I was invited to Dubai last April to attend the Middle East Film & Comic Con - I had been wanting to attend the previous two years and was so glad that I could finally make it.
Dubai is a wonderful international city and even though the main language is Arabic, English is the second language that is spoken by the majority of folks who power the service sector so if you are thinking of traveling and feel more comfy speaking in English then you wont have any probs making your way around.
April had a good climate to visit - not too hot (when in the shade) with cool evenings - felt a lot like Los Angeles.
We flew to Dubai via Seoul which took about 8 hours. This photo taken over Eastern China I think.
Service on Korean Air is excellent and food is nomilicious.
We stayed at the Conrad Hotel in Dubai which is located just opposite the MEFCC venue at the World Trade Center. Great service and brekkie in a good location. I was surprised that tourists to Dubai had to pay a "tourist tax" per day - its not much though at about 5 USD.
The first thing we like to do when traveling is to go out and explore - Dubai by night.
The spaceship hull-like object on the left of the photo is actually a metro station - most of them look like that in the city.
And this is what it looks like inside.
Before you use the metro however you should remember to leave your fish at home. If you are of male species and have a fish attached to your body and are unable to remove it - you should make sure that at least it does not smell of fish by bathing regularly.
To travel on the metro, get yourself a NOL card and top it up when needed.
I only started to realize how much of a following Culture Japan had when I stepped on the metro. Was very surprised and pleased to bump into our fans ^^
I later bumped into this lady at MEFCC which is the platform for all folks in the region who enjoy pop culture.
Took a nice boat (Abra) ride from Bur Dubai along Dubai Creek - usually costs 1 dirham ( about 20 cents USD) but can cost whatever note you pass to the chap steering the boat as you don't get change - so if you pass the equivalent of 50 USD then thats how much your ride will cost ^^
Exploring the various souks (markets) which have a notably large amount of spice and gold.
The local shop owners all seem to speak Chinese, Korean and Japanese and call out in all of these languages when an oriental looking person walks by.
Managed to get the photobomb in the background intentionally (not). This was taken while passing through one of the gold markets.
I love the various cuisines that can be enjoyed throughout the city.
At Dubai Mall - the world largest which is big enough to house dinosaurs.
Picked up a pair of Reeboks which are my current daily solemates.
Kinokuniya Books is also located at Dubai Mall and is their largest store to date.
Just like most of the Kinokuniya outside of Japan, one can get a load of anime stuff too which includes figures.
Our Mirai-chan just happens to work part time at Kinokuniya - here she is stacking the Japanese learning deck of cards Moekanji.
Kinokuniya have a load of Japanese and localized manga too.
And the Otaku section contains some of my books ^^
The probability of bumping into readers at Kinokuniya is 100% no matter if its in LA, Malaysia, Singapore or Dubai ^o^
Mamamia this tasted so good ><
We ate at this place a lot which was located very near to Conrad hotel.
Mirai-chan enjoyed her trip to Dubai too. Here she is wearing the prototype T-shirt developed by Murasaki.me.
While we didn't experience any sandstorms, it did get quite windy from time to time (without the sand).
Snapped outside the MEFCC event hall - Dubai World Trade Center.
Its really nice out here - and also very very hot ^^;
Mirai-chan ran off a bit to explore the desert.
I had to run after Mirai and bring her back to safety before she melted out there.
The Burj Khalifa is the worlds tallest artificial structure - many of you who watched the latest Mission Impossible would have seen it being scaled by Tom Cruise.
Before I released Smart Doll, I carried around Mirai for a year or so as a test run - the learnings that I gained from the posing, storage during transit etc are all reflected in the final product.
A lovely evening having some noms with comrades at Kinokuniya while watching the fountain display at the Burj Khalifa.
After MEFCC, we changed hotels and moved next to the coast where the Palm Islands are. While most of the photos that we see online of Dubai are of the city center, the coastal area is also bustling with tall buildings.
Many many (many) of the cars that we saw in Dubai looked like this - I've never seen so many sports cars being used for daily hops to the supermarket.
Preparing for more delicious food.
I never remember the names of food that I eat though ><
A stroll around Dubai Marina.
For folks wanting to visit, you would be wanting to check out the location below.
Shisha (also known as Hookah) is a waterpipe which vaporizes herbs and leaves through hot water placed inside.
I was told that there is no nicotine and is harmless so I tried it once - and will never try it again as it left me feeling dizzy for a long time ><
At least it doesn't smell like cigarette smoke though.
Checking out the evening sunset at the coast.
At an Indian restaurant which always reminds me of my childhood upbringing.
Round things of something which tasted good!
Speaking of round things, Mirai-chan checking out the coast town.
Dubai from up above. Thanks for your hospitality Dubai and see you again in April!