Dubai…Perhaps the best known of the 7 Emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai was our transfer point for flying to and from Kabul. In fact there are numerous flights on several airlines connecting Kabul to other cities, the most being to Dubai.
The day spent in Dubai was certainly a stark contrast to the seven we spent in Kabul. It is modern, flourishing, rather expensive. It was fun to see the tallest building in the world (which is very elegant), the largest fountain show in the world, the indoor ski slope (which was quite busy), the Dubai Mall (largest in the world and it also has an impressive aquarium), the Mall of the Emirates, a boat ride on Dubai Creek (more a of river), the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk, souks being more traditional markets/bazaars.
Then off to the airport for the 22-hour trip back–hotel to home. All-in-all, an enormously informative trip and a fantastic personal experience which I will share in the next few weeks and months with the residents of this region beginning with the April 18 World Affairs Council Instant Issues luncheon in Springfield. I hope all readers can come and will bring friends.
Thank you to my fellow delegation members Maria Zammit (Hampton Beach, Virginia) the mission organizer and leader, Laura Dupuy (Salt Lake City, Utah), Jim Falk (Dallas Fort Worth, Texas), Mimi Gregory (Naples, Florida) and L.J. Stambuk (Charlotte, North Carolina).
And of course thank you to Ambassador Ryan Crocker and everyone at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.
More to come.