Sunday, November 21, 2010


Dear Friends,

Hope you all had a wonderful time during the Eid-Al-Adha (Bakrid) holidays. Here is the third (final) part of the travelogue of my Dubai trip.

Ancient Dubai:

When we talk of a place, we are interested in knowing its ancient history as well. Though there are not much details about the history of Dubai, the first human settlement seems to be traced to approximately 3000 BC. It seems that a Persian Dynasty called Sassanids were ruling the area of Dubai creek from 224 AD till 6th Century AD and were driven out by the Umayyads who brought Islam to this area. During the period they had been mainly engaged in the pearl diving activity and trading of pearls with China for obtaining silk and porcelain from them.

One of the buildings excavated in Jumeirah (9th - 12th Century AD)
Later during the 16th century the Portuguese attempted to control local trade, but then they retreated due to similar attempts by French, Dutch and British attempts to take over them. Finally, British gained control over the sea trade routes by 1766. By 1833 the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa Oasis moved to Dubai and settled down there, forming the Al Maktoum dynasty which rules Dubai till date.

There has not been much information regarding our ancestors moving to Dubai or any traditional element found to prove it. It seems that after oil discovery in Dubai during 1966, many Indians have moved in for earning their living. However, it is worthy to note that Indian Rupees was in usage in the country until the Federal Government introduced UAE Dirhams in 1972. This could be due to the British rule during the preceeding 150 years in Dubai.

There is only one Hindu temple in Dubai, however it seems to be established to cater to the Hindu community residing in Dubai, and doesn’t seem to have any ancient history behind it. I was unable to visit the same due to the tight schedule of our sightseeing plans.

Dhow Cruise:

After a wonderful city tour during the day on 11th Sep 2010, we had the scheduled trip in the dhow cruise in the evening. Dhow is a type of a traditional Arabian vessel which was used for fisheries and pearl diving earlier. Currently it is one of the tourist attractions of Dubai. The tourists are taken on a sailing trip in the Dubai creek in a dhow for around two hours in the night and the tourists are able to enjoy both the beautiful city in the glittering lights and at the same time enjoy the nice dinner in the dhow.

We reached the boarding point at 19.30 hours and it was a beautiful scene to see the dhows decorated with serial lamps. We were welcomed by the staff of the dhow with 'kawa' and dates. Kawa is a traditional Arabian drink almost like a black tea. We went inside the dhow and saw it was neatly arranged with dining tables and decorated inside with dim lights and looked quite romantic. Not just our group, but there were other tourists also in the dhow; there was a ground level and first level, filled with tourists. As soon as the reserved seats were occupied, the dhow started off with a slight jerk and then moved slowly and smoothly, as if a swan was swimming in the lake. 

Inside the dhow - ready for dinner
We were enjoying the sight of the city through the glass panes and simultaneously started enjoying the starters  served to us. It was a buffet dinner and the menu included tomato soups (with bread crumbs), vegetable salad, naan, khuboos (Arabian bread) fried rice, paneer butter masala, fruit salad and a few non-vegetarian dishes (I am not good enough to mention the names, they are alien to me :-D) During the sail, music was played in the speakers both melodious numbers and foot-tapping numbers. Even while the dinner started also, a gang of guys started to dance for the songs. Some of the songs were in Arabic, some in Hindi, some in English and some of them were just instrumental. But once the dinner was over, most of the guys including those in our group joined the dance. The dance movements started slowly and then quite soon, the music and the enjoyment of people dancing, caught hold of others watching too. Many of them came up to dance and kids were enjoying well with their dance steps. The dance reached its peak, when the song 'Appadi podu' from the movie "Ghilli" was played. Later the ladies in our group also joined the dance. It was fun to sing, dance, applaud, appreciate and what not!!!

Dance in the dhow
Almost after two hours of our sailing trip in Dubai creek the dhow came to a halt. We were too tired and it was time for us to get back to our rooms and take rest.

Mall of the Emirates:

Mall of the Emirates
The next day, i.e. 12th Sep 2010, we got ready and assembled at 09.30 hours for sightseeing. Our scheduled trips in the tour package had finished and so we decided to spend our time by ourselves. We had decided to visit the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in Dubai. Our main attraction there was Ski Dubai, an artificial snow park. We reached the Mall of the Emirates at around 10.00 hours and straight away went to the Ski Dubai, without bothering to do any shopping.

Ski Dubai - Outside view
We took the entrance tickets and when we went inside, we were provided with jerkins, track suits, gloves, boots, socks and helmets for safeguarding us from the cold climate. Once we got ready with them, we all looked like as if we were going to space in a rocket. We went inside and were amazed to see the beautiful snow park; it surely is a boon to a desert country like Dubai. The temperature is maintained at -3 degree celsius inside the park.

Children ready to go inside Ski Dubai
There were lots of games inside like skiing, snowboarding, sliding, snow balls, travel in winch, etc. As we were a bit hesitant about taking the camera inside, considering the cold climate, we were not able to take any pictures.

Everyone, whether children or grownups, all of us had a fabulous time playing in the snow. And finally when it was around 12.30 hours, we had to leave the place since we had our return flight to Kuwait in the evening. We came back to our hotel apartments half-heartedly and after our lunch, started our packing.

Back to Kuwait:

Once we reached our rooms, we had just enough time to have our lunch and pack up our things for the flight in the evening. We packed, got ready and waited for our vehicle to pick up. During the time of wait, me and two of my friends crept out to the bookstall opposite to our hotel apartments and purchased a few books like ‘A Quiver full of arrows’ by Jeffrey Archer and a few story books for the kids. Once done, we found our vehicle had arrived too and started off to the airport. Since we had sufficient time in the airport, we made a window shopping in the airport.

Dubai International Airport
We took the flight back to Kuwait and reached at around 01.30 hours the next day i.e. 13th Sep 2010. We did miss to visit the famous Burj Al Khalifa, dancing fountain, the only Hindu temple in Dubai, and a few other places, due to the limited time. But yet we had a wonderful time during the trip and realized that it is all the more fun when we go in groups rather than only with our family. This trip made many of us friends and some of us quite close and now we have regular contacts with each other than before. 

Hope you all enjoyed my travelogue and would be interested to visit Dubai during your next vacation/holidays. Wish you all a very nice trip to Dubai!!!

Friends, I shall get back with yet another interesting post soon... Till then, take care & bye.


  1. thankx.. and twas gr8... so if i ve a chance to go to this tour... i'll certainly put scene as though i ve visited these places earlier by telling the info u ve given here...

  2. Dear Varthini,
    It is excellent article describing your experience in dubai. I am very happy that you have included history of dubai and temple of dubai.

    However i felt there should be some relation ship with India by the Sassanids. There should be some relations with khusanar with sassanids.

    A detailed research is required to confirm the relationship of the dubai rulers with the rulers in India.

    It is practice to marry the beautiful girls of other countries. You may refer ponniyin selvan when Nandini is brought by periya pazuvettariyar to kadambur, every body thinks that she may belong to a foreign country including arabu desam. You may see the reference.

    "அவள் ஒருவேளை காஷ்மீர தேசத்துப் பெண்ணாயிருக்கலாம்; அல்லது கடல்களுக்கு அப்பாலுள்ள சாவகம், கடாரம், யவனம், மிசிரம் முதலிய நாடுகளிலிருந்து வந்த பெண்ணரசியாகவும் இருக்கலாம் என்று தோன்றுகிறது. ஒருவேளை அரபு தேசத்துப் பெண்ணாக இருந்தாலும் இருக்கலாம். அந்த நாட்டிலேதான் பெண்கள் பிறந்தது முதலாவது இறக்கும் வரையில் முகமூடி போட்டே வைத்திருப்பார்களாம்!"
    If detailed research is made in this area and Kalki is reborn again in tamil nadu to write a beautiful story.
    Dr L Kailasam

  3. @Balaji: haha.. that's nice... btw, thank you :-)))
    @Dr. Kailasam sir: Thank you sir. Yes, as you said, more research would bring out more details; however whatever I had mentioned above are just what I heard and came to know during the trip.