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Saturday, October 10, 2015

GAWA Day #25: Dubai is a Fascinating Place

People reading this blog seem fascinated with countries of the Middle East.  Five years ago I was commissioned by the government of Qatar to advise them on the future of energy.  One of my blog postings entitled, The Wonder of Qatar, if you just look to the right column, was my most popular article ever.  My week there resulted in my Huffington Post article:

     Can Qatar Lead the World Toward Sustainability?

Qatar is only slightly larger than the Big Island of Hawaii, while Dubai and the island of Oahu are about the same size.  Yet, these countries--although Dubai is but an emirate, part of the United Arab Emirates--have an influential role in world finances, politics and activities.  Qatar will be hosting the 2022 World Cup....maybe...and Dubai has the 2020 World Expo and by far the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa:


Dubai will celebrate being a thousand years old later this century, and was known for pearl farming before the year 1600.  When the British left the Middle East, nine entities met to form a union, but Qatar and Bahrain dropped out, leaving seven, now called the United Arab Emirates.

Temperatures in August averaged 106 F.  Now in mid-October, the high is only 97 today, but should fall to a low of 80.

The air quality index is 211 today in the middle of town.  Can't see the really tall buildings from my hotel:


However, I'll be having dinner at Zuma, the #88 Pellegrino Best Restaurant in the World, and only one from this country on the list, which is close to Burj Khalifa, in the general direction of the above photo.  Plus, I'll take a city tour tomorrow, so architectural and cultural details will be provided.

For today, let me close with a few other interesting matters:
  • Remember yesterday when I said the arrival gate was miles from immigration?  Turns out Al Maktoum International Airport is only in phase one, now serving 70 million passengers/year.    Honolulu International Airport handles around 21 million/year.  Maktoum is already the busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.  When finished, the capacity will be 160 million passengers/year as the largest airport in the world.
  • Dubai is the shopping capital of the Middle East, with more than 70 shopping centers and the world's largest shopping center, Dubai Mall.  However, the Mall of the World is in planning to be even bigger:
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Of all the interesting things, Tropical Cyclone Three has popped up and is heading for....Dubai:


Actually, the cyclone is really going in the Oman direction, which borders Dubai.

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