Painted Dubai – Travel Tuesdays

Painted Dubai by Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

The first time I saw pictures of Dubai, I thought they were altered with Photoshop. When I arrived in Dubai, I felt like I walked right into a movie set on the backlot of Universal Studios. Everything around me looked surreal. I wasn’t sure if I had time traveled to the past or the future, soon it became clear, I was in both.

In capturing the essence of this bizarre place, I took a few painted liberties with my photos to show the diversity, beauty & craziness of this intriguing city.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

I stood in awe looking across a man-made lake bordered by high-rise buildings sprouting like weeds out of the desert.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

To explore further and from another point of view, I took a ride on a Dhow which is the traditional sailing vessel of the Emirates on Dubai Creek.

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The creek offered a vibrant mix of past & present, old and new.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

Glancing in only one direction you might think you were in the tropics, not a desert.

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Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Look further and you would swear you were at Disneyland.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

Burj Khalifa, which rises 2,717 ft. with 163 floors. The tower has stood as both the tallest building in the world and the tallest man-made structure of any kind in the world since its completion in January 2010.

When you see the tallest building you have ever seen, you gasp. It took 3 photos to capture the whole building, I had to piece them together at home. Unbelievable.

Yet, no sooner had I seen this modern wonder, I felt like I wandered into a third world country.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

I really enjoyed walking amongst the daily lives of the locals.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

I loved the feeling of stepping back into time.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

I expected Aladdin to dart out of an alley with his beloved lamp, knocking over hookahs and such.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

Yet looming around the corner I felt that I would see George Jetson zooming by on his way to the office. Pretty sure he lives here?!

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

In order to really see the whole city have tea in the Skyview Bar at the Burj Al Arab, which is an sensory-explosive experience.

Painted Dubai by Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

I don’t know what I enjoyed more about it—the stunning views of the city, the attentive service or the exotic pastries & local delicacies like Lychee and Rose Sorbet.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

It is expensive, but given that this is the world’s top (self-proclaimed) seven-star hotel, it was worth the splurge.

Painted Dubai by Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

It is fun to contemplate if Dubai is imagination or reality. Whatever the answer, it will capture your curiosity.

Dubai | Cathy Arkle | She Paused 4 Thought

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

…and then, she paused for thought.

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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11 Responses to Painted Dubai – Travel Tuesdays

  1. Susan Herrmann Loomis February 24, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    What a great post. Now, I want to go there too!

    • Cathy Arkle February 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm #

      Thanks Susan, it is worth the trip.

  2. Christina Peters February 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    Wow, Cathy – it looks beautiful.

    • Cathy Arkle February 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

      Christina you would love it. So much to take in.

  3. cheri Newell February 24, 2017 at 4:40 pm #

    Yeah… Cath… awesome!!! I want to go there too!!! Very safe there… right???

    • Cathy Arkle February 24, 2017 at 5:01 pm #

      I found it to be very safe, but I always try to travel smart and respect local custom.

  4. JoAnne Burns February 24, 2017 at 8:11 pm #

    All I can say is WOW!

    • Cathy Arkle February 25, 2017 at 8:34 pm #

      I am still saying wow! Thanks for stopping by JoAnne!

  5. Sue @ It's Okay to Eat the Cupcake February 25, 2017 at 4:07 pm #

    What an amazing place – the constant juxtaposition of old and new is incredible (it must feel a little overwhelming at times)! Beautiful post, Cathy!

    • Cathy Arkle February 27, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

      Thanks Sue, it is overwhelming in many ways, but it is such a great experience.

  6. Christina Conte April 27, 2017 at 8:29 am #

    I had no idea Dubai was so diverse! This is the most detailed view of Dubai I’ve seen, Cathy! It’s usually a shot of skyscrapers and that’s it! Thanks for the overview and the gorgeous “painted” photos, I loved this post. I don’t know when I will get there, but I’d totally love to see it for myself.

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