The conference was exhausting with meeting after meeting, but around 5:30 in the evening things started to wind down. We were finally given the opportunity to run away from the hotel and catch a little of the nightlife in Dubai, so of course we went to the one landmark that sets this city off from every other city, the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa. It stands outside of the Dubai mall and looms over the city. It is the needle that beckons for everybody to come and visit, and the tourists comply to see what it is all about. It is quite the impressive structure, and the most amazing thing about it is that at night, it puts on a light show for all who stand on the bridge just outside of the mall, and jockey for the best position to see one of its many shows that run about every fifteen minutes.
The shows are worth the wait, but it is not the only thing that is worth seeing at this spot because in-between the light shows, there is another display that wows the crowds just as much. There is a fountain right below the tower that puts on a fountain show too. This is also coordinated with various songs as the water is show up into the sky while lights dance underneath the spectacle. It is this constant rotation of entertainment that keeps the crowds hanging on the bridge, and coming back night after to night to see how it will be different then.
It is what I have found that Dubai is really about. This city wishes to be the best at everything that it does, so it sets up different opportunities to show off its greatness. It has the tallest buildings, the greatest light shows, the most spectacular water works. It is a lot like Las Vegas except for all of the sin. It is hard to find a beer, and if you do get one, it is really expensive so you do not want to drink more than one of them. I am not sure if it has gambling or not, but it does not look like the place that would support that extravagant kind of lifestyle. Public displays of affection are even looked down upon from people who are not married, even though I am told that they take a more liberal approach to this than other countries in the Middle East do. Their excess comes in the form of shopping, and finding the unexpected in a place where it should never be.
I had heard about the indoor ski resort that the city brags about, but they also have an ice skating rink in the middle of the biggest mall in the city. It shouldn’t be too surprising from a desert city in which you can go skiing in, but it still took me by surprise that many people world come into this indoor attraction to show their children what it is like to ice skating. The part I liked the most about it was once every hour snow would start to fall down in the middle of the rink as the crowd started to gather underneath it so they could catch a couple of the flakes on their tongues. It really made it me start to wonder exactly where I was in the world, and why I was stuck in a hotel all day long, not given the opportunity to explore this a little bit more.
The answer was pretty obvious. I was in Dubai, the happiest city in the world, the place where all come to be awed with what the imagination of man can come up with. I did not need the extra stimulation that I look for in other places in the world because every turn I took would give me amble stimulation with what I would see. That is kind of the magic of this place, and I can see why it has become a tourist must see for so many people. I have only caught a little corner of what it has to offer, and I am already hooked by its pull. It will have to be a place that I will have to venture back to when I do not have to spend it in a conference and I can explore it a little more.