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Posts tagged “city

My travels to UAE and Oman in 2015 – part 1

I am back from my six days visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I was able to do some sightseeing and cross over the border to Oman for scuba diving.

In summary, I spent two full days in Oman and three full days in the UAE sightseeing and shopping.

It was hot at this time of the year. The temperature was 39 degrees Celsius whilst the sea temperature was 29 degrees Celsius.

My hotel was in the old part of Dubai known as Deira and was near to Dubai Creek.

Dubai itself is a city famous for its modern architecture and luxury shopping malls. The city has expanded at an enormous rate over the last few decades and the population now stands at 2.5 million (mostly expats and immigrants). In the 1950s the population was 20,000 people. With the discovery of oil, the city rapidly expanded and it wealth has led to ultramodern projects such as the Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago project. Many of the construction projects in Dubai are now on hold due the 2008 banking crisies and the current decline in oil prices.

When I arrived, my first sightseeing was to Dubai Marina. This is a residential district of Dubai where many westerners expats live.

Dubai Marina is a residential district.

Dubai Marina is a residential district.

Many of the skyscapers here are residential blocks.

The skyscrapers of Dubai Marina.

The skyscrapers of Dubai Marina.

Having known many expats living here over the years, a lot of these residential towers were built by dubious developers and many expats have lost their investments to these crooks. That is typical of how things are done in Dubai. So becareful if you are considering investing here.

The Torch Tower had a twenty storey fire last February. At the time of construction I had spoken to many expats who purchased off plan into this tower and many expressed concerns about the poor construction of the tower including lack of fire protection coatings. Their concerns proven to be correct.

Me posing next to the residential skyscrapers.

Me posing next to the residential skyscrapers.

All over the marina, new towers are still being built.

Construction is still ongoing.

Construction is still ongoing.

I took a small RIB boat from the Marina to visit the artificial archipelagos.

Dubai Marina can accommodate 120,000 people.

Dubai Marina can accommodate 120,000 people.

Taking the boat out, I saw the Palm Jumeirah artificial archipelago project and also the Burj Al Arab hotel. The hotel was opened in 1999 and it is a symbol of modern Dubai.

The Burj Al Arab hotel is the world's only 7 star hotel.

The Burj Al Arab hotel is the world’s only 7 star hotel.

This hotel is the world’s only 7 star hotel. Living on my £145 per month army pension, I was not able to afford to stay here for my holiday.

This is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.

This is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.

With gold plated toilets and personal butlers to chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce services, this hotel has been repeatedly voted the world’s most luxurious hotel.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab hotel.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab hotel.

From the marina, I had to cross the famous Sheikh Zayed Road to get to the metro station.

The traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

The traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road.

I took the metro back to the old city.

The metro with the Burj Khalifa tower in the background.

The metro with the Burj Khalifa tower in the background.

Whilst on the metro, I passed the Burj Khalifa tower. This is the tallest tower in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) tall. The building gained the official title of “Tallest Building in the World” at its opening on January 4th, 2010.

The world's tallest building.

The world’s tallest building.

Arriving in the old city of Dubai, I first went to see the Creek.

The old port of Dubai Creek.

The old port of Dubai Creek.

Dubai Creek is the old part of the city and was originlly a small port for numberous dhows that traded with East Africa and India. It is still used for trade using the traditional dhows.

Me posing next to one of the dhows.

Me posing next to one of the dhows.

A short walk later, I came to the Al Fahidi fort.

The fort is now a museum.

The fort is now a museum.

The fort was built in 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. It is now a museum and is 3 AED (£0.60) to get in.

The courtyard of Al Fahidi Fort.

The courtyard of Al Fahidi fort.

After my sightseeing, I went to do some late night shopping.

The Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall based on total area. Opened in 2009, it has over 1200 stores.

The shopping mall's interior.

The shopping mall’s interior.

In March this year, more than a hundred foreign labourers protested in front of Dubai Mall due to overtime wages not being paid. Despite all the ultraluxury developments in Dubai, there is a lot of poor pay within the city.

The fashion avenue of the mall.

The fashion avenue of the mall.

The Mall comes with a interior aquarium so that shoppers can stare at the fish whilst shopping.

Window shopping was never like this!

Window shopping was never like this!

The Mall of the Emirates has over 700 stores and a ski slope! The Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park.

This shopping mall has a ski slope!

This shopping mall has a ski slope!

After buying my sexy gal a sexy skirt and several dresses, I headed back to my faulty air conditioning hotel room.

The next day I was going to visit Al Ain, the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To be continued….

For more information about the UAE and Dubai please visit:

www.uaetourism.ae

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My daytrip to Malmö, Sweden in 2013

Today I was going to cross the Øresund Bridge by train and into Sweden to the city of Malmö.

The Øresund Bridge links Denmark to Sweden and was opened in 2000. It is a dual railway/road bridge and is almost 5 miles in length with a 2.5 mile tunnel preceding the bridge from the Danish side. It only cost 78 DKK (approx. 9 Euros) to cross the bridge by train.

The journey time from Copenhagen to Malmö is approximately half an hour.

My day trip to Sweden was to visit the city of Malmö. This is the third largest city in Sweden and the most southernmost city in Sweden.

Me posing next to Malmö City Hall.

Me posing next to Malmö City Hall.

In recent years, Malmö has become known for it rape crime wave and has earnt the reputation of the rape capital of Europe. A sad reflection on the failings of modern politicians. Putting this aside, Malmö centre has a number of interesting historic buildings and a castle from a time when this part of Sweden was part of Denmark.

The Swedish flags outside the City Hall.

The Swedish flags outside the City Hall.

My visit to Malmö was to start in the city centre in the square.

The city centre had many historic buildings.

The city centre had many historic buildings.

Near the square is St Petri (The Church of Saint Peter). It is a Gothic style in which construction started in 1319. It has a 105 metre tall tower.

The Church of Saint Peter is a Gothic style church.

The Church of Saint Peter is a Gothic style church.

After seeing the church, I was off to Willys supermarket to get my sandwiches. I like Willys.

Willys was very tasty food.

Willys was very tasty food.

Malmö is the host for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. This is the yearly contest to find Europe’s worst song and then promote the song in as a song of European unity. The contest is a mismatch of awful singers who had past their time many years ago (or in some cases decades ago).

Malmö is the host for 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Malmö is the host for 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

I was walking around the historic centre of Malmö.

The old buildings of Malmö.

The old buildings of Malmö.

Near the centre of Malmö is the castle.

Malmö Castle is a fortress located in Malmö built in the 1530s.

Malmö Castle is a fortress located in Malmö built in the 1530s.

The castle is now a museum.

This castle replaced the older castle of 1434 by King Eric of Pomerania.

This castle replaced the older castle of 1434 by King Eric of Pomerania.

The castle is near the city park.

This charming windmill is in the park near the castle.

This charming windmill is in the park near the castle.

It was getting late on the afternoon. I was wearing my newly knitted daisy wooly hat.

Me posing next to the windmill.

Me posing next to the windmill.

I was off to the harbour for the sunset.

A Viking boat in the harbour.

A Viking boat in the harbour.

The harbour is a major port for Scandinavian shipping.

The sunset over the lighthouse.

The sunset over the lighthouse.

After visiting the harbour, I watched the sunset over the harbour with the Turning Torso tower in the background. The Turning Torso is the tallest skyscraper in Sweden.

The sunset over the harbour with the Turning Torso in the background.

The sunset over the harbour with the Turning Torso in the background.

For more information about Malmö please visit:

http://www.malmo.se/english