In all the years I've been travelling, this was my first proper trip to Dubai. I've visited the UAE several times, but I always end up working in Abu Dhabi, so I was intrigued to see what it's bigger brother was like. I was only in Abu Dhabi last December, and it was the first time I took my Hasselblad on a trip with me. This time it was another first, shooting with my new Leica M6 for the first time. Of course I loaded a film as soon as I got it, but I only took about 4 photos before heading off on this trip, so I was really looking forward to seeing how they came out.
I was only in Abu Dhabi for one day (not even 12 hours to be exact) before heading to Dubai for another couple of days. I did get some free time in the late afternoon, so I tried to make the most of it. Unfortunately, the weather really wasn't on my side. NOT something you often say in the Middle East! However, on my first day in Dubai, in the afternoon I headed for the downtown area and pointed towards the unmissable Burj Khalifa. I'm a sucker for a tall building with great views, and they don't get any taller than this! As I didn't know what time I'd finish work, I couldn't pre-book a ticket, and they were sold out for the day. They were even sold out for the next day too, so top tip......pre-book! I happened to walk past another kiosk that looked to be selling tickets, but this was only for the very top floor. The 'normal' sold out tickets only go as high as 125, these go to 148......but......they come at a price. A huge price! I don't regret paying it, and you can look up the price for yourself, but be prepared! For me, I was there, the weather was really good, it was approaching sunset, I might not be back in Dubai for a while......why not?!
Needless to say, these VIP tickets get you straight to the top without queuing. Even drinks and refreshments are included in the price, served whilst at the top floor.......bargain! ;) It goes without saying that the views are breathtaking. However, there's something you can't quite but your finger on. As you're so high, looking down on what would normally be very tall buildings, it sometimes doesn't feel like you're looking down from a building itself. It's odd, but still impressive none-the-less. I watched the sun go down, and then had a quick queue-less journey back down to terra-firma.
The next day, I was taken to the Old Souq region, in Diera. We had a wander around the various markets, which are always great for photography, as long as you can put up with the endless vendors trying to flog you something.
It was a great trip, but Dubai really isn't my type of city. I can see why some people love it, the huge malls, endless designer shops, sun, beaches etc......but that's not for me. Especially when I just love wandering around aimlessly, discovering. It's not a city for that, or at least it didn't feel like it to me in the brief time I was there. Maybe next time I'll have a different view.
Leica M6 // 50mm Summicron // Portra 400