26.02.2013 Dubai ►Metro & Ibn Battuta Mall

Posted: 16.08.2013
Updated on: 30.07.2015

In Delhi, where we had started our 2013 India Trip we also left the subcontinent. Our flight to Dubai was in the morning, and as scheduled we landed there in early afternoon. Our friends Vijaya and Rajendra Bengani are living since 12 years in Dubai because of business conditions. Personally we got to know each other 8 years before in Ladnun during our stay there (Ladnun - Jain Vishva Bharati - 2005 Trip To Spirituality [43] Invitation To The Former Bengani Family Seat), via email we were in contact since 2004. The invitation had been communicated quite some time, but in 2013 only realization was possible. We had booked the flight back to Berlin via Dubai and London. So now the visit in Dubai to meet again our Jain friends.

Our friend Rajendra Bengani together with Vikas Garg, also befriended with him, whose family we had visited in Delhi (2013.02.10 ►Delhi ►Sight-Seeing Tour & Visiting Garg Family) but whom until now we had not the occasion to meet personally, received us at the airport. Our first impression of Dubai corresponded to the idea we had got from photos, well maintained large roads, palm trees, blooming flowers, discretely hiding their irrigation system, many contemporary concrete buildings edging the roads. And construction areas in nearly equal quantity. We adjusted our watches 1,5 hours back, and actually were only 3 hours before German time. In Dubai there is no summertime, in the summer season the difference of time is reduced to 2 hours from Germany.

Our friends‘ apartment is in an approximate distance of 20 minutes to the airport. There we were awaited by Vijaya Bengani, and all of us were more than happy to meet again. Rajendra Bengani had to leave urgently because of some business friends attending the Dubai Mess taking place at the time of our stay there. In the evening we would meet all together for dinner. No problem grace to mobile phones. After naps, refreshments, and showers we followed Vijaya Bengani and Vikas Garg who was free this afternoon ready to discover Dubai. We went to the Metra station next to our friends’ apartment and looked around. The artfully designed Metro stations alone are worth going by Metro in Dubai.

 

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View from the cross-walk, in the background some famous silhouettes are visible in the afternoon mist.

 

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The Metrostation next to our friends‘ apartment.

 

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Bicycle racks in front of the Metro entry, buildings with futuristic appeal, and a construction area.

 

Still it was rather convenient outside, the maximum temperatures during our stay in Dubai were about 27°C. But as we were told until June this would change a lot. Then people would try to move from one air condition to the next. Buildings are fully air-conditioned from roof to front door. From the latter one either continues in air-conditioned cars or busses. Bus shelters are endowed with air-condition as well. No wonder at temperatures around 49°C! All buildings further are equipped with special glass reflecting ultraviolet rays as protection against the burning heat. In Dubai city 85% of the 2,1 million inhabitants in the same named Emirate are living. According to many of our Indian friends roughly 60% of Dubai’s population are migrant labourers from India, resp. south Asia.

 

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Moving staircase to Metro platform, Vijaya Bengani (in front) is explaining the system to us.

 

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Late afternoon crowd in the Metro coach.

 

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Where Metro becomes elevated train, interesting views on the town are offered.

 

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On 3 levels elegantly rolling roads for the almost 1,02 million registered vehicles for the 1,8 million inhabitants ascertained in 2010.

 

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A wall consisting of water terraces with abundant greenery, art for buildings in Dubai, discovered through Metro window.

 

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Function or art with architecture?

 

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Contemporary mirror image.

 

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Intended harmony between high-building and civil engineering.

 

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Vision into future?

 

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Such air-conditioned and roofed access to Metro would be unaffordable in Germany, or will we soon be forced to change our thinking?

 

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Brightly lightened station concourses and illuminated staircases are contributions to the liberty of moving for many women from south Asia, even when on their way to employment and back home only. Several women told us that they feel secure in the streets even at night (shift work!).

 

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The Ibn Battuta Gate, named after an Islamic scholar who in the 14th century started his travels from Morocco far beyond the Islamic world and had covered a distance of 120,000 km in 29 years, is included in a complex of hotels and apartments.

 

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Nearest Metro station to Ibn Battuta Mall, the world’s largest theme designed shopping centre, reflecting in its design some of Ibn Battuta’s destinations.

 

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Classical design…

 

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from Iran…

 

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…in a coffee shop of the theme world "Iran“.

 

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Vijaya Bengani (m) in an animated  conversation with Carla Geerdes (l), Vikas Garg (in front) on mobile.

 

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Design theme “Egypt“ leads to the big hall “Arabia“.

 

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Astronomy and mathematics were research objects of many Arabian scholars at the time of Ibn Battuta already.

 

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Design theme "India“.

 

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Design theme "China“.

 

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Meanwhile evening had come, and we set forth to the restaurant for dinner, where Rajendra Bengani was awaiting us with his business friends.

 

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The moon helped to illuminate the rather frequented streets.

 

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Our hosts Vijaya and Rajendra Bengani enjoyed their international guests. Rajendra Bengani was an excellent host and in a brilliant temper.

 

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A good meal in joyful company. The plate of our host visibly was unused, as every day from sunset to sunrise he is fasting, also abstaining from water during this time. Thank you for the nice evening, dear friends.

 

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When the waiter saw that Christian Geerdes took photos, he offered to take a photo with all of us.

Slideshow: Dubai ►Metro & Ibn Battuta Mall