After my father had died in June 2014, I needed to get away and just wanted to go somewhere that was good value, safe and easy. This was me a week before the trip, unshaven, exhausted and distant, in need of relaxation and a place to recharge my batteries. Dubai seemed to tick the boxes as the perfect escape, guaranteed sunshine, great service and value for money for that time of the year. It is hot, super hot! I just didn’t want to think about anything.
I found a room with a sea view in the Hotel Resort Jumeirah Al Qasr Jumeirah Hotel
I wasn’t sure initially if it was the right type of hotel for me because I’m usually into much smaller hotels, but I didn’t want to do anything, just wanted to veg out, take pictures go to the gym and have a swim in the sea.
Upon arriving I was greated and made to feel like VIP, I was only there for five days and had absolutely no plans to do anything exciting, no clubs or fancy restaurants. I had stopped working out and it was something high on my priorities to start up again. I headed down to the gym, did a quick 10k run on the tread mill, and crashed out in the steam room before returning to my room and my camera. The sea view was not quite what I expected but it could be seen from an angle. I was able to climb out over my balcony onto a large expanse of flat roof which gave me a great viewing spot for the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Burj Al Arab
That was my first evening sorted, club sandwich, a beer and a night on the flat roof taking pictures of this amazing structure.
The next day was a bit of a lazy do nothing affair, starting with another run in the morning, incredible buffet breakfast which started outside but within five minutes I had moved back into the restaurant. The heat is ferocious and draining and as much as I liked the idea of eating outside, air-conditioning was a welcome relief.
That day, I lay on the beach snapping anything that moved with a small a Canon point and shoot, I have hundreds of images of sunbathed bodies just mopping around and soaking up the 50 degrees of pure oven heat. By the afternoon I was starting to get restless and decided to join a circuit training class followed by a quick meal in the hotel and then back to my room and back on my viewing deck with another beer, tripod camera and magazines.
The next day started with a quick run before breakfast. I couldn’t face another day on the beach so I jumped in a cab and went to the old town to try out some Dubai street photography. I had obviously missed the magic light but just needed to take some pictures, It was incredible, real people, things happening, busy busy busy and a new enviroment.
Sometimes if I’m in the mood for taking street photos, I almost get a rush of excitement, not quite sure where to start, I just shoot like mad for the thirst 30 minutes then slow down, focusing more on scenes and trying look and wait for something to happen. I remember it being great fun. After an hour or so I was starting to feel so hot, that midday sun was starting to really make me suffer. I managed to stay out a couple of more hours until I just couldn’t bare the heat anymore. I flagged a cab and I remember looking at my T-shirt and shorts as I got into the taxi, I looked as if I had just jumped in a pool.
Later that afternoon I headed down to the Dubai Mall I thought it would be a much cooler place to take some pictures. And it certainly was. I love air-conditioning.
The first thing that hit me was that every local woman seemed to have a Chanel handbag.
My highlight was sitting outside in Carluccio’s Italian restaurant www.carluccios.com/restaurants/united-arab-emirates waiting for the fountain show to begin and watching everyone gather round and take pictures of these spectacular cascades while dancing to music.
The final days were just lazing by the pool, exactly what I needed. The summer in Dubai is very hot and ideal for relaxation with its five-star service. Pretty much everywhere you go is safe and it is a great place to relax, unwind, enjoy a spa, read a book and recharge your batteries. And it’s certainly good for a little street photograpahy.