He knows no fear!

Posts tagged “Oman

My travels to UAE and Oman in 2015 – part 3

Today I was going to go to the east coast of the UAE for some scuba diving activities.

I was going to the resort of Fujairah.

The resort of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE.

The resort of Fujairah on the east coast of the UAE.

Fujairah is approximately two hours drive from Dubai and is popular with tourists who want to get away from citylife.

The beach is very quiet here.

The beach is very quiet here.

Many watersport activities can be conducted from here.

Me posing in the resort of Fujairah.

Me posing in the resort of Fujairah.

Diving on the east coast of the UAE is mainly reefs and a few small wrecks.

This was to be a short introduction to scuba diving before crossing the border at Dibba and into Oman for some boat diving along the Oman coastline of the Musandam peninsula.

The sea temperature in Fujairah was a staggering 29 degrees Celsius. In addition, the sea had a lot of planktons and thus the visability was poor. The sea was very green underwater and photography was therefore poor.

A Parrotfish sighted off a small wreck.

A Parrotfish sighted off a small wreck.

I saw a seahorse of approximately 20cms in size. A quite rare encounter for scuba divers.

A rather large seahorse.

A rather large seahorse.

After my two dives in Fujairah, I was going to cross the border at Dibba and into Oman.

The small border town of Dibba in Oman.

The small border town of Dibba in Oman.

The Musandam peninsula is the most northerly province of Oman and marks the entrance to the Arabian Gulf via the Straits of Hormuz.

The port in Dibba was where I was going to get onto our converted dhow boat.

Traditional dhows converted for tourism.

Traditional dhows converted for tourism.

Me in the port of Dibba.

Me in the port of Dibba.

Diving in the Musandam peninsula is mostly drift diving and therefore not recommended for novice divers.

Relaxing on the sundeck before my dives.

Relaxing on the sundeck before my dives.

The Musandam coastline itself is carved into countless fjords, bays and islands.

The coastline of the The Musandam peninsula.

The coastline of the Musandam peninsula.

Me posing for the sexy gals on the boat.

Me posing for the sexy gals on the boat.

Marine life expected to be seen off Omani waters are five species of turtles, Eagle Rays and Devil Rays, and reef sharks. Occassionly Whale Sharks can be seen during the summer months. The colourful corals attracts tropical species such as Parrotfish, Batfish and Lion fish.

Arriving at one of the dive sites off the Oman coastline.

Arriving at one of the dive sites off the Oman coastline.

Omani water is plankton rich and therefore water visibility is reduced from that of other diving destinations.

Plenty of marine life.

Plenty of marine life.

A Moray Eel laying await for an ambush.

A Moray Eel laying await for an ambush.

A another Moray Eel spotted.

Another Moray Eel spotted.

I saw Nemo!

I saw Nemo!

I saw a turtle.

I saw a turtle.

I saw a second turtle.

I saw a second turtle.

A two metre Eagle Ray.

A two metre Eagle Ray.

After two days of diving from the dhow we head back to Dibba and eventually back to Dubai.

The sun sets as we head back to Dibba.

The sun sets as we head back to Dibba.

Arriving back in Dubai it was time to buy some tacky souvenirs to annoy people back home.

I brought a naff Shake my Sheikh salt and pepper shakers.

Shake my Sheikh salt and pepper shakers.

Pride of place. Photo: Copyright KW 2015.

This was going to be given to my boss in the hope that I will get some extra overtime shifts at work (as well as a promotion!)

– The end –

For more information on Oman please visit:

www.omantourism.gov.om


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