In desperate search for a cultural experience and to learn something more about the UAE, Ben and I headed to the Cultural Center for Open Minds (funded by Sheikh Mohammed) for breakfast and talks with our host Nasif. The center is located in the oldest section of Dubai, the heart of the historic Al Fahidi District in Bur Dubai
The traditional Emirati breakfast took place in the ambience of a wind tower house and no question was off limits with Nasif as our group learnt more about the local culture, customs and religion of the area. The discussions lasted about 90 minutes and everyone took part asking questions and learning more about the Emirati way of life.
As part of the discussions I was dressed in an abaya, which was an interesting experience and while Nasif would have the group believe overall this was for the females benefit, I was left far from convinced personally, but each to their own and if it's a women's free choice and not imposed on her by men, then so be it.
I wish we had had more time to look around the old part of Dubai after the breakfast but we headed off to visit the Burj Khalifa for lunch, unfortunately as Ben was not wearing long trousers we were not allowed into the restaurant so we had to reschedule. So at 5pm, a few hours late, we arrived back at the worlds tallest building with Ben correctly dressed and we took the lift 123 floors up to the restaurant.
As we had not been able to secure advanced tickets to the very top of the building and were unwilling to pay $100 per person VIP in order to access this floor, we decided the option of lunch/dinner on the floor directly below this with a min spend of $100 for a window seat was a far better option. At least we would get some food and drinks to go with our expensive view from the tallest building in the world. Only issue we had was we struggled to reach the min spend in the restaurant as it was a public holiday in Dubai and no alcohol was being served until 7pm. But we sat tight, ordered some food (Ben had fish and chips and me Falafel and Ceviche odd combo I know) and waited for 7pm to arrive. I then ordered my most expensive Manhattan to date at $30 a pop!
d Arab Emirates