Burj, Beach, and Birthday

Shon celebrated his birthday on Sunday with the traditional carrot cake, a new book by J.K. Rowling, and a bunch of friends.  On Saturday, however, we went to Dubai, so that he could receive the first part of his present: a tour to the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa.

If you have seen “Mission Impossible 4,” you know this building.  If you haven’t you should.


The Burj (it means “tower”) is 852 meters tall. The observation deck is almost half-way up, and is, you guessed it, the highest observation deck in the world!


Us on the deck

The view is great if you ignore the ever-present haze:

ImageDubai Mall, yes, exactly, the largest shopping center in the world (by total territory) is the huge building from the road to the water.


See the haze I keep talking about?


us looking all cute

ImageAnd then we went to the beach! I have to say, the beach itself is not as beautiful as the Gulf of Mexico beaches, but the water… the water is simply phenomenal here! It is turquoise even when you are in it, it is very, very clear, and delightfully warm. We should invest in some goggles, though, because it is very salty (which makes it quite a bit easier to swim.)


Shon loves it!

It was only at the end of the day that I truly realized I was in Dubai: the sun just set into the Arabian Gulf, we could see Burj Khalifa in the distance, and Burj Al Arab (the sail-looking building) right next to us. And then, the evening call to prayer came from several of the nearby mosques. It was simply beautiful.



6 thoughts on “Burj, Beach, and Birthday

  1. Warm turquoise water, the call to prayer, the sunset – that makes Dubai sound pretty wonderful. But what’s up with the haze? Is it akin to smog, or less nefarious than that?

    I hope your birthday was marvelous –


    • Thanks, Sid. It was nice, although I’m suddenly noticing that I’m much older. The haze isn’t smog–at least it doesn’t seem to be. Abu Dhabi and Al Ain are the same way. As for the cause, people venture guesses that it’s because of the fine sand that’s carried in the breezes; others think it’s because of the intense humidity (this morning I heard it was 89% in Abu Dhabi and 81% in Al Ain). I don’t know, but I can tell you that visibility is usually pretty poor here. As it cools off, though, it seems to be clearing up a little bit. We’ll keep you posted on how it changes this fall and into the winter. –Shon


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