Friday is an official rest day in United Arab Emirates. It’s a family day after the Jumuah (Arabic term for Friday prayers). Muslim brothers gather in the mosque for their Jumuah and afterwards, head home for family lunch and get together. Most families take this chance to catch up with each other’s lives after sharing a sumptuous lunch of traditional food such as biryani. It’s a chance for my parents-in-law to see all their children and grandchildren who have to travel all the way from other emirates and parts of Dubai to meet up at the so-called ancestral home.
After the lunch has been eaten and the stories have been said, adults will either sit together for an afternoon tea or go and take a nap. Instead of letting my husband take his nap, I tugged him to get up and take me to the long over due trip to Burj Khalifa. We have been there a lot of times but mostly, during the night. The night scene in Burj Khalifa has a romantic ambience that makes you feel as if you’re walking on a beach under the moonlight while the slow music of Burj Khalifa’s dancing fountain plays in the background. The entire place is dimly lit with lights that play with your eyes making you feel sleepy, and the music rhythm dances with your soul giving you those dreamy fairy tale thoughts!
Indeed, I have been there before but it will be my first time to finally see it during the day while the Arabian sun is still shining brightly.
Driving away from my parents-in-law’s house, the desert view makes you want to stay there, watch the camels while waiting for the desert sun to set in, put up a camp, and start a bonfire. The view on the other side of the road includes the Arab community-houses that are traditional looking. Some are old, some are restored and some are designed with touches of non-Arabic influences. As we drive further, I couldn’t fail to appreciate the vast desert where the colors of the sand varies from the deepest shades of reddish brown, light yellow, browns and grays.
As we hit the main road, I came out of the reverie of being in a desert paradise as I am greeted by construction sites. Roads are being expanded to accommodate the growing population of Dubai. Local and tourist shoppers’ access to the newly opened city centre and new establishments are being built. Dubai is rich in history and traditions but I believe that one of its main attractions is its ever growing number of shopping malls, business centers and commercial skyscrapers!
As we traverse Sheikh Zayed Road (named after the ruler of UAE), I couldn’t possibly count the buildings I see that embellishes the famous road’s skyline. Renowned hotels, restaurants and business hubs line up both sides of the street but I can never miss the tallest tower in front of us. As the car moves forward, its whole structure is becoming more visible. Burj Khalifa, in all of its pride and glory, can never be missed. People, depending on their location, can always see either its whole structure or just its tower.
Before we reach Burj Khalifa, itself, I didn’t miss snapping a photo of the sail-shaped, (world’s only) 7 star hotel as we pass it by. Burj Al Arab has always remained a prominent landmark of Dubai. A few kilometers away from the famous building is the familiar sight of Ski Dubai’s slope and the mere glimpse of it entices me to come and try once more to ski.
As the Burj Khalifa appears high in front of me that I literally have to look way up just to see its thinnest peak, we have to pass by a yet another eminent landmark for its dancing fountains, the Dubai Mall.
It took us helluva time to park the car. It’s pretty understandable why my hubby always refuses to come out and be at busy areas during the weekends when people are all out and about. Malls, specifically, are really jam-packed on Fridays and Saturdays.
I was there enjoying it all—the hustle and bustle of all people beating up the heat of the sun, the remarkable awe on their faces, and the spectacular view! And as if it was cued by the hues of the Arabian Desert sun painting the sky, the slow rhythm of the music for the water to dance is initiated. The ohhhs and ahhhs from spectators started.
Thanks to our guest contributor, Safiyah Bashir, for sharing this article.