DXB

So where does all of Oman go whenever we have an extended weekend? 
Step out during the Eid holidays to see the Muscat streets sparsely populated and you just know it. Everyone is in Dubai! 

While growing up, that’s what we did too. Drove down to the United Arab Emirates, stayed with friends or family and had picnics near the Creek. Even in the 90’s Dubai and Abu Dhabi was spotted with skyscrapers and didn’t really stir up any awe-enhancing feelings in me. 

This December, on the eve of the Omani National Day holidays, I went back to the city after nine whole years. And boy, has it changed. It was almost unrecognisable – in the most modern way. From the time I landed at the Dubai International Airport and had a train take me to the Immigration (unheard of, in this part of the world) to setting my eyes on the gaudiness that Tom Cruise had scaled in Ghost Protocol in addition to number of flashy retail destinations that have sprouted in the past decade – I was stunned. 

It’s a known fact that I dislike tall buildings and shopping when I travel, so that made the perfect setting for me to meet people. While my brother was lost for ideas as it was the first time he had a visitor to the Emirates who didn’t want to shop or look at the giant aquarium or be excited at the fake snow park – poor man was in a dilemna 🙂 

Regardless, I was there for five days and had a great time; here is what I did!
(Warning: Please expect a lot of html hearts – these are some people I dearly love)

Got on board the Dubai metro. In first class (unintentionally, of course :P)

Met Rashi for the first time after she became Mrs. Malik 

Noted how married friends are addicted to their phones, over a Strawberry Daiquiri

Introducing Samuel – devourer of optical equipment and footwear

Cannot believe he is twelve – and taller than me! My baby nephew Omi 

Yukti, the school topper and my closest friend from the Al Wadi Al Kabir days – also my chauffeur!
That’s why I say, what’s the point of academics 😛 

Iced coffee at midnight with Yuk!

‘Les Inseparables of Class XII B’

At the Souk Madinat Jumeirah

With Bonny Bhaiya, Boudi and the little monkeys – family in Sharjah!

Adorable canine #2 – Puppy Dennis who wanted to play ‘Tug the Rag’ at 2 am

‘Feel’

At the Marina – this place was fantastic! 

The elusive Shah. With better hair than me – and a Shikhar Dhawan mush.
Chatting up of travels and college over pizza and cannolis 

The frustrated architect

Pijja

Nicest evening in the whole trip. The beach behind JBR with Shah..

The Tim Horton’s breakfast with Dada, Bhabhi and Omi 

Forced solo at The Palm Jumeirah
Atlantis, us on a bench and a helpful Bengali photographer volunteer
Dada’s fancy new ride!

Lunch 

Chill time, while Omi crammed in Geography!

Of Sheesha, Roti and paste, safedh bhains and laughs!  
I was staying at BurJuman and it was apparently the most happening locality, with an old college friend staying in the same building and another family who we embarked on the Europe tour with, just two buildings away – so as you can see, I barely had a dull moment! 
The best part of this trip was the people – apart from a few people at work, I hardly have anyone to speak with. Friends and conversations, that’s what I miss most.

Aloha, Muscat 🙂

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