I have been to Dubai before but nothing really prepared me for what I saw on my recent visit. My first trip was 13 years ago when I was filming for the BBC, then I visited again 4 years ago to design a menu for the Dusit Group. Well let’s just say things have changed.
The change is really quite overwhelming. In just 48 months, Dubai appears to have reinvented itself once again.
The city now looks like a futuristic comic book and it is growing at an alarming (perhaps impressive) rate. When the Burj Al Arab was anointed as the first 7-star hotel in the world it kicked off a revolution which is still going to this day.
Dubai wants the world to notice it and to make this happen they built the tallest tower in the world, renovated the airport to a mammoth size, pushed their hotels to strive to be better than anywhere else and invested in an epic amount of food and shopping attractions. The variety of shop brands, hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in Dubai is truly remarkable.
But they didn’t stop at just the glitz and glamor, they also have invested in infrastructure. The train system looks like it’s from the movie the Hunger Games; high speed and racing through massive helmet-style hubs. The city is sprawling with skyscraper after skyscraper but developers are pushed to be innovative in their design. The result is that the towers across the skyline all look completely different from one another making Dubai’s look all the more impressive.
The city is home to the Emiratis people, but they make up less than 10% of the 2 million people that actually live here. So Dubai is filled with workers from India, Pakistan, the Philippines and many managers from across Europe. It’s fascinating to see the Middle East with such a European vibe.
That said, Dubai still holds many laws that would surprise the average tourist. For instance restaurants such as the American Cheesecake Factory can’t sell alcohol as it can only be served in Hotels.
Expensive cars and designer brands are the norm here. As much as you hear the prayers from speakers at the Mosques, you will hear revving of the engines on the Maserati’s that speed through the city where there are gaps in police cameras. Let’s just say this place is a contradiction.
Dubai is a must see though.
My first impression was that the city was basically a manufactured take on Las Vegas. But I have since changed my opinion in that I see it now as a city of the future, that has the power to build anything and the will to survive any problem. It has energy and enthusiasm on it’s side and those are powerful assets.
Check out our episode page for more information and videos on Dubai.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.