United Arab Emirates

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe it’s real. Could this be what real peace looks like? Sure, we have peace with Egypt, but how safe is it for me to travel there as an Israeli? Sure, we have peace with Jordan, but were we to go there, my husband would have to leave his tfilin home- maybe even his talit. We are tolerated as long as we follow the rules. Individuals in both of those countries are friendly and kind. But are we desired guests? Not so much.

Now let’s look at the United Arab Emirates. The story is quite different. Modern, streamlined, and welcoming. These people have decided that they are building a future with endless possibilities. It is as if they have taken their direction from Herzl- “if you will it; it is no dream.” They are building the biggest, the boldest, the best. They welcome innovation. The accomplishments of this country, founded in 1971 are staggering, but what is most impressive is the way in which we Israelis are greeted and treated. I am not exaggerating (much) when I say it’s like a family reunion. People are happy to see us, anxious to accommodate us, interested in hearing whatever we can share with them. They have a culture of acceptance and kindness. What’s more, the people are respectful, quiet, relaxed. Work gets done, but one doesn’t feel a sense of panic or frenzy.

Our welcome to the country included a very long walk in the airport which is probably size of a small Israeli yishuv. We walked and walked. Then we walked some more. Oh yes, and then we walked some more.

At that time everyone entering The Emirates had to have had a negative Covid test within 72 hours of boarding the plane and then was tested again at the airport. The efficiency of the process was remarkable. They had perhaps 20 people at desks, scanning passports, making labels, and sending us off to be tested by a cadre of at least 20 different people in cubicles lining a long wide hall. The entire process took less than 5 minutes. Results were texted to us the next day.

There were so many highlights of our tour that it is impossible to share them all, but here are a sprinkling… The Dubai Mall, home to over 1700 stores, countless restaurants, the largest suspended aquarium in the world, and of course, adjacent to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.  In the picture on the right below is a model of what will be the tallest structure in the world, now under construction in Dubai.

 

Below are some buildings we saw from the front of our hotel and in the right-hand photo, one can see in the distance the Dubai Frame- a structure that provides a view of Dubai from 150 meters in the air.

Below is a view of the Jumeira Mosque.

Here is an example of the attention to detail one finds here- with decorations even on highway overpasses.

 

We were fascinated by the twisted building below left.

The sand in the desert here has at least two tones and it in itself is beautiful. Our ride across the sand dunes was breathtaking in every sense of the word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no trip to Dubai is complete without at least one photo with the Burj Khalifa

 

Here we are at the Global Village, a wonderful place to walk and enjoy the sights of many nations!

 

And the Miracle Garden!!! It is a taste of paradise!

 

Seeing Dubai from the Dubai Frame is a real treat. There we also see their vision for the future. It looks very very bright.

You don’t have to believe me. Come see for yourself. We have a very few more spaces on our tour leaving February 9. There’s still time to sign up. Come join us!!

 

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