Dubai Day 1: Malls and the Mega City

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What is wealth: Family, friends and travel. With Mej @ Burj Khalifa

When I travel I look for patterns hidden within a city. From the gait of pedestrians strolling down a well manicured road to the efficiency of the MRT system, these are signs of the way of life.

In Dubai I could feel its extravagance everywhere, elegantly interlaced in gold, larger-than-life shopping malls (or palaces?), travellators from the MRT station to the mall, and the breeding of the local Emirati’s. Dubai was constructed to feel and appear grandeur, even if you were merely window shopping.

Both Singapore and Dubai are first world cities attractive to expats with cabs that are safe and accessible. They are global hubs with ambitious skylines, that of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore, and of the Burj Kalifa in Dubai. Consumerism is common place with pockets that run deep for both countries.

Yet I felt that wealth was perceived differently. Singaporeans work hard to shop hard while in Dubai many Emirati’s were born into families with rich backgrounds. Both nations are wealthy but they show it in different ways. I felt like Singapore was younger, stylishly modern while Dubai is older and wiser, with a past to build their city on.


I went to Dubai with Ed last May as an early birthday gift to myself. I visited Mej, who recently moved there for work, so we could celebrate our birthday together.

The trip wasn’t cheap, but my personal definition of wealth is friends, family and travel. Day 1 of my trip below. More pictures to come.

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Dubai MRT or space hub?

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Is this a mall or a palace? @ Dubai Mall

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Is this a mall or a palace? @ Dubai Mall

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People watching

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A glimpse of Dubai’s future: buildings, buildings, buildings

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Is Dubai built on a dream or a mirage?

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Am I in a James Bond movie chase scene?

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Delicious Turkish Delight

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Crazy for Kebabs

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Keeping it cool in Dubai ;)

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JBR. Man made beach in Dubai


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