Friday, 27 January 2017

What is new in Dubai

What has changed in Dubai during last five years? Having visited in 2012 and now again in 2017-- this question was on my mind. It was easier to answer-- what has not changed? Simple-- the iconic tall tower Burj-Khalifa, the most luxurious hotel Burj-al-Arab, Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, numerous malls-- have all been there and not changed. So, this story excludes the pictures of these iconic buildings and malls. 

However, Ghumakkad's earlier stories covering these tourist spots can be accessed on the following links:

  1. Desert Transformed
  2. Up in the Sky- Burj Khalifa and Burj-al-Arab
  3. Malls in Dubai- Madinat and Atlantis
  4. More Malls-- Dubai Mall, Ibn Batuta and Dubai Festival City
  5. The Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
  6. Sharjah- The Shining Emirate and its water sports
During last five years, Dubai has developed a Miracle Garden. It has some 45 million flowers. The garden has an entrance fee of AED 40 and draws thousands of visitors every day. Well laid out, it includes an old jet airliner whose wings and fuselage adorn flowers and creepers. Constructed at a cost of US$ 12 million, it is unique in many ways:

  • It is cultivated using recycled water
  • Unlike most gardens which have horizontal flower beds, it has vertical flower beds also
  • Good example of public-private partnership
  • Free entry for disabled people
  • It has structures of all religions including a Buddha Stupa which are built using flowers
  • All the walk ways have inverted umbrellas hung from a wire mesh to protect from intense heat.

Spread over 72,000 square meters it is simply breathtaking. Open from 10 AM to 10 PM, it is shut down for visitors during peak summer months.

Miracle Garden is another initiative of UAE government to earn revenue from tourism and other non-oil sources. It is a long term strategy for sustainability when the oil wells go dry in 2050! This aspect was also mentioned in Ghumakkad's earlier story (click here to browse).
Pictures taken on 5th January 2017 for you.

According to Wikipedia, "A scene of a Bollywood movie Hamari Adhuri Kahani starring Emraan Hashmi and Vidya Balan was shot in Miracle garden. Movie's director, Mohit Suri added that though Dubai was generally known for its high-tech buildings and modern landscapes, he wanted to romanticise it and show its softer side." 

Here is a 30-second video to give you a 'live' feel of the garden.

Another addition to Dubai's tourist map has been  

Gurudwara. Though Dubai has 50,000 Sikhs staying there, 

it had no Gurdwara till 2012. Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar has 

been constructed at a cost of US$ 20 million. It blends with local 

architecture and colour scheme. Special credit to Anita Gambhir 

Arora for her inputs. 

Vice-president and prime minister of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed 
bin Rashid Al Makhtoum, granted 25,400 sq feet land for the 
Gurdwara in Jebel Ali area. Ghumakkad visited the Gurdwara on 
5th Jan 2017. Few pictures.

 This brings us to the end of our Dubai trip of 2017. Once again, special thanks are to Anand Jain for taking us around and being our expert guide. May God give such friends to everyone so that life is worth living!

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the less visited spots of Dubai like the bird sanctuary (click here to browse the story). It is a happening city and you need to explore it beyond its skyscrapers and malls.

Thanks for browsing

     -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad/27th Jan 2017