After a 15-hour flight from Dallas, I had an 8-hour layover in Dubai–which included a hotel room that I used only for a quick shower and change of clothes. To make the most of my time in Dubai, I asked a cab to to be my driver for the day. I hadn’t studied much beforehand, so I let him decide what to show me. My driver was Pakistani and lucky for me, spoke enough English to understand me.
After the first couple of stops, I realized he was only taking me to the typical touristy places…we stopped at the Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), and the Dubai Mall (a place I came to appreciate later on the trip), and the self-proclaimed “7-star” hotel, Burj Al Arab. Although impressive, I wasn’t too inspired to take out my camera.
After snapping a few pics, I asked my driver to take me somewhere I could find more of the locals working, shopping, and hanging out. He knew the perfect place, although by then, I had only a couple of hours left before my continuing flight to India. We went to an old spice market, Dubai Gold Souk, off the Dubai Creek. It was exactly what I wanted to see. After walking through the market, I spent some time talking with a few locals working on their ships–old, wooden ships equipped with electronics like refrigerators & TV’s. I found most people to be very friendly–some even asking me to take their picture. The man pictured above insisted I take several shots of him puffing on his cigarette.
It's Burj Al Arab, my only shot of the 7-star hotel: