Archive for the ‘Dubai Marina’ Category

On our last full day we went to Dubai Marina. This is a new district about 30 kilometres from our hotel and ‘old Dubai’, and maybe 25 kilometres from Downtown Dubai. It’s a fairly new development – the marina, which must be several kilometres long, was constructed parallel to the coastline, with channels cut through to the sea at each end – it’s set back maybe half a kilometre from the sea. An upmarket mall was built on the landward side, and then the site was thrown open to developers. It’s now a forest of huge towers, both residential and hotel. All along the marina are restaurants, cafes and other eateries – but of course no bars, there’s a prohibition throughout Dubai against places where alcohol is consumed opening directly from the street or public thoroughfare. (Hotel bars, of course, are buried within the hotels and are therefore acceptable.)

There are three ways of getting there. You can go by taxi, but that’s quite expensive, even in one of Dubai’s cheap taxis. Or you can use the metro, but thanks to the distance that takes a long time; or you can travel on the Dubai ferry, from Al Ghubaiba in Dubai Creek all the way into the heart of the marina, and this was what we chose to do.

I had read somewhere that the ferry ride would take ‘an hour or so’, but in the event it was almost two hours. Given that it didn’t leave the Creek until 1pm, it was almost 3 o’clock before we reached the Marina, by which time we were very hungry and we therefore decided that food was the first priority. Readers, I have to tell you that despite the attractions of food from all five continents, on this occasion we decided that we wanted fast food, and a McDonalds Quarter Pounder with Cheese hit the spot….

Suitably fed and watered we wandered around for a while. We had hoped to explore the Marina quite thoroughly, including finding our way to something called The Walk, an area between the Marina and the beach that’s apparently packed with restaurants and cafes, but given the time we decided to give it a miss. So we just walked along the Marina for a while before heading for the Metro to get back to the hotel. I knew from previous experience that the Metro Red Line gets incredibly, unbelievably busy by about 5pm, and I wanted to avoid that. I once did a Metro trip from Dubai Mall into central Dubai and I’m sure my feet weren’t touching the ground for most of the journey, nor was a hanging onto a support. Not a fun experience, and not one I wanted to repeat or to have Val experience. Even starting at 4:30 the train was full, standing room only, but two polite gentlemen of Indian appearance very kindly gave these two seniors their seats. Thank you, gentlemen.

We had in fact spent an hour or so in the morning wandering the Shindagha area of Dubai Creek so we’d been away from the hotel since shortly after 10 o’clock, so we didn’t feel that we’d wasted the day. And the Marina is extraordinarily impressive, with endless skyscrapers, on either side, throngs of people, very pleasant temperatures, and that impossibly clear blue sky. A good day, and actually not too strenuous.


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