Return from Dubai

My apologies for not posing more while I was away!  I meant to, but with Flickr not accessible (and the regular Wordpress photo uploader not working), I just didn't make the time. One of many giant buildings on Sheik Zayed Road in Dubai

So, a brief recap:

Dubai couldn't have been less like Clinton Hill.  The entire place is a buzzing hive of development and almost everything is brand new and very tall.  It's impossible to cross any major street.  In fact, one night we went to a bar across the street and had to take a cab!  There are approximately six major malls there, with more on the way.  The malls are filled with expensive chain stores that cost twice as much as they do in NYC or London.  And that's what you do there (as a Westerner, anyway) -- go to malls, or go to hotels so you can drink.  It's not unlike Vegas in many ways.

Our host, a friend in his late 20s, is there to make money.  Yes, he's met and made friends there, through work and other connections.  But he's not chilling with the Emirati, and he's not having TV night with neighbors in his building, and he's not chatting with people on the street.  It's a very segregated place, between service workers and the wealthy.

Still, an interesting trip nonetheless, but not a place I'd consider putting roots down.

More lovely was a side trip to Khatar, Oman -- a little ancient town on the Arabian Gulf.  While there, my boyfriend and I just happened to get engaged!  I mention that sappy little bit only to say that we're going to try to use at least a few Clinton Hill businesses in the planning process.

I'm planning on getting right back to business as usual, but bear with me this week.  I am going right back to work and I expect jetlag to be a bitch (Dubai is 9 hours ahead of NYC).

Happy 2009!

A traditional dhow in the Arabian Sea, Oman