My Favourite Window

June 5, 2014

Bur Dubai

... as I fly off into Arabian Nights and Summer days: I wrote that just over a year ago. Somehow with the complications of using unfamiliar computers and very fickle internet connections I never posted anything about my three month trip while I was actually on it. And now that the anniversary of that time has arrived it is very much in my mind. 

I've never been drawn to the idea of Dubai with it's look what money can buy ethos.

But it is a stop over point on one of the major flight routes between Christchurch and London and... I really did want to try and soften the effects of a long-haul flight on my body. Jet lag floors me so completely for at least five days that surely three days anywhere en route might just ease the transition.

Since Emirates airline was offering reduced rates on selected stopover hotels, and we had family to visit, I decided to make the most of the occasion. Surely there was an old quarter, something more in line with my preference for souks and tradition?  There is. Bur Dubai! 

Kitty and I spent three days staying in the Arabian Courtyard Hotel, with its palatial suites, friendly staff and carefully judged mix of traditional décor and modern comfort. 

If I hadn't deleted so many of my early photos by accident, I would have a broader range of Dubai photos including one of Kitty and the delightful doorman, but I am so pleased that I still have all my photos of Dubai Creek, because it stole my heart. 

The liveliness of river traffic always pleases me: The throb of engines;

The lap of water between piles and moored boats;

The creak of hulls against wharf and one other;

The smell of iron and rust, old paint and damp timber and diesel;

Light on water and the promise of destination: 
All these things remind me of a life lived once on water.

Across the Creek from Bur Dubai is Deira where we ogled the jewellery in the Gold Souk and coveted spices in the Spice Souk.

Our hotel immediately overlooked Dubai Museum, a historic bastion site and a welcome relief from the heat.

This carved motif on the door that Kitty is entering is very like the Pacific Island decorative frangipani motif.

I liked this carved structure too, an entrance to Dubai Old Souk. This market along with the Textile Souk was also handy to our hotel.

There was no shortage of souvenir shops and hawkers around Bur Dubai, 

but they are all part of the character of the place and I enjoy the banter when it's not too aggressive. Here, I never felt threatened by salesmen or afraid to be on the streets. 

And that jet lag? The three day break in the trip worked wonders. I was able to operate normal hours almost as soon as we arrived in England. 


Cro Magnon said...

Old fishing boats certainly have more appeal than modern hotels.

rusty duck said...

Marvellous. I've been to Dubai too and I must admit all the modern skyscrapers left me fairly cold, if that's possible in 50 deg C heat. What you saw and photographed is a different side to it and one I must explore if we ever go back.

Gill said...

Lovely post Lady M. Gill

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Cro Magnon: Hmmm I couldn't help wondering how I could make a genteel living by the Creek. Maybe I could run a house boat hotel...

rusty duck: We did get to see the modern skyscrapers at sunset looking like a futuristic fantasy city. See if you can get back to the old quarter at a cooler time of the year!

Gill: thank you Gill, glad you enjoyed it.

libby said...

I have never fancied going to Dubai, and any sort of souk or market is not for me...hustle and bustle puts me off...but seeing different sides to a place is always interesting and you obviously really have an affinity for waterway living.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

libby: Just sit back and enjoy the armchair travel - though I know you do quite a bit of the real thing :-)

Steve said...

Looks incredible. My only experience of "Arabia" is Egypt about 15 years ago. I have a terrific yen to go back. I think I might appreciate it more now I'm a little older and wiser.

John Gray said...

You can literally FEEL the heat