Understated, subtle, restrained and unadorned. Dubai does not understand these concepts, much less live by them. How very refreshing.
Perhaps it has something to with the dazzling sunlight bouncing off the city’s waterways and courtyard pools, or the way the glass and marble facades of the buildings appear to glimmer in the heat of the day. Glitter and sparkle seem almost natural elements here and quite appealing to this Brit, recently arrived, with skin as pale as whitewash from too many Yorkshire winters.
Drive around after dark and the illumination is spectacular. The Dubai Fountain alone uses 6,600 so called ‘Superlights’ and every building seems to twinkle to attention when the sun goes down. Even the palm trees put on their evening wear. It’s attractive, exciting – and anywhere else it might be regarded as a tad ostentatious – but here it somehow makes sense.
I have been here a month – the ice cold hands and feet that I learned to live with in Yorkshire for so many years are a distant memory. Now I need soap to remove the rings from my fingers at night and my feet are complaining about being squeezed into summer sandals that all of a sudden seem to be a size too small – and rather dull. I seem to be turning into a magpie. Shiny, sparkly embellished footwear is catching my eye and my feet feel like frumps.
My first foray into Dubai Mall was definitely over-ambitious. The big mistake was trying to cover too much ground in an afternoon and without a map. Even with a map, my sense of direction – or lack of it – takes me down some blind alleys. Mission bling was never going to be easy with these feet.
Eventually, and somewhat breathless, I reached the target and the objects of desire at the Dune shoe shop. Always a favourite haunt in Leeds, I could usually find something in Dune to please my hard done by hoofs.
The service was immaculate. I got the full Cinderella treatment, meaning the assistant was more than willing to stretch the chosen pairs so I could leave the shop feeling like they were made for my not so dainty plates. Er, yes, two pairs. A girl’s gotta have plenty of bling to feel at home in Dubai.