not so nice

After the Burj Khalifa, Jean and I took the Metro to the Mall of the Emirates.  Here, there is Ski Dubai, which is cooled to sub-zero temperatures.  You have to wear coats in there and boots to tread the snow underfoot.  There's also a chairlift.  The place seemed to be packed with families out for a day's fun.  We didn't go into Ski Dubai, but strolled through the Mall.  Eventually, we found a supermarket, the Carrefour, and noted that the UAE imports fruit and vegetables from all over the world, including potatoes, sweet potatoes and grapes from Australia.

We took the Metro to Al Ras where the gold and spice souks are located.  I wasn't that impressed.  For a start, the place wasn't air conditioned, and we'd had to walk for nearly 10 minutes in 40 degree heat.  Secondly, the gold souk was one of those places where every single merchant pounces on you: "Watches, jewellery, handbags, T-shirts," they constantly barked at us.  "I have a really good deal for you.  You come inside."  They must get sick and tired of springing out of their chairs, and leaping through the door to coax you inside.  The gold on display was apparently all real, but, funny enough, doesn't look real.

At the spice souk, the same deal applied, with every merchant throwing the proverbial lassoo around every passer by.  The spices looked pretty good, but to show any interest only heightened the hopes of the merchants who would've been more painful.

We returned to our hotel, and had a Stella Artois.  The UAE is a fairly conservative Muslim country where alcohol is not allowed, except for certain areas such as in hotels frequented by tourists.

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