Dubai: Ambition of the East.

Dubai. In the Arab world, no one is in a hurry, time here moves smoothly, as if slipping through your fingers.

But not in the United Arab Emirates! In an enchantingly short time, among the sand dunes and Bedouin tents, a masterpiece arose that rallied 7 nomadic peoples and became one of the richest eastern states.

A few decades ago, residents of the coastal village hunted here for pearl fishing, and now this place is dominated by office buildings made of glass and concrete, mirrored skyscrapers, expensive shops and luxury hotels. Here they offer the best of the best. Even the winter in the Emirates is special, comfortable, not hot and not cold.

As if nature itself tried to make the rest and shopping in Dubai pleasant and not exhausting. All roads lead to Dubai The name of the international airport in Dubai - "Dubai International" - fits the city itself. Indigenous people in the Emirates are less than a quarter of the total population. Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos and Sri Lankans are much more common than Arabs. Immigrants from other countries are mainly employed at the ongoing grandiose construction site in Dubai. Arabs, on the other hand, occupy leadership positions and do not descend to the level of mere mortals. Surprisingly, the construction does not interfere with the frantic pace of life of the townspeople and the rest of tourists. New neighborhoods, luxurious shopping centers and entire artificial islands appear. The first piece of artificial land was the island on which the Burj Al Arab hotel rises, which is called the "Sail" - the heritage and pride of Dubai. Previously, you could enter the hotel simply to admire the rich decoration, but now only guests and visitors to internal restaurants where you can book a table are allowed entry. Dinner here will cost about $300 per person.

Dining out (even for breakfast!) in the Emirates requires a specific dress code. Men should appear in trousers and a shirt, and women should forget about jeans and remember about beautiful outfits. Almost all restaurants work at hotels or in shopping centers. The bill for two in a cafe (second course and drink) will be about $25, dinner in a good restaurant - from $70 per person. A real Arabic shawarma (chicken with salad wrapped in a tortilla) is obligatory for tasting - $ 2-3. Fragrant freshly squeezed juices from guava, melon, mango and avocado cost the same. There is no dry law in Dubai (it is valid only in Sharjah), so it is not forbidden to order and drink alcohol. The main thing is not to do it on the street in front of well-bred citizens and security guards. The order in Dubai is strictly monitored by numerous police and patrol squads. You can safely walk along the streets late at night and feel safe. Off the coast of Dubai, the delightful sea splashes. In winter, it is turquoise and absolutely transparent, so that flocks of silvery fish are visible in shallow water, sometimes even spiny sea urchins come across. And although the water in the Persian Gulf during the winter months does not warm up above 20 degrees, desperate daredevils (mainly our compatriots) still dive into the water with a run to cheer up and swim a little. A wide strip of white sand beach stretches for many hundreds of meters, well-groomed camels are led along it, here oriental craftswomen offer to put a pattern of henna on their hands. Shopping as an art Despite the dynamism and bright modernity, the Emirates carefully preserve the ancient Arab traditions. The population preaches Islam, men have the right to choose up to four wives. Each of his wives is obliged to give the same amount of attention, gifts and equal living conditions to each of his wives. Women seem quite content with this state of affairs and willingly wear traditional black robes. Leave the face open or close - the husband decides. It would seem that a monotonous black outfit should seem boring and can bother Arab women, but not everything is so simple. In women's shops (entrance is ordered here for men) you can find rolls of fabric of different shades of black (!) Color, among which local beauties choose fabric for abaya (dress) and hitjab (scarf). Later, the fabric is embroidered with patterns and decorated with precious stones. By the appearance of the outfit, it is easy to understand whether its owner belongs to a rich family or goes to the servants. For Europeans, there are more places to shop in Dubai than you need!

Discounts up to 75% on fashion brands can be found here almost all year round. But there are also official sales dates - from the end of January to February 20, the Dubai Shopping Festival opens in the city. Tourists are transported to large shopping centers from hotels by special buses. A taxi ride to the mall will cost $6-18. It is better to leave early in the morning, because the city has incredible traffic, and traffic jams are quite common here. The Mall of Emirates is considered the best option for shopping. A ski resort is located under the same roof - a snowy slope with skiers is visible right behind the glass. At the information desk, you can take a booklet with a guide, but even with tips, getting lost in a huge mall is easy. Another shopping center, Dubai Mall, is notable for its aquarium tunnel with sea monsters and the Olympic skating rink, and musical fountain shows are held in the pool nearby. In the direction towards Abu Dhabi, there is a beautiful shopping center-museum, named after the Arab traveler Ibn Battuta. The complex combines six sections dedicated to different countries. There is a Chinese court with traditional dragons, an Indian one with elephants and unique water clocks. In the Persian section there is a mini-observatory, similar to the one in which medieval scientists studied the heavenly bodies. The other three sectors are dedicated to Tunisia, Andalusia and Egypt. Traditions of Eastern Trade As in other Eastern countries, it is customary to bargain in the Emirates. Skillful bargaining reduces the original cost by at least 30%. This is most easily done in Deira's shopping district, where the shops in Nasser Square are a favorite place to buy fur coats. The “autolady” model here can be traded for $900, a knee-length mink coat for $1,200, with the declared initial price twice as high. It is convenient that many sellers are Russian.

A couple of minutes walk from the square is the multi-storey Abraj Center - the realm of fur, gold and expensive watches. By the way, a special niche is reserved for gold in Dubai - the Gold Souk. A distinctive feature of the local product is massiveness and pomposity: huge rings with diamonds and emeralds, large chains. Nimble sellers proudly display their treasures. The price is announced three to four times higher than the real one, and only when the buyer pretends to leave, reluctantly, they name a figure close to the real value. Not far from the Gold Souk, the Spice Market is fragrant. Although it can hardly be called a bazaar in the classical sense of the word. Rather, it is a string of tiny shops with Hindu sellers, where the aromas of cinnamon, pepper and cardamom hover. It is worth taking a walk to the Gift Village, an inexpensive souvenir shop, where cute leather camels “ask” for just $3. Arabian taxi boats (abras) depart from the waterfront of Deira to the pier of the historic Bur Dubai, the guardian of the main attraction of Dubai, the Grand Mosque (Grand Mosque).

Nearby, in the building of the fort, there is the Dubai Museum, whose photographs, expositions and archaeological finds tell the story of the transformation of a modest village into one of the most luxurious cities in the world better than any words. How to get there: Tickets Moscow-Dubai-Moscow: 16700 rubles. (a / c Emirates) Fly - about 3, 5 hours Hotel room for two (per day): from 120 € Self-obtaining a visa: At the Dubai Visa Application Center in Moscow, subject to the presence of airlines a / c Emirates. Visa costs 2210 rubles. Weather: the period from October to May is considered the most favorable, temperature range: from 18 to 30? C Cuisine: Meat dishes from lamb or chicken flavored with lots of spices and olive oil are popular in the Emirates. Garnish - rice or vegetables. Before the start of the meal, meze is served - a set of small snacks. The signature dish is muttabal, eggplant caviar with garlic and nuts. Residents: Indigenous people enjoy all the benefits of their state. For work they are provided with high positions, free education, medical care, they live in separate houses, move only in personal cars.

Photo: Jon Rawlinson Irina