Friday, June 4, 2010

Dubai Visit

Anyone who is familiar with me knows that I get restless too easily. Get me cooped up too long, and I will bolt to go somewhere for a visit or do something different even if only for a day. After only four days since my return from Seattle, I was getting antsy and my feet were getting restless. Going to work then heading back to the apartment for the last four days have been dull and tedious. Coupled with my jetlag, I haven't been able to do much of anything except work, go home, sleep, and wake up quite early in the morning.

So to change things up, I went to Dubai early Friday morning to spend the day over there. This is my second visit. I focused on seeing two sights: Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina. I will post pictures from the Dubai Marina at a later date.

Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island extending into the Persian Gulf. It is shaped like a palm tree with its trunk, 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent-shaped island that forms the area's breakwater. See photo below:

Palm Jumeirah is full of residential housing and resort hotels. There is a monorail that takes you from the entrance, the Gateway Station, to the tip, Atlantis Resort Hotel. In between, there are two other stops, Trump Tower and Palm Mall, but have yet to be completed. The monorail line will eventually link up to the Dubai Metro, the recently opened city train line. I drove all the way to the tip and parked my car near the Atlantis Hotel. The hotel has a private beach, a water park, an aquarium complete with a shark tank, and a dolphin bay. Inside the hotel are shops and restaurants. Just outside is the monorail station. I rode the monorail train, roundtrip, to get a better view of the island.

Atlantis Resort Hotel, facing inland, as seen from a monorail train ride.

The hotel from the other side, facing Persian Gulf.

Other shots of the hotel.

Me in front of the hotel.

Inside the water attractions side of the hotel complex.

The water park adjacent to the hotel.

The monorail station.

The monorail tracks with an incoming train. The high rise buildings in the background are on the mainland and not part of Jumeirah Palm.

Inside the monorail train.

View from the monorail train ride approaching the gateway station, which is the first station leading to the Palm Jumeirah.

Imagine the trunk of the palm is where the picture is taken from, with two of the palm fronds on each side where the houses are located and extend outward, and with the water beachfront in between. I did not find the houses spectacular.

There are still a lot of facilities and infrastructure that are under construction and many other areas where construction has yet to commence. It will take awhile (at least 5 more years) until this project is fully complete.

A "frond" without yet any significant construction.

Ongoing construction on the "trunk" part of the island.

I had lunch at Ronda Locatelli, an Italian restaurant, located in the water attractions side of the hotel. For a cannelloni dish with ricotta cheese and spinach, bread, mineral water, and cafe latte, I paid $50 -- way too expensive. It was a nice restaurant with great decor. The food I ordered was above average.

At the tip of the Palm Jumeirah with the Persian Gulf behind me.


  1. uncle alban... you're looking more slim after each post. i need to follow your lead.

  2. Ron,

    My immediate goal is be at the weight listed on my WA state driver's license, 215 lbs. It has been listed that way since 2004 even though I have been past that weight even at that time. I am currently at 224. I weighed in at 247 lbs when I went for a physical in Seattle in Dec '09 after arrival from the Philippines. My year end goal is 95kg or 209 lbs. My weight has been going down little by little thru portion control and walking. My trip to Seattle did not help, but I am back again to my regimen.

    Thanks for noticing.

    Uncle Elvin

  3. Now that I look at that picture, after reading uncle ron's comment. YOU LOOK HECKA SKINNY! haha

  4. Jerome... not quite "hecka skinny" or even close. I am still considered obese using the body mass index (BMI) calculation.

  5. As a blogger, I often take a photo of my meal to perhaps post later. Yikes.

    You shoot the food, the restaurant, the water attraction building, homes on the "fronds" and the Gulf. Now, THAT'S a report.

    I feel like I'm goofing off.