Dubai boasts of the tallest tower in the world, Burj Khalifa which reminded me of the Petronas Towers in KL and going up only to the 124th. floor among the 160 plus floors in the high speed elevator doesn’t excite you because you are not literally ‘At the Top’ as it is known. But you are well compensated at the panoramic view standing on the observation deck at a height of 800 metres. You get to see all that modern Dubai represents and once you are back at the ground level, you enter the Dubai Mall, the largest among the many malls the city boasts of. It caters to the needs and fancies of all age groups but what impressed me most was the books section where I found a large collection of books in Arabic and English, mostly fiction. In the farthest corner were stacked latest arrivals on mass media and I searched for a book or two on ‘Feature Writing’ but there were none.
‘The Palm’, as its name signifies is a tree-shaped artificial island just off Dubai’s Jumeira. Atlantis, the lavish resort with Arabian architecture looms large with its magnificence and splendour. Situated on its own 800-metre, private beach on Dubai’s Palm Island, the 5-star Atlantis offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. It provides an underwater aquarium, dolphin-swimming opportunities and an extensive water park. It offers 1.5 km of beach access and you find large boulders forming a boundary. I could take a shot of the placid waters and a luxury cruise.
Balak Krishna Srinathji temple and the adjacent Shiv Mandir, the only Hindu temples in Dubai are frequently visited by the local Hindu community. Shrinathji is a form of Krishna, manifest as a seven-year-old child (Balak). The principal shrine of Shrinathji is situated at the temple town of Nathdwara located 48 Kilometers North-east of Udaipur in Rajasthan. The temple (situated on the first floor) in Bur Dubai is built in the north Indian style and the deity has all his paraphernalia (play things, a parrot etc) occupying both sides of steps below Him. Timings are strictly adhered to and perfect discipline is maintained with no one jumping the queue or breaking rules. The Perumal shop at the entrance stocks everything right from all that one requires for performing puja to gifts and sarees of all kind and range and also Tamil magazines and English newspapers. Flowers (imported from Madras) are available at the approach of the temple complex.
There are other attractions Dubai boasts of, like the museum, several malls and the Gold souk but we couldn’t make it due to lack of time. But just managed to have lunch at the most famous and talked of restaurant, Govindas, in Dubai which offers vegetarian food sans onion and garlic which was simply delicious.
n.meera raghavendra rao