For Indians the city that never sleeps reminds one of Mumbai. The metropolis is well-known for its cosmopolitan outlook and fast paced lifestyle.
But one is simply dazzled to see Dubai at night – it is all that we are used to seeing in Mumbai and much much more. No wonder it has become a happening location hosting a plethora of cultural and sport events over the next few months with a perfectly chilly weather setting in.
I reached Dubai late in the night yesterday – the glittering city with its beautiful set of island whorls was visible as we commenced our descent. The airport was state of the art and we quickly whisked across for the Immigration check. The queues moved rapidly and soon one was looking at the baggage pick up desk. Initially I was confused to see the signage displaying my flight on two belts – on checking further I realized that it was a double belt meant to make it easier for folks to collect their luggage.
As I was exiting I decided to buy a SIM card – a popular scheme is available to suit the needs of those arriving newly to the city. But I was impressed with the procedure – minimal paper work and you just sign on an electronic pad kept at your desk. The connection was instantly activated – a real bonus as I quickly communicated my new contact details to family back at home.
I grabbed onto a Taxi making sure he knew the address. My friend had told me that it will take about half an hour to reach his home. Imagine my surprise when the driver told me that we would be driving for about 50 KMs. Well the infrastructure is there to support you cruising at 100 KMPH to be able to cover such a distance in a jiffy. And it was not just about the traffic being light during the night – the traffic was quite visible even then. The city that was on the move and the city that never sleeps. The car was really comfortable and you didn’t quite notice that you were moving at such a rapid speed.
The scenery whizzed past, one came across some complicated flyovers and bridges as we coursed our way along the route. I caught a view of the Metro train quickly coursing through a station. It was state of the art infrastructure for sure. And as promised I reached my friend’s place within 30 minutes. I re-confirmed that I was at the right place – a set of modern towers overlooking a small lake and surrounded by industrial activity. This was a newly developing suburb if one were to call it that. It was a 22 floor tower and my friend was right on the top floor. Modern construction – modular, sleek, with lots of a glass. As I stepped into his home, I caught yet again a glimpse of the Dubai skyline and the city being on the move.
It was lovely weather as the winter is just setting in – my friend was excited about the various events that were coming from sporting competitions to marathon to movie festivals. A lot was happening and held promise for an exciting season. The entertainment scene has simply transformed over the years and one can look forward to seeing Dubai on the world map for many events now.
Yes I had heard about the city, even made some fleeting visits earlier. But the current trip is one that I will savour – the right mix of business and pleasure with lots of time to explore the city and its enchanting offers.