Resume | GitHub | LinkedIn | 0x0BC5F7AC | GitHub Public Key         Data Scientist at Firefox Mozilla

A Day or Two in Dubai

Feb 11, 2015

India calls or did call last year. I tend to miss the familiar sights and sounds of the country, though it is mostly missed in absentia. A healthy living involves being able to recognize experiences that we’ll miss when we are removed from them.

We stopped by Dubai for about two days. Sheetal worked in Dubai for two to three years and wanted to show me parts of it. I really wanted to find long undiscovered histories of Dubai, but it is a new city and a great example of what new found money (oil discovery) when put to good use can do for a country(think healthcare and infrastructure). Dubai belongs to UAE (the other major city being Abu Dhabi) and actually was close to bankrupt at one time. More than 80% of the population are expats! And with 53% being Indians, I now realize what she meant when she said “Dubai is like a cleaner India”.

But many of those expats are the unempowered parts of society - the contract laborers. Dubai doesn’t have a great reputation for its human rights. And when it is advertised (very common) that confiscating passports is illegal, then there is something to worry about. You can search the interwebs for human rights violations in Dubai.

Surprisingly for myself, there was a lot of walking. As soon as we landed, we started walking. It was the day before National Day, flags fluttered everywhere and we were treated to stern photos of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at every second corner.

Some of the places visited were the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab, the never ending Dubai Mall (which must be a relief in summer), some of Sheetal’s favorite restaurants (sadly closed …). And some of the still present restaurants don’t taste the same. The butter purchased, the butter remembered and the butter tasted are three different things. We met her very gracious friends, had long dinners, and longer drinks. Isn’t it nice to meet friends after years hiatus and still feel a connection?

The pictures below are mix of film (using the Bessa R3A) and Fuji XT1 (with the 23mm lens).The latter is touched up in Lightroom. Fuji pictures are the last 8. The film was scanned by Richard Photo Labs who did a great job though I had to bring up the exposure by one third of a stop and expose the shadows/blacks a lot. Oh, and the Color Skopar 21mm Voigtlander lens is so damn useful. You can take a picture of almost any sized object and it’s easy to zone focus.

Click on the pictures for larger views.