Today is Miss Tina’s birthday. We kick off the day with a stroll down the Marina Walk. As we pass the buildings and multiple Starbucks, it is evident that this is very much ‘Ex-pat town’ and the nicer side of Dubai. Have breakfast at a French-style cafe named Paul (practice for next week I guess). Make our way back to a lovely little place called ‘Boutique 1’, a favourite of the birthday girl – designer clothes and homewares, trés chic. Head home ‘sweaty ballsy’ – its not so much the temperature of Dubai, its the humidity can make things difficult. Still, mustn’t grumble. Head home to see if A is up and ready for our trip to Deira.
Deira (or Dirty Deira) is the ‘real Dubai’ – markets and older style buildings that do not have the superficial sheen of the developments in and around JBR. To get there , we must board an Abra, a small water taxi. I am warned that we might need to take our life jackets, and that health and safety is pushed aside in Dubai – this is all true. After paying 1AED each (AUD 30 cents) we are transported across Dubai Creek to Deira.
We meander through the markets selling identical wares (“come on Miss, I give you the black dress, best price, very nice”). I buy a Keffiyeh for Theo¸ and pair of slippers for myself. I also buy a baby pair as a nice souvenir. Those of you who have seen Sex and the City will be aware of the scene where the girls go to the souk and are invited to buy discount designer handbags – “the forbidden experience” – it is very true, but non-threatening. As long as you firmly say no and are polite, you will be fine.
Afterwards we wander through the maze of alleyways, past the museum and decide to cross back over the creek and head to the Dubai Mall, where we have afternoon spa treatments booked. This place loves aquariums – there is another one here! Although it sprank a leak earlier this year, apparently it is back to new. Hmm.... cynical.... There is also an ice rink in the centre as well – Dubizzle does the ish big stylie!
After being on the receiving end of the world’s most aggressive back massage (seriously, I have bruises now) we make our way to the world’s biggest fountain in the world, the imaginatively titled Dubai Fountain. The fountain performs its aqua show every half hour in the evening, and is choreographed to classical music that is played simultaneously throughout the complex. Having dinner at the Mango Tree in the Souk Al Bahar provides the perfect vantage point to take all of this in, as well as admire Burj Khalifa. After a sumptuous Thai feast, A pulls a swifty and has organised the wait-staff to sing Happy Birthday to Tina.
Aww Bless. It’s been a big day, but infinitely enjoyable.