In 2014 I probably saw more than my fair share of airports, each one a little different and I accepted the stop-over at each one as part of the journey required in “getting to my next adventure”.
In a 2 month period I passed through Dubai airport four times, mostly short stop overs that allowed an opportunity to walk around for a few hours before re-boarding the next long haul flight and moving on.
One stop-over though provided me an opportunity to get out of the airport, check into a hotel for a few hours sleep and then grab a taxi and have a quick look around the city.
I managed a quick trip out to “The Mall” and an early morning walk along the bank of “The Creek”. These two short forays out of the hotel provided me with two contrasting views of the city –
- the ritz and glamour of one of the worlds largest shopping malls and water fountain displays, and
- the dust sweet and effort that the local wharf workers put into moving an usual mixture of goods along the The Creek on the old wooden dhows.
What has stuck with me the longest? Definitely the contrast between the two!
Both are extraordinary sights in their own right but the contrast between the two still stands out for me and, well the walk along the Creek – I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. 8am in the morning, 35 degrees and very humid yet the workers were focused on the manual effort of hand loading the dhows. No hey lift cranes or containerisation here. Gang planks and a snake line of workers carrying the loads onboard.
The other thing I remember from this walk was the extraordinary items that made up the dhow cargo – car tyres, fridges,
It was an interesting stop over but by 11am I was once again back and the airport and on my way to Istanbul.