emirate chronicles: ajman museum

the place i stayed in when i was in uae was not actually in dubai but in ajman.  ajman is about a 45-minute drive to dubai.  one of the things i did when i was there was visiting their museum which is housed in an old fortress. 

there is a small entrance fee to go inside the museum and as i paid, i asked the guy who was giving out the tickets if it was okay to take pictures and he said it was.

the fort was built in the late 18th century which served as the ruler’s palace and during the 70’s, was the town’s police station.  it was then transformed as a museum, dedicated to the people of the united arab emirates.

this life-sized figure welcomed me which heightened my curiosity.  the fort used to be the police station, so this piece of wood as displayed was most likely being used in offenders which serves as their punishment.

getting one’s feet trapped like that is considered torture.  i guess that is their way before to cut back on crime. 

there was one room in the museum where they presented traditional professions of the past.  i took some photos of the wax figures which i found interesting.

artifacts discovered in an ancient burial site in al mowayhat are also exhibited in one of the rooms in the museum. 

these objects dates back to the bronze age and it is said the the site where they were found is about 5,000 year old.

a burial jar, where the remains of a child and funeral gifts were found. 

ajman museum is situated on the east side of the central square, and is open saturday to thursday 0900-1300 and 1600-2100, closed during fridays.

emirate chronicles: al qasba in sharjah

al qasba in sharjah is a waterside leisure area that i visited during my stay in uae.  it’s a popular place for both locals and tourists that has restaurants and shops, but its main attraction is its signature landmark – a 60-metre high ferris wheel, the eye of the emirates.

eye of the emirates is a large all-steel observation wheel that was launched in 2005 with 42 air-conditoned cabins where you can have a spectacular view of sharjah and its neighboring ajman and dubai.  it was open by 4:00 in the afternoon when i was there and entrance fees are 30 dirhams for adults and 15 dirhams for kids.

there is a musical fountain near the wheel where children are allowed to get wet and play with the jet spray of water.  it was so humid that time i wanted to join them to cool off! 🙂

i had dinner at nando’s, a restaurant originating from south africa with a portuguese-mozambican theme.  their most famous food is the flame-grilled peri-peri chicken.

i ordered a vegetable pita and drizzled it with one of their sauces.  it was a new taste for my palate with that right hint of spiciness.

i just recently discovered that i’m no longer having allergic skin reaction to eating chicken, now it is all regrets that i wasn’t able to have a taste of nando’s famous per-peri chicken – maybe next time if i get another chance.

emirate chronicles: top of the burj

i was assigned by our company in a short-term project in united arab emirates, which meant i had an opportunity to visit dubai.  i have seen a shadowy glimpse of this well-known masterpiece as the plane i took from dammam landed at dubai airport and was full of excitement the day that i had a chance to see personally the tallest structure ever built by man – the burj khalifa.

the khalifa tower is located in downtown dubai, with a staggering height of 2,717 feet.  i was caught in wonder as i stared at this giant skyscraper.  i have read that it took only six years to finish construction and 1.5 billion dollars to complete.

my khalifa experience included a visit of  “at the top” , an open-air observation deck situated at the 124th floor of the building.

tickets are purchased near the entrance of  “at the top”, on the lower ground of the dubai mall.

there are two ticket types to the observation deck, the general admission which is dated and timed which you can book at the ticket counter or online like i did.  you just have to choose your preferred time and date of your visit.  this will cost you 100 aed.  the other ticket type is the immediate entry where you buy the tickets at the counter and proceed directly for your at the top experience. this costs 400 aed – 75% more than booking in advance.  i have seen a number of tourists paying this much, most likely they were short of time.

i got mine scheduled at 8:00 in the evening.  there is a shop beside the ticket counter were an assortment of “at the top” souvenir items are being sold, from shirts to burj khalifa figurines.  i bought some postcards to snail mail to my friends.

there was one item that caught my attention among the souvenirs – a metal bolt.

an authentic piece of high grade bolt that was used in the construction of the world’s tallest tower, and you wouldn’t believe how much this thing costs.

4900 aed.  the same price of a 13.3″ new edition macbook pro!  i see some bolts that looks almost identical as these in the rig warehouse at my work place, anyone interested to buy them from me so i can replace my old laptop to fulfill my “threatened” gadget wishlist for the year?  lol!  i can give you a special price or a buy one take one deal!

there is a part in the entrance wall with a quote from his highness sheikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum which reads:  ” the word impossible is not in the leader’s dictionaries.   no matter how big the challenges, strong faith, determination and resolve will overcome them“.

people were about to line up going to the high-speed elevators that will bring us to the 124th floor.

welcome to burj khalifa, life at the top!

from the earth to the sky.

here’s a view of the burj from the observation deck.

i was having a hard time with my camera when i was shooting pictures at the deck for it cannot focus.  blame the humidity or my ignorance to set it correctly!  this was the best i got.

know more about burj khalifa at their website.

china mall

i have been temporarily assigned here for work in ajman for almost two weeks now.  ajman is about a 45 minute taxi ride to dubai without the traffic, and is the smallest of the seven emirates making up the united arab emirates.

one of the places to visit here is china mall, a 100,000 square meter built-up area with shops that sell china made merchandise like garments, accessories, textiles, household, jewellery, fashion accessories, toys, crafts, and electronics.  i saw fake designer merchandise being sold here which are mostly for women and even an iphone 5 that sells for 300 dirhams! 

i bought some bottled chinese iced tea, haw flakes and some dried seafood snacks from a shop that sells foodstuff then i saw one store that sells ‘crocs’ shoes.  i went inside the store and had a small conversation with the chinese guy selling the items.

me: how much for the crocs loafers?
chinese guy: 30.00 dirhams each, buy two for 50.00 dirhams.
me: huh? 30.00 dirhams?! are these original?
chinese guy: original? what original?! it’s made in china!

i think i got the guy pissed off in my stupid question, haha!  anyway, i bought a pair of khaki-colored ‘original’ crocs loafers and after he saw me taking pictures, i looked at him and said:  “i’ll show my friends”, he then smiled and replied back: “okay.. tell your friend buy”! 😀