March 1. Burj Al-Arab.

The burj al Arab or burj Khalifa is visible from the sky. They have erected a boys dream in the desert. Wow. On a good day, it reaches beyond the smog.

We touch down in the desert state and hop on the newly constructed metro that takes us to all the ugly concrete highrises. It is amazing what they have amassed on this tiny spot. We stop at the station near the big boy and walk up to the building that takes my breath away. Looking up all the way towards the top involved tilting my neck in an awkward diagonal position, thus impairing the air from going down my trachea. Next to the tallest tower is the biggest shopping mall, and we find ourselves eating some quick noodles there and checking our host’s email.

Upon finding out where she lives we move on to the Mall of Emirates, the smaller one with the ski slope inside (this is true: they have a full-blown ski-slope in Dubai and we have seen snow enthousiasts zooming down the artificial hill). All those Malls make us dizzy and we decide to go to our host Donia. She lives in a nice green enclave and welcomes us with a drink and kind words. She works as a journalist for a company providing content to Al Jazeera, and her investigations involve careful research of historical documents that mainstream (Western) media houses wouldn’t invest in. Good point, like it.