On top of The World – and Queen Elizabeth 2 – in Dubai

//On top of The World – and Queen Elizabeth 2 – in Dubai

towersmall.jpgSomething different today: a blog from the air instead of the sea. I have just come back down to earth after a sensational flight-seeing tour over Dubai in a nine-seater seaplane.
The Department of Tourism is making the most of the opportunity to market their destination to visitors who, like me, are here for the naming ceremony of cruise ship Costa Deliziosa tomorrow.
And there can be no better way than the 40-minute flight taking in all the incredible sights of this 21st-century miracle springing up from the desert. Laid out below us were the man-made islands of The Palm Jumeirah, with the ostentatious pink palace of the Atlantis resort at its tip; and the homes bought by David Beckham and other England footballers on its fronds.
The islands of Palm Jebel Ali and The World have been dredged from the bed of the Arabian Gulf as well, but they await development – and an injection of cash.
However bizarre these constructions look from the ground, they only make sense when viewed from the air; although to be honest, they don’t really make sense at all. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to create chains of islands only a few feet above the water , when the world is supposedly facing the threat of rising sea levels? Perhaps they know more about global warming than everyone else.
Our Cessna Caravan 208, with Norwegian pilot Per at the controls, took us past the tallest building in the world, the newly-opened Burj Khalifa (above). As we were flying at 1,500 feet. its 2,800-ft spire still towered over us.
qe2small.jpgWe also flew over the new cruise terminal at Port Rashid, where Sheik Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, will preside over the naming ceremony tomorrow. Deliziosa has not yet arrived, but alongside the quay – it’s red funnel standing proud – was the former Cunard liner, QE2 (above).
The ship’s future is still in doubt, after Dubai’s financial problems have brought a halt to plans to convert it into a luxury hotel, and an alternative plan to sail it to Cape Town to provide accommodation for this summer’s World Cup fell through.
Incidentally, the Sheik’s presence at the Deliziosa ceremony has resulted in the event being brought forward to before lunch. What that means for the fireworks display remains to be seen. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:32+00:00 22 February 2010|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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